After eight years of waiting and a good handful of delays, CD Projekt launched Cyberpunk 2077, its new work based on Mike Pondsmith’s Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game, an RPG that comes to turn the genre upside down with an extraordinary adaptation, which captures all the essence of the original board game to offer us one of the most immersive and overwhelming titles of recent years.
The Poles take out their magic wand again to offer us a unique adaptation, full of soul, with very well narrated stories, charismatic characters and a large amount of content that makes us feel like we are enjoying a parallel life on the streets of Night City.
The Street Tales of Night City
In the new CD Projekt, we completely change the register. From the epic fantasy world that we had in The Witcher series, we go to the opposite extreme, a science fiction universe that is set in an alternative future of our planet in the year 2077 and the huge city of Night City, a city rotten to its very core obsessed with money, power, cyber implants and a mythologized glory that feeds the dreams of ordinary people who aspire to make a name for themselves on the streets of the city to become a legend alive or dead.
We take on the role of V, a “Merc” (Mercenary) who little by little is building a reputation in Night City and who will be involved in a story -of which we are not going to reveal a single detail so as not to spoil your experience- and that we have loved, both for its plot power and for all the topics it deals with, both the main arc and all the small subplots that we find while discovering, little by little, everything that Cyberpunk 2077 offers.
The work of the studio when it comes to adapting a third-party universe to the world of the video game is again magnificent, respecting everything that the classic tabletop role-playing game proposed, in addition to offering us an absorbing and captivating world, with charismatic characters that They leave their mark and stories very well told. If Cyberpunk 2077 is leftover from something, it is soul, charisma, the ability it has for us to connect with its protagonist so that we feel that we are V and take affection, hatred or the feeling that comes to our hearts. Different characters that we meet along the way.
During the Cyberpunk 2077 adventure, he will make us make uncomfortable decisions, and in most of them, the line between good and evil or making a “better” or “worse” option does not exist. There are no good guys and bad guys in a city where morale is deeper than the remains of the Titanic and where selfishness and ambition are the order of the day, fueled by mega-corporations that control everything. In fact, we are far from being the typical hero of a video game, from everything going well, from being a great prince or sorcerer, V is just another Merc, another wimp surrendered to the yoke of Night City, something that the city itself, and the game, remind us over and over again, in every step, in every shot, in every mission.
Something inquisitive, to give you an idea of the level with which we empathize with V or the affection that we can have for the characters, is that exploring different options to make a complete analysis (you know, choosing different routes, other possibilities in certain points in the game to alter events) sometimes our guts churned feeling how we were betraying the character we had built up to that point, or dreading the decision we were making because we didn’t want to involve that character or faction in the game. That we had taken a certain affection at a certain point in the game. Night City is not a good place for friendships.
Another point to note is how well the side stories are integrated throughout the game. Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that is best enjoyed over low heat, exploring the city of Night City little by little, calmly, without haste, without setting ourselves the goal of beating the game in a short time. This will be the way to discover all its corners, secrets, some of its most charismatic inhabitants and a good handful of secondary ones that are not there for mere decoration but rather tell us fascinating stories that can also have a significant weight on our future in the city.
We will also find all kinds of assignments and activities, compete in car races, participate in boxing matches, avoid robberies, and many events ranging from new missions to intense conversations that can have the inhabitants of this city in the least expected corner. All this makes the content level is immense, almost overwhelming, and beyond the duration of the main story -about 25 hours- we can be immersed in its universe for tens if not hundreds of hours.
A very variable duration that depends on a world of what you want to immerse yourself in Night City and, as we say, we strongly recommend you stop to enjoy everything that the game offers us and all the paths, plots and subplots that it proposes to us. At the same time, we go enjoying the main adventure.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a huge and ambitious work that encompasses many things, so at the playable level, we are going to start at the beginning, with the key piece of any self-respecting role-playing game, which is the creation and progression of our character and all the options that CD Projekt gives us to create our virtual version to live in Night City. The possibilities we have to make it progress in this very particular universe.
At the appearance level, we find a fairly complete editor that allows us to adjust in great detail the appearance of our character, his hairstyle, his tattoos, visual implants, eye colour, birthmarks and a lot of options for us to have a recreation that tries to coincide with what we have imagined that our protagonist will be.
After all this, we can distribute character points between five different characteristics (Constitution, Reflexes, Technique, Intelligence and Temper), each of them being key to different aspects of the protagonist such as his resistance, his handling of weapons, his stealth, his expertise manufacturing or manipulating objects as well as their ability to hack smart devices and take advantage of them during the game. In addition, we will also have skill trees that allow us to delve even deeper into our character to improve its use with certain weapons or devices or to provide it with special abilities, more life and, in short, a lot of characteristics that we can choose according to the style of game that we want to carry out during our life in Night City.
