This is definitely one of the most impressive games I’ve ever played. It really is the cyberpunk game of my dreams. I always hoped that at some point I’d be able to experience what felt like a real and thriving game based on this genre and or concept in general.
When you’re going around exploring this massive location of Night City, you really feel like you’re in an actual place. The sprawling skyscrapers, the dense population and the really just messed cybernetic elements. It’s just a perfect creation based on that vision for this messed up future. It’s wondrous, enchanting and just delightful to explore.
With that, I would have never guessed I’d be checking it out on Google Stadia when the year started but here we are. It’s actually fairly impressive on the platform, loading fast and having minimal issues though I’ll cover that element of the experience further below under gameplay. Time to dive into the narrative of this journey, while trying to be light on spoiler elements so that you may venture into the game freshly.
In the game you’re able to create your own take on “V”. That’s the character you play being male or female with some shared choices as well. You really can just go wild with customization having all sorts of genital options, and looks too. It is quite in-depth when it comes to making your own character, and a point where I’ll note this is a very mature title. That being present from adjusting your genitals, to the language and events that take place throughout the experience.
It’s definitely for the adult audience, just wanted to make sure this was known. It’s a brutal, grim look at this futuristic society and I’m glad that they didn’t hold back in the slightest. The story follows your character dealing with a launch area depending on your chosen faction and then trying to climb the underground with your pal Jackie. This whole opening takes a few hours or so, and is really just a starting point to establish the world you’re in.
From there things go wild and you meet up with your pal Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves). He’s a sort of individual that you share your mind with, and it’s the bond these two share across the core of the story that really defines the experience. He’s always there, either being helpful or straight up aggressive towards you based on the actions you perform or the decisions you make.
It’s interesting, and I think a neat way to define your character further. Definitely a great role, with a few hilarious moments if you jump into some of his driven missions. It’s a neat setup as the main story of the game is something that you could complete in about fifteen hours if working through them straight but there’s ever so much more to do. You could spend tens of additional hours working on side quests, romance subplots or just side gigs that are available.
On top of that, the city is littered with activities, places to go and people to meet. It’s just perfectly lively, and feels very realistic in the sense of being an actual location. The story is also neat in that it takes you around almost everywhere, you really get to witness what this world has to offer. From the dense cityscape of the internal core, to the crispy far out desert. Every area has dense locations, and people to come across that further you tale.
I also really liked how the romance was handled in this game, from straight up paid for situations to longer more emotionally driven setups. Panam was good to work with, a nice sense of tender moments and action too. I still feel they could take these further in the future, but it’s definitely one of the most impressive efforts I’ve seen in gaming thus far when it comes to the whole romance efforts with a character. This might not be something of interest to everyone, but I feel as though actual romance driven efforts in gaming stories have been very weak. It’s a part of the industry that I would like to see improved upon over this next generation. This was a good step in the right direction.
I do wish the general ending of the game would have been more profound, but it is made for the type of world this is. Something I won’t dive into as I don’t want to give any details on where things end up. There are multiple situations that can happen based on certain choices, and these will adjust how you conclude your main adventure. I will also note that you can just go back to the menu after finishing or go back to the point of no return if you want to keep playing. I chose to do the latter in this one as I wanted to explore more options.
The key thing to take away is that there’s a ton to do. The story is long, and the biggest that I’ve seen for a shooter type of game. It’s really impressively expansive, and it could take far longer based on what you choose to do within it. You could even amp up the difficulty if you want more of a challenge, or go back to replay things and be a tad different in your approach or choices. Lots of room for replayability if you have the time.
This really does feel just fantastic to play. For a company known for a third person RPG series, they absolutely nail the first person shooter. It has great reactive environments from the contextual leaning you can do on objects to the way the environment can get just shredded. It’s really impressive that an open world can handle this sort of destruction, it made each area feel natural and much more realistic. You could just smash things to bits, from various objectives to larger chunks of the environment.
The areas were also filled with various individuals doing their own thing. Some of them at times enemies, other times just civilians trying to live their life. You could cause mayhem for them, or just go about getting the task at hand done. It’s really also a game of freedom in how you tackle situations. You could go in guns blazing, try stealth or even put your abilities to use.
In some situations I could have skipped areas by having better investments in my tech, sometimes I could just rip doors open since I had a lot of strength. You really customize your character further within the skill trees. This includes very in-depth body transformations using either skill points or even the purchasing of augmentations. Examples for the latter being extra health or even being impervious to fire.
