Category Archives: Video Games

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Cyberpunk 2077: Gameplay review

Alright, fine. Since 45 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077’s gameplay has been released, I guess I have to join the bandwagon and give some of my thoughts. I mean, considering how fast Neon Dystopia wrote their review of the gameplay despite their usually very slow write-ups of current Cyberpunk news (they take time to write their content because of the high quality and extensive write-ups, an understandable limitation), I can understand how this is breaking news and indeed very exciting.

I should preface this review, however, by stating that I am very cautious to write about Cyberpunk 2077. The reason for this is that the hype over this game is, honestly, quite exhausting. It seems in the cyberpunk community that every day there’s a new story with gossip about news-that-isn’t-news, from the night/day cycle, featured car that can be driven, characters and their costumes, lighting, if you can imagine an element about the game there’s probably been some write-up about it hyped up in the lack of concrete news about the game. This is why I’ve been hesitant to comment about the game. Hell, if you google “Cyberpunk” and click the news section, all you’ll find will be news about this videogame. I shouldn’t have to tell you, dear reader, that Cyberpunk is a lot more than just one upcoming videogame. It’s one of the reasons why I started this blog, so people can know about synthwave music, Neon music and video festivals, and upcoming movies and news. You know, things other than just Cyberpunk 2077.

It’s my suspicion that Cyberpunk is currently experiencing a revival, facilitated in part by Altered Carbon and the sci-fi push in Netflix, as well as a series of recent box office hits these past couple of years with movies such as Blade Runner 2049, Ghost in the Shell, and this year’s Ready Player One movie adaptation with none other than the great Stephen Spielberg.

If you ask a common person what cyberpunk is, however, I bet they won’t know exactly what it is. That will soon change once this game finally comes out, because it’s in the name of the game itself.

What comes after that is anyone’s guess.

Anyways, on to the review of the gameplay footage.

I think whether or not you’re excited by this game depends a lot on the type of gamer you are. Do you like sinking hours upon hours into a videogame, or do you like having a simple storyline to start and finish because you have a job and responsibilities? Do you prefer stealth games, fighting games, racing games, or first person shooters?

Well, regardless of what you like, it sure seems like Cyberpunk 2077 will have a bit for everyone.

It seems like it has equal parts Grand Theft Auto, Deus Ex, Fallout, and Mass Effect. You can get into cars and drive around, and complete missions, but there are main missions and side missions, and all your choices matter. There is no right or wrong, only grey areas. The game is visually similar to Deus Ex or Mass Effect, with the ability to go a bit into stealth, but an interesting choice is to have the game be exclusively in first person (except for the car racing parts). I personally love this choice, and the fighting gameplay style looks so smooth and fluid that I could mistake it for a cyberpunk-y version of Halo mixed with Gears of War in its cover system (plus it has bullettime!). I’ve always felt that first person games will always make the game more immersive, which is why I played almost all of Skyrim and Fallout in first person when I had the choice.

The dialogue in this game at first glance looks extensive, which is great. The voice acting also looks like it’ll be pretty good. I’m of the impression that too many choices and paths can be overwhelming–I’d rather only have a few options and I usually stick to the main stories before I play through the game again completing more side quests. So I’m concerned the amount of side missions in this game might be too much.

I must say, though, the visuals in this game look absolutely gorgeous. If you’ve read my review for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you’ll note how much of a missed opportunity I felt it had by making literally everything everywhere orange and yellow (something they remedied in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided). Not so with this game, it seems. I’ve seen in some cyberpunk boards that people wanted night all the time, with even more neon and less bright-harsh-natural sunlight, but I’m perfectly happy with the natural sunlight. There will be plenty of places to go inside that will hide the sunlight, and I think living in a constantly dark world would seem a bit unrealistic anyways.

What are your thoughts on the gameplay reveal? Are you excited for this game as well? Let me know below.

48 minute gameplay video can be found here.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Review)

So this past weekend I finally finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DE:HR). I say finally because, although I really wanted to like it, I ended up struggling to finish it in its entirety. Here’s my complete review of Deus Ex.

