Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most anticipated games of the year. It’s easy to see why people’s interest was piqued when the game was first announced in 2012. Sandbox type games reached a new level of maturity with Witcher 3. But the genre has been heavily focused on medieval, old west, fantastic post-apocalyptic and modern day settings. Cyberpunk 2077 offers something totally new for the genre. Instead of those familiar settings one can finally step out into a new cyberpunk styled environment. This is the first time that a cyberpunk setting has received a full sandbox treatment. So how does the final product hold up to all of this promise?
A fully realized vision
The answer is that Cyberpunk 2077 fulfills everything people have wished for. The first thing that a player will notice is the gorgeus aesthetics. The xbox is using every bit of power to render rich landscape and detailed characters. One of the more interesting points is how the art design compliments the cyberpunk setting.
Cyberpunk can be thought of as a retro-futurism which gazes forward from the 1980s. The art design of Cyberpunk 2077 reflects this with many nods to the art style of that period. The game never pushes aesthetics to the point of satire or parody. But one will continually see nods to the decade through neon lighting effects.
The 80s aesthetic is also reflected in seemingly minor touches which result in complex world building. One will see posters, neon signs, graffiti and other adornment which speaks to the 80s. These design choices are never just following the trends of the time. Instead it’s usually a clever reimagining of those aesthetics for a new futuristic landscape. The end result is a world which feels real. The game’s imagery evokes some of the feelings of the 80s without disturbing immersion in the larger narrative.
A world filled with people always feels more immersive
The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is filled with countless items to look at. But the game is even more lush in character design. Witcher 3 stood above most open world games when it comes to NPCs. The designers have more than lived up to that standard with the NPCs in Cyberpunk 2077.
The NPCs usually feel like real people living within a world of grit and neon. Speaking to characters doesn’t dramatically interrupt the flow of the world either. Instead of forcing the player into a new perspective a conversation will instead feel as if it’s happening in the midst of a living world. The NPC will continue to act like a living entity. This is in contrast to many games where speaking to an NPC would essentially turn them into an unmoving mannequin for the duration of the conversation.
The meat of Cyberpunk 2077’s gameplay
The actual gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 is equally impressive. It can be divided into hacking, stealth and of course combat. The cyberpunk setting also means that one can further augment these activities with implants. While the combat is similar to Witcher 3, it feels like a more refined version of it. Full hacking in the game comes down to a number and letter based minigame. As is the case with lockpicking or hacking in most open world games this particular feature will come down to personal taste.
A great game in a different type of setting
All of this paints a picture of a fantastic game. It takes most of the great gameplay and design elements of Witcher 3 to a whole new level. What’s more, this all takes place in a novel setting for open world games. Cyberpunk 2077 is a bold push into an underserved genre. And anyone who enjoys open world games would be well advised to give it a try.