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One Year Later, Cyberpunk 2077 Is Still a Massive Disappointment

Cyberpunk 2077
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One Year Later, Cyberpunk 2077 Is Still a Massive Disappointment

One year ago, I felt like a kid on Christmas. After years of waiting, Cyberpunk 2077 was officially here. I couldn’t wait to hop in and play this story-driven epic from one of my favorite developers, CD Projekt Red. Like many, though, I was beyond disappointed.

Instead of a choose-your-own-adventure, cyberpunk action title, what I got was a mess of a game that didn’t resemble anything close to what had been promised since its announcement back in 2012 — especially as someone who was playing on the PS4.

My Cyberpunk 2077 experience was buggy as sin from the get-to, featuring both visual eyesores and game-breaking issues that muddled my enjoyment of the game throughout the eight hours I played it. I still shake my head to this day when I think about the mission where Delamain absolutely plows through V’s car in a janky mess, out of nowhere.

Not only did it look terrible, but it was also completely out of left field within the context of the story in regards to Johnny and V’s relationship. Just the scene before, the two are introduced to one another antagonistically, painting Silverhand as more of a villain to your protagonist.

‘I’m about to end this man’s whole career.’ – Delamain, probably

Yet, when Delamain plows into the car, V and their new A.I. buddy converse like old acquaintances. It completely throws off the continuity of the story and is super odd.

This was one of the many early indications the game gave that Cyberpunk 2077’s gameplay, exploration, and story would underdeliver too. Firstly, the sprawling Night City that CD Projekt Red had promised felt lifeless.

City streets were pretty much empty, populated by the same five character models and disturbing adult-looking children on every block. This is a far cry from the notion that Cyberpunk 2077 would have thousands of NPCs, each with their own unique daily routines. Any character that was even a little interesting was found in the main questline, but it is a shame that those missions weren’t very interesting overall.

Instead of the story of V and Jackie rising to the top of Night City, Cyberpunk 2077 was all about V and Johnny Silverhand. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Keanu Reeves. I just hated how forced into the plot Silverhand was. His character was too edgy for his own good and the line delivery came across as stagnant as possible. Any time he was on screen I just couldn’t wait for it to be over, especially when compared to the brief bromance we have with Jackie.

I should have known the moment that Cyberpunk 2077 played a montage of Jackie and V’s adventures, instead of letting us live them out, that something was wrong. Instead, the character and their relationship are simply used for a dramatic moment that doesn’t pay off nearly as much as it would have if we’d gotten to spend more time developing their bond.

It also didn’t help that the choice of origins/life path didn’t significantly affect the plot or dialogue either. Picking between Corpo, Street Kid, or Nomad really only changed your starting location and gave you a word or two differences in dialogue every now and then instead of completely altering the path your character takes based on backstory. It just felt like the ending to Mass Effect 3 all over again, as the game points you in the same direction no matter what your choices were without any interesting variation along the way.

The gameplay variation wasn’t much better, as gunplay didn’t feel satisfying and driving was stiff as hell. While there were also a few different ways to approach completing a mission, most of them simply revolved around going somewhere and clearing out enemies.

It only took two days for me to request a refund of Cyberpunk 2077, and the disappointment was immeasurable. Still, I held out hope that the game would get better with time. I thought, “Give it a year, and there will be more content, bugs will be fixed, and we will finally have the game that was promised.”

One year later, Cyberpunk 2077 is still a massive disappointment. The game is still extremely buggy, its world still feels lifeless, and the only actual story content that was introduced was a few cars and a skin for Johnny Silverhand that no one asked for.

That isn’t to say that the developers that are working on the game haven’t been working hard. There have been plenty of quality of life and bug fixes in the numerous patches that Cyberpunk 2077 has received that at least make the game run properly.

The NCPD Spawn Radius isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be and collisions while driving won’t send you flying into the air or cause an explosion to the extent that they did before. Arguably, the best quality of life addition is the fact that there is a steering sensitivity slider, making it so that it doesn’t feel like turning a tank every time you move while driving.

Unfortunately, none of these updates are really that groundbreaking. In reality, all of these improvements should have been the bare minimum for the game upon its release. Is the bar really that low that we should be thankful that gameplay features like smoother driving are being implemented a year later instead of being ready on day one?

I no longer feel confident in the future of Cyberpunk 2077. It isn’t just a previous generation console issue anymore. CD Projekt Red created a game that, at its core, is fundamentally flawed.

I’m not sure if it is the blessing of hindsight or time, but looking at the game now, it’s easy to see that there are no amount of patch notes that can fix the game’s story direction, characters, or the world. Johnny Silverhand will still be far too involved, decisions won’t matter as much as they should, and your origin story will still always lead you down the same, general boring path that is Cyberpunk 2077’s main story.

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