It nails that aspect of cyberpunk life, editing one’s body and doing weird stuff with it. To build on that, I’m surprised they didn’t go further visually in some areas with the tech stuff if you get what I mean. You also have a wide range of weapons to loot and performance enhancers to gather. I mostly threw on the katana and just went at it since it was effective, but gun play was a blast too. It’s neat to have options for how you approach situations, and it made this feel ever more personal. There’s also a crafting system to take advantage of and many vendors to buy from or sell things to. Like I said, there’s a ton of depth to this one in basically every area of it.
Playing on Google Stadia I was given two options for graphics and performance. That included a “High Framerate” mode that targets 60fps with a “Visuals” mode that presents slightly higher quality assets. I have the 1080p streaming option when it comes to Stadia so I chose to play with the higher frame rate which was delightful. It seemed to run almost perfectly well with minor occasional drops when driving faster.
This was on a current testing point of 66/16mb connection. It played impressively well, though without that 4k feed it was a tad blurry on my 65” TV screen which was expected. It still looked really good, but obviously playing 1080p at a size that large it won’t be as impressive. The world itself is insanely detailed. I was most impressed when getting out of my vehicle on the middle of a highway and just looking upwards.
The scale is absolutely massive, with gigantic skyscrapers peaking high into the sky. Then there are so many little areas that you can travel within, and almost too many things to see. It’s so highly detailed, it’s incredible. There’s great crowd density, many reactions from those walking around and of course a wide range of enemies to tackle. Some enhanced, others more like regular cyborgs. The people also seemed impressively varied and just wild looking with an array of personalities. This was the case whether you were in the dense city, or out in the middle of the desert at a motel.
The whole world is amazingly varied, with so many unique sections. There are industrial spots, a fancy location that’s become broken down and of course the large open desert location. There was some pop in present, but considering the density this was handled better than most smaller scale open world games I’ve seen. It was however more present when travelling in the desert , thought that was worth mentioning. This is also mostly just the case when in a vehicle, it’s like a horse you can summon basically. You can also just jack a vehicle from others too, surprisingly high density traffic as well.
It’s just amazing in regards to how many places you can go, and it just keeps feeling fresh the whole way through. I kept finding myself visiting new places, and seeing different things. That was the case whether I was exploring the interiors of buildings, or heading out to new parts of the main core area. It was just breathtaking, and that’s not even including special set pieces like this parade scenario. This particular spot I’m highlighting has charming particle effects, a similar situation in many locations with every segment being packed to the brim with smaller effects and lighting.
With that, the way this blends cinematic moments and regular gameplay is just perfect. It feels so natural to move between the two, whether that’s in those action packed spots or even the more risqué times in a tank. There’s a lot to this, and it’s just purely wondrous to wander through across the many hours of time you’ll spend enjoying it. The visuals really do delight and make you feel like you’re in a living, breathing world.
It does have a few bugs here or there, but nothing detrimental to my experience. It was mostly comical things with some of the NPCs. I should also make mention that with Google Stadia the entire experience loaded super fast, whether that was with the start-up or even fast travelling between locations. I was very impressed by this aspect, as I’ve seen smaller worlds take longer to load. It’s nice to start a game, and just be able to play it. It took like ten seconds from putting in my review code to playing it. That’s wild.
Cyberpunk 2077 is the cyberpunk game of my dreams, it provides one of the most highly detailed environments I’ve ever seen, with an incredibly expansive and immersive narrative. It really is quite remarkable in terms of the scale, and depth present within the landscapes you visit. These massive cityscapes that have many impressively detailed interiors that you can visit or explore.
Whether that’s in missions, or just casual play. You can freely drive around in a variety of really cool cars or just walk on foot. Take in the sights, fast travel between places easily and visit many unique locations. It’s vast in scale, with each area feeling truly distinct. The story is beautifully handled with countless hours of play. This is the case whether you’re working through the primary narrative, or venturing through the countless side quests.
That’s not even counting the other worldly activities that you can enjoy. Then there are the romance subplots that you can work on, I thought those were impressive and I hope further games in the future try to touch on this human element a tad more. It’s just such a perfect experience the whole way through. I was blown away by what they’ve achieved here. Sure it has the odd bug or two, but there’s not really been anything close to this scale for the type of game it is.
This really was an immersive and exciting time. It’s not a place I want to leave, I just want to keep on exploring and enjoying. This was made so much easier by the fact that I didn’t have to download anything to play it, or really wait very long to hop in through what Stadia provides. Definitely a grand time, and highly worth visiting if you can play it in a state where it’s smoothly performing.
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Cyberpunk 2077 Review on Google Stadia
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