Hi all, I feel like it’s time to share my opinions and thoughts after letting this subreddit cooldown for sometime. Around February of last year, I began work on a massive passion project developing https://NETRUNNER2077.net after following this title and being a massive fan of CD Projekt Red from the original Witcher title. When they announced Cyberpunk 2077 would be their next IP I was immensely excited as I’m a huge Cyberpunk genre nerd in all forms from art, movies, anime, philosophies, books, cultural significance and relation, aesthetics and more. So having my all time favorite game company work on a huge open world Cyberpunk “RPG” instantly generated immediate interest.
Please note, I’ve yet to purposely “finish” Cyberpunk 2077 in hopes of CD Projekt Red making a strong come back later on in the future, and hopes that they’ll eventually release a REDKit for modders in order to create some incredible work and help flesh the game world out. I have put around close to 200 hours into Cyberpunk 2077 exploring the different Life Paths and their effects on the world. Lots of walking, No fast travel and tons of time lost in an attempt to “Immerse” myself in the experience. I refused to finish Cyberpunk 2077’s Main Story for several reasons. The largest being I’m typically against playing titles that are obviously not complete. On top of that, I’ve invested so much time and effort into researching, designing, learning web design and working towards building an awesome platform in order to properly cover Cyberpunk 2077 with a safe bet of thinking “This couldn’t possibly be bad” only to coming around to reality very shortly after and that this title truly needed ATLEAST another year of development time.
There are aspects of Cyberpunk 2077 that are, in my opinion, worthy of putting it in the all time legendary category of games. Then.. other parts that make games from even 20 years ago look superior. It’s a very “unbalanced” experience. So much that it takes the top spot for me personally. My experience of Cyberpunk 2077 is that it feels unfinished and some what rushed in many areas, if that isn’t obvious enough already. But the thing is, as many of you probably already know, it just isn’t bugs. Features, Content, Weapons, Immersive Elements, AI, RPG Elements and Game Design Systems are flat out missing or just straight up broken entirely.
Here are just a few of the elements that I have a problem with personally..
Weapon Balance – Many weapons are straight up overpowered and unbalanced and easy to find early in the game.
Weapon Variety – CD Projekt Red claimed that the game would have a large variety of weapons – this ended up not being the case with a few showcased weapons not implemented in the game itself although they exist in the game files. Also to note most “Iconic” weapons are just a reskin.
Cyberware Balance & Variety – Same thing as above can also account for Cyberware. Outside of Cyber Arm implants, which has its own bulletin
Very Hard Difficulty – Feels like a joke when compared to a lot titles out there. This is coming from someone who chose Style over Substance in all three playthroughs, typically never using a Jacket, Helmet or Mask. I’m no means great at games. This doesn’t help with the extremely bugged out AI.
Perk Balance and Design – All around, most perks feel unrewarding and feel vastly unbalanced, once again making it pretty easy to feel overpowered pretty quickly early on, especially if you end up going down the Quickhacking Sub Skill Tree.
Pedestrian, Water and Car Damage Physics / Collision needs a serious second look – Water as of Patch 1.1 is still a pretty much nothing more than a transparent texture.. fire a bullet, a person, hell.. a fucking car and there is not a single pinch of reaction from that what so ever. The collision from bullets, other cars, people and objects is just bad for a 2020 game.
UI – I’m usually not one to complain about an unintuitive UI but it’s quite clunky that takes some time to get around and use to.
Artificial Intelligence – It’s either extremely bugged or just barely there. It’s very bare bones in EVERY NON SCRIPTED aspect of the game. This has already been covered a thousand times so there’s no need to go deep into detail with this. Vehicles, Police, Pedestrians, Etc.
