Cyberpunk 2077

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Cyberpunk 2077 Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Mature, violent cyber-dystopian action game for adults only.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 35 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Strong themes of identity, transhumanism, freedom, and anti-capitalism run throughout story, which explores the benefits and pitfalls of rapidly advancing technology on human culture and biology. Various plot threads also study friendship, love, hatred, and revenge. Note, as well, that play glamorizes guns, violence, sex, and controlled substances.

Positive Role Models

Players can fully customize their characters -- including their genitalia -- prior to beginning play. The behavior of the main character, V, is erratic. They're meant to be an antihero, a likeable person who carries out a mix of morally praiseworthy and dubious acts, many of which involve violence, sex, and substance abuse. Little of what they do, from body modification to dangerous missions, makes for a very good role model.

Ease of Play

Complicated mechanics, a busy user interface, and an hours-long learning curve could make this game intimidating for some. Players can lower difficulty as needed, but they'll still have a hard time if they take on highly dangerous missions before they're ready.

Violence

Players use guns, grenades, and blunt and bladed weapons to kill countless enemies in fast-paced and intense combat. Blood, gore -- such as heads exploding in geysers of red -- and screams of pain accompany most attacks. Bodies remain where they fall, often writhing in pain. Players can attack innocents, though with the risk of police retaliation. Bodies -- sometimes mutilated -- can be found lying in alleyways and crime scenes. Narrative sequences depict the emotional deaths of several major characters, sometimes in gruesome fashion.

Sex

Full frontal nudity (various combinations of male and female genitalia) can be seen during character creation as well as within the game during scenes depicting sexual intercourse from a first-person perspective. Some scenes are set in sex clubs and include prostitutes called "joytoys." Sex toys -- a surprisingly wide variety of dildos and false vaginas, as well as a penis-shaped club that can be used as a weapon -- appear frequently throughout the environment. Nudity can be switched off in the settings, but sexually-charged dialogue with words like "c--t" remains.  

Language

Very strong language appears in both text and spoken dialogue, including the words "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," and many others.

Consumerism

This game is based on the Cyberpunk role-playing game franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many characters smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and use various fictional and real drugs. Players will see the main character smoking from a first-person perspective, getting drunk from beer and spirits (resulting in a screen blurring effect), and using performance enhancing inhalers, liquids, and foods.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person open-world action game for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Serieds X/S, Google Stadia, and Windows PCs. The game casts the player as a cybernetically enhanced mercenary in a futuristic dystopian city. Note that this game's clearly intended for mature audiences. The story dives into the ideas of identity – What makes you you? When are you no longer you? – and transhumanism (using technology to augment the human body and brain), with themes of friendship, loss, and revenge throughout. Action includes plenty of intense, bloody, and gory violence in which players use guns, grenades, knives, and blunt objects to viciously attack and kill human enemies. Innocents can be victims of crossfire or purposely targeted by the player. Full frontal nudity -- male, female, or a combination of gender traits -- occurs regularly throughout the game, including during character creation, sex scenes, and unintended "glitches" that can render characters without clothes or with their genitals protruding. Players will interact with prostitutes called "joytoys," encounter a wide variety of sex toys in shops, homes, and even on the street, and hear sexually-charged dialogue. Dialogue and text also includes frequent and strong profanity, including the F- and C-words. Many characters (including the player's) imbibe alcohol to excess, smoke cigarettes, and take performance-enhancing and state-altering substances via inhalers and edible products.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKylerumore3 December 19, 2020

My Educated Review

Unlike other parents that use this website, I have played through the game and have enough knowledge to review it. First off this game has Nudity but that can b... Continue reading
Adult Written byMarineCat636 December 16, 2020

Overhyped and dissapointing game that pushes the boundries of M-rated games.

Parents need to know that this is by far the most mature M rated game that I have ever seen, heard of, or played. I will start out by talking about the language... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byHiiii98 December 16, 2020

Terrible buggy game

Bad game very glitchy and buggy here is my review for ever category.
Violence: 5/5 Lots of blood and gore in this game that can’t be switched off
Language: 4/5... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTripleAGames December 23, 2020

Amazing, but a tiny bit of bugs

There aren't lots of bugs if you play on PC or the new Generation consoles (PS5, Xbox Series X/S). This game has some gore, sexual stuff, etc., but nothing... Continue reading

What's it about?

