Cyberpunk 2077 impressions for Xbox One, PS4

Having spent a week now with the Xbox One version of CD Projekt Red?s Cyberpunk 2077, I wanted to post up my current impressions, but I?m still a ways off from having a finished review. I?m assuming I?m roughly midway through Act 2, currently spending a great deal of time tackling side missions and exploring the borders of Night City, and all in all, I?m mostly enjoying my time with the game. It certainly isn?t perfect, and Cyberpunk 2077 absolutely needs some work, but so far it seems pretty OK to me, but not really extraordinary in comparison to other open-world RPG?s currently available. 

So let?s talk a minute about the console experience so far. I currently have access to an Xbox Series X, and an Xbox One X. I do not have an OG Xbox One, so I can?t speak to performance there, but I will say there is a noticeable difference between the Series X and One X. My Series X experience has been really solid, outside of some weird lighting issues, I think that Cyberpunk 2077 looks and runs pretty well on that platform. I?ve not had any hard crashes, I?ve had one momentary freeze that resolved itself, and the framerate has been pretty solid overall in ?Quality? mode. You?ll see a bit more variation in framerate when switching to Performance mode, enough so that I think you?re generally better off sticking to Quality for now. 

Dropping down to a One X, it?s certainly a rougher experience. Framerate gets pretty hitchy, I?ve encountered multiple instances of the game freezing up (which seems to be tied to city district transitions) and I?ve had a couple of complete crashes. Admittedly I?m not spending a lot of time with the game on the One X, from what I?ve seen and experienced things are definitely rough if you?re playing on an Xbox One platform. I?d imagine an original Xbox One is even worse, and there?s plenty of impressions out there now that sorta solidify that assumption. 

Outside of performance, Cyberpunk 2077 feels like a solid open-world action game with RPG mechanics tossed in. This is not The Witcher 3 with sci-fi on top, instead, it?s more comparable to something like the Bethesda Fallout titles or the more recent The Outer Worlds, except the shooting feels better and more in line with a standard FPS. As V (your character?s name), you?ll run around Night City, looting all sorts of junk, gear, and weapons, take on quests from various NPC?s, hijack the occasionally pedestrian vehicle, and do some general exploring. The map is pretty expansive, Night City itself looks pretty sharp, and traversing around the world is generally pretty fun. 

V can be upgraded in a number of ways. Clothing items carry armor stats along with optional perk slots, there?s a solid variety of weapons consisting of pistols, shotguns, SMG?s and more, and even some melee weapons if you decide to build your character around that. As you complete quests or perform repetitive actions, you?ll level up and gain skill points, which can be slotted into a variety of skill categories. Each skill category has it?s own skill tree, usually multiple trees in each category, so you can really build V up in a number of fairly unique ways. I?m going for a pretty generic assault build focused on pistols, assault rifles, and crafting as a sub-skill of sorts, but I could also see the appeal in focusing on a melee build, or a netrunner build that would work like a mage or magic-user in the world of Cyberpunk 2077.

That said, while I find myself mostly enjoying the game, I?m also not necessarily blown away by it. I like the world setting, the neon-soaked seedy streets and alleys definitely deliver that cyberpunk aesthetic really well. But the actual mechanics of the game don?t feel all that different from any other open-world RPG on the market. The setting goes a long way, but it would be neat to see the game eschew some of the more tried and true stuff we?ve been inundated with over the past 15 years and go for something a little more unique to match the futuristic setting. I hesitate to fault CDPR too much on this since I?m still generally enjoying it but looking back over some interviews in recent years that detailed intended mechanics and features, you?re left feeling that maybe at some point they decided to just settle on actually getting the game to market.

In addition to that, despite numerous delays that already occurred, it?s not hard to tell that the game should have been delayed a bit longer. There are a hefty number of bugs that you?ll inevitably encounter, and depending on your tolerance for this, it could easily be enough to put you off of playing the game until these things are fixed. I think I?m so accustomed to open-world jank at this point that much of what I?ve encountered doesn?t get to me, but I certainly don?t expect anyone to look past some of these issues. Whether it?s poor path-finding by NPC partners, the occasional instance of getting stuck in the environment or having your summoned vehicle fall through the world over and over again, you?re going to encounter some rough moments with Cyberpunk 2077 right now. 

I?ll have more thoughts on the game in the near future, particularly about the story and characters, when my review goes live in the near future. But for now, I?d say you should factor in your tolerance for open-world buggy launch games, along with your available platform options, if you?re considering picking up Cyberpunk 2077. You?re going to encounter issues on both of those points, some of which are going to be hard to look past in the game?s current state.

Note: CD Projekt Red provided us with a Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One code for review purposes.