At the very end I will have a chapter for my thoughts on the story. You will easily be able to quit reading before then. So you should be spoiler safe.
When I first saw a trailer for the game, at E3 some year ago or whenever it was, I was initially a little excited about it. It looked like GTA but with lots of neon and weird tech.
But as time went on and I started hating The Witcher 3 and by extension CDPR more and more, so I got less excited. It got delayed so many times it became a meme. I didn't like the cool bro marketing they went for, the reports about crunch sounded horrible, so I hadn't even pre-ordered the game the week it was gonna release, but I did eventually order it for PS4, on disc, because I started hearing and seeing all these horror stories of how bad it was on PS4 (and Xbox One, but I'll just say PS4 from now on) and I just felt like I need to have that golden 1.0 on disc.
Unfortunately I didn't get the disc in time for release, I got it on monday the week after, so during the weekend inbetween I played the game a little on PC instead. However, I didn't play very far because frankly the game ran like shit on my computer. You'd think a Ryzen 3900X and a GTX 1080 TI would be good enough for 1440p at 60 FPS, but no, I barely get 60 FPS at 1080p. So I didn't play very far because it was not a satisfactory experience.
Eventually I did get the PS4 discs and just had to try it on my PS4 Pro to see if it was as bad as everyone said it was.
And yeah -- it is fucking horrible on PS4. It shouldn't have been released. It's abysmal.
Mind you, I haven't even played it on a base model PS4. Just the PS4 Pro. And I thought it was awful. I can't even imagine how unplayable it is on a base model.
But after I was done having fun with the horribly broken version PS4, I put the discs into my PS5 and let it patch and started playing "for real".
The game is a lot more playable on PS5 (obviously, since I played through it). It's a pretty solid 60 FPS (it dips in very intense scenarios, for sure) and the resolution seems high enough, atleast when playing on a 55" TV from a acceptable distance. Looking at the screenshots I've taken now in front of my PC monitor, I can definitively see it really isn't that sharp.
But whatever, it looked good enough to me when I was playing it, but I'll definitively look forward to the PS5 update or getting a new graphics card for my PC and play through it again. I'm sure it'll be even prettier.
It's still far from bug free though. Oh god is it buggy. And crashy. I think I averaged one crash per hour. And it always crashed in the most random trivial spot, like just driving around the city. When there was a big battle going on and shit exploded everywhere and it was chaos, it never crashed. I got used to quicksaving.
Perhaps my favorite crash was during the credits. Yes, the credits. What can go wrong during credits? Apparently something can. I haven't really read widespread issues about crashing on the PS5 so I'm not sure if it was maybe just I who cursed my save file somehow.
Here are some other random bugs and glitches:
But despite all of that, I got through it and really enjoyed it. That should tell you something about what I think of the game.
Thats the thing about it. If the game had gotten a few more months, or maybe even a year, to get polished (pun intended) I think it would be universally acclaimed as one of the best games ever. But because of all these issues, it's really hard to look past it. I can kinda appreciate the bugs because I think they're funny, but if you're going for immersion they will kinda ruin your immersion. It's a shame CDPR higher ups wanted to rush it out. It obviously isn't really ready.
I hope patches can fix it, but I think we need a big fundamental patch. Like a 2.0, similar to A Realm Reborn in FFXIV. There are just so many fundamental issues.
I think in 2 years or so when a GOTY edition is out, it's gonna be something everyone needs in their library. But right now, if you don't mind waiting: wait. If you wanna play it now and have a PS5, XSX or a good PC: go ahead, but save often and prepare to be surprised.
And that's really what my summarizing review of this game is: it is absolutely fantastic if you can live with the technical issues.
Apart from that and some bad UI at times (selling many things is messy and slow, not super great at comparing items, I very frequently equipped instead of disassembling, etc), and maybe the vechicle handling could be a little better, I really have no complaints.
The music is also very good and suits great and very memorable. I didn't really think about it while playing, but now going and listening to the soundtrack alone, I really remember them and where it was in the game. I especially like the main menu/title screen music. It's kind of scary, similar to how the Metroid Prime main menu theme is for me, but I love it. All the combat music is great too, really get some Doom vibes at times.
It might be my favorite game since GTA 5. It feels like a game I wanna come back and play many times in the years to come. It's the closest thing I have to a GTA 6, and it's set in the year 2077.
Now here be a bunch of pretty screenshots... Well, pretty if you don't zoom in and notice the bad resolution.
