Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox Series X Review

Cyberpunk 2077 may evolve into something spectacular in the future but as of now, the game is simply an above-average experience.

By Grayshadow, Posted 16 Dec 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most anticipated games of this generation. After the massive success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and a large amount of appealing promotional material many saw Cyberpunk 2077 to change the fabric of gaming or at the least deliver something extraordinary. The issue is that while Cyberpunk 2077 has an appealing narrative with multiple endings and mostly open-ended missions the game's technical issues and overall balance starts to question the game's planning. You're greeted with incredibly layered characters but then see them teleporting around, heads twisting, and many other performance issues. This coupled with so many elements that either don't blend well or aren't fleshed out make the entire experience less than what was advertised. When Cyberpunk 2077 runs correctly it's an amazing experience but too many times the game would have issues that completely destroy that sense of immersion. Cyberpunk 2077 may evolve into something spectacular in the future but as of now, the game is simply an above-average experience.

Cyberpunk 2077,NoobFeed,CD Projekt RED,, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Character, Boss

Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in the year 2077 in the city of Night City. After massive calamities detailed in the game's included world compendium, which should be read before diving into this world, we find out much of the world's government has fallen or become weakened puppets. Corporations now rule the world and Arasaka, the leader in AI technology is the apex predator.

Night City is one of the few areas to truly have independence but at a cost of safety. Many of the people have taken to a life of crime and mercenary work to remain stable as businesses operate on a thin line or morality. The corporations that run the world now live in exotic towers with their needs being met in every way whereas the poor constantly strive to just keep food on the table. So who are you? You're V, a mercenary who gets in over his or her head and now must find a way to live through a new nightmare.

V can choose to start off as a Street Kid living on the streets of Night City, a Nomad coming to Night City after leaving his family, and Corporate where V is a security expert expelled from his luxurious life. Regardless of who you choose the only real impact is the dialogue choices you can access. You'll gain the ability to speak on topics knowledgeable by V's lifestyle and open different opportunities. Whether it's knowing how a corporation will function when dealing with a dire situation or how the Nomads operate outside Night City.

Cyberpunk 2077,NoobFeed,CD Projekt RED,, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Character, Boss

This leads to one of Cyberpunk 2077's major issues, never fleshing out these lifestyles. At first, it seems the game would constantly bring up V's origins as a problem or solution to the present circumstances but they rarely do. For example, the deuteragonist Johnny Silverhand is completely anti-corporate but when playing as a Corporate V he never mentions this. I would've expected Johnny to be extremely distrustful of V being from Corporate origins as opposed to a Nomad or Street Kid but no. This extends to most of the game, the opening for these origins are decorated and establish V but then get set aside only coming up when V could use that knowledge for a dialogue choice.

Take Dragon Age Origins into consideration. What race and background you choose has many different outcomes on the story. It plays a massive role in how characters will interact with you and sometimes open up unique opportunities not available to another race or class. The origins of your journey set into motion the foundation on which your story is built on and that's not present here. Despite the opening scene for each of these origins eluding to this all they amount to is some dialogue choices.

Most of V's answers to dialogue choices are non-answers that offer the same consequences. I decided to test this. When inside a high-end escort club you have the choice between a male or female prostitute. I played through this sequence 4 times with each option to see if there would be a change but nothing happened. They offered me the same choices and in the end, it was the same result. This happened several times throughout the game, you're presented with choices but the end result is mostly the same.

The game's ending is where this shifts dramatically. Here you're given a lot of options of how to end this narrative and it's gripping. The story has a lot of dark tones and shines a spotlight on reality, how there's no happy ending for many people often you just have to accept what is given to you. However, like your origins, the choices you made getting here are mostly linked to what ending you choose.

Cyberpunk 2077,NoobFeed,CD Projekt RED,, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Character, Boss

The combat plays like a first-person shooter. You have some incredibly detailed guns here and the options are standard. You have pistols, shotguns, light machineguns, blades, and so on. You can customize these weapons with limited attachments such as sights and muzzles but you constantly have to go into a menu to switch between silencers. You have different weapon tiers that can be looted from corpses or found in the environment and you can craft weapons and equipment from material found or disassembled from items.

You will get a huge amount of weapons but the game is balanced so you can't just sell these for a quick profit. Since Night City is rampant with criminal activity and everyone has some sort of weapon most are sold very cheaply. On the opposite end, I rarely purchased anything outside from upgrades since things like ammo and healing items were plentiful. I never ran out of healing items or ammo. The same goes for weapons since the weapons were taken from fallen enemies, especially elite enemies, usually offer enough power to take down even the most powerful enemy.

Shooting works well and you can shoot from cover effectively. Each weapon has its strengths and weaknesses with special bonuses based on the weapon's rarity. Accessing your tech abilities is quick and easy with icons displaying the time needed for certain actions. It reminded me a lot of Deus Ex Mankind Divided's combat system which was great as well. Melee combat is mostly just swinging until the enemy dies and watch your stamina meter. During boxing matches, you'll have to be more tactical as you block, evade, and break the opponent's attacks but in standard combat, just charge and slice.

