V’s apartment is on the seventh floor of Megabuilding H10, a gray monolith in the center of downtown. Her unit is small but comfortable, with a sunken sitting area, bed, bathroom, desk, and weapons stash. But this isn’t what makes Night City feel like home.
What brings V’s world to life is the wide concrete walkway directly outside of her apartment, littered with familiar neighbors, vending machines and trash. It’s Wilson the weapons dealer yelling at V just before she reaches the elevator, every time, and it’s the building’s entryway packed with pop-up food stalls, including the booth where she and Jackie had ramen that one time. It’s the barrage of memories that accompany V as she walks under the bright pink lights of Jig-Jig street again, hunting another lead. It’s the language, steeped in the West Coast jargon of the year 2077: eddies, netrunner, ripperdoc, braindance, corpo rat, scsm, doll, biochip, shard.
The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is dense, seductive and dangerous. It’s also large — I received a PC review code on Wednesday, December 2nd, and I’ve clocked nearly 20 hours of gameplay. Considering some QA testers have logged 175 hours in the game without completing it, this isn’t going to be a comprehensive review. It will, however, answer a critical question: Does Cyberpunk 2077 live up to eight years of hype?
Once it gets going, Cyberpunk 2077 is a living world filled with rich, relatable relationships and dramatic action sequences, all wrapped up in an ’80s-inspired vision of the future. At its core, it’s a work of transhumanist speculative fiction, presenting a timeline that could easily become reality based on humanity’s current trajectory. Corporations operate as gods, law enforcement and street gangs clash constantly in the streets, and everyday citizens have robotic limbs and data ports implanted in the backs of their heads.
Cyberpunk 2077 plays out like a lengthy sci-fi action film — specifically Blade Runner meets Old Boy meets John Wick. It’s a neo-noir adventure highlighted in pink and starring Keanu Reeves, and its main storyline tackles the nature of consciousness itself, in between trips to the sex shop.