The Internet is already oversaturated with the gaming community's disappointment towards Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red's latest ambitious endeavour, so this writer will forego a rant-y intro for this piece. Instead, he'll openly wonder if anyone feels the same as he does, on how Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to fill his appetite for a deep sci-fi RPG that's as complex as the tabletop game it's based on.
With the void left by Cyberpunk 2077, he sets out to uncover what other video games could scratch his itch for a good quality cyberpunk game, for the greater good such as readers like yourselves:
The year is 2029, and the world is divided between humans and augmented people (individuals installed with advanced artificial organs). You take on the role of Adam Jensen, an augmented double agent for hacker group Juggernaut Collective and Interpol, to uncover who's dead set on dividing both populaces even further and bring global destruction.
This was the first game that this writer dived into after Cyberpunk 2077, and as a newbie to the Deus Ex franchise, he's glad that he did. In spite of its half-finished plot and unnecessary microtransactions (presumably caused by publisher Square Enix), Mankind Divided is still a great cyberpunk action RPG that's true to its genre, with game-changing dialogue options, different varieties of augmentations, a plethora of approaches to complete your objectives (including hacking, hidden pathways, lethal or non-lethal takedowns, and even through dialogue which change consequences). Combining those with its impressive level design and unique mix of realistic and futuristic aesthetic, especially the main hub of Prague, makes Mankind Divided worth your attention. Or you could opt for its superior predecessor, Human Revolution, which most gamers seem to agree with.
Available on PC, PS4/PS5 and Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
The idea of playing as a cyborg ninja may sound a little angsty, but when you see how Ghostrunner plays, that notion wouldn't matter, especially when it's so darn fun and cool. The One More Level-developed cyberpunk action game combines fast-paced platforming/parkour, sword combat, and high-tech gizmos, as you traverse the megastructure of Dharma Tower and take down enemies to exact your revenge on its tyrannical ruler.
Ghostrunner is one fast-paced game that keeps your heart racing as you slide, wall run and grapple to your objectives. But, if you need a bit more time to make a decision - or you just want to admire the setting - you can slow down time to redirect yourself, or even dodge and deflect bullets with your katana. Be warned though, Ghostunner can be quite tough, because both you and your enemies can be killed in one hit. But on the bright side, checkpoints are pretty frequent (unlike Dark Souls), which makes Ghostrunner more accessible.
Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
In The Red Strings Club, a compassionate corporation aims to entirely remove negative emotions like depression, fear and anger from society. But, one ragtag group of individuals - as well as one empathetic android - believe that it's basically brainwashing, setting out to take them down not with tech guns and thermal katanas, but with bartending, pottery and social media deception.
As you can tell by now, this indie darling isn't your run-of-the-mill sci-fi game, with The Red Strings Club playing a bit more like a visual novel that explores intimate topics like humanity and emotions. Its gameplay may not amount to much, but its unpredictable story, colourful characters and endearing pixel art will make The Red Strings Club a game you won't forget so easily.
Available on PC and Nintendo Switch.
When you have the villain of a cyberpunk classic taking on the role of a cybernetically-enhanced detective in your game, you can bet your butt that it’s going to be a cyberpunk tour de force. Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner stars as Daniel Lazarski, who uses the Dream Eater tool to hack a person’s mind to interrogate them and solve crimes in the year 2084.
Observer: System Redux is a psychological horror game set in a dystopian futuristic world, with its main attraction lying in its mind-hacking segments. You'll traverse dark, glitchy and surreal worlds in the minds of your targets to uncover clues, and witness the stuff of cyber nightmares coming to life. And most impressive is how believable the world feels with its minimalist yet thoughtful level and sound design, truly immersing you in its urban future. System Redux is the enhanced version of the original 2017 game, which has since been removed from stores.
Available on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Your very own character wakes up with memory loss, remembering nothing except that he's a detective hired to solve a murder. As you explore Elysium and investigate further, you'll soon uncover that powerful invisible forces are affecting the world, as well as your history.
Although Disco Elysium isn't exactly a cyberpunk game, it has one of the deepest RPG elements that modern gaming has to offer, something which this writer wishes Cyberpunk 2077 had more of. Its gameplay is inspired by tabletop role-playing games, so you can guess how complex its system can get - you can even change your personality traits, ideals and beliefs as the game progresses! Pair these with its intriguing watercolour art style, and you know why it was so good that a television adaptation of Disco Elysium is underway.
Available on PC, but the upcoming Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (an expanded version of the original) will be available on consoles too from March 2021 onwards.
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If you're reading this, chances are you already know the debacle CD Projekt Red has been under, thanks to the disappointing release of Cyberpunk 2077. This is after eight long years and three delays! Although it's working pretty fine on rigged-out gaming PCs, it's console players who have been suffering, especially those with current-gen hardware which CDPR's CEO claimed last month to be running "surprisingly good, I would say, for such a huge world", not to mention that many promised features didn't even make the final cut. The writer thinks that statement actually meant "shocked that the game even runs at all".
