I can’t tell you how excited I was to play Cyberpunk 2077 when it finally launched in 2020. I bought the Cyberpunk 2077-themed Xbox One X because I wanted to enjoy those graphics in 4K. But after the disappointing launch and waiting around for CD Projekt Red to patch/improve the game, I sort of just gave up. I went back for a bit once they finally released the Series X version, but it didn’t hold my attention. But with the Phantom Liberty expansion slated for release later this year, I decided to make my way back to Night City. Once I got there, I had a hard time leaving.
Maybe spending a bit too much time in Night City
From December 2020 until a couple of days ago, I slowly chipped away at Cyberpunk 2077. I probably put in about 25 hours and saw roughly 75% of the game’s main storyline. Over the last five days, I’ve spent close to another 25 hours completing nearly every major side storyline and seeing two of the game’s 5+ endings.
I can honestly say that I underappreciated my time in Night City. I was regularly finding new things. Being pulled from one quest to do another. I would be on my way to meet up with one character only to come across another situation nearby that needed my attention. It kept me wanting to look around to see what else I could find. I’m certain there are still parts of Night City I didn’t explore. It’s also possible I missed out on other stuff because I focused on completing a separate request.
When the game first launched, I was so fixated on the things I struggled with early on. Initially, I didn’t like my V, but by the end, I felt truly connected to him. I still think about the fantastic score and about all the memorable characters I crossed paths with along the way. Yes, the disappointing graphics on Xbox One were hard to ignore and they took my focus away from the better parts. There are some really good things here if you put in the effort to seek them out.
Some captivating missions
What kept me playing this time though were the missions. You have a bit of everything here. Back in 2021, when I briefly played the game during the Series X launch, I encountered the well-talked-about “crucifixion” storyline. Although I still think about that arc, it’s now joined by the brief storyline with your neighbor Barry, and the deep-water diving mission you partake with Judy.
The crazy part about Cyberpunk 2077 is that there were probably other meaningful missions that I may have missed because I did or didn’t do something. Outside of dying, you can’t replay a mission. You can outright fail a mission and be stuck with that consequence. I replayed a few missions because I wasn’t happy with what happened. In one situation, a glitch caused my car to crash, angering my passenger and ending the mission prematurely. I didn’t want to risk the long-term consequences, so I loaded up my most recent save and made sure it didn’t happen again.
I loved the mission variety. Sure, there were times when I would skip and rush through the dialogue, but I never felt like I was wasting my time completing a task. I could have finished the game much sooner by skipping some of these missions. But it would have only made the end of the game much harder and significantly limiting.
Still thinking about my decision at the end
I saw credits roll twice in Cyberpunk 2077. The first time, I took the “easy” way out and felt unsatisfied with its conclusion. It’s not a bad ending, just one that doesn’t reward you and only leaves you with more questions than answers. Because of that, I took a while to contemplate which of the game’s other endings I would attempt.
I spent a good few minutes thinking about which way I’d go. There are three “options” in how you can head into that final part of the game. I was not going to go with Option A, I didn’t want to risk what would happen in Option B, which left me with Option C. I felt good about my pick and enjoyed that mission until you get to the point where you’re ultimately making the game’s final decision.
This was yet another tough choice I had to make. Without going into spoilers for a nearly three old game, I ultimately went with the ending that best suited me and my playthrough. I don’t regret my decision, but I’m curious as to how differently it plays out had I picked differently.
I’m now much more excited for Phantom Liberty
Cyberpunk 2077’s upcoming expansion, Phantom Liberty looks cool. All the talk about it from Summer Game Fest is the reason why I jumped back into the game after nearly two years. I wanted to finish the game before the expansion comes out.
I’m also considering starting a fresh playthrough, so I can see at least one of the other first acts. Having only played the “Streetkid” chapter, I’m curious how you start the other two. This also might give me a chance to fix some of the mistakes I made the first time around. Who knows, maybe there are other things I missed out on because I wasn’t paying enough attention when I should have.
I’m also curious about what other improvements we’ll see with the expansion. Three years later, Cyberpunk 2077 is still a mess in parts. I still encountered a ton of bugs and glitches. To be fair, I had to restart missions because of my stupidity. However, glitches were to blame for others. But in the end, I managed to look past those problems, and really appreciate the game for what has to offer.
Visit Night City if you can
Cyberpunk 2077 is regularly on sale. I don’t know why, but the game is cheaper on PlayStation than on other platforms (at least for us in Canada). If you can catch it on sale, that’s where would recommend you buy it. I recently upgraded my computer with a stronger+faster CPU and GPU, but I’m still not confident I can play this game at its highest settings. In the meantime, I might jump into the System Shock remake since I’m still in the mood for some futuristic action.