If you ever played The Witcher you probably remember that the main storyline is pretty long there. And it seems CDPR heard the criticism. To complete Cyberpunk 2077 you just need around three free evenings (about 20-25 hours). However, therein lies the key feature of the game – if you do so, you will miss about 85% of the content developers made for you.
CD Projekt RED has made the story very branching. Several times throughout the playthrough you will have to make choices that will somehow affect the story and ending before the final credits. However, when one story door opens, about ten others will close forever. So, the ideal is not just to go through the story, but to do it several times, for different characters with different backstories.
And therein lies the beauty of Cyberpunk – it will give you as many experiences as you want. If you want a cool plot, elaborate dialogues, and an epic finale – you won’t need to sit for weeks. And if you want to try to play the storyline again, but with different paths – you will stay in Night City for a long time. And I assure you, you’re not allowed to just run through the main storyline, ignoring the side quests. You’re missing out on everything you loved about the game while watching the trailers: interesting characters, chicly staged quests, inventive challenges, and just tons of references and humor.
Lots to do, you say?
Yes, but only if you have plenty of patience and desire. The open-world is crammed with question marks and colorful icons that are supposed to be full of adventure. But at best, it’s about a third of that, and the rest is just optional gangster squabbles, graffiti scans, and the like. At some point, you might get bored, and that’s fine – it’s better to keep moving through the story or close the game altogether so you can come back with renewed energy… to take down the bandits.
However, I can’t help but say that over time you get used to it and even make compromises. You may ignore one side-quest icon or another to move forward. However, if you need money or want to try out a new gun, you always know the best place to do it 😊. Any open-world project is like game in pokies – you may be lucky to play it for a long time or you may be bored in few minutes.
In general, Cyberpunk 2077 copes with the giantism effect perfectly. If you open the mini-map after a short trip through the areas, you can go nuts from the number of different markers, and the phone every 30 seconds bursting with offers to “work” or eliminate someone.
Character builds variations
On my first walkthrough, I’ve praised the character development system – it’s great! However, in my second game, I’ve revealed another important problem of Cyberpunk 2077 – the balance of the abilities in different builds. Some ability branches are significantly more useful than others, and it does not matter what role you play: a quick netrunner with a fear of light, or a huge tank-like guy with a shotgun and a Mohawk.
Either way, it’s worth pumping up attributes that increase V’s survivability and improve his hacking abilities. Otherwise, you may have difficulty completing certain quests or getting into the right parts of the levels. Everything else you can take only partially, if you like the icon or want to test something – you may do it.
Plus, if you do not pump tech-branch, you cannot get to craft high-quality weapons. Because of this, not only the crafting system itself will be lost, but also the vital function of weapons pumping. If you do not have the top-end gear, and you happily threw all available points into (for example) bonus damage from pistols, then at higher ranks you will have serious problems. Since pistols not so useful in mid-game.
The stealth branch, on the other hand, is the most useless of all. It simply has no useful skills, and it doesn’t buff your ability to silently eliminate your enemies. Stealth is fine on its own, and with the right skill, you just don’t need any of the abilities that you unlock in this branch.
There’s a similar problem with augmentations. Since augmentations in the form of knives from the hands or built-in rockets are useless in combat. Yes, they look incredibly beautiful and stylish, their use pleases the eye, but everything else is complete garbage. As for my taste, the most useful were the health and blast protection upgrades, as well as the augmented legs that allow you to do a double jump.
The interface in Cyberpunk 2077 is a pain
First of all, it needs to be changed, urgently. It’s not just awkwardly made, it feels unfinished. And this manifests itself in almost everything: in weapon selection, in inventory, in pumping, during battles, and so on. The weapon selection wheel is a joke. It’s not even a wheel, it’s some weird geometric figure that makes it virtually impossible to choose the weapon you want to use.
And if you want to throw several different grenades (for example, against a different squad of opponents), the developers simply didn’t provide the button for a quick change of the gadget. And your idea will turn into a sequence of actions “threw a grenade” – “opened the menu” – “chose another” – “closed the menu”. This is a gameplay design flaw, and there are no excuses for that!
Separately, I would like to say about the management of transport. Cars behave awfully. When you sit behind the wheel, then you feel yourself not in the car of the future, but in some uncontrollable wreck, which behaves like crap even on a straight road. As if your car is driving on icy roads.
Is Cyberpunk 2077 a bad game? – No, it’s great! We were just trapped by our fantasies and desires, and as a result, we ended up with something completely different than we expected. Cyberpunk is a monumental, lovingly crafted game that suffers from many minor ills. But you just don’t notice them (especially after the recently released 1.2 patch). Not because you don’t want to, it’s because the greatness of the game itself outweighs all the flaws thousandfold. That’s why Cyberpunk 2077 is worth playing.