Anyway, to celebrate(?) the dumpster fire that is Cyberpunk 2077, we figured what better way to lick our wounds than to reminisce the times other AAA games disappointed us as much as Cyberpunk did.
In terms of scale, Final Fantasy 14's awful launch is probably the closest to Cyberpunk's. Initially released in September 2010, the original version of FF14 was a huge letdown in almost every aspect, causing so much backlash that it partly caused Square Enix's 2010 profit to tank by a whopping 90%. However, not wanting to tarnish the Final Fantasy reputation, a new version of FF14 - subtitled A Realm Reborn - was created from the ground up with a new game engine, fixing everything that was wrong with the last one. Fortunately, A Realm Reborn was extremely well-received, and it has since been updated with three major expansions - the latest Shadowbringer was hailed as one of "the best Final Fantasy in years". Could a happy ending such as this come to Cyberpunk?
From misleading buyers with a cheaper version of a supposedly-premium bag to ridiculous pay-to-win elements and overpriced cosmetics, the online-only Fallout game disappointed everyone with its empty world (no NPCs?!), uninteresting quests, and many, many questionable decisions Bethesda made to "improve" the game. Fast forward to today, numerous updates have been released that drastically upgrade the Fallout 76 experience, most notably the Wastelanders expansion that reintroduced NPCs (non-playable characters) and a better campaign and questline, a return to the beloved Fallout formula. Though Fallout 76 didn't get to be the online survival Fallout game it wanted to be, at least its current state is still more enjoyable than the initial version - plus, more is yet to come!
To give an idea of how bad WWE 2K20 was, this year's WWE 2K21 was cancelled and replaced with its spin-off, WWE 2K Battlegrounds, which was never done before in the history of WWE video games. Horrendous glitches and character models that look like they "crawled out of a PS2-era wrestling game" are just the tip of the colossal iceberg that is the problematic WWE 2K20, with Gamespot claiming it as the one that made the series "hit rock bottom". Unlike the last two games we mentioned, there's no happy ending for this wrestling game, but 2K Sports' decision to skip this year's edition could mark the sign of a comeback in the next one.
Not only did Star Wars Battlefront 2 introduce a single-player campaign (albeit one that's lackluster), but the EA DICE game also set the "microtransaction controversy" in motion during its beta trials stage, much to the dismay of fans. Behind its faithfully impressive visuals and gameplay, lay a baffling pay-to-win system where one can acquire gameplay advantages by paying with real money, a blasphemy for a multiplayer online shooter. Even though they can be purchased with in-game currency, players would have to grind up to 40 hours just to get a top-tier hero like Darth Vader. At least they removed microtransactions before release, and fixed the game economy and balanced out character progression, making it a well-liked game once again. However, the damage was done, and EA lost US$3 billion in stock value by 2017.
How can we talk about game launch disasters without mentioning the infamous-turned-famous No Man's Sky? Back in 2016, the sprawling space adventure by Hello Games was hotly anticipated due to its sheer ambition, allowing players to explore a procedurally generated universe and carry out anything a space traveller would do. But, in reality, many promised features of the game were missing at launch (sounds familiar?), a hollow husk of what it should've been. Since then, the indie studio has been dead-set on redeeming themselves, churning out updates quietly like nobody's business until now. And now, No Man's Sky is the game it's always meant to be and more, with the addition of VR support, sentient organic ships, mech suits and even abandoned, alien-infested starships to explore for loot.
Looking back at how many hopeful turnarounds these initially-horrendous game ended up becoming, one can't help but wonder if Cyberpunk 2077 will meet the same fate as them. For the sake of CDPR's reputation and the fan base, chances are high that the Polish company will follow suit to redeem themselves, no matter how long it takes.
CD PROJEKT RED recently dropped some fresh content for gamers to digest regarding the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. From behind the scenes footage to a 5-minute gameplay trailer, there’s quite a lot to talk about. Needless to say, it’s breathtaking stuff.
Keanu Reeves has come off as one of the biggest talking points of Cyberpunk 2077 ever since the reveal of his involvement during 2019’s E3 show, with his character Johnny Silverhand taking centre stage in this trailer. The trailer hints at the unexplainable mystery of how Johnny ended up inside protagonist V’s head. Glimpses of Johnny’s past life also surfaced, displaying flashbacks of his high time of being a rockstar and his past activities. Towards the end of the video, the two could be seen exchanging dialogue, displaying mutual feelings of “agreeing to disagree” to put it lightly.
Viewers were treated to footage of Keanu in action bringing Johnny Silverhand to life. It was commendable to see the extent of how much the actor devoted himself for the motion capture (mocap) process. Keanu can be seen clean-shaven, portraying various dynamic expressions and poses. He also went on to reveal how intriguing the world of Cyberpunk 2077 was; that players could really play it however they want due to the sheer amount of freedom provided.
