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07 December 2020 20:32

The Witcher CD Projekt GOG.com

Cyberpunk 2077 review in progress – living up to the hype

Rather than simply being The Witcher in a sci-fi universe Cyberpunk 2077 is a significantly different style of game, mostly obviously because you play from a first person perspective as an avatar you create – not as an existing character with a pre-defined personality. As such, the first thing you do is choose a difficulty and then a lifepath, from the choice of Nomad, Corpo, and Street Kid. Night City has a very ridged class system, as represented by the lifepaths, which determine the background and starting circumstances for your character. The first act of the story is a little slow to get going but you start the second act with a chip on your shoulder, in the form of Keanu Reeves' cyber-ghost character Johnny Silverhand (who, oddly, doesn't sound or look much like Reeves a lot of the time). However, this is where the game begins to stray from being a true role-player, as it doesn't feel like you have all that much choice of what you can do during key story missions and the dialogue feels on the rails and rarely lets you say what you want to. Night City is a vertical city with towering architecture that creates dark dirty alleyways full of danger, but each district is given its own distinct aesthetic and while there are obvious nods to movies such as Blade Runner and Akira (as well as lots of punk references in the dialogue and soundtrack choices) it never feels derivative.

The game's combat has always been a concern, given CD Projekt Red has no experience with first person shooters, but you have so many special skills and gadgets that making comparisons with a more single-minded shooter become meaningless. In terms of the environments, characters quests, and gameplay options though there's little sign of Projekt CD Red trying to take a shortcut. The best sign of how enjoyable the game is, is that we're not even finished as a Street Kid and yet we're already looking forward to trying the Nomad lifepath from the start, and Corpo after that. Cyberpunk 2077 has been a long time coming but there's every sign it's going to end up being worth the wait. There aren't quite eight million stories in Cyberpunk 2077's sprawling Night City, but it sure feels that way.

It's a good job, too: when CD Projekt Red's dense, top-of-the-line sci-fi RPG was first unveiled eight years ago, it seemed to promise players the world. Given Cyberpunk is played almost entirely in first-person, it's questionable exactly how worthwhile such a deep customisation menu is, but this is not a game that does anything by halves. Cyberpunk hurls characters and quests at you like a berserk dodgeball player; for the first 15 hours or so of its long, multi-act story, this is overwhelming. Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red) Cyberpunk 2077 is an ambitious and deeply enjoyable RPG that evokes comforting comparisons to the good old days of Fallout and Deus Ex. With great graphics, immersive simulator systems, and gripping quest design, you're getting plenty of bang for your buck here if you can look past some of the game's unfortunate mechanical missteps. In Cyberpunk 2077, you play as V, a mouthy merc who will do whatever it takes to become a living legend in Night City.

But this is no cause for concern — because when it comes to RPG quest design, CD Projekt Red is the best in the business. If you think about it, there aren't many single-player FPS RPGs of this nature on the market, so returning to this style felt novel, especially with the next-gen nuance implemented by CD Projekt Red. But that's not to say there aren't some redundant systems in play here. The main questline acts as the reliable spine of Cyberpunk 2077, introducing cool characters and providing structure to the open world, coaxing exploration in the same inoffensive way that Skyrim does. The fun factor, replayability, and value for money on offer is undeniable, and the limited market of FPS RPGs with immersive sim gameplay systems makes Cyberpunk 2077 an easy sell for those who love games like Fallout and Deus Ex — it's an amalgamation of many of the genre's best features. In what is likely the most anticipated video game of the last decade, Cyberpunk 2077 has had a turbulent development period.

Digital Spy has spent the last week playing the game on PC, sinking about 22 hours in to the murky, neon-lit streets of Night City and, having emerged, bleary-eyed from the other side of a whirlwind story that we have only half-complete, all we can think of doing is plunging head-first right back into the blood-soaked world of cybernetic chaos. Put frankly, Cyberpunk 2077 is an immensely well-built, massive game, with a twisting narrative, deep lore, and a gorgeous open-world that drags you into this dystopian future full of dangerous gangs, villainous corpos, and freedom fighters. We weren't quite expecting the dynamic between V and Johnny to play out the way it does, but you'll be seeing a great deal of this charismatic rock god throughout the game for good or ill. With hundreds of side-missions complete and a good chunk of the main story played through, we know there's still plenty to explore, and can easily imagine us sticking around in Night City for around 80 hours in our first complete play-through. CD Projekt Red Cyberpunk 2077 + 3 Night City Postcards (Xbox One) (exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment amazon.co.uk £49.99 Shop Now And for the true Cyberpunk experience, you should head to a RipperDoc, who can enhance your body with techno-gadgetry to help you out in Night City.

However, now that we have played the game, we can see the benefits of the development team at CD Projekt Red taking more time to polish it off, even if we despise the crunch-culture it encourages. We think the next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will really show off the scale and quality of Night City in ways gamers might not be expecting. CD Projekt Red Cyberpunk 2077 + 3 Night City Postcards (PS4) (exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment amazon.co.uk £49.99 Shop Now We have played Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs, and Spider-Man Miles Morales on the next-gen consoles, but none of them looked as good as Cyberpunk 2077 did. CD Projekt Red is now well known for creating these huge, sprawling games set in captivating worlds, and their list of top-end titles grows ever-longer with Cyberpunk 2077. However, the story and the world feels completely brand new and original and, much like V's techno-morphed body, the mix of inspirations takes on it's own identity to become a wild frankensteins monster of great games combined.