Needless to say, I love the art direction in this game. I love colorful games. It has it dark scenes too, but its nicely contrasted with bright neon. It's like the perfect aesthetic for me. After looking through these screenshots, I think it might be my favorite game ever on a visual level.
And these weren't even taken in Photo Mode, because I couldn't figure out how to access it. These are just in-game screenshots taken on my PS5 playing the PS4 version. I'm sure it looks even better on a good PC with ray tracing and stuff.
After that I will talk about the story, which is where I have a lot to say. Frank Costanza will warn you so you can close the tab before that if you don't wanna get spoiled.
I don't think there are any spoilers in these screenshots, I've even editted some of them, but if you don't wanna risk it, see ya. Otherwise, enjoy the scenery.
It really is a beautiful game.
Leave now if you haven't finished game... or stick around if you wanna read what I thought about the story. I have to write this down somewhere because my mind is just obsessed with it.
I really think the story is the highlight of the game, so I really don't want you to have it ruined.
As tempting as it may seem to read on why I thought so, please don't. Discovering what you like about the story for yourself is what makes it special.
Be like Frank Costanza:
I really didn't care much for the story at first. Jackie seemed cool and good vibes, but I got tired of him very fast.
But eventually Jackie gets outta here. I think it's kind of brilliant because I can see lots of 12 year old kids loving him, so they'll be crushed when he dies. We who don't like him just think it's a relief.
In his place Johnny comes in, the guy which is famously modeled and voice acted by Keanu Reeves. I'm not a big Keanu fan -- I like him in Speed I guess, but I hated The Matrix -- so Keanu wasn't a selling point for me going into it. But once I started hearing him and saw him, I got hooked -- this is where the actual game starts, the story got surprisingly interesting. Like, I got really into it and was genuinely concerned and sad at times.
I thought it was very interesting how they had done this. I thought Johnny was gonna be this random guy you get side jobs from, but no, he becomes part of you. Did not expect that.
Just looking at Johnny doesn't tell you much, but its his performance that is so great and funny. I think he suits the game very well. I loved all the little interjections he had and the banter between him and V. At first he's a dick and you just want him out of your mind, but towards the end, it was sad to finally get rid of him.
It gets kind of deep.
Panam was probably my favorite. She was cool and badass, and the missions you did with her was out in the desert which gave me GTA San Andreas vibes -- it was awesome.
I was really sad when I was done with her missions and said goodbye to her. It felt like saying goodbye to a really good friend that's moving.
And it really snuck up on me, because at first she is kind of annoying and doesn't like you and you don't like her, but you grow on each other.
I tried to romance her but got rejected. I started wondering what I had done wrong but eventually started wondering if maybe she doesn't like girls, is that a possibility in this game? I googled after I finished the game and yep, that's exactly it. I need to make a male character at some point and pursuit that route some day.
Judy was my 2nd favorite. She was very into girls, obviously, so I could romance her.
She is very sweet. She seemed cold and distant at first, but eventually she opens up.
Unfortunately troubled, but she manages.
That mission where you go diving was incredible. First she humms a song to you randomly and you don't think much of it, but then later you hear the actual orchestral song while seeing the old underwater town... that was beautiful. A highlight for sure.
Rogue was a character I didn't really care much about at all at first. Obviously she and Johnny had history and she seemed to be a real badass. But when Johnny wants to ask her out to make up for a date in the past and she accepts and gets happy, it was so sweet.
Claire, the bartender, was always nice to me, so I wanna give her a shoutout too.
Misty was always kind and wanted to help, so she gets a shoutout too.
Evie looked the coolest, and she was cool. Very unfortunate what happened to her, especially for Judy.
But of course, we can't forget maybe my favorite character: myself -- V!
For being me, I got very into me. The voice actor for female V was very good and suited very well. I didn't want V to die, I wanted her to be happy and live.
After I had done Panam's and Judy's questlines, I went to the endgame.
There are many endings, but I was happy with mine, I think it's one of the better ones (I voke up next to Judy, flew to Afterlife, got into a rocket and jumped into space with a gun... not realy sure why, but OK).
Ideally Judy would've been happy, but I looked through the other endings too and all of them seem bad in some way. You can't really win it seems... I mean, V is dying either way.
After you've seen the credits you get sent back and can continue playing or check out the other endings. That's good, because I hate games with missable stuff (cough RDR2 cough).
The other endings seem interesting so I plan on checking them out eventually, especially the one where you go to live with Panam, that seems sweet. I think it's really interesting they added a suicide ending option -- that really is a bad ending.
Overall, I obviously loved the story and got really into it. I think that should be pretty obvious.