Gushing about Cyberpunk 2077

Is this how addiction begins?

Intro

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game developed and published by CD Projekt. Cyberpunk 2077 is an RPG and a first-person shooter (yes I don’t really play RPG’s). This game released on December 10th 2020 on Stadia and other platforms.

As of writing this first impression I have between 10-20 hours in the game.

The detail!

The first thing you may notice when playing this game is that it looks damn good! The way the lighting looks, it generally doesn’t have the typical video game “flatness” you may see when looking at other open-world titles or just generally other video games. Reflections do look a little blurry when in “performance” mode preset compared to the “visuals” mode where the reflections look high quality and clean without the blurriness of performance mode. However, in visuals mode, you do sacrifice framerate for resolution and some fancier graphical effects. The NPC’s such as Jackie have wrinkles and other blemishes which fold and move appropriately to give you the feeling they are actually people. Gun detail is immaculate along with other details such as vending machines etc look convincing enough. I really like the small details on the subtitles where it will translate the language a character is speaking, but not in real-time (slightly delayed for “immersion”). I feel like the lighting should get a special mention as well because it’s something which doesn’t get mentioned a lot of the time. It’s great because it grounds everything in the world and makes everything believable!

The audio presentation I think is where the game will shine but not go as noticed as in other games. The amount of auditory detail, especially in the mixing, is great you can hear cars above you on the highway above you as well as people talking around you and music coming from buildings leaking out into the street. The voice acting from the main cast of characters, where I’ve played up to is consistently really good with Jackie being of particular note with how he stands out (at least to me). The music should also get a special mention! The music really excels in this game, since some of it was made for the game, it’s really good in the way that I would actually listen to this on Spotify or YouTube.

Performance!

On Stadia this game has two performance modes.

One of the performance modes is “high framerate”. In this performance mode, the game is rendered up to 1080 at 60fps (thanks OriginalPenguin from StadiaSource). See OriginalPenguin’s Twitter here. In this mode, the visuals of the game are slightly downgraded compared to the other mode (see below) however the performance feels consistent with no real frame drops unless the game gets very busy with large gunfights etc.

The other performance mode is “Visuals”. In this performance mode, the game is rendered at 4k at 30fps (thanks OriginalPenguin from StadiaSource, Twitter is above). While the game is rendered at a higher resolution it also has better-looking visuals (along with the higher resolution also makes the game look incredible). The lighting looks better along with higher texture quality, reflections are higher quality and look more realistic and faces and general NPC’s do look a lot better in comparison to the performance mode.

Issues (at launch at least)

The biggest issue for me is that the game is glitchy (at the time of this first impression being released). People will appear behind you (such as when you get into a fight with the police) or the NPC’s don’t really react to what you do unless you drive your car directly towards them (not sure if this is a glitch or not, but it makes the game feel empty). Sometimes you won’t be able to do parts of levels but it’s just a quick reload (granted it shouldn’t be like that in the first place) to fix. Along with vehicles clipping into the ground which causes them to explode among other issues.

Conclusion

In conclusion, from what I’ve played Cyberpunk is a great game with a brilliant and immersive audio design along with some good looking visuals and an interesting premise (such as themes it brings up in terms of its story and its side missions) along with allowing flexibility in terms of what you prefer (higher framerates or a higher resolution at a lower framerate etc). The issue is that the launch is bogged down with bugs which can make the game infuriating to play, such as forcing restarts of the game to reset missions because a door opened.

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