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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (473)

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Boot Hill Heroes 3.5/5
Control 4/5
Victor Vran 3/5
Katamari Damacy REROLL 4/5
SIMULACRA 3/5
Hitman: Absolution 3.5/5
Alternativa 2.5/5
Stardew Valley 4/5
Undertale 4/5
Cyberpunk 2077 3/5
Fable Anniversary 3/5
Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5

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Cyberpunk 2077   PC (Steam) 

Cyberjank 2020    3/5 stars

CD Projekt Red Studio had some big shoes to fill after The Witcher 3 pretty much became the game of the everything. But one thing many people like to casually gloss over is how utterly broken the game was when it first came out. But history NEVER repeats itself, right? RIGHT?! Oh, wait, Cyberpunk 2077 was so broken it was removed from Playstation and Xbox stores? And they had to offer so many refunds? And people meme'd the game to death with T-Posing NPCs and cars doing crazy stuff and police officers appearing out of nowhere? Sadly - it's all true and despite releasing several patches, nothing - not even Keanu Reeves - can fix what is most broken, a huge game with so much potential yet so little to show for it.

Looks and Stuff: Cyberpunk 2077 was so over-hyped that it could never meet expectations. Did I fall for said hype? Yes. This was about the only game on my radar I really, really wanted to play - so much so that I made the cardinal sin or per-ordering it - something I haven't done for several years - though at least I did so on a discount. In any case, the looks of the game are truly astounding - when they work and don't completely break the game. And break my game they did. I couldn't even stream this as the game did the horrific trees and bushes popping in everywhere as soon as I turned on my game capture program. And the jankyness didn't stop there. From bad clipping to multiple instances of the same NPS walking around, the game just feels half-assed in way you don't expect such a huge AAA title to be. While I never experienced the T-posing, I did have instances where I became stuck in the environment and had to reload (including during the final mission of the game). And while my computer may not be the most top-tier machine of all time, the sheer amount of stuff rendering was laughable. I learned to live with it. That being said, the game does feature fantastic visuals, from Night City itself to the characters around you - when they work. It has a huge, robust music library and some good voice acting (even wooden Keanu is alright). Yet for such a vibrant world you are surprisingly limited as you where you can go (so many locked doors) and who you can interact with (most NPCs have a single canned line - repeated over and over again as you go through the game). It's a big, beautiful world full of wasted potential.

Story: The main story is thus - your character returns to Night City after a time away and falls into the business of working for local Fixers with a new friend, Jacky Welles. The entire intro is essentially you rising through the ranks until you get a prime mission to steal something from the tech company Arasaka. This involves breaking into the residence of Saburo Arasaka, head of the corporation and long story short, Saburo winds up dead at the hands of his unhinged son, Yorinobu, the tech you steal imbues you with the soul of rocker-boy Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves), who famously blew up the old Arasaka tower years back and your entire crew winds up dead, including your boy Jacky. Oh, and you're going to die because it turns out having another soul inside your brain is a very, very bad thing.

Thus you are thrown into the chaos and technocracy of Night City where the rich can afford to do anything and the rest are left to fight over the scraps. You get introduced to a bunch of people and must try and figure out if you can somehow remove Silverhand from your mind and survive the process. This involves a lot of stuff including reaching out to Hanako Arasaka before she can be taken out by her brother, introducing yourself to some of Johnny's old friends, including Rogue Amendiares who has become Queen of the Underworld and Alt Cunningham, a skilled technician who is now a rogue AI. Along this journey you can also became your own fixture in Night City by doing work for a variety of Fixers, you can either rebuff or agree to Johnny's suggestions (and demands) and you can even find a little love, if you play your cards right.

The main story of Cyberpunk 2077 is just kind of blah - yeah, yeah, corporations bad - rebellion good - or something like that. But if you dig a little, there are some amazing side stories just waiting for you to uncover. Perhaps none better than one of the earliest missions I took - just trying to recover some medicinal supplies. Turns out they were stolen by a military veteran looking to stave off the effects of cyber-psychosis - an increasingly common ailment that is sweeping Night City leading to violent outburst from several people. You see, military veterans are treated like trash (heck, much like modern veterans if you ask me) and thus our boy must resort to stealing. But, it turns out, said medicine did jack squat for his problems and, if you can talk him down, he gives them back. You can even tell him to try and reach out to his old squad for help - but as soon as you walk out the door, you hear a gunshot. Guy just ups and blows his head off as he can't live with what he may become. The whole mission takes all of five minutes but for lasting impact, it sure got its point across. That's the thing - if you, like me, like to take on all those side missions you can run into a great little story every now and then - and involve a lot things from corrupt cops to human trafficking to a freaking serial killer. I really enjoyed a lot of the side mission and even some of the random scenes you come across (including references to the likes of Kick-Ass and, of course, Blade Runner) - but these one-offs can't make up for the lack of a good over-arching narrative or deep character development.

