I’m not saying that it’s ‘okay’ for companies to release games that aren’t really ready. All I’m saying is that if you are playing it on a system which you might expect it to run decently on you probably won’t see too many problems for yourself (or at least not as many as you might expect if you’ve watched any videos). In all honesty, I’m surprised they even brought it out on the previous gen consoles, that is something they should have come to realize early on and taken steps to address, but if you genuinely thought a game like this would be phenomenal on a system you can pick up for less than 100 bucks second-hand then you really should have known better.
Aside from some slow-down and pop-up, I thought Cyberpunk looked amazing when I first jumped in. Insane lighting, incredible character animation (not necessarily on the NPCs, but the main characters look outstanding) and a pretty nifty photo mode which kept me entertained for hours really drew me in and I have to admit that I became slightly enamored with my travels around Night City. Once the combat became more fluid and I had leveled up a bit, the combat became a sight to behold with explosions, sparks and a massive arsenal tearing up the screen through numerous intense missions featuring beastly cyborgs and countless goons. Beyond the slight judder in frame rate, it all just came together really well and performed just as well as many FPS games and better than some RPGs. It just didn’t match up with all the fuss.
I suppose it’s the blend of styles that kept me coming back as it feels like a combination of GTA, Far Cry and Fallout. The driving is pretty well done and the handling feels better than even the latest Watch Dogs, for the most part, but in the city it’s certainly more preferable to walk as you never know what you’ll find down a random alleyway. As with most games of this ilk, you’ll probably pick up endless tat on your travels and it won’t take too long before you get the dreaded ‘You are over-encumbered and cannot run’ message flashing before your eyes as you drag your ass along at a snail’s pace. I’d highly recommend upgrading so that all junk is automatically scrapped into components for crafting although this will mean that you can’t wave all the scattered dildos around, which is a shame because there are lots. I found that I ended up with so many guns and random bits of clothing that it almost became comical and you have to manage your itinerary pretty frequently if you get a bit loot-happy. As you may expect, you can increase your strength and get a higher carrying capacity, but it will still be full of things you probably won’t use (not that this will stop you).
While the city can feel a bit sparsely populated (and sometimes entirely barren) it is still atmospheric and the different districts are distinct enough, but the size of the world outside means that there are countless opportunities to explore in the hope of stumbling across something exciting or valuable (or both). There are so many pieces of lore and messages that lead to high-quality loot that it’s easy to throw countless hours away just mooching about and seeing what you happen to find. I didn’t really dive headlong into the story, as I like to see what else a game has to offer, but the sheer number of side quests, job offers and new contacts amassed over the first five hours or so is pretty staggering. If you want to ‘step into a role’ beyond the narrative then there is plenty of scope for you to do so, whether that’s a part-time cop or cybernetic headhunter.
To begin with I found the combat to be fun but too drawn out, with each enemy being a relentless bullet sponge who could eat headshots all day long before finally succumbing to my assault rifle’s lack of prowess, but once I had a few decent weapons under my belt and a few perks unlocked it becomes incredibly satisfying. Headshots, limbshots, dismemberment and insanely overpowered boomsticks give a good sense of weight, while the range of sharpened steel implements is a great way of mopping up those last few stragglers (or helping out in place of a swift reload). The idea of becoming a cybernetically-enhanced badass is the real backbone of this experience and it’s surprising how quickly this becomes a reality.