Cyberpunk 2077 is long, though not quite as lengthy as CD Projekt Red’s last game, The Witcher 3. If you beeline through the main story it should take about 18 hours to complete. Even if you ignore the side quests, playing through the first act will take about five or six hours.
Some may struggle to progress through these opening hours, because the game does not really open up until after this section. Hopefully, this will help determine if it is worth it for you to continue through the dystopian journey.
10 Gets Better: More Side Quests
From the opening hours the side quests feel inconsequential and lack a compelling narrative. They are blips on the map reminiscent of an Ubisoft game. However, once the second act starts more supporting characters start calling V and opening up more side quests with more narrative weight. If you like ignoring the main quests and doing side quest, we recommend at least going through the first act.
9 Stays The Same: Core Gameplay
Whether you like the gameplay or not is up to personal preference, and is something you will find out a few hours into the adventure. Your opinion on the combat is unlikely to change in the future. Shooting, stealth, and other abilities do not evolve greatly in the coming hours. Additionally, you can see the combat potential from the start by looking at the many skill trees available.
8 Gets Better: Johnny Silverhand
Many are probably in it just for Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand. If you are one of those people, just know he does not show up for a little while. You have to go through the entire first act before he shows up, so if you are a huge fan of the actor, go through the story for a bit. Once he does enter the picture, he becomes a driving force of the plot, so you won’t find yourself wanting.
7 Stays The Same: Dialog
The writing is pretty superb, but sometimes the voice acting lacks. It is less the fault of the actors and more the disjointed nature of fast-paced conversations while selecting dialog options. One moment V is yelling at someone, and then the next line they are calmly inquiring about a job. If this bothers you in the opening hours, just know it is not going to change.
6 Gets Better: The Main Quests
Even in the start of the game the main quests already feel more involved than the average open-world game. Gone are the days of games like Fallout 3 where the first half of the main quest mainly involves talking to various people following a lead. Even with this in mind, the main quests vastly improve after the opening act. They span several locations and use bigger set pieces than one would expect in an open-world RPG.
5 Stays The Same: Bugs And Glitches
A game of this scale is expected to have some glitches, but Cyberpunk 2077 pushes the limit. Do not expect these to improve as you progress through the story.
If technical issues really bother you, then wait until more patches come out. Plenty of other cyberpunk worlds exist in video games for you to enjoy, like Deus Ex. Nobody will blame you for waiting until the game is in a more playable state
4 Gets Better: More Open
As the game starts out it can really feel like there is not a lot to do. However, this is just the game easing you into the world. Once you beat the first act, the world opens up and becomes more alive. More jobs are available and the pace starts to pick up as higher stakes are introduced. It is not like The Elder Scrolls or Fallout where a quick introduction spits players out into the world after half an hour or so.
3 Stays The Same: Immersion
Being a big city, it would be impossible to have the same level of immersion as games like Elder Scrolls or The Witcher 3. Night City’s population is in the millions, so the developer simply cannot program so many unique NPCs with their own day and night schedules.
You should not expect a level of immersion as even Red Dead Redemption 2. Night City is more visually impressive than it is convincingly alive.
2 Gets Better: The Cyberpunk Themes
In the first act, the game feels more like a story that happens to take place in a cyberpunk future. It does not really deal with the themes and problems for which the genre is known. Only in the second act does it really start diving into the problems and questions presented by the setting. It does not do as much as we’d like it to with the world, but at least it tries. Hopefully a sequel or a DLC does better in this respect.
1 Stays The Same: Abilities And Progression
This one is closely tied to the core gameplay. Oftentimes RPGs introduce a different mechanic later on in the story that changes the way you think about progression. As the second act starts, nothing changes about stat management. You steadily earn better armor while the levels and perks are more accessible, but do not expect any abrupt turns in the leveling. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you do not enjoy the progression system at the start, you probably will not grow to love it.
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