Cyberpunk 2077 Review Part 2: An Incomplete Tedious Bugfest

Cyberpunk+2077+Review+Part+2%3A+An+Incomplete+Tedious+Bugfest

Andrew Bourn

**If you missed the first part of the CyberPunk 2077 PC Review. Please give it a read here. 

Gameplay

Combat

Gunplay takes a bit to get used to since at first it was a bit floaty and stiff to get a shot on the enemy especially ones that charge at you. However, as I progressed through the story there became plenty of fun ways to shoot the enemy with different types of guns that can ricochet bullets off the wall, fire through the wall, and shoot around the wall. Since we’re locked in first person, melee combat is not too bad, but it did feel as if they weren’t connecting, but I was still taking hit damage.

Combat will progressively become unbalanced in an entertaining fun way. Using weapons like a pistol will grant EXP to that specific weapon type that rewards you with helpful stats and perk points to make you even more powerful. Once you reach the max level cap of 50 for your character, there’s no way to change your attribute stats besides the perk points which isn’t flexible if you wanted to swap from a blunt melee build to a pistol shooter build. 

AI/NPC

The AI is definitely not Cyberpunk 2077 strong suit even in civilians. Despite how lived in Night City looks, the AI of the civilians is strictly limited on how they react to the players. Shooting once has caused them to either run in arbitrary directions or cower to their knee until death, they don’t combat the players unless they’re affiliated with a gang or the cops.

The wanted system and the cops are simply a clown and a nightmare. They are the most overpowered beings in the game since they can teleport in your hindsight even if you’re on top of a roof with little space to breath. They even manage to shoot you dead extremely quickly at 3 or 4 stars, and they do not negotiate for your surrender whatsoever. There are no bribery or corruption options to throw off the cops. With all of that, it however is still relatively easy to lose the police heat in 20 seconds once you gain a wanted level since there is no police chase in cars at all.

Standard enemy AI functions averagely, but they can be brain dead at times even in direct combat and stealth. Regardless of the difficulty options I placed, it remains the same. They don’t particularly flank around or notice their missing allies and still alert an entire base if you tick off one, but they do take cover and shoot like the average Call of Duty shooter.

Difficulty

There are 4 difficulty options which are Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard and I first played Cyberpunk 2077 on Hard. Combat was tedious at best for more than half of the game and sometimes punishing despite the enemy being the same level as me. As I further leveled up, trial and error become less apparent as I could easily expunge their attacks and quickly heal with the stockpile of high tier health kits that are strangely easily craftable.

When it comes to looting, there will be plenty of guns and ammo to have to sell or disassemble for other items. Ammo for some reason has a cap limit to how much you can hold like shotguns and sniper rifle ammo have a max limit of 100 whilst an assault rifle is limited to 700. For some weapons, they’re easy to burn through or take a while before I notice that I still have a stockpile of them.

When reloading a really early save and switching to Normal to experiment for an hour, it was an easier fight all around as the AI functioned the same with its tactics and hit weaker than expected. The variety of enemies are decent, but you’re most commonly facing enemies with standard types of guns, melee, and netrunners who can hack you, regardless of gangs. Mini-bosses around Night City are an interesting mix-up for challenging combat as some have Exo suits that blast lasers and bull rush you, while others are a hidden snipers in a web of landmines in an urban environment, or a duel wielding super agile swordsman. 

UI/Control

The control scheme is rather simplistic and works well on mouse and keyboards. It rather similar to Fallout 4 in terms of layout with few extra features. The one issue that I found in both console and MnK controls is the dodge button. On console, the dodge is the same as the crouch button which is infuriating if there was a delay and looks wobbly off-putting at times. On PC, the dodge is bound to the movement key and it’s insanely atrocious in my experience as it took me out of stealth way too often when I need to tap to slowly lurk closer to my enemy.

The UI is simple, but frustratingly unintuitive in a few aspects such as the inventory system where I could not bind consumables for combat. Instead I had to go through the inventory to find it and use it. This would often disrupt the flow of combat. Messages from NPCs are overburdened and not customizable for easy access to reach. Accessing weapons is sometimes difficult to distinguish at a glance as a majority of weapons look the same even those that are supposed to be rare.

Performance

Luckily in both of my playthroughs on PC, it was stable and almost bug-free. When I caught bugs, it was either really comedic or extremely immersion-breaking that would pulls me out of the story or lock me from progressing further. Sometimes NPCs would randomly appear T-Posing to assert dominance, cars would inexplicably explode or flip out of nowhere, characters would pose in awkward positions that defy even the space-time continuum, and so on. When trying to solve the bug, I usually and repeatedly just reload a save which the loading time is short enough to be feasible to do.

Graphically speaking, it’s an extremely vibrant game and in some areas of Night City, it’s beautifully depressing to look at. Even without Ray Tracing on, light reflections and shadowing just add plenty to the immersion. The dense crowds of NPCs sporting unique and sometimes shameless aesthetics really made Night City streets pop.

However, I cannot say the same for last-gen consoles as the hardware cannot properly sustain the ambitious nature of Cyberpunk 2077. Judging from the footage, you’re more likely to crash, run on choppy frame rates that’s low as 15, and textures will render horrendously slower. Console users may look at the unprecedented move by PlayStation store to give refunds for the game, which in the past is unheard of in the video game world. 

Conclusion

Cyberpunk 2077 is, no doubt, an ambitious game with strong, compelling writing with a stellar representation of a dystopian future. The technical aspect, however, made exploring Night City a complete nightmare as if it didn’t want me to see the end of it. I persisted through and finished the last bite of a well-cooked story of Johnny Silverhand and V. Cyberpunk 2077 would’ve been the greatest game of 2020, but falls short due to a shaky foundation of technical issues.

Score: 67/100