Gameplay: For a game that let's you deeply customize your characters looks, it's funny the entire think is played in first person. You have three weapon slots, a full armor load-out (head, face, chest - in and outer wear, legs and feet), perks (Body, Reflexes, Technical, Cool and Intelligence - each with at least two branching paths), a cyberdeck for hacking (both items and people) and plenty of implants you can get to build up the skills you use most - or just to toughen up. The game has a nice mix of weapons - pistols, shotguns, assault rifles and snipers, plus melee weapons like katanas or baseball bats. You can also get smart weapons that can shoot around obstacles and hone in on targets or elemental weapons that can burn or electrocute. Certain perks like Annihilation under the Body tree will make your choice of weapons more effective. You can only gain 50 levels, however, so you can't unlock everything you may want. Pistols, Blades and Assault weapons are all under the Reflex tree while Shotguns, Blunt and Bare-Hands are under Body. But your greatest weapons by far are your Quick Hacks - which become entirely too powerful endgame if you pump them up. You can shut down pretty much anyone by simply killing them from far away using a variety of said hacks. Plus, for a game that gives you so many weapons, 90% of the time I was in stealth mode as even with impressive armor stats, you can easily go down in three or four hits from enemies. Thus, sneaking and taking them down one at a time is the preferred (well, my preferred anyway) way to go.

I didn't mess around much with the Cool perks (that give you better stealth options) and probably invested too much into the crafting aspect (I never crafted or upgraded that much anyway). The only reason I invested in the Body tree at all was to have any shot at completing the stupid boxing side quest (and even then I had to cheat my way out of the final, God-awful title bout). And your mini-map will be absurdly full of missions - buy this car, stop this crime, take down this gang, help this fixer, save this kidnapped person - just so, so many quests to do. And yet most are the same thing over and over again - break in to a building, stealth kill as many people as you can and when you inevitably trip some sensor or alert one guy, either re-load or prepare to take everyone down in a hail of bullets and hacking skillz. Some missions reward you for not being seen, so I ended up reloading a lot - plus, like I said, you seem very easy to kill, so if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Oh, and if a mission warns you that you are too low level - believe it, you may not even be able to stealth kill enemies if the mission is too high above your level. You can walk or drive around town, but fast-travel is the way to go as car physics are a bit of a mess and you get bored of running into the same NPC every other staircase. I found myself using the same pistol and katana for most of the game - and traded up my third weapon between shotguns, assault rifles or snipers depending on my mood. It's probably best to save your cash for implants - ones that make you immune to fire or shock, the enhanced joints that make you double-jump, a better RAM deck for those sweet, sweet hacks - or you can just blow it all on a really nice car - or super slutty top and Daisy Duke shorts - the choice is yours. Sadly, you can't sleep with any of the sexy people walking around town (and there are many, many a sexy character walking around with cheeks and chest a hanging out). In fact, the game is truly limited when it comes to sexy times - you have the one red light district where you can buy a Joy Toy (aka prostitute), but aside from that the game gives you a single straight option - and a single same-sex option for both male and female characters. And it's too bad, I really wanted to knock boots with the badass Nomad, but, sadly, she isn't into chicks, so I had to be happy with Judy, the punk techno-wizard.

For an open-world game so full of stuff to do, it feels weirdly void of anything substantial when you dig under the surface. Sure, you can find some neat stories here and there (as mentioned above) and even some fun Easter Eggs here and there, but a good chunk of the game is simply filler. Very nice looking filler, but nothing more.

Replay value: Mostly for picking different perks (or player the Male/Female route and the love interests included), I don't think anything in the story plays out any other way. Just save before the final mission and you can easily experience the different endings.

Final Verdict: For such a shiny, polished world - it feels oh so empty inside.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 3/5
Gameplay: 3.5/5
Replay: 3/5
Overall (not an average): 3/5

 

 


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Nelson Schneider

Nelson Schneider- wrote on 07/03/21 at 02:43 AM CT

 

How many hours did you get out of it? You seemed to be playing it for-EVAR.

 
 
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