Gaming Omnivore Art Gallery – Cyberpunk 2077

Welcome to another edition of Gaming Omnivore Art Gallery! It’s been nearly a year since my last Art Gallery post sharing some of my favorite moments from Ghost of Tsushima. For today’s tour, I’ve included a batch of screenshots from Cyberpunk 2077. I was just one of many that pre-ordered the game before its December 2020 launch, which clearly did not go the way CD Projekt Red had likely hoped. The game still felt a little rough around the edges, despite not encountering the consistency and severity of issues that many others did. After playing the game for just short of 6 hours – not even long enough to see the title screen, I set it aside for the time being. This was primarily due to the fact I was still playing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, another game requiring a generous time investment.

I had been wanting to go back and play the game, but was holding out to see just when the PlayStation 5 version was going to be finally released. A little over a month ago Patch 1.5 was released, which included a laundry list of improvements/fixes, along with the next-gen console updates. The estimated delivery for my copy of Horizon: Forbidden West had been delayed by about a week, so I decided to take a detour through Night City. The game currently in its current state feels like significant improvement over the version of the game rolled out at launch and much closer to what CD Projekt Red had initially advertised.

I became quickly invested in V’s story as a mercenary on the streets of Night City as it touched on themes such as love, friendship, one’s legacy, and wrestling with mortality. By the time I finished up the game(including all endings) this weekend, I had spent 80 hours since beginning just a matter of weeks ago and I do not regret it at all…

The star of Cyberpunk 2077 that shines brightest is Night City. The scale and complexity of the city itself felt nothing short of impressive, ranging from sprawling marketplaces and residential areas to vast industrial parks and shipyards to towering corporate plazas. I found myself frequently stopping to take in the sights as I ventured around, as well as outside the city. Night City exudes an almost romantic allure when viewed from the outside, but the reality is anything but for the majority of its inhabitants – very much a place where dreams can be fulfilled, but never without a cost…

A reminder of the stark contrast between the luxury high-rise buildings, depicted as a symbol of Night City and everyday life for the rest
City of dreams or beacon of false hope?
I love how this seems to capture the feeling of darkness and desolation, which makes that small spark of hope shine through so notably
The low-key moments with Johnny Silverhand in between jobs often felt the most poignant. He began as the egotistical asshole who you couldn’t wait to rid yourself of, only to develop a friendship and understanding with. By the end of your journey, you’ve both influenced the other and the idea of parting ways feels bittersweet.
Goodbye V, and never stop fighting”
A glimpse of Night City in the morning from an outskirts overlook. One of my favorite shots.

This concludes today’s tour. I really enjoy writing these and being able to share some of the feelings evoked while looking these screenshots. Thanks for reading!

Gaming Vibes – Playlist #4

Greetings! It’s been just over fourteen months since the last time I found myself sitting at my computer looking over blog post drafts before eventually thinking “I…guess I could list some of the music I’ve been listening to lately”. Music has the near-magical ability to transport myself outside my own headspace and provoke an array of emotions. This can be immensely helpful during times(right now?) when it feels like everything is going to shit. Here’s just a few game-related songs I’ve been listening to lately. Oddly enough, my last playlist post in December 2020 began with a track from the exact same game, so…nice?

Cyberpunk 2077 – The Rebel Path

I was pretty hyped to play Cyberpunk 2077 when it first released back in December 2020. Despite not encountering the plethora of issues others did in the opening six hours, I still decided to hold off on the game until I had a few other big, open-world games finished up. Now that the next-gen 1.5 update has been released I decided to give it another go last weekend and the game plays pretty damn well. This feels like what the game should have been at launch(if given the time it needed). I’ve been playing Cyberpunk pretty much nonstop for the past week; here’s one of my favorites from the soundtrack…

Death’s Door – The Crows

I played through Death’s Door a couple weeks ago now, and the game has managed to stick with me. The gameplay and art style are nearly perfect, as well as the soundtrack, which ranges from light and spirited to pensive and foreboding. I’ve spent quite a while listening to the game soundtrack while working at my computer. One of my favorites – The Crows manages to sound relatively dark and moody, yet still airy and delicate. The entire soundtrack is well worth a listen for anyone who appreciated the range of emotions showcased in Hollow Knight’s score.

Sonic & Knuckles – Flying Battery Zone(Act 2)

There’s been plenty of talk about Sonic the Hedgehog the past few months – celebrating the Sega mascot’s 30th anniversary in 2021 and the theatrical trailers for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being released just last weekend. I was just a kid when Sonic & Knuckles was released and remember thinking it was one of the most awesome things I’d seen; just the innovative “Lock-On” cartridge allowing you to combine the game with your Sonic 3 cartridge and play what was originally meant to be a single game. I happened to wake up one morning this past week with the Flying Battery Zone music stuck in my head. I’m really gonna have to sit down and play through Sonic & Knuckles again…

Novo Amor – Haven

Life is Strange: True Colors is a game that I thought sounded interesting, but wasn’t sure how soon I would get around to playing it. The game came pretty highly recommended by a friend, so I decided to give it a try. It didn’t take long at all before becoming attached to the characters and storyline, almost surprisingly so. The setting of the game is a small town in the mountains of Colorado and the soundtrack captures the pervasive moods of the game perfectly, so much so, that I would often just sit at the title screen to take everything in…

Biting Elbows – Alone

Despite one’s feelings around the gameplay mechanics or overall….weirdness of Death Stranding, I still believe that if nothing else, the game had an AMAZING soundtrack containing both original scores as well as licensed music. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being completely unaware of Icelandic band Low Roar, whose haunting melancholic songs have become inseparable from the game’s otherworldly landscapes. The “Director’s Cut” of Death Stranding was released a few months back and included a number of new songs, all of which I love. Here’s one of my favorites from Biting Elbows – another band I had no knowledge of prior to Death Stranding.

That’s four weeks in a row! Keep on keepin’ on!

Thanks for reading!