Cyberpunk 2077

My short, bitter history with Cyberpunk 2077 is well-documented.

Even though it took a lifetime to install before I ever got to play one second of the actual game, my time with Cyberpunk 2077 was initially brief, mired by the front-loaded systems dump that you are greeted with in the opening hours. I almost caved in my own skull (quite literally) during the Braindance tutorial because it was so mind-numbingly boring. Needless to say, between the constant updates (with many more still due), and unpolished gameplay, I have only spent a miniscule amount of time with the actual game parts of Cyberpunk 2077 — especially compared to the150+ hours of content it’s rumored to have.

Once I got in, I almost fell asleep while walking around the city, randomly checking out all the repurposed storefronts and copy/paste NPCs. I still have little clue as to what I am doing concerning mission and story content, and the menus leave much to be desired by way of explanation.

Yet despite all this, something just clicked and I found some great moments of pure, blissful gameplay.

The “Aha!” moment came during an early story mission, one that was shown off in promo videos to hype the multiple pathway approach to missions. As the player character, V, you are tasked with getting a drone for a pudgy handler, whose name escapes me (most of the names escape me in this game — everything is simultaneously so bland and so overly convoluted).

Normally in RPGs of this sort (including CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as well as the Fallout games), I try to be as linguistically diplomatic as possible. This is mostly because I try to skip mediocre combat segments whenever I’m given the chance.

Cyberpunk 2077

However, at one point in this mission, everyone draws their guns and we have ourselves a real Mexican standoff. Suddenly, the leader of the opposing band of miscreants, with my gun pointed squarely at his trash-talking maw, offers an olive branch to diffuse the situation. We can simply pay him his extortion fee (double what the product was worth) and walk out.

This was exactly what I had intended to do in the first place. After all, neither the money that was originally paid nor the credit chip I was planning to pay a second time with were mine to begin with, so I was out nothing. However, once the game prompted me to accept his offer, it also gave me the option to blast his face off and fight our way out.

Normally, I am nothing if not amicable. In most cases, I would let all of this slide to avoid the drudgery of shooty-shooty bang-bang. But something came over me in this instance, and I decided to say “What the hell” and let the lead fly.

So a bullet goes through his gullet, and the poop was quite royally smeared all over the proverbial fan. This left my partner Jackie and me with no choice but to blast our way out of this modder gang’s hangout, drone and credit chip in tow.

This was the exact moment when the game finally clicked with me and I found myself, for the first time, having genuine fun playing Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077

Whether that fun will last long enough for me to invest multitudes of hours is still debatable. However, with one bullet, I started to see the magic of Cyberpunk 2077.

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