DE:HR features the story of Adam Jensen, a newly hired security guard for Sarif Industries, a new booming biomedical augmentation company. On one of the first days on the job, however, the headquarters is attacked and Adam’s girlfriend and top scientist is murdered, while several other scientists are kidnapped from the facility. The attack leaves Adam critically injured, which he only survives by serious augmentations that Sarif industries decides to invest in him. The rest of the story involves Adam doing some detective work to find out why the attack happened, where the other scientists are, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

There are a lot of things that DE:HR did well, and considering that it was released in 2011, I’m sure it was probably pretty groundbreaking for what it did. However, not only is the game a product of its time and sadly now a bit dated compared to current games, but I just couldn’t get behind the game mechanics. This may be in large part due to how I play as a gamer,  which would be straightforward first person shooters like Halo. The 3rd person setting when you take up cover makes it easier to stealth than to shoot, and I struggled a lot in smoothly lining up shots of my enemies. Although DE:HR does give you the option to do stealth only, guns blazing, or a mix of the two, the game consistently rewards you for taking the stealth route, and penalizes you for going guns blazing. How? Simply because ammunition is scarce compared to how many enemies you meet and their strength, and even with multiple upgrades (which I used as much as possible) you still have very little health, meaning that you really can’t afford to take more than a couple hits. As a result, near the last few levels, I found myself switching the difficulty to easy because I had lost my patience with creeping around and simply wanted to finish the game already. This resulted in an unfortunate ending where enemies did not hurt me when I thought they should have, and a ridiculously easy ‘boss battle’ at the end. So be warned! If you set the settings to easy, you might actually be cheating yourself out of the game. This is different from other games where easy mode is not god mode and it is still a little challenging.

The other qualm I had with this game is that EVERYTHING IS IN ORANGE. Seriously, if any object has the ability to be interacted with, it will have an orange border around it. All the lights are orange, windows are orange, and the vast majority of everything you see in the game is orange. So if you care about great visuals, and don’t like the color orange, this game might not be for you.

With all that being said, there are actually a lot of great things about this game that I would now like to address.

The first is that the plot is interesting and complex, and if you can get through the story fast enough so you don’t lose sight of your goals, can be quite fun. There are also a lot of side quests, some more interesting than others, such as saving a woman in a brothel. There are a lot of surprises and honestly it keeps you guessing most of the way.

The other thing I liked about the game is how much choice you get to have. Not only can you end the game in 4 different possible endings, you can also have different conversations with people that will lead to different outcomes. You can also get an upgrade that lets you analyze the personality of the person you’re speaking with (alpha, betta, or gamma person) and then use the right words to appeal to the right senses in this person (such as being logical to an alpha, flattering to a beta, and threatening a weak gamma person). This use of psychology so clearly in a game was quite refreshing.

Finally, once you get past the orange, a lot of the locations are pretty cool. My favorite was Hengsha, a city in China that ‘became so crowded they built another city on top of it’.

Heng_sha_skyline

Checking out the nightclub there and walking the streets and looking at the futuristic light fixtures and architecture was really cool. I just wish it was bathed in neon blue and purple instead of, again, everything orange.

All things considered, I would give this game a 7.5/10. The gameplay mechanics were hard to get around for me, but the music, storyline, setting, dialogue, and variety of gameplay made it worth the time I put into it.

I recommend playing this game but taking your time with it. Although if you like stealth games like Metal Gear Solid, I think this’ll be right up your alley.

 

 

Thoughts on Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I tried playing this game before but simply couldn’t get into it with the difficulty in getting to some places, the emphasis on stealth, and the myriad of side quests that slowed down the story. Since my recent discovery of the amazing genre of cyberpunk, I decided to give it a go (I was able to get Deus Ex Human Revolution used for $2.50 and its sequel, Mankind Divided, for 12.50 from Game Stop!) I really like the game now, although I wish I could truly power through it as a shooter only, and not always need to rely on stealth. Shooting and destroying things is a lot of fun for me, more so than always trying to stay out of the line of sight of guards. I will say that I really enjoy the psychological profiles you get to try to figure out of the NPCs in the game, in order to activate speech options and make each encounter as successful as possible. I also very much like the possibility of choice in the game, and the sets (especially when you go to the Chinese area). But why does everything have to be so orange all the time? Most items are outlined in orange, vision through walls is orange, all lights are orange. I feel like this game could have had a lot more potential if it weren’t so monochromatic. Nonetheless, it’s still an excellent game. I love the voice actors and the music.