1 person found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 76.5 hrs on record
Posted: Sep 11, 2014 @ 3:44pm
Updated: Sep 11, 2014 @ 3:46pm

To start things off, I only recommend this game if you like open-world games and you have the system to run it. If you like open world games like GTA, Saint's Row, and the like, you should enjoy this game.

I liked this game, but it plays to my sensibilities. I like stealth, I like being clever and sneaky and I love cyberpunk. Make no mistake, this game is a cyberpunk game wearing a modern day skin. You are a Netrunner, a Slicer, a Decker. You have cybernetic enhancements that let you wirelessly control the world around you. You can slow time down with enhanced reflexes. You're an Edgerunner (or Shadowrunner, if you prefer). The game calls you a "Fixer", but that's just another synonym. You fight evil corporations, corrupt politicians, and criminal organizations in a quest for revenge. It's so Cyberpunk it almost hurts that there's no chrome or neon in sight.

Would this game have been better as a proper cyberpunk game? Maybe, maybe not. Updating the cyberpunk look to the modern day is hardly a terrible idea, and more people likely played it as a result. That said, let me get to what I liked and didn't like about this game.

-The city is large, and yet varied. You have the financial districts, the dock area, the industrial zone, the residential suburbs, the inner city slums, and the oddly rural region of Pawnee, all of which give you a lot of variation in where you go and how it looks. Having been to Chicago, I'm pretty sure they scaled the whole thing down, but that's always difficult to tell when you spend most of the game blasting through the streets at 80 MPH. This though, is to be expected, but what is nice is the degree of access you have to buildings, tunnels, and the trains. I'm still waiting on the game that gives me full access to these things, but Watch Dogs has a decent selection at least.
-The Hacking is really cool. You can do a lot of fun and creative things with the tools at your disposal, and the other toys you get, like the communications jammer, the blackout hack, and the noisemaker are a lot of fun as well.
-Combat works too. You can go quiet or you can go loud, it's your choice, and the result can change the game's experience for you. I found it usually more fun to sneak around, use hacks, and outsmart the AI, but blasting through them can be pretty satisfying as well.
-The game is very pretty, especially after downloading the graphics "patch". Before that, it was just decent looking, but after, it was marvelous.
-Invasions are tremendously fun and a great way to break up the missions. The multiplayer in general is a good amount of fun, but it has some drawbacks. Fortunately, it's more fun than it's not.
-The soundtrack has some great songs in it and the ability to set your own playlist, while not that intuitive, let you set up everything rather nicely.

-Combat + Stealth is perhaps too easy. Silenced weapons and decent stealth techniques result in trivial combat most of the time. Once I got the silenced pistol, never mind the silenced assault rifle and submachine gun, the need to pull off clever tricks in fights was limited to just about never.
-Money is not an issue. Early on you may scrape by for cash, but a couple of upgrades into cash hacking and some rich jerks later, and you're rolling in it. I started leaving behind $1,000 prizes at hotspots for other players just because I couldn't spend it on anything more if I wanted to. I stopped hacking people's bank accounts unless the profiler told me they were particularly contemptable individuals.
-Clothing is weak. Nearly all of the outfits are just reskins of the main outfit Aiden wears with the coat and the ballcap. Not cool. The best clothing option is the one with the fedora that makes you look like you're out of some Noir story, which fits the theme of the game much more closely. But seriously, there are something like thirty outfits and they're ALL JUST RESKINS. That's unacceptably lazy. Of course, I got all the ones I could because I was looking for excuses to burn money.
-Gun Selection is...decent. Honestly though I just didn't care much about some of the guns. Silenced Weapons were so good that basically anything else didn't matter. I mean, sure, if you want to run around and do a GTA styled rampage with the semi-automatic grenade launcher, you can, but your reputation goes down the tubes, and that's about all it's good for. You can't carry enough ammo for the really devestating stuff, and the cops never call the national guard on you or anything, so the need for the heavier hardware is limited.
-The story is, at best, decent. You will find no grand revelations here, just the usual "Man has been done wrong, gets revenge by doing more wrong." Even if you max out your vigilante meter, there is a shockingly good case for you being the bad guy here. Also, it's predictable and boring at parts, and the few times it appears to give you a moral choice ultimately don't matter until the very end of the game.
-Lack of feeling like you control the narrative. This is about player agency, and I know, big deal, the story is linear, and they don't really hide this. From mission one, you are given a cutscene that puts you in control of the character, but you really have no control. If you don't do the thing you're supposed to do, the game doesn't progress. This happens multiple times throughout the game, where I am not given a choice in what to do, but at the end of the game, I finally get a choice. Maybe that's a grand statement about something in the narrative, but I couldn't help feel cheated that moments like that didn't help define the game.
-Music selection is limited and there are a good number of songs that aren't that great. That's personal preference, but what do you want?
-People cheat online and there's no in-game way to report them, even through Uplay. You have to remember the cheater's name and make a ticket submission through ubisoft's support. Weak. It's really bad when people have aimbots and invulnerability cheats on for singleplayer that then get transferred to multiplayer.
-Every collectable and side mission is basically skippable. Most are fun, and they're all marked on the map and relatively easy to collect, but it is always somewhat annoying when you go through the trouble of picking up all the audio logs in the game and then do the story and are surprised by things you already know.
-Game needs a fan-made graphics patch to turn on features disabled for reasons knowable only to the developers at Ubi, though I can guess. Either way, it was a bad idea and I'm going to dock them for it.

There's a lot I'm critical of here, and probably some points that I missed, but all that said, it is a fun game. It's just difficult to put points like "It's like GTA but pretty and with hacking and gunplay and invasions" without just sounding tired. Like I said, it's a GTA styled game and if you like those you'll probably like this one, go play it. If you like the idea of cyberpunk no matter the window dressings, get this game, you'll probably enjoy the hell out of it. If you do not like open world action games or cyberpunk, skip it. There's really nothing here for you.
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