I’ve reached the roof of Night City’s underworld. When I walk into Afterlife, edgerunners glance my way and whisper some bullshit. I have taken on the worst jobs and managed them on my own, without a crew. The chromium in my body I have earned with my own eddies. Politicians, lawyers and celebrities can be found in my contact book, but still I get no respect. Gangsters on the street raise their irons as soon as I approach, even though they know they have no chance.
A feeling of restlessness itches in my body. I can lower a dozen walkers without lifting a finger. It’s too easy. I’m looking for risks. Let them consciously see me, let them shoot first, as long as I can feel something. Looking for exciting chrome to test, but nothing can be found. None of the arms dealers want to sell me drones or the latest in explosive pieces.
I can not even buy a new rug.
Gameplay from the past previous generation
One of the very first things I noticed when I started playing Cyberpunk 2077 was how eerily similar The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim it is. Maybe is Fallout 3 a better parable, but I like Skyrim better. In and around active gaming environments (by that I mean environments connected to missions, events or “caves”) it is possible to pick up all kinds of rubbish to sell. Ashtrays, razor blades, tongs, condoms, cigarettes and more. Everything is categorized as junk, junk to sell for a few pointless dollars.
This manic looting of meaningless shit fosters an anxiety among players, me for sure, that they will accidentally miss something if they do not check every single box. A game design probably intended to extend the playing time. While Fallout 4 made all junk relevant with crafting, it’s in Cyberpunk 2077 only artificial filling, just as if the year were 2011.
But the similarities with Bethesda’s now old games do not end there. The character development and game mechanics from the hit game are also present in Cyberpunk 2077. You increase your skills by using them actively, buy out various percentage increases for, among other things, injury and health, and become considerably powerful with a few levels under the belt.
All types of battles fall into two categories, brutal violence or insidious attacks. Very few missions can be completed without in any way having to claim violence on enemies. In Skyrim, violence was also a natural part of the gaming experience, where you either ran right in with drawn weapons or picked enemies from a distance with a bow and arrow. Cyberpunk 2077 is basically the same thing, but with automatic rifles.
Unable to cope Cyberpunk 2077 without using force. It is impossible.
Does not develop the concept
To Cyberpunk 2077 mimics Skyrim is in itself no problem. It is good game mechanics and the character development has many choices. What stands out, however, is how little CD Project Red has done to develop Bethesda’s proven formula. Here, no effort is made to bake in cool science fiction concepts or new features that make the game mechanics fresh. I even dare to go so far as to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a MORE well-developed game mechanics than Cyberpunk 2077.
Oh yes, today I go so far!
I have mainly played as a hacker in Cyberpunk 2077, something that could be equivalent to a magician in The Elder Scrolls. And although I think hacking is fun, they are crazy for single track and few in number. You have a couple of offensive notches, a couple of tactical ones and some that in 99 cases out of a hundred are completely pointless. Compared to a magician’s arsenal in The Elder Scrolls, the hack is in Cyberpunk 2077 a fraction.
While you can both enchant and summon creatures to fight for you in Skyrim, you can neither control robots nor use your own drones in Cyberpunk. And although you can make enemies shoot themselves, you can not make them shoot each other. Magical effects on weapons and objects are essential in Skyrim but in Cyberpunk 2077 you can not buff your weapons with software, not even the smart handguns that use tracking technology.
However, I am most disappointed with the interactions with technology in the environments. You mainly use them to temporarily distract enemies so that you can either sneak past or on them. I wish the game had more creative interactions that enable ingenious solutions to missions. For example, the ability to lock enemies in a room, or prank police or fire brigades for prolonged distraction.
The ability to control surveillance cameras to identify enemies and potential burglary routes is one of the most amazing aspects of hacking into Cyberpunk 2077.
A little note about CD Projekt Reds all lies
CD Project Red claimed that Cyberpunk 2077 would have many different solutions on assignment, but like so much else they said it is a complete lie. Apart from having several angles of attack on a situation (windows, doors or sunroofs), you solve everything by sneaking or shooting your way to the target. Apart from one of the initial assignments (the one with Maelstrom and Militech), you only have binary options for the assignments. For example, shoot or spare someone, tell the truth or lie. Usually there are no obvious consequences to the election either!
Only the central story has more nuanced choices, but the feeling that they have consequences is fleeting. It is in the game’s final choice that Cyberpunk 2077 actually claiming consequences.
Limited with bang
When it comes to firefights in Cyberpunk 2077 so I do not really have much to complain about. The feeling of weapons is not as cruel as in shooting games as Destiny 2 or Battlefield, but it’s not as sunkissed as in Fallout 76. It’s totally okay and quite fun actually!
However, the weapon variation and models are too few. After ten, fifteen hours you have seen all the different types of weapons and the only variations you will find are how much damage the weapon does and what color it is. In addition to a couple of iconic weapons that stand out, they also share the same characteristics and attributes.
Sure, a weapon can have four different types of damage, if you exclude non-lethal, but if you do not play at the highest difficulty level or with an incredibly niche build, the weapon damage does not matter at all.
Here had Cyberpunk 2077 measured well by more weapon properties. Smart and technological weapons are so incredibly good that you will never want to use a power weapon. And why can we not use two weapons at the same time? In this dark future dystopia where people can become wandering tanks, we should be able to install cybernetics for the handling of dual firearms. Think what fun it would be to mix machine guns. Or have both katana and pistol at the same time!
Even Skyrim had dual wield.
A new game with antique game mechanics
Okay I may be taking in from the toes now but CD Project Red promised the next generation of open world games as recently as in November 19 in the official gameplay trailer, but what we have is a gaming experience that is so half-hearted that several games from the previous, and formerly previous generation outclass it. Red Dead Redemption 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are successful, open worlds that fascinate, engage and entertain.
Next time we see each other there will be a review and if you have read some of my Cyberlogs you will know in which direction it will go.