Before starting the game, we can choose our origin, with three options that will offer us a different start and different contacts or dialogue options throughout the game. It is a capital decision to distribute our resources well. Points or choose the aspect with which we want to come to life.
As we complete contracts and make a name for ourselves in Night City during the game, we will also see our REP level rise. This allows us to unlock new “jobs” of increasingly important personalities in the city, opening new stories and available missions as we make a name for ourselves on its streets. In addition to accessing new stories and missions thanks to reputation, a high level allows us to have another series of advantages such as discounts in clothing stores or the possibility of having new implants with which to equip our protagonist.
The creation and management of our character, we find something very similar to what happened in The Witcher 3; weare not facing the best shooting game, nor the number one title in stealth mechanics, but it meets all the sections well enough to offer us a complete title… except for a few details.
The keyboard and mouse shooting mechanics are not bad, starting with the combat. After a few minutes, we end up getting used to the ways of aiming, shooting and covering ourselves with this title that fulfills their function well. The buts that we put are that, especially at the beginning of the game, the time to kill the enemies is too long for us, sometimes having to empty a full magazine to end their life, in addition to the character’s movement and the enemies during combat is sometimes very rough, weighing down quite a bit the melee combat mechanics that have seemed to us one of the weakest points of Cyberpunk 2077. That and how uninspired some overly predictable special matchups are and how run-and-gun missions are sometimes abused in a car.
We find the equipment we can carry on our shoulders directly related to the shooting mechanics. V can become a complete killing machine with the necessary equipment, whether in clothing, grenades, weapons of all kinds, accessories… or cyber-implants.
Starting with the basics, we have at our disposal a large arsenal of weapons of all kinds to crush our enemies, whether they are pistols, shotguns, grenades, knives, katanas or more sophisticated weapons for which we will need to have a good level of Technique and that It allows us to launch intelligent bullets that always hit the target or load our shots to do a greater amount of damage.
The player can modify all weapons and pieces of clothing with scopes or other types of accessories to obtain various benefits such as damage modifiers or protection against fire, blunt attacks and a long etcetera of possibilities. We will also have other objects such as drugs or food, thanks to which we can also enjoy temporary modifiers to our attributes.
Cyberimplants deserve a separate mention. In Night City, we can go to a Matasanos to modify our body, adding an implant to each point without exception. In fact, if we want to, we can fill our body with implants and be more machine than human… all depending on how we want to face the adventure.
Another of the main points in the gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 that cannot fail in a futuristic title are the technological systems, the internet connections and the hacks from which we can take a substantial advantage throughout the game, and that can alter the course of combat or a mission in a noticeable way.
As you can guess, Night City is a hyperconnected city, and screens, locks, computers, and all kinds of smart devices are present almost in the air we breathe. Everyone has an implant, no matter how small, and everywhere there is an electronic object that we can hack and use to our advantage.
This will allow us, for example, to remotely hack a coffee maker to turn it on and distract enemies, or to do the same with a screen but, instead of distracting enemies, we can use it to launch a “ping” signal and detect the other nearby devices that can be connected to the network, marking all enemies in the area for a few seconds. Of course, we can also hack systems to get a good sum of “edis” (the money they use in Night City) that goes directly to our bank account.
At the combat level, we can also hack the implants of our rivals and cause them to overheat that will, hurt them for a few seconds or restart their vision system (if they have an eye implant) to leave them blind for a while, as well as hack turrets or other enemy objects to end up controlling them and have them attack or spy on their original owners.
All these hacking skills are closely linked, at least for us, with the stealth mechanics that it offers us, and that merge very, very well with eye hacks or the distractions that we can carry out thanks to technology to sneak in. efficient in a building or a room and silently eliminate our enemies, either by snapping their neck with relative ease or sending them to take a good nap. In contrast, we sneak into the mega-installations of a Corpo.
These stealth mechanics work quite well, and, as with the rest of the playable sections of Cyberpunk 2077, it is not that they will invent the wheel or be revolutionary. Still, together with the rest of the sections, it offers us a very homogeneous and careful mixture that They have made our main option when facing most situations.
Fights, missions, assignments, stealth… okay, all of that is very good. Still, it’s useless if we don’t know how to move around Night City, a huge city recreated with great care, with well-differentiated areas from one another that we can visit to find shops, markets, abandoned buildings, alleys hidden in plain sight, a good number of corners to get lost in, slums to visit, hotels to go to and mega-buildings to explore… although we will not be able to enter every one of the houses or warehouses present in the game. There are also large concrete structures that serve as props for a city through which we can travel, fundamentally, in three different ways: on foot, by vehicle or using fast travel.