Lack of Immersive Elements – One of CD Projekt Red biggest selling points for many fans was making it sound like there would be many ways to Immerse yourself in Cyberpunk 2077. That is not the case outside of World Design, World Building and Story Telling. It’s really hard to actually “Immersive yourself and Roleplay” You can’t sit at a bar and grab a drink in real time. You can’t grab food anytime you like and eat in real time, the few vendors there are in the game completely rip you out of the game world and into a standard UI vendor menu. Installing Cyberware is just a click of a button in a menu after the initially Eye and hand implant, There’s bare minimum interactivity with NPC’s or the world itself for that matter, Not a single soul uses an umbrella that I’ve witnessed when it rains in Night City, There’s little to no sense in danger outside of the repetitive Gang hotspots… the list could go on and on with this one.
90% of the choices you make during Cyberpunk 2077 feel like they have little to no consequence – While it’s true that there are SOME choices you make in this game change certain outcomes (For the most part – the end of the game as reported by many) It feels like a very bare bones system that doesn’t seem fleshed out at all. The majority of the time you’re only given the “Illusion of Choice” This was very disappointing to witness. Life path decisions feel utterly meaningless later on down the road.
Side Quests are typically very short when compared to Witcher 3 – On top of that, there are a handful of stunning Side quests but it was very disappointing when a large majority of them lasted around 5-10 minutes at most. If you’re looking for another Baron equivalent quest line.. It ain’t here chief.
The Main Quest is far too short for a game that attempts to coin itself as being “RPG” – Regardless of not finishing, its pretty obvious that you do a small handful of Main Story Quests (Outside of the Optional ones) and you’ve reached the end.
Life Paths do not largely impact your overall experience and the way the game and story unfolds – Outside of the VERY beginning of the game, which can roughly take around 10 to 20 minutes to do.. and maybe a single quest depending on your lifepath, They ended up being extremely disappointing. You really aren’t missing out on doing multiple life paths as you can basically “choose” your ending at the epilogue of the game and just restart from a save and make a different decision to see different outs. AKA making all the decisions you made throughout the game feel meaningless because in the end, its only what you choose during the epilogue that really matters.
A Second Note on Life Paths and Dialogue Impacting Secondary and Third Playthroughs – Very few side main quests can make a small difference by the end and there is no tension build up for your dialogue options that will lead to consequences that make you afraid of your choices later down the story.
What the hell happened to Meredith Stout? – If you went down the route of siding with Meredith Stout during the Maelstrom Mission and have followed Cyberpunk 2077 for some time you were probably completely thrown off as to how cut off that whole “follow up” went down. Very disappointing.
Dynamic Vehicle Chases / Fights are not a thing and were removed from the game – The one Scav chase in the beginning of the game is scripted.. and that’s about it, hell.. you can just sit in the vehicle and watch it crash into the wall without doing a single thing. What the hell? Sorry guys, If you choose to mess with gangs.. they’re not going to hunt you down, they aren’t going to mow you down while you’re in your vehicle. It was all bullshit.
Gangs / Corps will ignore the actions you take against their gang / corp and there are no repercussions for your actions against them at any point in the game – This goes with the one above, but I figured I’d expand on it more. Remember when we thought siding with Maelstrom would cause dire consequences in the long run with Meredith and Militech? Guess what? it definitely isn’t a thing. You can go about your business in Night City and not have to worry about that for a split second your entire playthrough, no matter who you decide to fuck over.
Side Gigs are typically just filler content – Very little variety and the only way to really extend your playtime if you choose to not walk the streets of a dead feeling night city attempting to immerse yourself in the world. Which is totally okay if there were also other things to do, but for the most part its just generic Ubisoft tier filler content. There are a very SMALL amount of unique ones with actual dialogue.
Netrunner Enemy Types – The worst they do is upload a low quality damage hack and that’s it. Half the time they scan your location and nothing happens. No cool shit like having to tap a button repeatedly to stop you from pulling the trigger on yourself after being hacked.
Pacifica is obviously unfinished – Well, it’s not hard to tell that Pacifica wasn’t complete after the game came out, I fully know the lore behind what happened to Pacifica, but I don’t see how it’s acceptable that there are literally unfinished areas from game development.
