Monday, 26 April 2021

Cyberpunk 2077 Stole My Heart and Crushed It

 Going back eight years (God, has it really been that long?) ago, I saw the first teaser trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 released by CD Projekt Red. Instantly my pique was piqued, excitement flooded my being. I hadn't seen anything Cyberpunk related since a former member of our Sunday role playing group asked if he could GM a few sessions of the original RPG system.
Even back then, I could sense it had serious potential, if handled correctly. Unfortunately, our session with it wasn't. And after that, it faded away into obscurity.

Rolling forward in time and the previously mentioned game trailer. Yes. I was very excited, but then the reality of it kicked in, knowing games take several (or more) years to develop and release. Plus I'd been bitten previously by game developer trailers, promising the sun, moon and stars, only to receive the puddle within which said sun, moon and stars had been reflected. Severe disappointment free with every game.


So I appreciated the visual treat of CDPR's promo trailer and thought nothing more of it. Fast forward to 2020 and the hype train is in full flow, gearing up for Cyberpunk 2077's release. Videos are popping up, showing the eager gaming world what CDPR has in store for us, and like some rehabilitated addict sworn never to go back, I dip into the hype and lose myself. 

Previously starved of its fix, my imagination now shudders in delight, running freestyle in imagined possibilities and potential. It is now a parkour runner let loose upon the buildings of my mind. I'm hooked. Once more a junkie for the visual feasts CDPR are throwing at my orbs, firing the furnace within my brain. I can't help it, it's how I'm wired, and it's how CDPR (and every other game developer) know how to play me, and everyone else in love with computer games.

Now you might feel this is starting a decline into a negative rant. You're wrong. I absolutely fell in love with the game - I still love the game, or to be more precise, the characters within it and the relationships developed through the course of the main story and side quests. As for the setting itself, Night City? I have a love / hate relationship; at night it is quite a beautiful creature to behold. Some of the views leave you sitting there staring at your monitor, the game's amazing soundtrack washing over you, seducing you, and in some cases, moving you to actual tears - but maybe that's just me.

There is so much CDPR have got right with this wonderfully crafted world, but so much they got wrong. On balance, though, (again, for me) the good outweigh the bad. The writing is brilliant, the voice acting amazing, and the music... well, to be honest, the music is an entire entity in its own right, and deservedly so. It's hard, savage, pulsing, jarring, exciting, edgy, energising, hypnotic, soothing, emotional and sometimes heartbreaking. Possibly a very underrated and overlooked aspect of the game, especially as part of the environment in respects to radio, television and the car radio.
Whether you are aware of it or not, it's always present.