Tuesday 12 April 2022

The record shows I took the blows

I wrapped up my first play-through of Cyberpunk 2077, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending. There’s a point where you have to decide how to proceed, and I’d avoided reading too much to keep it fresh (and will be vague in this post to avoid major spoilers). One choice was to let Keanu Reeves take over and do things his way, often a perfectly sound course of action in life, but the game had done a fine job in putting me in the shoes of the protagonist; previous missions with Keanu’s Johnny Silverhand to the fore somehow felt a little off, obviously it was still me (the player) in control, but it didn’t quite feel like me (the character), presumably the intent, and a testament to the power of storytelling in the medium. Very quantum, baby.

I was going to bring in some allies I’d made along the way, but it was pointed out that things would get messy and there would be probably be casualties. I was sufficiently worried over my NPC chums that it swayed me to go solo and agree to a corporate plan. After all, who was the real sick man in this so-called society, the rebel who’d nuked a building, or the businessman in his suit and tie? (It’s both of them, Rich.)

In my mind I was just playing along, and at a critical moment would reveal my true intentions and stick it to the corpo-man. The game gave me no reason to be certain it would be possible, there wasn’t a dialogue option of “Very well, I agree to your plan. ASIDE: I do not really agree to it and have my fingers crossed, aaahhhh”, but that was my hope. Turned out I never got the chance, I played it straight and stuck to my in-game word, hence the rather disappointing ending, things fizzling out somewhat, with most of the friends I’d made along the way expressing their dismay at my choice over the phone before the credits rolled. Nobody’s fault but mine, but after 100+ hours of thoroughly enjoying Night City it was a bit of a shame. Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again that’s what save games are for. At some point I’ll load things up from just before that final decision and give it another shot.

Not just yet, though, I think I need to let things settle for a bit. With Mass Effect Legendary Edition in the Humble monthly bundle it’s Commander Shepard’s time to save the galaxy, again. Can it really be fifteen years since the first game came out? Even with the graphics and gameplay updates it shows its age a little, but it’s still very playable, the trilogy should keep me going a fair while.

There’s also SongPop, proving to be highly diverting with its themed events especially. I did pretty well with film music for the Oscars, less well with the nominees for the Grammys. Best of all was the April Fool event with my perfect playlists – stand up comedians, comedy songs, Weird Al, Monty Python. There were also some fun musical variants like That’s Not My Name, where the answers were what songs could/should have been called (e.g. “Woo Hoo” for Blur’s Song 2), and Anagrammed Artists providing the dual challenge of firstly identifying a song is by the Imagine Dragons, and then discounting Pig Slicers, The AWOL Monk, and Sweaty Ken as possible answers before selecting Raiding Mangoes (the others being Spice Girls, Walk The Moon, and Kanye West; I’m not sure if there’s a Kanye tribute act called Sweaty Ken yet, if not that’s a definite missed opportunity).