Driving in Night City: Cyberpunk 2077 First Impressions
On Dec. 10, Polish game developer CD Projekt Red released what was arguably one of the most anticipated video games of the last decade — Cyberpunk 2077. The story casts you in the role of V, a mercenary who lives in the neon-soaked Night City. In order to get around the enormous map, you have access to a huge array of cars and motorcycles. So what does it feel like to drive in a megalithic city of the future?
A brighter tomorrow: Drive clean in the 2021 Chevrolet Bold EV
The future is kind of boring
I had initially planned to do a deep dive into the driving mechanics in Cyberpunk 2077, but after spending more than 10 hours in Night City, I can’t find one noteworthy aspect. It’s not particularly exciting, but it’s not egregiously bad, either. The controls are a bit floaty, but that’s not at all out of the ordinary for open-world games where the emphasis is more on combat, story, and exploration than capturing the thrill of a good drive. Overall, the mechanic is functional but not particularly interesting.
What is interesting are the myriad ways cars go hysterically wonky with no warning.
A bit of backstory. From the minute the game launched, Cyberpunk 2077 was plagued by an insane number of glitches, some of which rendered the game nearly unplayable — especially on last-gen consoles like my PS4. While the backlash has been harsh (and to a great degree, deserved), the memes have been delectable.
Some of the more reserved examples include cars exploding for no apparent reason while stationary, falling from the sky without warning, randomly spawning in the way of — or in the exact same space as — other vehicles, driving through walls, floating, and inexplicably arriving at a summon point heavily damaged.
On the more extreme side, there’s a glitch where you can manipulate the third-person car view to clip through the roof of your vehicle and watch V become a gyrating nightmare, and one slightly NSFW bug where characters T-pose (stand up with their arms to the sides) while driving, exposing their butts the whole of Night City.
If you want to see them in action — and don’t mind intermittent profanity, blood, or nudity — all you have to do is type “Cyberpunk car glitches” into YouTube, and you’ve queued up hours of content.
As hysterical as all of Cyberpunk 2077’s car-related glitches are, it’s worth knowing that the company knowingly released the game in an unfinished state after reportedly mandating six-day workweeks and encouraging developers to work overtime for more than a year. Oh well, at least Keanu Reeves is up in the mix.
Did your car randomly sink into the ground?: Certified technicians can help
<– This is what Aaron actually looks like.
Aaron was born in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio and has managed to traverse most of the state between college and various shenanigans. Having majored in video game development and minored in film studies, he is a considerable fan of both forms of media. Additionally, he is available to explain why Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best feminist films of all time at the drop of a hat. His aspirations include — but are not limited to — not accidentally adopting any more cats and developing a responsible sleep schedule. See more articles by Aaron.