MAX-TAC and Trauma Team were epic during the early Scav Hideout mission, but that’s it – Not much else to say here other than they had some really cool “scripted” events during and after that mission.. but other than that you’ll see Trauma Team with their ships in the same exact spots you find them and MAX-TAC basically just spawn in as higher tier cops when your wanted level is high enough.
Cyberpsycho Quest line was a missed opportunity – Quite a disappointing quest after tracking down 17 Cyberpsychos regardless if you choose to let them live or kill them. They could of gone deep into some gritty cyberpunk writing and mystery with this but their approach to this was pretty underwhelming and surface level with no depth other than some logs you find, but this can be said about MANY of the quests during the game.
Collecting Cars is just more checkmark optional filler – Hey? Want another vehicle? Let me flood your quest list and phone letting you know you can GPS right to the location and pick it up. Outside of the few hidden vehicles in the game, Collecting cars was pretty disappointing. You literally walk up to location and buy them, no interactivity with NPC’s, just click and buy. Might as well of just given a option to have the vehicle self deliver to the non existent garage where all my other cars reside right?
The Garage outside your Megabuilding serves no purpose and doesn’t store your vehicles – Can’t find your vehicles there now can you? Yeah..
The 6 Month Montage felt like a giant slap in the face, quite possibly cut missions from early game and is the exact SAME no matter what life path you choose – Going down any life path will grant you the exact same Street Kid themed montage. It really feels like these were cut missions that would of fleshed Jackie Welles as a character out so much better.
Cyberpunk 2077 feels more like a decent “Action Adventure” Game rather than a true “RPG” – Not too hard to see this. While it has RPG elements and Dialogue, it’s definitely not on the level of Dues Ex, Vampire Bloodlines, Divinity, Elder Scrolls, Fallout (3 & NV). After you exit the prologue it is all downhill after that.
There isn’t much to find and see outside of map markers – While there are a handful of secrets, schematics and weapons it doesn’t feel very rewarding when finding these things because of how the weapon, items, currency and game design elements were implemented where things are either easily replaced or you’re already easily overpowered as it is.
Cyberpunk tries to be too many things and falls short of most of them – With the Ambitious goals, talk and promises.. The one thing I hoped it would be was a truly Ambitious RPG with some really good Immersive elements. I definitely wasn’t expecting the world, but it’s just sad as to how many elements it falls flat on.
Black Market Cyberware isn’t a thing – You see those four options you have for Cyber arms? Yep, That’s it. Nothing else, Everything shown through trailers is what you get.
Brain Dance was a MASSIVE missed opportunity – It’s pretty obvious that there was at one time far more to brain dance outside of story missions. Hell, it could of found a way to replace the Gwent Mini Game, but alas – In the end it was used for only story missions and not a single side experience on its own.
Night City just feels like a extremely gorgeous backdrop to a Somewhat Linear story – I’ve already covered several reasons as to why I feel this way.
It feels more like “Johnny’s Story” rather than V’s Story – While the writing is indeed excellent most of the time. I personally feel like this story is more about Johnny rather than V.
The sense of urgency after the prologue really makes it hard to “Role Play” V correctly. This conflicts with previous statements made by CDPR “Really wanting players to Role Play the character”– The way this was approached was quite confusing, as CDPR offers this massive world yet having a huge urgency that you need to figure out a solution before you die in a few weeks.
The World does not feel “Alive” by any means.. Lack of Dynamic Events – The world itself just feels pretty dead outside of flying vehicles and ads going off every 4-5 seconds. There is VERY little dynamic content like you see in RDR2 where they put a huge emphasis on the world feeling “alive” and never knowing what could happen.
