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Cyberpunk 2077 is huge, sprawling, complex, and deeply flawed. It’s at its best as a fairly straightforward singleplayer action game, with likable characters and thrilling capers in a fascinatingly detailed open world that looks better than any game before it. It’s at its worst if you want it to be an RPG, an approach-as-you-please Deus Ex successor, or a polished piece of software. I enjoyed my time with it a lot, and I even want more of it, though I’m going to spend years complaining about its flaws. I’ll enjoy the complaining, too.
just don’t feel in control. Each fight feels like my only real option is to repeatedly block until my opponent decides I’m allowed to hit him now. I haven’t mentioned the non-combat parts either, in which you explore the caves looking for supplies to patch up and improve your armour at campfires. There are a few environmental puzzles, which would be fine if they didn’t sometimes boil down to leaping off things until one of them doesn’t kill you.
Chronos: Before The Ashes feels like a cash in, with nobody bothering to ask “does this really need to be ported over?”. Without VR it loses the magic of being in your living room knocking shit on the floor, and exposes the game as a very lukewarm soulslike.
Cutting out the parts that became tedious would quicken the narrative enough to undermine it, but those parts became so laborious that they dragged it down instead. Perhaps I missed the point entirely by playing it alone – it is eminently obvious where a second player would fit in to its design – but if I had a lover here right now, I don’t think this is the game I’d choose to play with them. I’ve been in my own haven for far too long.
The sight of a gang leader brutally shotgunning several enemy goons is only improved by some sick swing high-hat hits on an old fashion kit while horns parp happily. In these moments Empire Of Sin is a world I want to live in, but ultimately not a world I really want to manage.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the guns feel great and the maps are equally well designed, but I need more, Treyarch. I can’t even customise my Operator, and there’s like, hardly any to choose from really. It didn’t take me long to unlock practically every weapon and see every map, and I can’t envision myself sticking around for too much longer if the game doesn’t get updated pronto. And I think this is the heart of the issue. It’s like Cold War has stalled on the way to a patch it scheduled in advance to save time, and we’re now just awkward passengers growing more impatient as we wait for it to lurch forwards.
So I’m in danger of overrating Across The Grooves. It’s fairly short, and at only a couple of hours long, you could dig up all its alternative scenes and endings in a long afternoon. It’s more linear and structurally simple than I’d expected, and I was definitely expecting more from the main music. But while it hasn’t truly touched me as deeply as Eliza or Watch Me Jump, it’s given me an unusual angle on time travel and a lot of feelings and thoughts to process. It’s even helped me a little, I think.
But CODBLOPS: Cold War doesn’t reach the levels of self-awareness required to overpower its poor taste. It feels written to justify the actions of ruthless men and doesn’t offer the most basic character development required to give its deathsquad the benefit of the doubt. As a game, it’s a predictable ride. As a piece of fiction, it is servile.