It’s release date has been delayed again but we tried out Cyberpunk 2077 and it will live up to the hype.
It’s release date has been delayed again but we tried out Cyberpunk 2077 and it will live up to the hype.

‘Worth the wait’: Cyberpunk 2077 review

It may have just been delayed again but trust me Cyberpunk 2077 will be worth the wait. Especially after the recent announcement that the game will be backwards compatible with both next-gen consoles on day one!

It's one of the most anticipated games of 2020 and news.com.au was invited to take part in one of the first hands-on experience for Cyberpunk 2077 worldwide.

Fans have been eagerly waiting since it was first announced way back in 2012, and if my early experience playing the game has taught me anything, it's that the Cyberpunk 2077 will definitely live up to all the hype.

Cyberpunk 2077 is set in the Blade Runner-inspired futuristic Night City.
Cyberpunk 2077 is set in the Blade Runner-inspired futuristic Night City.

Now set to release on November 19, the first-person open-world action sci-fi RPG, from the creators of The Witcher 3 and CD Projekt Red, sees you playing in the dystopian futuristic Night City, part of the Free State of California in the year 2077.

The city is controlled by corporations, crime is rampant and the inhabitants are obsessed with robotics and cybernetics to the point where some barely resemble a human anymore.

In this dystopian future some people have become more machine than human.
In this dystopian future some people have become more machine than human.

You play as V, a mercenary outlaw on the cusp of a huge score. Your character is extremely customisable with various different looks and clothing available, while also able upgrade themselves with various cybernetic implants and modifications, like enhanced eyeballs and internal weapons for example.

At the start of the experience you are able to choose your character's backstory from either Nomad, Street Kid or Corporate. Each option will affect gameplay, with different prologues, life-path specific options, as well as providing different perspectives in the massive open world created. Not only that, but every player choice leads to different endings.

I chose street kid as I thought it would give me the purest 'cyberpunk' experience. Being an RPG you also have various core stats, each containing various perk trees, while there is a fluid class system broken down into the three broad play styles: NetRunner (hacking), Techie (machinery), and Solo (combat).

In this future, ‘braindancing’ allows people to relive other people’s memories.
In this future, ‘braindancing’ allows people to relive other people’s memories.

While the gameplay was, for the most part nothing we haven't seen already, actually getting to play it is another thing all together and was an absolute thrill. If you want to avoid some minor spoilers about the missions played in my experience now is the time to look away.

The part of the game that I was able to play sees you starting off in a bar, agreeing to steal a car in order to help a friend indebted to a loan shark. The plan goes south and your robbery is interrupted by another thief and then the police who ultimately decide to let you go, despite being urged to kill us by the owner.

The next mission sees you and your new friend Jackie taking on a missing person's case, breaking into an apartment, taking out kidnappers and saving the victim being harvested for parts and killed.

The bulk of my gameplay saw V doing several missions in preparation of a big heist, which showed off the huge amount of choice that players had. After being recruited by a 'Fixer' known as Dex, you are required to obtain a spider-bot droid stolen from the Militech corporation by a gang called Maelstrom.

Rather than just going in guns blazing, players have the choice to approach the mission from various angles. You can go in firing, you can meet with Militech beforehand to cut a deal, you can betray Militech or even just go in quietly pay for the droid and leave in peace. Even within the mission itself you have various options, like being aggressive, stealthy or use hacking to create distractions.

The gameplay itself is mostly straightforward, with combat playing like a first person shooter at times, and third person driving in others, and feels very familiar, taking some of the best parts of other games and perfectly combining them.

Cyberpunk feels like it draws on the best features of some of the best games of the generation.
Cyberpunk feels like it draws on the best features of some of the best games of the generation.

If I were to describe how it plays very crudely, I would say it feels like Grand Theft Auto, The Witcher, Call of Duty and Watchdogs all meshed together and explored through the lens of the Cyberpunk genre, which hasn't truly been explored as deeply in gaming as it is here.

The hacking mechanics took some time to get used to, but once I got a handle of it I found myself using it to my advantage in every mission I played.

It is an open world game, and when you aren't playing the main missions there is a tonne of side missions to do and a whole city to explore. Set to the Blade Runner-esque backdrop of the stunning yet disturbing Night City, with heavy music blaring through gameplay, Cyberpunk had me pumped up and hooked for my entire four-hour playtime.

The backdrop of Night City is a scary reminder of technology gone too far.
The backdrop of Night City is a scary reminder of technology gone too far.

My only disappointment was not being able to encounter Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand character in my playtime, but I suppose they need to keep some things a secret for the actual game release.

It's still early days and you can't always please everybody, but I have no doubts right now that Cyberpunk 2077 will live up to our high expectations. CD Projekt Red made no apologies for delaying the game, refusing to ship a product that is not ready, and I believe it will be one of the best games of the year when it hits the shelves.

 

Originally published as 'Worth the wait': Cyberpunk 2077 review


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