Sneaking, while an option, is not the best. You have access to an array of hacking and disruptive abilities but the mobility just isn't there. You can't cling to surfaces and perform dashes between covers. It's serviceable but thankfully not a lot of missions require sneaking and most of the time even then you can shoot your way in. For some reason, B is linked to both crouching and skipping dialogue so if you attempt to stand during conversations while you were crouching you'll have to either remain low to the floor or skip something.

Thankfully the save system is very well done. The game automatically saves several times during a mission so you can easily return to previous files. This is a welcomed addition if you happened to skip dialogue due to the previous issue I stated or if a glitch happens that prevents you from progressing. 

Cyberpunk 2077,NoobFeed,CD Projekt RED,, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Character, Boss

V can be upgraded with an array of cosmetic gear, body enhancements, and new skills. Leveling is easy enough and separated into categories. You earn levels by completing goals and earn points into categories like crafting and engineering. You can spend these points into several tiers that each have a standard leveling system that enhances V's basic stats and another deeper option to pick out passive perks.

Cyberware is where you can change V's body with an array of options. Going to a Ripperdoc will allow V to purchase these upgrades and add additional upgrades to them. You cannot outright purchase these items without earning enough Street Cred. This is earned by completing objectives only. This extends to the various clothes you'll pick up which serve as armor. It's a basic system that works very well.

Driving is different and there are a lot of choices in vehicles. Clearly, a lot of effort went into the sound and operation of these vehicles since they all have distinct driving performances. They sound incredible and you're given access to purchase a lot of cars. You can call from easily with the auto-driving system and store multiple vehicles and each vehicle has detailed interiors to reflect the game's exotic or junky origins. As far as I can tell you cannot store stolen vehicles and strangely there's no auto-driving when inside the car. You have to manually drive yourself everywhere which is strange since this is a staple in modern open-world games.

Cyberpunk 2077,NoobFeed,CD Projekt RED,, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Character, Boss

Another strange inclusion is the limited fast travel system. Fast travel for most open-world games allows you to access any travel point outside from combat but CD Projekt RED remained loyal to their current fast travel procedure. Where you can only fast travel from specific locations. There are plenty of these and you automatically unlock them from going past one but why not just allow the player all access? This is another staple feature in most open-world games especially ones this big.

Night City and the Badlands are huge. There's plenty of things to do with a lot of missions ranging from repetitive standard open-world things like kill targets and deliver items to more fleshed out missions. You'll constantly be alerted to more missions either through telephone calls or by passing them by. The map and location of these missions are easy to find with helpful icons and waypoints pointing you in the right direction.

All of this sounds incredible until I started playing. I barely upgraded anything to see if I could make it to the end and I did. With the exception of some late-game side missions, the core story was easy enough that I had the standard implants and just used my most powerful guns. Easily ripping through the final boss like he was tinfoil. The enemy AI isn't that great as well, sometimes they're tactical and other times they'll rush into an area from one entrance.

Where Cyberpunk 2077 shines is the visual presentation. The incredible character models, cutscenes, and presentation of this world is fantastic. The entire setting is full of unique posters highlighting the corporate greed of the dominant structure people are forced to live in. Radio shows help provide more context such as heavy fees for pet ownership, an obtusely expensive private healthcare system where people without it are left to die, and overall sexual ads for common items like soft drinks. This extends to the Badlands with large deserts and people often searching for supplies as heavy sandstorms blow in. There's a lot of information and lore that makes this an incredible world to explore and learn about.

The world-building of Cyberpunk 2077 shares that of The Witcher where everything has a function in this world. A lot of times it's dark and miserable but due to a clear set of events due to constant terrorist attacks, lack of regulation, and heavy criminal activity. The issue that the technical performance cannot keep this sense of immersion when something like a car comes flying out of the fly or an NPC teleports in front of you.

Cyberpunk 2077,NoobFeed,CD Projekt RED, Gameplay, Screenshots, Female Character, Boss

Cyberpunk 2077 is a good game with a lot of positive features. The incredibly layered characters are brilliantly crafted and the visuals, when working correctly, are amazing. Night City is full of activities to take part in and you're given ample ways to customize and build V into your own cybernetic warrior. The issues start to pile up with performance and technical problems. Not to mention the lack of depth when it comes to V's origins or the branching paths leading up to the final choice. Many of the decisions you make leading up to the finale are either closed or are separated from the finale. Cyberpunk 2077 does have a lot of promise but given the game's current state you'll have to make ignore a lot of shortcomings and take the marketing material with a grain of salt. This is an amazing game, just not an outstanding one.

Also check our Cyberpunk 2077 PC Review.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Publisher(s): CD Projekt, CD Projekt RED
Developer(s): CD Projekt RED
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Cyberpunk
Release Date: 2020-12-10

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