What other game than Cyberpunk 2077 could possibly have won this illustrous award that hundreds of developers clamor over to claim? Well, truthfully, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla almost took the crown due to being a buggy mess and the fact that I still can’t actually finish the game to this day. But then Cyberpunk 2077 stomped in, struck a T-pose, gliding across the floor and stole the crown right out from under Eivor’s hooded gaze.
I’ve been lucky enough to play Cyberpunk 2077 on a PS5, which seems to be the second best way of experiencing the game outside of being on a PC. In terms of raw FPS performance it’s fine, but in nearly every way it’s a mess. It crashes roughly every 30-60 minutes, and the variety of glitches and bugs I’ve run into is astounding, ranging from the comical to actually requiring a restart of the whole game. Objects randomly explode, cars float in the sky, tool-tips get stuck on the screen, multiple lines of dialogue play over each other, events don’t trigger during missions, guns dissapear, guns randomly equip themselves when performing takedowns and so, so, SOOOOOOOOOOO many more. It would be impressive if it wasn’t so bloody annoying
The good news is that buried under the buggy code is a pretty good game. Maybe not as great as we had hoped, but still well-worth playing once it gets fixed up. At the moment I’m about 15-20 hours in and have been heavily invested in the tale of V and the ghost of Johnny Silverhand trapped in his head. There’s a lot of cool characters to hang out with, the dialogue is engaging and the performances are solid. Plus, there are some terrific side-quests that cover a lot of ground in terms of tone and subject. Some of the best moments in The Witcher 3 were hidden away in side-quests, and it’s the same here in Cyberpunk 2077.
It plays well, too. The stealth is hit or miss and I’m still not entirely convinced about how Cyberpunk handles hacking, but the guns are a blast to fire thanks to their meaty sound and levelling up so far has been quite satisfying. The mission design is a tad lacking in how the various options work. Like, you come across a door that can only be opened if you have a certain level in tech, but alternate route is about 5ft away. It doesn’t quite feel like exploring the environment is rewarded with radically different ways of tackling something. Still, the differences are enough to keep things interesting.
I’m not saying you can’t have fun with Cyberpunk 2077 in its current state because that would be hypocritical. I’m enjoying it, although I spend a lot of time annoyed at it and my sessions typically end because it crashes and I can’t be bothered restarting it. But I do think that you shouldn’t buy it right now because it’s a poor product that shouldn’t have been launched in its current condition. Developers CD Projekt RED, or more specifically the upper-management of the company, knowlingly hid the horrendous state of the game on Xbox One and PS4. You could even argue that you shouldn’t buy the game ever because of their actions, but a mass boycott seems unlikely given how Cyberpunk 2077 has already sold 13+ million copies. Instead, hold off until some major work to the game has been done and you can properly enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 how it was meant to be enjoyed.