Exploring the city on foot is an interesting option, especially when we have the next job near our current position. This will allow us to realize the incredible population density present in its streets and discover missions, secret events or hidden objects that would be easy to miss if we used a faster means.
Another option is to use a vehicle, be it a motorcycle, a car, a van… the catalogue of means of transport is as huge as the game itself, and we can get our own car by buying it in a more or less legal way… or steal it by force, of course. The driving mechanics are quite satisfactory. They bet on an arcade driving style that fits very well with the formula, allowing us to comfortably navigate the streets of Night City, encountering accidents, police raids, and other events.
Finally, we also can use a fast trip that connects certain points in the city. Fast travel “platforms” are easily spotted as they are marked with a blue dot on the map and also look pretty good to the naked eye, large square ATMs with a green hologram image of the Night City map over them. . At certain times when we are in a hurry, it is a good solution but, at least the one who writes to you, invites you to explore Night City on foot or by car to soak up the city and be able to discover new… job opportunities on your trip.
We cannot stop talking, of course, about the graphic section of Cyberpunk 2077, a game that breaks the generation when it has just started counting with fidelity so close to the real world that it is sometimes frightening, and that makes us forget if we are facing a video game, an animated film or another life totally parallel to ours.
On a technical level, as we say, it is impressive from the first to the last effect, the quality of the weapons, the clothes, or even the last corner of Night City blows our minds when we walk through its streets while we check the benefits of ray tracing in time real thing that looks great on, something that we notice both in the reflections and in the shadows, the lighting of all the stages or when we enter one of the Night City clubs full of neon lights, lasers and effects “splashing the screen. ”
CD Projekt RED, shows strength, shows to be a step above what it can achieve… although it also shows that Cyberpunk 2077, despite the delays, arrives ahead of time and is far from being well finished in its section. Technical with a good number of errors and bugs that in most cases are not too important (the typical errors that we have seen since 2007 or before in open-world video games with objects that appear where they should not or characters going through walls) but that in the least they do notably affect the gameplay, such as when some enemies have gotten stuck during our game. We have been able to kill them easily or another annoying bug that caused, when posing the bodies of the rivals that we had sent to sleep thanks to stealth, their bodies explode, killing them when only we wanted to get them out of the way without ending their lives.
With all the number of patches that the studio released and the current-gen update, the game runs without a hick and the graphics look beyond spectacular.
Finally, we also want to remind you that there is a complete photo mode available for all those who love to take successful screenshots, being able to count on a multitude of options to take that perfect image with which to keep a nice memory of the game or share on networks with our friends.
If we talk about the sound here, the result is much better since we can hardly put anything but Cyberpunk 2077, giving us audio mixing options depending on the device we are using to play it, always looking for the best quality and possible experience with it. Play.
The sounds of weapons, cars, the tumult of Night City and all the noises that should exist in a city are very well done, and their spatial location is good (although they could do some tweaking to this section ). As the main winners, we have a soundtrack that fits like a glove, and that will not bore us at any time and dubbing that borders on excellence not only in the main characters but in each one of the voices that we find around the city, with accents from different countries that make us feel that we are truly in a city that brings together people from all over the world, CD Projekt has managed to add touches of the slang used by the inhabitants of Night City and to which we will get used almost from the beginning.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a unique work and, possibly, it is the best role-playing game with cyberpunk and futuristic theme that we have played in the last decade, an exceptional title that gives a lesson on how immersion in a video game should be, how this medium can make us connect in a unique and unattainable way by cinema or literature with our character, with the stories we live and the beings that live around us in this parallel life offered by the new CD Projekt.
Night City is an overwhelming city, both technically and playable. Beyond the fact that at all times, it will remind us that we are simple ants within this mass of humanity and that it has no mercy with us, the roots that we reach feeling towards the city, towards its streets is amazing, capturing us as only it can do.
As role-playing lovers, these sensations are unique, and we believe that for fans of the genre, Cyberpunk 2077 will be colossal and provide them with sensations that not many games can hardly achieve in other titles. However, this work, like the inhabitants of Night City, like each one of us, is not perfect and also has its flaws in the form of numerous bugs and some mechanics such as melee combat, which is too rough, which makes the title squeaks at times and that can weigh down the experience of all those who are looking for a more rounded bet at a playable level than roleplaying.
We prepared this review with a digital review copy of the title provided by Evolve PR.