Customization is severely lacking from a world that begs for more of it – Luckily if you’re on PC, a lot of these issues have been solved with customizable Cyber arms, More tattoos, Hair Styles, Face and Neck Cyberware and more. If you’re on Console though, you’re sadly shit out of luck. The lack of visible Cyberware for V was very surprising. No visible Cyber legs, No visible Netrunning gear outside of “Suits”, etc.
Jackie Welles was a brilliant character that was quickly thrown away – Let alone the massive spoiler they decided to showcase via the 2019 E3 CG Trailer, It was extremely disheartening to know that saving Jackie was never an option seeing as we were barely given any time with him and a wasted opportunity for possible great plot points. This could of been remedied by actually going through the missions played out in the 6 month montage. For players unfamiliar following Cyberpunk 2077 for so long, I would assume losing Jackie wasn’t near as impactful for them.
Cyberware Arm implants are just alternative weapons for the most part – Which pretty much become useless unless you choose to use Gorilla Fists the whole game. No Utility from them, No useful tool elements, Just weapons that become obsolete very fast.
For a Dystopian World that is hyper sexualized, there sure is a lack of sexual content – Not hard to miss this, You have two Joy Toys and two high end JT’s later in the game to choose from in the entirety of Night City outside of the selection of Story related characters you come across. Hell, even a lot of characters that dance on poles in the world are fully clothed. Let alone any real Adult themed clubs.
Trains were a missed opportunity – Let’s face it, there were obviously systems in place at one point in development to have an actual train system where you could ride around Night City and be able to enjoy the huge vistas that it offers. Now you can just watch one from a distance disappear right through a building.
Verticality? Sort of..? – Take your Home Megabuilding for example and also prime example of cut areas and content. There were suppose to be several areas of verticality to explore in the world and areas and this is just not the case anymore.
“You’ll never run into cool areas where you’ll want to get in there but can’t” – Yeah, that was definitely not the case now was it? There are several areas you would think would be accessible but just aren’t or at any point in the game are.
Acid Rain? Yeah.. No. – Remember this? Yeah I haven’t witnessed it either. But hey, at least there’s acid fog right?
Then you have this huge dystopic metropolis of a city which looks absolutely phenomenal. I think it’ll truly go down in history for its amazing design and the techniques they used to craft this insanely dense city. There’s truly nothing like visiting Night City and it surely is a unique experience from a VISUAL and AUDIO design standpoint. The writing is solid most of the time as well. It really just feels like they had a very direct deadline and were forced to wrap systems up after changing the core game several times over and over again which caused loads of bugs in the code. I really hope when I come back to this game in a year it’ll be quite different but after what CDPR pulled I find it extremely hard to trust and have faith in them.
I had so much faith and love in this company that I ended up spending countless months building, designing, and launching NETRUNNER 2077 almost single handedly but after playing Cyberpunk 2077 for weeks, I couldn’t even bring myself to write a review over it. Honestly, I would’ve been way too critical and harsh. Especially after having to monitor and dissect everything that was “said” to be in the game and how systems were suppose to “work” and it ended up being nothing like that what so ever. At this point and time I have no motivation or confidence to continue the platform due to the recent events and actions of CDPR’s upper management as well as the highly manipulative marketing that made Cyberpunk 2077 only a glass half full of what it was intended to actually be.
I made sure to set my expectations accordingly from what was told from developers to fans via interviews, deep dives and what was reported to sources that was approved by CDPR. With that and the EXTREMELY misleading marketing, it leaves an extremely sour taste in my mouth. I really want to have faith that they can turn this title around, but something feels off. I understand from a legal perspective that they probably cant at the moment. I just hope one day that this game can truly live up to its potential. There is an incredible foundation set, but it’s ultimately up to CD Projekt Red if they choose to deliver their originally intended vision.
For other upper management in game development out there possibly reading this- if your game isn’t finished, please market it correctly as an “Early Access Game” and not a finished product. That is straight up lying and deceiving fans and consumers out there. It isn’t right, and needs to stop.