Cyberpunk (https://www.gog.com/game/cyberpunk_2077) is a title many gamers have been eagerly awaiting the past seven years, and now, it’s finally here. For the past three days I have been glued to my screen, staring in awe, at the beautiful world that is Night City. This article won’t be a review as much as it is a commentary on my first impressions – How can you review a game this large with only twenty hours play time? Fear not, no spoilers ahead!
Choosing to go in blind, ignoring trailers, leaks, articles, and review, I had no idea what to expect. Was Cyberpunk a Deus Ex clone? Will it play like Witcher 3, but with guns? Has CD Projekt decided to develop their own version of Grand Theft Auto? These are but a few questions which were in my mind as I booted up the game.
Entering Night City
Starting Cyberpunk 2077, I got to select my characters sex and appearance. Playing as V, I was presented with a large variety of customisation options. From head to toe, nearly nothing is off limits – It invites you to be as creative as you like. Finally, I selected one of three life paths, letting me play the game how I want right from the start. This freedom offered by Cyberpunk right from the start is a pleasant introduction to the world which follows.
For the next three hours the game held my hand as it introduced the plot, characters, setting, and mechanics. It felt like an interactive sightseeing expedition with tutorials sprinkled throughout. During these opening moments is where the game blew me away. Night City is alive, people flood footpaths, vehicles congest the road, something seems to always be happening.
The sheer size of the world and its inhabitants is something I’ve not seen in other games. I feel as if the developers put me in a sandbox and said, “have fun”. I can run, climb, and drive almost everywhere I please. The freedom given during character creation flows through to the game world. Cyberpunk is everything I wished Deus Ex was all those years ago.
The Visuals are Breathtaking
What makes the world of Cyberpunk 2077 even more impressive are its visuals. This is easily the best-looking game I have witnessed on PC, ever. It’s breathtaking (no pun intended). Facial expressions look lifelike. Weapons, vehicles, clothes, buildings – Everything makes me feel like I’m living in the year 2077.
From small to large, no details have been left out (other than some sad looking pizzas). Whether on foot or in car, the game does all it can to immerse you in Night City – This made me feel like I was part of the world, not just playing in it. It’s a sight to behold. My favourite part was how neon lights liven up the streets, reflecting against objects in the game world. The glow they emit looks spectacular at night.
As a result of these amazing visuals the performance is underwhelming. Amazingly my PC managed to handle running this game, but it was very taxing. With a 6 core CPU and a GTX 1070, I was hitting a peak of 45 frames per second. While not the most modern system, no other game has pushed my PC this hard – But looking at the game world, I’m not surprised why. A plus is that frame dips were non-existent.
Bugs, and Improvements
Since release there has been already been a patch which did improve performance slightly, along with some bug fixes. But only time will tell how much the game will improve. Looking at CD Projekt Red and the outstanding effort they put in the Witcher series, I’ve high hopes.
I really hope development doesn’t slow down as bugs have been numerous. Problematic saves, idle enemies, invisible vehicles, immersion is quickly broken when they occur. One mission had me unequip all my weapons. Upon doing this, the game autosaved and enemies began shooting at me in the next section. As you can guess, this wasn’t meant to happen. What was meant to be a leisurely stroll through a guarded area turned into me reloading an earlier save and trying again.
Regardless of these faults, they’re small in comparison to the amazing impression Cyberpunk has left on me. Right from the start I’ve been blown away at the effort the developers have put into the game. The foundation for a perfect game appears to be there, but it is being held back by performance issues and bugs in its current state.
Once completed, I will write a follow up article – An in depth review looking at all aspects of the game. At present, I have left out my experiences with crafting, cyberware, and purchasable vehicles – Mainly because I’ve no money in game to dive right in to these aspects. These will be discussed in the final review.