There’s a lot to explore in Night City.
The reported bugs and crashes on other platforms are nearly non-existent on the Xbox Series X version that we reviewed it on, allowing us to enjoy the full experience of living in Night City and enjoying its crazy and unexpected thrills. Cyberpunk 2077 boasts impressive storytelling and expansive side quests that breathe more life into this open-world RPG that would surely keep you entertained for hours.
I remember my friends telling me to play and try out The Witcher 3 when it came out, but after just a few hours I never really got into the whole medieval setting of the game. That’s not to say it’s not a great game, I just thought it wasn’t for me. So when the time came for us to review CD Projekt Red’s next big title Cyberpunk 2077, I figured I should give open-world RPGs a chance.
Turns out, I’ve been enjoying the game more than I have expected. Having played more than 40 hours gave me an insight into how the world of Night City is, and I haven’t even explored some of the side missions in the game. That’s how big Cyberpunk 2077 is, mimicking the same open-world setting as The Witcher 3.
In case you didn’t notice, the game has been the subject of controversy since its release last month. Bugs and crashes made Cyberpunk 2077 nearly unplayable especially on previous generation consoles, which prompted the developers to issue an apology and promised to fix the game in the next few months.
But how does the gameplay on the Xbox Series X? Very good actually. I experienced one game crash on the first few hours of gameplay, but that was the one and the only bug I’ve encountered. The game plays well on the Xbox Series X, with smooth frame rates and visuals that popped especially in HDR. I’m sure the game will get better as developers work on enhancing the game, and note that we’re just playing the Xbox One version of Cyberpunk 2077, so expect the Series X/S upgrade to be even better.
Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in the fictional world of Night City. The futuristic cyberpunk setting puts humans in a world where food and water supplies are limited, and humanity has evolved into putting machine-like upgrades to adapt and survive.
In the game, you play as V, a mercenary that people call to ‘take care of business’. Need something delivered, stolen, or executed? V’s your guy. V’s characterization is left entirely to you since you can customize the character to be male or female. The game lets you choose between three character paths (Corpo, Street Kid, Nomad) that have varying differences in gameplay, but it still follows the same central plot. If you’re wondering, Keanu Reeves does have a big role in the game, but to keep the story spoiler-free I won’t be detailing how he will meet V.
I initially got tired watching the conversations between the characters, but after a few hours into the game, I found myself accepting missions from different people as well as completing the main story. You have the choice to just do the main story of Cyberpunk 2077, but it’s the side missions that will really give you a feel of what Night City can offer.
The game is played in first person, with the option to play in third person when you’re driving a vehicle. The game lets you choose how you want to start a mission – either with guns blazing coupled with some stealth, or the good old close melee combat. I enjoyed the melee action at first but considering most of my enemies have guns you would eventually have to arm yourself with different weapons.
Cyberpunk 2077 goes all out in the weapons department. You have a never-ending choice of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and even machine guns that vary in function and ammo. You of course have the option to craft and upgrade weapons, though most of the time I just get the weapons I can collect from defeated enemies. All of the weapons are accessible on your inventory and can be assigned for easier use. You also have the ability to hack components and use them to aid with your missions.
Additionally, since V is already part-machine, you are also able to upgrade certain parts of your body from the eyes to legs to your entire body. It’s not easy though, since it requires money and a visit to a ‘ripperdoc’ to be able to apply any upgrades. You can also upgrade attributes and perks that can get rather confusing since there’s a lot of choices available.
Braindance is one feature of the game that was particularly interesting. In the game, Braindance allows you to explore the memories of someone through a chip that you can playback in your head and live it like you were there. You can analyze this memory and see it from different points of view, letting you see the visual, thermal, and aural levels of the memory. It was one of the standout features that made me enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 even more.
There’s a lot to love about Cyberpunk 2077, and I’m sure I’ll be spending more hours into the game as I progress through the story. If not for the game-breaking bugs on other platforms, Cyberpunk 2077 would have been one of the best games to release in 2020, which will hopefully get better with the promised free DLCs.
+ Intriguing storyline
+ Braindance is a cool in-game feature
+ Massive open-world map gives you hours to explore
+ Most of the bugs are non-existent, at least on the Xbox Series X
– Crafting and upgrading gear could be better (and at times not really necessary)
Final Rating: 4/5