So I caved the other day and bought the Bad Cyberpunk game, a.k.a. 2077.

It is... both exactly as terrible as people have said and also as fun as people have reported.

By which I mean it's engaging to play in the moment; it has fun set pieces and some good character moments. But underneath all of that it's just so fundamentally... hollow.

Cyberpunk in general has had an identity crisis for like the last quarter-century for basically half coming true and half being just really fucking racist. But there have still been really cool modern spins/reinterpretations of it (e.g. DISCO ELYSIUM, another flawed game but one that handled its setting a million times better on a fraction of the budget).


CYBERPUNK 2077 is not that. 2077 is basically just a bizarre mish-mash of other, better games with (so far) nothing really new or interesting to say about any of it.

Imagine if you got to play GRAND THEFT AUTO as Anders from DRAGON AGE 2 (except the magic is computers) with the set-up of FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS. Congratulations, you can now guess the first 40-ish hours of this game.

It also (again, so far; I've played about 40 hours and am still in Part 2 of the main story) suffers from Far Cry 5 Syndrome, a la How To Say Nothing Loudly:

Like the whole "punk" part of "cyberpunk" is just... it's not *missing*, exactly, but the fact that this game obviously considers its main audience to be nebbish little whitebois who want to grow up to be Elon Musk is really, REALLY fucking obvious.

cyberpunk 2077 

(And not just because of the sheer amount of juvenile "shocking" sex on display. Amusing side-note of how little this registers: My husband came in to talk to me about work while I was play, so I parked myself off to the side in an "un-distracting" corner... that was apparently an entire wall filled with different types of dildos. I'd already walked past so many that I didn't even notice.)

cyberpunk 2077 

(Second aside: And yet, for a game that not just has so many dildos but also allows you *multiple* penis customization options... the one cutscene where I'm actually sitting moping in the shower staring at my own crotch I'm... wearing boxer shorts? C'mon, game.)

cyberpunk 2077 

It's also really, really hard not to bang a chick if you're a male V (and you actually miss out on one of the game's legendary weapons if you don't). I've had to reload saves because what I thought was just being nice to people the game decided was me hitting on them which... le sigh.

But is also symptomatic of V's just... not being very well or consistently written. The game obviously expects you to have certain reactions to certain situations and when you don't the effect jars.

cyberpunk 2077, actually spolers now 

V's relationship with Johnny Keanureeves is especially susceptible to this, mostly because the game really, *really* wants you to constantly fight with him and throw mantrums and defend "your" mind. Except... he's not actually particularly antagonistic towards you? Just kind of a bit of an asshole. Which for anyone used to placating fragile male feelings (read: most people) it's just... eh whatevs. I've had worse companions in vidya.

cyberpunk 2077, actually spolers now 

(And, also... okay so the game's whole set-up on the V/Johnny thing is actually legitimately interesting, and has the potential to legitimately say something interesting about selfhood and the "soul" or whatever. OTOH I don't actually think this game is smart enough to *do* any of that, which... ugh.)

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