TL;DR - a fun and awesome cyberpunk game while crunchy, is really good for roleplay and combat is deadly and fantastic setting that you can homebrew up. Net running is very weird and hard to run. homebrew Red Netrunning rules.
i bought this in the Humble Bundle that went on a couple of months back. read through this game and it is dated, as of this review, it is 2021 and the setting is in 2020. you can easily make it as an alternative timeline or add 10-20 years, some players even homebrew this into red and it's in 2045 or even 2077 (look at that!) i love sci-fi and cyberpunk is really cool and very punk rock.
the roles aren't like your traditional dnd classes, they're more or less your jobs in the world of cyberpunk. from rockerboys, to hired assassins and mercenaries Solos, to even roaming Nomads and media journalists. you'll find a role that'll fit any play style and game that you want to run. just one clarification that the book doesn't really do, is have a seperate section for Med Techs, as they're bunched in with the Tech sections. Cops/Lawmen and Solos are seperate so its something to be mindful of.
one of my favorite things about this system, is the Life Path system. you can easily make an in depth character and grow attached to your character really well! the answers are general statements so you can write however you want to make it your own. from how you grew up, wwhat happened to your family, are your parents still alive? what happened after the age 16 and what you're currently doing? did you make friends? did you made enemies? it covers all the bases and i enjoyed running character creation with my players.
Combat encourages that high octane action like the Matrix, John Wu, and other action packed movies. in dnd once you hit a certain level low level creatures are a joke. in cyberpunk, a switchblade can easily mess up your character and guns will ruin your life if you're not careful. there is a risk vs reward type style of combat, do you stand still to make the perfect shot? or do you run in dual wield uzis and hope you hit your target while dodging incoming fire? it's pretty detailed in covering explosives, and even drugs. roll for skill checks is interesting as it take your stat + skill and roll a d10 to determine your result, for guns depending on Rate of Fire you can roll up to 3 times depending on the gun, and damage, plus if you have cyberware to make your accuracy higher, it can get crunchy at time.
Cybernetics is interesting, it can be complex where you intentionally replace live meat for a cybernetic limb or vain as skin change changes or hair color changes, or iris color changes. the humanity system is really clever in that it is tide to your empathy stat, cyberpychosis is a real thing, which i tell my characters that if they do not have any humanity left, they can no longer play that character because they have lost their mental state and can no longer "function" properly.
one of my biggest (and many others) complaint is the Netrunning system, it's complex and clunky, and i could never get it to make it fun. netrunners in this game, don't really need to be with the party, which that can be an issue in of itself. most gms just make an npc netrunner to bypass this problem, or homebrew it. i recommend if you must have a netrunner, is to get the quickstart Cyberpunk Red rules or the core rule book on Netrunning, way more streamlined and fun for everyone. before you homebrew it, try to run it yourself, and see if you can make it work. essentially, for netrunning if i can make sense of it, it boils down to a game of Mine Sweeper and currency to spend in cyberspace, and you'll need a seperate graph paper to run this, which turns into a pizza break for everyone, except the gm and netrunner, and it can really slow the game down.
finally, Night City, the functional city that is in California and it's location is very lively and if you want to explore Night City further, get the sourcebook Night City and you're in for a treat! my campaign is primarily in Night City, and having information of where everything is handy. just the core book for night city has plenty of information to get you going.
overall, this game is a classic and fan favorite for a reason, while dated in technology, a lot of that can be homebrewed and it's just a great system. i HIGHLY recommend you pick this up if you're looking for a High Tech Low Life game while having style and being a punk. see you around choombas!
[5 of 5 Stars!]