Video Games

Cyberpunk 2077

In Night City, everyone's out for themselves—including you.


Set in Night City, an expansive California cityscape brimming with rogue A.I.s, body-modded street thugs, and virtual cathouses for every class and taste, Cyberpunk 2077 is a video game about sex, drugs, and robots—and what to do about them.

Based on a long-running series of tabletop role-playing games, the game is constructed from a stew of '80s and '90s science fiction references: There's more than a hint of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, of Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix, including a star turn by Keanu Reeves as a long-dead revolutionary rocker who turns up as an A.I. construct lodged in your consciousness.

Reeves makes an amusingly sardonic, irritably charming guide to Night City, a companion and antagonist who wants to get out of your head as much as the player wants him gone. But separation is harder than it looks: Along the way, you have to deal with a slew of corporate and political power struggles, from mayoral assassinations to murderous family succession squabbles over the fate of massive, privately run firms. Occasionally, you end up in bed with someone.

The game's politics are best described as cynical rather than ideological. One advertisement throughout the city extols the virtues of working for a company that offers an unprecedented five paid vacation days a year; the city's political hierarchy is deeply corrupt and self-interested, even when its members aren't plotting assassinations and coups. In-game tasks consist of everything from conventional video game shootouts to interrogating A.I.-controlled sex workers to simply talking with a depressed local cop about his feelings of betrayal.

Everyone's out for themselves—including you. But what are your interests, really? And what are you willing to do about them? Cyberpunk 2077's one unifying idea is that no matter how big or how small the decision, the choice is always up to you.

NEXT: Brickbat: And Stay There

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  1. Someone obviously couldn’t their copy to play.

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  2. Or, if this is the kind of thing you want to spend all your time doing, you could actually kill yourself.

  3. This is what passes for a game review among the normies.

  4. > Based on a long-running series of tabletop role-playing games

    Video games based on tabletop games are always a problem. Players demand the old school mechanics even when they make absolutely no sense. And like Hollywood making the fifteen remake of a classic, it just shows that video game designers can’t think out of the box either.

    Back in the 90s this was a big thing. Interplay had the rights to D&D brand, and they flogged it to death with crappy ass games (the only two people remember are the only two good ones). They tried a GURPS branded game once, but SJG pulled the license, thank goodness, because it led to them making their own replacement system over a drunken weekend, and we ended up with Fallout, their third memorable game.

    But it’s not the 90s. There’s no need to explicitly cater to the tabletop crowd, because there’s a thousand video RPGers for every one tabletop RPGer. I mean duh.

    A cyberpunk video RPG? Hell yeah! One that’s supposed to be the video knockoff of a tabletop game? For gawdsakes why? First off, the Cyberpunk RPG was mediocre. Shadowrun was a so so much better, but if you didn’t want the magic, then good old GURPS with the infamous Cyberpunk book was the way to go. But it’s 2021, no need for video games to slavishly copy 90s era tabletop games anymore.

    No offense to tabletop RPGs. I still play them. But they’re social games requiring a group of unbathed nerds and enough Cheetos and Dr Pepper to choke a mule. Not for a single player video game.

    1. The issues with cyberpunk the vidya had nothing to do with TT mechanics – they didn’t use them. They used the *setting*.

  5. There are still stability issues with the code in this game (at least on PS4, but the patches seem to be pulling it together bit by bit); I’ve got some minor experience as a programmer, and the issues are more due to the game being rushed out to catch the “holiday season” with its release date. If the developers keep pushing out the bug fixes it’ll likely be ready for prime time before the end of the year. The crashes do make a convenient way to limit how long you’re playing for if you don’t have a lot of clocks near your console.

    As someone who grew up reading Gibson and Sterling and played Shadowrun, D&D and GURPS (wasn’t aware of the CP2077 RPG) in middle and high school, and who enjoyed the GTA and RDR franchises, I find the game entertaining enough to deal with the issues (last night I spent about 10 minutes taking fire from a sniper who was levitating about 250 ft in the air). I’m also a “Day 1” owner/player of No Mans Sky, and still play the current game which is almost unrecognizable because of the number of major updates, so I also have a comfort zone with patience for developers to get the issues worked out.

    For those who aren’t into the style or the theme, this probably isn’t for you. For

    1. e more due to the game being rushed out to catch the “holiday season”

      Not really. The game had severe developmental issues throughout. Some of this is starting to come to light.

      There’s a ton of shit they cut and a ton of bugs they didn’t fix – it wasn’t a matter of ‘this is almost done, ship it for Christmas’ (which really isn’t that important a selling season anymore in the age of digital distribution). They weren’t weeks or months away from being release ready and pushed it out the door – they were a good year or more away.