CYBERPUNK 2077, based on a tabletop role-playing game called Cyberpunk, imagines a dystopian world in which corporations have taken over, people are overworked and underpaid, crime is at an all-time high, and humans have embraced technology -- including invasive bodily implants -- as a cure for all their woes. Players take on the role of V, a fully customizable (all the way down to nipple size and pubic hair) protagonist who works as a freelance mercenary, roaming the streets of Night City taking on shady jobs for civilians, gangs, and even the police that typically involve a bit of hacking, a smidge of stealth, and a lot of gunplay. V is in the process of slowly building a reputation when their life is turned upside down by an advanced piece of technology that inserts a human construct of a long dead terrorist into their brain, causing a strange kind of cyber-schizophrenia. Now they must race to understand the technology before it completely overwrites their personality. As the story moves along, V comes to learn more about Night City's leaders and power brokers, helping them when their goals sync up, and often foiling their plans when they don't. All the while, V uses earned money and found technology to upgrade their own implants to gain abilities such as the power to use smart weapons, infiltrate and sabotage enemy systems, and reduce damage in battle, slowly but surely becoming more machine than human even as they struggle to maintain their own psychological identity. This open-world adventure is packed with side quests including races, bounty hunts, rescue missions, and more that could add up to more than 100 hours of play time.

Is it any good?

Games don't get buggier than this, and the difference in graphics and performance on a tricked out PC versus console is stark, but there's a compelling story if you willing to deal with its issues. Cyberpunk 2077 is, simply put, a complete mess. There are glitches that made characters' clothing disappear, spots where the protagonist became stuck between floors and walls, non-player characters that jumped around the screen in strange poses, places where sound and lip-syncing suddenly disappeared, and more. Making matters worse, the visual presentation on consoles is rough, with blurry textures, dull character models, and occasionally laggy performance that can affect driving, combat, and even just walking down the street. It feels like a game that should still be in beta testing. Perhaps the most annoying problem is that if you become stuck during a mission, it can be hard to tell whether it's because you legitimately can't figure out what you need to do, or if it's due to some unknown glitch. On top of all of this, the interface feels clunky and busy, marred by text that's too small to read, strange placement of pop-up boxes and menu items, and an unintuitive/poorly explained hacking system that forces players to learn by clumsy experimentation.

This kind of shoddy experience would instantly sink most games. But Cyberpunk has enough fascinating ideas lurking below its blemished surface that some fans will begrudgingly weather all of the bad to get to the moments of good. The expansive world and carefully crafted lore, for example, should prove a treat for cyberpunk lovers. It tackles all sorts of fun and meaty questions, including what a world run by corporations would look like, how technology can change us individually and as a society, and what it would be like to record our physical and sensual experiences for others to playback and experience themselves. Plus, many of the side characters are surprisingly well developed and brought to life by talented performers, like the conflicted corporate bodyguard Takemura and the brilliant and plucky braindance editor Judy. The gravy comes in all of the loving homages to previous cyberpunk fictions (Strange Days, Blade Runner, The Matrix, and Neuromancer, to name just a few) and hidden Easter eggs for gamers -- a comedic mission with a loving reference to Portal is particularly delightful. It will likely be the story, though, that keeps most people playing. Filled with satisfying twists, meaningful player choices, and multiple endings, some players may find it worth persevering through all the glitches and technical issues just to learn what happens to V, her allies, and Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 clearly does not meet the lofty expectations millions of players had prior to its release, but there's still a satisfyingly sparkly gem here that can be uncovered if you dig deep enough.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sex, gender, and body image in games. Cyberpunk 2077 features characters with a diverse set of gender identities, presentations and sexual preferences, but have the writers and developers done a good job of imagining the future of gender and sexuality?

  • What are some of the cyberpunk genre's defining traits? Does this game abide by or attempt to broaden the definition?

Game details

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