CD PROJEKT RED’s English Adaptation Director, Borys Pugacz - Muraszkiewicz walked through about how the character casting process came to be. Various people from actual rockstars, to big-time Hollywood actors were considered. As this was something that Keanu hadn’t really done before, Borys commended Keanu for his professionalism and ability to bang out a stunning performance to crystalize Johnny Silverhand. He summed it all as being a real out of this world experience working together with the renowned actor.
The composers at CD PROJEKT RED collaborated with many other musicians and artists alike to ensure that players would be treated to an immersive audio experience. The score and soundtrack were diligently and meticulously crafted to ensure a believable world could be created. For gamers looking to get into gear for its release, the Original Score EP was recently released, featuring 6 tracks. The EP is available now across popular digital music streaming and distribution platforms.
In this video, fans can find a little bit more about JALI; an innovative technological solution that was utilized to provide immersive facial and lip-sync animations for the characters. As the game supports 11 fully localized languages, this solution was paramount to preserving the overall playing experience.
Players will also be pleased to know that there will be a “My Rewards” program that allows in-game goodies to be redeemed regardless of which platform you’re playing on. More items will also be added in the future. Who doesn’t like free stuff right?
As the cherry on top, a fresh gameplay trailer was also dropped. The 5-minute video provided a glimpse of some combat footage, alongside short previews of the game’s branching conversation options and robust character customization system. This latest trailer also provided a little bit more clarity on the game’s overall plot premise. Snippets of the game’s upgrade system were also showcased, alongside the various playstyles available for players to adopt.
Cyberpunk 2077 will be available this 10 December on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, andStadia. The game will also be playable on Xbox Series X | S and PlayStation 5 consoles. A free upgrade to Cyberpunk 2077 will be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners to take full advantage of next-gen hardware. For more information, do check out Cyberpunk 2077’s Facebook, Twitter, and their official website.
The latest episode of CD Projekt Red's Night City Wire was nothing short of informative, a treat for fans who are ever so hungry to know more about what to expect from Cyberpunk 2077.
This time, the second chapter of the Night City Wire live stream - which was broadcast last night - focused on three aspects of the sci-fi game: Lifepaths, weapons and the music behind Johnny Silverhand's band, Samurai.
Everyone already knew that lifepaths would determine the background of V, but CD Projekt Red revealed that not only will the starting point and "advantages" each lifepath offers will differ, but it'll also affect V's entire playthrough as either a Nomad, Street Kid or Corpo. If there's enough difference between each lifepaths, it would make replayability a lot easier for anyone who wants to experience every lifepath Cyberpunk 2077 has.
We also got to see the band behind Samurai, which is Swedish punk band, Refused. They shared their unusual experience of creating music as another band that's not their own, a sort of role-play as the chrome rock band and its rebellious frontman.
Saving the best for last, weapons. Although we do get glimpses of melee weapons (especially the cool-as-heck thermal katana), armour and cybernetic upgrades, this segment turned its attention solely to guns. There are three types of firearms, which are power weapons, tech weapons and smart weapons, as well as a rarity system that range from Common to Legendary. And the more popular and skilled V gets as a cyberpunk, the better he/she will handle their weapons, like faster reload or aiming speed.
For more information on the above, you can check out Night City Wire Episode 2 below:
One of 2020's most anticipated games, Cyberpunk 2077, is only a few months away, and if you haven’t preordered your copy yet, you now have an incentive to do so. Epicsoft Asia, the regional distributor of the upcoming CD PROJEKT RED game, has announced that all physical preorders will come with a complete set of “Gangs of Cyberpunk 2077” woven badges. The set of badges will feature the symbols of the seven Night City gangs players will encounter in the game and the redbird logo of CD PROJEKT RED.
These embroidered badges will be suitable for use on your gaming rigs, laptops, smartphones, backpacks or jackets. For those of you preordering the physical PC version, you’ll also receive an additional Tyger Claws gang metal keychain (while stocks last). Preorders are now open and will last until the 7th of September.
Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to preorder and what you’ll be receiving:
Cyberpunk 2077 Standard Edition for PC - physical version
Cyberpunk 2077 Standard Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One - physical version
Cyberpunk 2077 Collector’s Edition for PC/PlayStation4/Xbox One - physical version
To check out what’s included in greater detail, visit the official website. Cyberpunk 2077 is slated for a 17 September release.
Preorder your standard physical copy of Cyberpunk 2077 here for PC, and at the following stores for PS4 and Xbox One versions. You’ll also be able to make your preorders at participating outlets that are open during this Movement Control Order period, do remember to stay safe. Take note that the preorder bonuses are only for the boxed versions of the games - digital versions will not entitle you to receive this badge bundle.