Over a year ago, we were treated to the single greatest video game release of the generation… no, not No Man’s Sky (although Hello Games’ hard work and determination to continually develop and update the game after its rocky release has to be admired). I’m talking about CD Projekt Red’s open-world follow up from their Witcher game series – Cyberpunk 2077.
Now, when the game first came out, I covered my first impressions of the game which were less than favourable to put it generously. I also took CD Projekt Red to task over their handling of the game, from its mismanaged development to its treatment of employees and its implementation of crunch and even their deception regarding the performance on last-gen consoles.
A bunch of people were less than pleased with the criticism I levelled at CD Projekt Red, so I was wary of wading back into these murky waters again but with the studio announcing both a massive 40GB game update and a sequel to the original game entitled Cyberpunk 2077: Orion I decided now was probably the best time to revisit the game.
Since I last discussed Cyberpunk 2077 on this blog, I have managed to acquire a PS5 but I’m still playing the game on my Star Wars Battlefront Darth Vader edition base PS4 in order to keep the comparisons somewhat scientifically accurate.
Now, in my original first impressions post, I made a point that even after the first two initial patches and multiple updates that had been released there were a multitude of texture issues, bugs, and a couple of good old-fashioned crashes to the PS4 home screen for good measure. Thankfully, this time around there weren’t any game crashes but rest assured, there are still bugs-a-plenty.
There are still texture pop-in issues and longish loading times and a weird couple of bugs where during races rough blurry textures would cover the entire screen, so I didn’t know if I was going to continue my successful run as Night City’s version of Craig Lowndes or switch vocations as a short-lived crash test dummy.
I also mentioned that my PS4 sounded like it was planning on joining Elon Musk all the way on Mars every time I booted up the game and attempted to do anything more strenuous than walk across the room. That seems to have been abated in the intervening time but there are still some stuttering moments and freezing. Overall, the technical side of the game seems to have been improved a substantial amount yet, if you have the choice, I would recommend getting it on the next generation consoles or some mythical console of the future you can imagine in your mind.
There are still moments when the stunning majesty of the landscapes that the developers put their time and souls into takes my breath away and all I can do is enjoy the bright neon and dusty outlands. However, the game still manages to drag you out of this majestical wonder to see a gang member trying to make love with a nearby wall.
The updates haven’t really done anything to improve the characters, writing or driving mechanics as they’re all still as middlingly competent as it was back when it first dropped. Apart from a couple of moments at the start of the game and a touching moment between V and the Ripperdoc Vic that I mentioned in my original article, there hasn’t been anything that’s made me connect with the characters or make me want to set out into the game to learn more about them.
Looking back at the state of the game when it was first released to its current state at the time of writing, my original gripes still stand. This game is not what we were promised by CD Projekt Red, not what the trailers touted as the next greatest thing since sliced bread or any of the press releases and media discussing this game. It’s just another open world game punted out by any other triple A games publisher. It’s interchangeable, there’s just nothing really unique apart from the setting to differentiate it from the rest of the market.
Now it raises an all-important question regarding something that I mentioned earlier in the blog post. CD Projekt Red has announced a sequel to this game to be released at some point in the future which will undoubtedly be kicked down the road a bunch of times if history is any guide to go off but why are we getting a sequel at all when the original game is still getting major content updates and fixes?
Surely you would want to keep working on the game you currently have out to get it to the place that you promised it would be before moving on to a new game to disappoint everyone with all over again, or am I wasting my time trying to apply logic to the insane world of triple-A game publishing?
If you have made it to the end of this and still somehow care enough about this middling open-world game that has some nice moments and pretty colours, if you don’t have the game yet again, I would tell you to wait for more updates and make sure you get it on the PS5.
In all honesty, if you’re desperate to play an open-world game set in worlds we cannot experience in real life you might as well just play Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s just as long as Cyberpunk, it’s got a much more emotionally impactful story with characters I actually care about and the wild west setting is just as pretty as Night City without having the previously mentioned gang member wall make-out sessions to spoil the view.
Have you gone back to Night City since you first played the game? What are your thoughts on it now compared to then? Are you interested in a sequel? Let me know down below.
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