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Sonuchi | December 23, 2020

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Cyberpunk 2077: First Impressions

I decided a long time ago to not pre-purchase games. But I did so with Cyberpunk 2077; my first pre-purchase in over a decade. Sadly, I’m again disappointed, and yet at the same time… am not?

I bought the game on PC, and from the looks of it, this is the only platform that can play the game with less of the random moments of game-breaking bugs or glitches. For that reason, we are not going to review Cyberpunk 2077. Rather, it is a “first impression” since the game needs (a lot of) work and bug patching.

Graphics

Cyberpunk 2077 graphics hit real hard on consoles. From some of the social media posts I’ve seen, it looks horrible. However, PCs managed to an extent. CD Projekt Red focused a lot on ray-tracing with Nvidia, and seems to have optimized a lot specifically for Intel and Nvidia products, leaving AMD users trailing behind. I managed to play the game optimized on a Radeon VII, Ryzen 5 3600XT processor producing an average of 57-65 frames per second. For a non-fps game, this is a great sweet spot for a game such as this. While it would be nice to see higher framerates, it didn’t have any adverse effect on my gameplay.

There are spots in the game where graphics aren’t as crisp and have some noise based on the setting called Screen Space Reflections quality. Disabling this could remove the noise and increase framerates, but the game doesn’t look as nice. This is up to the player, and I preferred to endure the noise I saw.

Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay

This is a very vast and in-depth open-world game. I caught myself spending more time enjoying the views, side quests, and photo mode than the main storyline. When I did get back on track, I was immersed in the story of V and the approach CD Projekt Red took.

CD Projekt Red tries to present a cybernetic world. From what I’ve seen so far, it works. The character leveling system offers a lot of fine-tuning to help achieve various approaches a game would want to take. Other features include upgrading and crafting gear, fast travel, and item consumption to help heal over time. There are even small details like screen interaction in-game. One example is when you use the fast travel screen. You can press “F” to access it, or hover your ‘aim’ over the ‘select destination’ button on the screen and then left-click. It may not be much, but it’s cool to see it interactive rather than walking up to it and just pressing a button.

Cyberpunk 2077’s Bugs

Now here comes the bad from a PC perspective. There are plenty of bugs. Some of the bugs I’ve seen personally are ones that:

  • prevent item pickups
  • have enemies spotting you through objects
  • have enemies clipping through objects such as tables and lockers
  • alternate between controller and keyboard button prompts if you have a controller plugged in
  • button prompts that repeat itself (like reload at the bottom right, fifteen times)
  • affect physics on objects and cars
  • take down NPCs with an out-of-sync ‘smashing’ sound after the body drops
  • create floating, residual objects like cell phones and chopsticks
  • objects like cell phones don’t show up properly(or at all) when an NPC is using one

These bugs I experienced didn’t ruin any gameplay for me through my 30 hours of roaming Night City. They are annoying and break some of the immersion, but it didn’t break the game to the point of it being unplayable.

A Rough Start for Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 had a rough release. Based on game release reviews, it plays horribly on last-gen console base models. It tended to perform better on PC but even at that, there were still issues. The hurricane of “game breaking” bug complaints that ripped through the first week of its release was a bad one, with blame being laid on various parties for the outcome of the game’s release.

Maybe CD Projekt Red should have done an open beta after all.

After the train wreck we’ve seen this past week, I’m hoping CD Projekt Red is able to redeem themselves and bring the game to a working state for most gamers. Unfortunately, I can’t see this game running on the Playstation 4 or Xbox One X. The game is beautiful and fun when there aren’t any game-breaking bugs. Again — these are just some things I’ve heard; I’ve yet to personally experience any bugs that would stop me from playing it.

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