      1. The execs who make the “ship it by Christmas” decisions often don’t have much real understanding of how far out a game is or isn’t. The choice to release it before it’s ready to go aren’t made by the coders who understand what it’s likely to take to get it ready for beta testing; any coder that insists a complex piece of software is bug-free without testing is either inexperienced, or far smarter than anyone who’s ever walked the earth.

        Just because it was farther from being “done” than you think I’m claiming (something I never really got into quantifying, btw so I’d need you to explain to me what I “meant” in that regard), doesn’t mean it wasn’t rushed out before it was ready to go. The fact that the date they pushed it out prematurely was 2 weeks before Christmas, combined with the fact that that season is a typical target point for getting consumer/entertainment products to market strongly suggests that the date that “management” chose to push something to market prematurely was oriented around that business deadline, technical maturity be damned (hardly the first time it’s happened, and almost certainly not the last time).

  6. Interesting, haven’t played it, seems to be a pain.

    Anybody know if it’s woke?

    1. There’s a full variety of skin tone/sex/preference options for defining your custom character. I haven’t run into anything within the gameplay that’s agressively “woke”, but also no significant degree of story elements that a generally woke person would find cancellable, either.

      There are some NPCs who use the word “Latino” instead of “Latinx”, and it does allow the option of playing as a hetero-white-male if you choose to, which might be enough to get some people I know to call it “problematic”

      1. Actually, the woke got upset at the in-game advertisement for the fictional energy drink, where a woman with breasts and an obvious penis bulge was shown next to the motto “mix it up”. Apparently it was transphobic or hypersexualizing trans people or something.

      2. Thanks to you as well

    2. It is transhumanist, so the whole setting aggressively does not give a flip about the demographic concerns of the modern day woke. It also aggressively doesn’t give a flip about traditional values. It is a setting where nobody talks about transgender because body modification is so common and accepted that people will just get their preferred genitalia installed and it isn’t considered to be noteworthy.

      It is possible to read a criticism of libertarianism into the game. Night City is something of an experiment in non-government gone wrong (in particular, there are pervasive violations of the non-aggression principle, and there isn’t much that anyone can do about it; other than buy weapons/guards and be tempted to violate NAP themselves). Crime is extremely high, wars are still getting waged (just by corporations instead of governments), the most evil entity in the game is a MegaCorp, and there is enormous income/wealth inequality. That being said, from what I have seen so far, it is much less on the nose than Bioshock and I would guess the average person will just enjoy the setting for what it is and not see an analogy to any contemporary politics.

      1. Thanks for this actually, though I read it late.

  7. The game has decent storytelling, but the “open world” aspect is shit compared to Fallout 4 and others of the genre. Why program a door on a building model if you can’t open it? Why bother making NPC’s available for conversation when they all stiltedly deliver one of about 20 one-liners, no further depth.

    Where it really falls flat is its combat. The concept of hacking as the same mini-game over and over is as poorly executed as the stats on the weapons. It is simple to create a laughably overpowered universal one-shot weapon mid-game. Compared to the punchy, evolving and challenging combat of Control, this is Mario brothers.

    Vehicles are also flat stupid. There is absolutely no incentive to seek a hypercar or off-roader. Handling is garbage. Vehicles are indestructible. There are much smaller, better executed driving games that could have informed the designers’ choices.

    If the devs care so much about character appearance that you can define 9000 individual variables that have no bearing whatsoever on the game, why oh why is it that for decent armor protection you wind up wearing a pink beanie, a Bane madk, a metallic gold and blue jacket, daisy dukes and cowboy boots? You rarely see your own character. Stupid.

    For a game that boasts about its world design, buggy environmental elements are unforgivable.

    RPG mechanics are too simple in some regards and too complex in others. Weapon and armor modding is thin, leveling is complex and a grind. Some implants are overpowered, others are practically useless for the investment. Crafting is limited, but the meaninglessly wide array of junk items means you spend half the game emptying your inventory–not fun at all.

    I can see this going in the direction of GTA when it gets its online component. I agree with the sentiment that this was rushed and I feel somewhat ripped off. Should have tried-before-I-buyed with a scene release (the game was almost immediately cracked and repacked).

    I made it most of the way through the main storyline and just kinda wandered off into side missions before putting it down. I am going to wait for some patches and maybe a DLC before I revisit it with a re-roll character with a ridiculously large penis.

    For now, I’m trying to decide between Civilization, Surviving Mars, a few other TDS/FPS/RPG, No Man’s Sky, maybe RDR online (though I suspect this will be griefer central) or back to good ol Fallout 4 with 5000 mods.

    What are you playing?

  8. Cyberpunk2077 is really a thing that streamers and gamers love to partake in.
    We can get the best video game like Cyberpunk 2077 but without proper gaming gear you won’t survive it. The gaming gear bugha, ninja and shroud use is awesome so that’s the main difference that gets them stand ahead of others.

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