In Defense of Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 came out in December 2020 and if you were playing on a base Playstation 4 or an Xbox One, you were essentially playing an ugly, broken and unfinished game. The game fared a bit better on a high end gaming PC or a PS5 or Xbox Series X. The backlash was tremendous and the outcry was deafening. It was so bad that refunds were issued and the digital version was even pulled from the Playstation store, (dramatic I know). I preordered the digital version and played on PS5, and experienced a couple glitches and a handful of hard crashes. I fell for the hive mind, put the game down and requested a refund. End of story right? Well not exactly. The refund was going to take some time and out of sheer boredom, and lack of other games to play… I picked Cyberpunk back up and I was hooked!

The characters, the vehicles, the world, the weapons, the aesthetic and the storylines in this game are amazing! None of the missions felt like lazy busy work, or a time wasting collect-a thon. They have those too if you want them! The variety and creativity put into the branching storylines kept me up well into the night (on nights where I had work the next morning!) Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand character was a bit weird and definitely seemed like a gimmick, but it was something that I haven’t seen done in video games in recent years, and I think it gave the game some personality. Whether I was scuba diving in a sunken, forgotten city with Judy, pulling a sketchy heist with Jackie (which was heartbreaking, no spoilers!), scrubbing through brain dances or finding a talking pistol, I could not put the game down.

Now don’t get me wrong this game is NOT perfect and I can understand everyone’s complaints with it. From the developer straight up misleading us about the game’s state, to everything outside the missions feeling empty and lifeless. I would drive down the highway and see no cars, see pedestrians squatting and police with the WORST A.I. You know something’s wrong when the artificial intelligence and open world of GTA San Andreas, a game from four generations ago, feels more lived in and real than a triple A game from 2020. I also wasn’t a big fan of the music. I know it’s a game from 50 years in the future and it’s probably hard to guess what music will sound like, but I just resorted to leaving the radio off.

I was on hour 30 of Cyberpunk when the refund kicked in and the game was removed from my library. I had totally forgotten about the refund and hadn’t finished the game yet, and I was addicted, I needed more! The game was delisted from the Playstation store so I couldn’t just rebuy it digitally. I had to think. What would be my next move? After a day of overthinking and plotting I put on my best “avoiding the paparazzi” outfit, which was huge sunglasses, a hat, and a hoodie and went to my local Best Buy the minute they opened. There would be less people there to see me buying such a hated game *taps temple*. So in the end I basically started a game, requested a refund, got hooked on said game, and then re-bought the same game again. Yes, I felt like a clown, but I can’t deny the amount of fun I’ve been having with Cyberpunk 2077. I’m on hour 72 and still haven’t finished everything. The developer has released about three big updates and a few hotfixes to address a lot of the issues within the game. The two things I’m hoping for the most are story DLC and a new game plus mode. I’ve invested way too much in this current playthrough and would love to experience the story again with all the gear and stats I have. I know there’s a lot of people who hate this game, and much of it is justified. I also know there’s people who love this game and I’m one of them. 


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