Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Cyberpunk 2077, the most anticipated game of the decade, and its miserable launch. You might be itching to try a new game and you’re eyeing Cyberpunk. But is Cyberpunk 2077 worth buying?
For most, the game was a glimmer of hope to look forward to, after the shit-show that was 2020. After all, it’s from the same studio that made the Witcher 3, one of the best roleplaying games of all time.
As we know, reality rarely meets our expectations… but did it really have to be that bad?
A few days after launch, I bought the game. Since I’m a Witcher fan-boy, I had to buy the next game by the same developers. After living in Night City for about 30 hours and finishing the main quest, I have some thoughts to share.
I thought I learned my lesson with the No Man’s Sky train wreck (another game I bought a few days after launch). To be fair, No Man’s Sky has been updated quite a bit, and it’s a decent game now, although still nothing very special. Modern Warfare 2019 was another one that had a terrible launch.
$60 is a lot of money for some people, and if you’re struggling with the decision to buy this game or something else, I suggest you continue reading this Cyberpunk 2077 review.
Is Cyberpunk 2077 Worth Buying?
With the current state of the game, Cyberpunk 2077 is not worth buying because it’s full of immersive-breaking bugs, performance issues, crashes, unbalanced gameplay mechanics, and areas of the map that are not complete. Plainly speaking, it’s an unfinished product. When these issues are fixed, I’ll update this review.
To be fair, it’s not like the game was released as “Alpha” or “Early-Access”, and if it was, I would be more lenient. The fact is it was released as a complete game, which is sad, really.
As Immortan Joe says:
While many people do enjoy the game, the number of bugs and other issues are embarrassing for a game that has been in development for 8 years. At least, most of the bugs are not game-breaking and they’re actually quite funny. Browse the Cyberpunk Reddit for some examples of funny bugs and issues.
Here’s one video that I couldn’t help laughing at:
There are so many videos about Cyberpunk’s failed launch, and more keep coming out. It would be impossible for me to list all of them here.
Which Platform is Best for Cyberpunk?
The best platform for Cyberpunk 2077 is a PC with an RTX card. The game also runs on Stadia, although there is significant input lag because Stadia is an online-game streaming service. Next, the PS5 and Xbox Series X work well enough. The worst platforms, at the moment, are the last-gen consoles, Xbox One and PS4. Patches should be released to optimized performance on those soon.
Cyberpunk 2077’s performance issues were so severe on last-gen consoles that CD Projektred issued an apology. It’s understandable if a new game runs into some stutters, however, it seems like this game is completely unplayable on any of the last-gen consoles. We’re talking about frame rates under 30, a slide-show-like performance, that is enough to give anyone a headache… or even a seizure.
This is weird, because the new Spiderman game seems to run great, and it even looks better than Cyberpunk. Not to mention God of War, The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption 2, and many others. And it’s even weirder because the company outright refused to let testers show the game on these last-gen consoles.
Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements:
It’s hard to put a finger on the exact PC requirements because the game is so poorly optimized, people with all kinds of hardware are running into issues. RTX cards with DLSS support should be able to squeeze the most performance out of the game, and at least run it at 1080P with a stable 60 frames a second.
Mid-range computers (like mine) will struggle. Again, the official recommended requirements were no-where near what you actually need to run the game. I mean, anything other than an RTX card, is unlikely to run the game at a steady frame rate, and it’s also very CPU intensive. You’ll need a min of 6 GB of VRAM too, playing it on a laptop might be like playing with fire, literally. It’s kind of sad that a lot of people built their PCs for Cyberpunk.
And while features like ray-tracing are cool, it still tanks performance, and it doesn’t even look that great. I mean, there aren’t that many reflective surfaces in the game, to begin with, and there’s like, what, one river?
Granted, it does seem like the Cyberpunk developers were rushed to meet a deadline and release the game even when it was clear the game was not done. I mean, there’s still placeholder text on some of the textures in the Night City, which is hilarious. Not to mention areas of the map that have no textures or even collision boxes.
Needless to say, I could rant all day. The fact is you’re on this page because you’re wondering if Cyberpunk 2077 is worth buying either for yourself or as a gift to a friend. So let’s take a look at some of the things the game does right.
To be fair, Cyberpunk 2077 has really nice graphics. With all the bells and whistles enabled, except for film-grain (who wants that? and why is it in the Ultra preset?), the game looks very nice. I’m talking great lighting details, high-res textures, reflections, the whole package.
A lot of the animations, at least when talking to people, feel like CGI because the characters are so life-like, and the facial animations are great too. It doesn’t look that great when a random NPC clips through the person you’re talking to, though.
Are the graphics the best-ever? Not really. I actually feel like they could have been better for a game released in 2020 but then literally nobody would be able to play it. The graphics in GTA V are actually quite similar, except GTA V is actually better, in some areas.
