Sunday, April 16, 2023

Cyberpunk 2077 (PC) Review

Where do I even begin talking about Cyberpunk 2077? It's a very divisive game, and while I believe it was somewhat redeemed by the developers, it is a cautionary tale about hype, false advertising, and misleading marketing. It was beyond disappointing because CD Project Red, who gave us the fantastic Witcher 3, failed so spectacularly. I intend to talk about the events leading up to the launch of the game, the disastrous launch and the redemption that followed.


Cyberpunk 2077 was first revealed in 2012. There was a lot of buzz around the announcement at the time. I didn't have much of an opinion about this. I haven't played The Witcher, and CDPR was not on my radar. I was too busy playing Battlefield 3. With limited time to devote to gaming, I had to pick and choose my games and Witcher didn't make the cut.

It wasn't until the release of Witcher 3, that the series and the developer caught my attention. Witcher 3 was hailed as one of the best games of all time. The footage I had seen was very impressive. I wanted to get into the world of Witcher, so I proceeded to play all the games and the expansions. Witcher 1 and 2 had a lot of issues (both technical and game design), but Witcher 3 and its expansions addressed all the issues, and they remain the best single player games I played to this day, even better than the original Deus Ex.

After finishing Blood and Wine in June 2018, which I immensely enjoyed, I could not wait to play the next game from CDPR. Their games are released on GOG without any DRM, and this makes them an exemplary company, in my opinion. At this point, the release of Cyberpunk 2077 was a little over two years away. intended to buy the game at launch, which I rarely do for single player games.

The game was scheduled to be released at the end of 2020. However, the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 had a huge impact on game release (along with everything else).


I did not buy the game at launch. I decided to wait for the reviews, and that was a good thing. The launch was an unmitigated disaster. It goes to show that any company can succumb to release deadlines and cutting corners.

The game had so much promise and potential, but the disastrous launch disappointed many, and threatened the future of the game, and the franchise. On old gen consoles it was supposedly unplayable, which led to Sony removing the game from their digital storefront, and both Microsoft and Sony issued refunds to gamers who purchased the game through them.

Cyberpunk 2077 was lambasted in the media. It was quite clear that the game was launched to meet the holiday sales quota. The highs and lows of Cyberpunk are quite incredible. All the good will that CDPR built up to this point appeared to have been lost.

Some wrote this game off as a lost cause.


Soon after the awful launch, CDPR issued a statement and went on to release some much needed fixes to the game. The December patch fixed some problems with the game, but it was nowhere near the quality we got to expect from CDPR. There are still a lot of issues with the game, especially with NPC behavior, graphical glitches and performance problems.

Patch 1.6 Edgerunners Update adds some much needed features to the game. I started playing this game after the release of Patch 1.5, and during my playthrough Patch 1.6 was released. I did not have to put up with all the issues, but I still felt that there was some depth lacking in certain aspects of the game. The lofty claims of the developers were still not quite realized.

Open World

There is something surreal about the atmosphere of Night City. CDPR did something magical with the setting. The city is a wonderful playground.

To anyone looking to play CP2077, I would thoroughly recommend using bikes. There are some nice cars to be found in the city, but even the nicest car did not compare to riding a bike especially in first person mode. Weaving between traffic at high speed is an exhilarating experience. There some driving issues here and there with bikes, but generally speaking, they are a LOT of fun. I avoided using cars because I did not like the driving physics. I believe there are mods that tweak this, but I have not tried it.

There is no vehicle customization in the game and I think this is a huge missed opportunity. This would have elevated experience to a whole new level. I spent many hours riding bikes in Night City. On an ultra-wide monitor with all settings maxed out, the game is a fantastic experience. I am not sure there is any other open world RPG that managed to do what CDPR did with Night City. This is especially why the lack of any vehicle customization, cosmetic and otherwise is very disappointing.

The skyline in Night City is amazing. It appears photo realistic. Its a real treat to walk around Night City, with RTX enabled. The reflections, especially in certain areas at night where the lighting is just right, its so unbelievably beautiful.

Witcher 3's world is vast and expansive, and in contrast Cyberpunk's map isn't nearly as big, but its very dense, and there are a lot of activities. There are so many skirmishes that happen in the world which the player can engage in, and also a number of fairly interesting side missions. I really enjoyed the random assault encounters. They are a lot of fun. I would rate the world of Cyberpunk to be on par with Witcher 3. I love the open world in both games for entirely different reasons.


There is a wide variety of weapons such as smart pistols, shotguns, ARs, sniper rifles, and plenty of melee weapons. I gravitated mostly towards LMGs, pistols and shotguns. I did not use any of the smart weapons in the game. There is room for character customization which allows the player to make a build of their choosing, which can specialize in a specific type of weapons.

Shotguns and revolvers feel excellent. The LMG also packs a punch. Combat can definitely get easy as you progress in the game. I switched the difficulty to Hard half way through the game. Once I leveled up enough, combat became a lot easier. My character was too powerful for most enemies. I could wipe out an entire battalion of enemies with every little effort.

I want to do another playthrough of the game and focus on other weapons, such as ARs, and sniper rifles. I also did not spend much time with melee and smart weapons. I have future plans to revisit the game and try a very different character. Perhaps when I build a new muchine in 2025. If I end up doing another play through, I will be sure to add an update.


I confess I did not understand parts of the story. I cannot tell you why Johnny Silverhand is hell bent on taking down the Arisaka corporation. Nor can I tell you what exactly happened at the end, but the ride itself was quite enjoyable. While it was not an incoherent mess, I could not relate to the grievances of Johnny Silverhand. Keanu Reeves voice acting is quite excellent, but some of the lines he had to utter were definitely cringe inducing.

I loved the final mission. It was a lot of fun. Rogue was the stand out side character for me There weren't any truly bad characters, but I didn't think they were quite as memorable as the characters in Witcher 3. This does not make it a bad game or anything in my opinion, but as I look back, I dont find myself thinking about how great certain characters were, like I do with Witcher 3. We shall see if the DLC changes any of that. Witcher 3 DLC characters were fnatasitc, especially in Hearts of Stone. There are some pretty neat easter eggs thrown in.

The player gets to choose the starting point of the story. I played as the Nomad. To my knowledge, the consequence of this is fairly minor. This is not like Witcher 2, where choosing one option locks a whole area off to the player for the entire play through.

This was not well received by some players. I didnt bother me one way or another. I felt like I got the full experience of a nomad.


I was fortunate enough to play the game on a very powerful PC. I am glad I waited to play this on my PC because the game looks fantastic. On a 3080Ti, at 3440x1440 with RTX and DLSS on, the game is truly breathtaking, no pun intended.

Without DLSS, the frame rate takes a big hit on performance with RTX on. However, RTX really elevates the game, so I recommend playing the game with a card capable of ray tracing.


This is a divisive game, and even after most of the issues were addressed, some folks feel that it is too shallow. I tend to agree that some of the mechanics are quite shallow. That said, the overall game is very enjoyable. Considering that it sells at a discount most of the time, I recommend it.

Do temper your expectations. Enjoy the game for what it is, do not go into it expecting it to be groundbreaking like Witcher 3, because its not, and it will be disappointing. However, it is a damn good RPG, and the graphics are up there with the best. This game realizes the Cyberpunk world extremely well. The crowd AI definitely leaves a lot to be desired, but I can overlook this because the enemy AI, and the world design is very well done.

I cannot speak for the console experience, but on a PC, especially one with a medium/high end GPU, this game is amazing experience.

Verdict - Must Play