reviewed Cyberpunk 2077
A remarkably ambitious game with a compelling world and excellent quest variety. Even quests that at first seem periphery often lead to creative, thought-provoking, and emotionally resonant scenarios that really take advantage of the cyberpunk setting.
The game clearly loves and understands its world, immersing you in this late-stage capitalist dystopia not too far removed from our own world. Commercials and news serve as the only content on TV, and billboards assault you with exploitative sexuality. Violence and death are fetishized. Beggars wander the streets in the shadow of glimmering corporate megastructures while police harass civilians with impunity. Politicians' minds are controlled from the shadows. This is a very politically engaged game, and it compels you to explore every inch of this world.
Yet Cyberpunk 2077 is hampered by lingering technical issues and gameplay that proves more shallow the longer you play. The initial lifepaths serve as little more than flavor text for interactions throughout the game, and the combat systems, while fun and varied, don't expand as they should in a game that touts itself as a deep RPG. It's easy to settle into a groove and avoid experimentation, especially since the quests are designed to be achieved by anyone regardless of playstyle.
The game begs to be compared to Deus Ex, the gold-standard cyberpunk RPG, but really it's more Grand Theft Auto meets Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I enjoyed my time with it, but the game clearly wanted to be more and sadly doesn't live up to its potential. Ambition only takes you so far.
Reviewed on Dec 11, 2022