Journos desperately want to give Cyberpunk 2077 a low review score, but in spite of all their posturing, they simply cannot.
Viewed from a distance — say, from the vast desert outskirts known as the Badlands — Night City looks like a beacon, so massive and promising in its potential that many denizens of Cyberpunk 2077’s brutal future see it as a place where they might escape their hardscrabble lives and fulfill their dreams. And yet, as the game reminds us again and again, those who come to Night City seeking a better life often find only hardship, struggle, and loneliness.
Like the city in which it is set, Cyberpunk 2077 may give off one impression when regarded from afar, one carefully constructed through years of marketing hype, but once players experience it up close, they’ll find that the truth is something else. On one hand, it’s a more earnest and sincere game than all its edgy marketing has suggested. On the other, though the word cyberpunk evokes a radical vision of the future, there’s nothing revolutionary on offer here. Instead, it’s a game obsessed with the past.