The Cyberpunk 2077 next gen patch was released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on February 15th. This patch allows gamers to play Cyberpunk 2077 with full next gen power. Over a year after the historically rough launch, can we look past the bugs of the game and enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 on next gen systems? Let’s dive into it.
Cyberpunk 2077 Next Gen
When Cyberpunk launched in December of 2020 gamers reported heavy bugs in the game. Gamers playing on base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles saw the worse side of it. It prompted CD Projekt RED to offer refunds, and the game was temporarily pulled from the PlayStation store.
Now that the game is on next gen consoles are the story mode, gameplay, and replayability enough for gamers to look past the bugs and rough launch?
WARNING – slight spoilers for the story are ahead. If you don’t want to know, stop reading now.
The story mode of Cyberpunk 2077 puts you in complete control of a character in Night City. As in many role-playing games, you start with full-blown character creation of the main character V. You choose the complete physical appearance of the character and then choose a background. The options are corpro, street kid, and nomad. Each background comes with its own perks as the story plays out.
As the story plays out through the three acts, V is met with an incredible challenge. A relic biochip containing the personality of Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves) is damaged while in V’s head. V cannot remove the chip safely without dying, meanwhile, Johnny is slowly taking over the consciousness of V. V must find a way to remove Silverhand from their consciousness and survive.
The game has multiple endings depending on the choices made. In my opinion, the story is gripping and is just long enough to enjoy without feeling dragged out. As V and Johnny’s relationship develops I found myself feeling sympathy for both characters. V wanted nothing more than to make a name for themself in Night City. Johnny who isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination is longing for a second chance. As the story progresses you learn more of Johnny’s background and why he did the things he did. The dialogue between the two made me really think twice before making major decisions (specifically the final one).
The cast of supporting characters plays their role well. Their stories can be further flushed out through side missions that give V, Johnny, and the side characters more depth. For example, through a side mission, we get to interact with Johnny’s old Samuari bandmates. It adds more to the backstory of Johnny, his bandmates, and Night City as a whole. Overall the story was enough for me to look past the annoying minor bugs that occurred as I played through the story.
The gameplay was affected more than anything by the bugs. I personally experienced launch day bugs that were heavily reported on and criticized in December of 2020. Luckily the bugs I encountered were far from the game crashing bugs that made the game unplayable for many.
Cyberpunk like many RPGs offers open-world exploration. Night City and its outskirts are explorable to gamers as they progress through the story as well as after they finish the main story.
Each area of Night City has its own theme and feel to it, as well as a primary gang that controls that part of the city. I thoroughly enjoyed getting on one of the unlockable motorcycles and cruising through the futuristic metropolises.
Also like many other RPGs, there are side missions that offer cash and experience and also expand on side stories. Through the side missions story arcs for characters like Judy Alvarez, Kerry Eurodyne, Panam Palmer, Claire Russell, and others come to light. Completing these advances the side story but also comes with some cool perks such as vehicle unlocks. The story arcs vary in length and also add some new areas to explore. Judy’s side missions for example sends you underwater to an area that is otherwise not explorable. Bugs aside, I found these missions engaging and added more depth to the cast of side characters in Cyberpunk 2077.
Like many RPGs, there are decisions to be made as the story progresses. Everything from dialogue choices to game choices is part of the gameplay. Some of these have no effect on the game, others impact how the story plays out. Some choices, like how to deal with Woodman in the main mission “Automatic Love” change how side missions play out. How V deals with the “Gimme Danger” main story impacts how Takemura will interact with V throughout the rest of the game and can change the ending of the main story. The depth and options for endings have encouraged me to sink some long hours into the game, bugs aside.
Without spoiling the ending options just know that there are multiple endings in Cyberpunk 2077. Trophies/achievements are awarded for ending the game differently which adds to the replayability of the game. There are also different romancing options for side characters in the game. With all of the dialogue and in-game choices, you can play the game in many different ways.
As mentioned earlier there are three different backgrounds to start with. Each offers its own perks and has a different prologue for the game. Each background also adds a different variety of side missions. They each offer different dialogue options during the game. Starting the game over with a different background adds to the different decisions that can be made in the game. There are so many ways to play the game that it takes multiple playthroughs with different starts, dialogue, and game-ending options to explore them all. Again this replayability was enough to keep me engaged and interested in the game and look past the bugs.
Can We Get Past The Bugs?
Personally yes I can. Don’t get me wrong the severe game crashing bugs that we reported on launch for the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles were unacceptable. I wouldn’t have been able to continue had those crashes happened to me. Fortunately, the bugs I have encountered have been annoying but not severe enough for me to walk away completely.
Cyberpunk 2077 Next Gen: In Closing
Cyberpunk 2077’s buggy launch will forever be a cloud over the game and its legacy. The core story, gameplay, and replayability are enough to forgive the minor bugs in my opinion. Again the major game crashing bugs are unacceptable and I could not have sunk the hours into the game I have had I encountered those.
Will the legacy of Cyberpunk improve as the game continues to release patches and downloadable content? Only time will tell. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy my time in Night City.
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