Story (No Spoilers)
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything about the story for you. The main quest is pretty decent and there are a few possible endings, although they don’t really change much about the main story.
It does drag on a little bit with some unnecessary pauses, but for the most part, it’s a pretty interesting story, and Keanu Reeves is cool too. I like how you get the title screen after like 2 hours of gameplay. I started to lose my immersion after a few hours.
During the first chapters, the story is pretty linear, and you don’t really have a chance to explore or do side-quests. After a while, it opens up, and you’re free to do whatever you want, and you can even ignore the entire main story.
My main complaint? Choices don’t really seem to matter that much. And there aren’t that many choices to make in the first place. In the Witcher 3, you can drastically change the outcome of the main quest (and side quests too) by the decisions you make. Not so much here. In fact, most of the dialogue choices are different versions of the same point.
Some choices, mostly near the end of the main quest, do matter, but you probably won’t care about finding out where the other choice would lead. I know I didn’t.
As you might have guessed, much like in Witcher 3, some of the side-quests are more interesting than the main one. I had a lot of fun driving around Night City and completing random side-quests or clearing areas from baddies.
There are a lot of interesting stories scattered around, and even some random ones that you can find by chance. Exploring is a lot of fun.
Besides the issues we already talked about, here are some things I didn’t like about Cyberpunk 2077.
There’s no third-person option unless you’re in a vehicle, so if that bothers you, it might be best to pass on this one.
The gameplay, in my opinion, is quite similar to The Outer Worlds, a game from the developers of the original Fallout series. It’s a looter-shooter with perks and a few other RPG-like elements like levels, crafting, and whatnot.
Most of the gameplay consists of shooting and spamming “F” on every box and body to spam-loot every nearby item. Does anyone even look at what they’re picking up? I know I don’t.
The carrying capacity isn’t much of an issue either, there are implants you can buy to boost it, and you can always dump items into a drop-box or on a random food vendor. I won’t be doing a full rundown on the gameplay mechanics, but you can choose a few different playstyles, like a hacker, melee weapons, pistols, and other guns.
So there are some alternative playstyles to try out but each one will become completely OP after you unlock a few perks.
Broken Police System:
Did you imagine that you could have a high-speed police chase through the neon lights of Night City? Well, too bad. The police system in Night City is a joke.
If you kill a random passerby, police will literally spawn behind you, regardless of where you are. You could be on the roof of a building and the police will appear right behind you.
Don’t feel like fighting them? Just drive away. They can’t chase you. Drive one block down the road, wait a few seconds, and your wanted stars will be gone. The police system in Cyberpunk 2077 is terrible.
It’s worse than the old GTAs. Even in the original 2.5D GTA 2, the police could chase you with cars. Sad. Hopefully, the police system will be patched at some point, but it probably won’t happen any time soon.
It’s Too Easy:
But who really needs any of that when you can just use a sniper and one-shot literally every enemy? I’ve just been running around with a sniper and blade implants. Ain’t nobody got time to wait for hacks to complete.
To me, the game feels a bit too easy. Even the bosses were not challenging at all, and the difficulty settings don’t seem to make much of a difference.
Will Cyberpunk 2077 Be Patched?
Since I wrote the title of this article, and I’ve been sitting on it for a while, the game has been patched twice, the most recent being 1.06.
The recent patch was a hotfix and it also seemed to help with CPU usage. The studio has promised to release frequent patches to get the game into a playable state, at least one major every month, and multiple hotfixes.
Most people are waiting for patches to fix performance issues, so they can play the game at least a stable 60 frames a second without lowering every single graphic option. I have a GTX 1060 and I have to play at 1600×900 and it still regularly dips under 40 frames a second.
The last time I had to lower the resolution in a game was back in 2011 when I was trying to get Skyrim to run on my potato laptop!
The good news is they’re working on patches. The bad news is, since there are so many problems with the game, it will likely take a very long time to fix all the issues. I would say another year or so of patches should get the game into a decent state, at least, closer to what was advertised in the trailers.
Look, even though Cyberpunk 2077 has so many issues, I’m still having fun with it. I completed the main story and now I’m working on the side-quests and collecting all the vehicles.
It’s fun to just jump in, do a quest or two, and then move on. But if you’re tight on cash, or if you don’t have a powerful PC, I would pass on this one. I have no interest in playing it again as I did with The Witcher.
Long story short, the game has a lot of issues, but if you like the first-person-open-world-shooter-looter genre of games, it can be entertaining enough. I will still play it from time to time but I don’t feel very immersed in the world anymore. Some people love it, some people hate it, I personally think it’s very “Meh”.
I feel like it has the potential to be a really great game. The thing is the bugs, performance issues, dumb AI, and other problems are holding it back.