I still see many a content created about CP2077 on YT and discussions on social media, which is not a bad thing, but when they talk about "build diversity" and "stuff to do" in-game, I think it's very much lacking. Especially from CDPR, I'd have anticipated and expected something way better, despite me myself not being a CDPR fan.
After like 60-70 hrs of CP2077, here are the things I've noticed (I'm not going to mention the bugs, as they are technical issues; I'm only going to talk about the issues design-wise!). Also, please keep in mind that I wasn't on the hype train for this game, I was just plain curious and tried it out just for the sake of it, so I have had no strong emotions about it at all, unlike a lot of my fellow gamers out there, so I tried to be as objective as I can with these criticisms.
– Activities are very repetitive, even worse than in any Bethesda-game, it's on Far Cry level. There is literally only 2 types of side content: side missions where you have to kill with story (yellow) or ones where you have to kill without story (NCPD missions). About the laziest and blandest "quest" design I've ever seen. A big drop in quality from those who made the Witcher-series and claim to be inspired by the Gothic-series (of which the first 2 I still hold one of the best, even today). Note that I'm not talking about companion/character side missions (the gist is the same, but the story is superb at the very least there, but the random question mark missions scattered throughout the map).
– The "RPG" system, or "character building" resembles a MMO more than an actal RPG with its very smallincremental bonuses (like +5-10% or even less) to stats, with no game-changing perks at all, not even mid-to-late-game. You basically do the same thing on lvl 50 that you did on lvl1, just with bigger numbers. For a game this size, it's unacceptable, if you accept people to spend upwards of 100 hours on it. This is literally meaningless and has no sense of real progression, it is only there to pat out the game's length and offers no real reward for reaching, nor does it alter any kind of playstyle.
– This one ties in to the previous one, but almost all skills are passive bonuses, rendering character and player progression even more slow and meaningless, changing no real thing in the build.
– The world is huge and one of the most beautiful to date (challenged maybe only by that of Red Dead Redemption 2), but as shallow as it gets. You cannot interact with the world. No barbers, no hairdressers, no XXX bars, nothing that would make it feel "real", you cannot interact with anything. You cannot go, let's say, on a shooting range (except for one quest), you cannot alter your appearance, which IS one of the core themes in CP, you cannot sit on benches/chairs, cannot sit in a bar, cannot customize your cars. Despite having a garage, you cannot return stolen cars there and call it yours, you can only buy some and even then, cannot customize them. Looking around, doing parkour, etc. rarely nets any reward, and is thus, passively discouraged.
– Tying into this, there is NO emergent gameplay, basically no AI for the people walking around and not even for the CARS. This is unacceptable, and I don't care how people say taht it would be very tasking on the hardware. Make it be very heavy on the rig, then, but implement it! It's 2021, people are not confined to having only 4 or 8 GBs of RAM or VRAM at the best. Also, the world reacts nothing to the player's actions at all, only maybe the police shwing up if you kill a civilian.
– Again, continuing this problem, as there is NO car AI in the game, the police won't give chase if you get into a car and you can get away from them in like 10 seconds. then why implement a police system at all? God's sake, even NFS Most Wanted have done it better!
– Cops just spawning literally right behind you and one-shotting or two-shotting you is the laziest mechanic ever. It not only discourages you from playing a "bad" character – which you can', by the way), but it literally teaches you NOT to use one of the game's features, which was – not to forget! – implemented with time and money spent on it. So CDPR literally spent time and money on a system you won't be interacting with at all. Nicely done. Clap-clap.
– The crafting system and, for that matter, the entire crafting skill tree is broken and useless, except maybe improving iconic weapons. No perks offer anything of value from ther, only – again – small, incremental bonuses to crafted weapon/armor DMG/defense, which is meaningless, as the game showers you with loot. Add to this the fact that in order to craft legendary weapons or upgrade iconic ones, you need to have maxed the skilll out, and it's really not worth it (considering that you have to invest heavily into Technical if you want to max it out).
– The shooting and melee both feel mediocre at best (tried them both extensively). It is a click fight, nothing more with melee, and with ranged, it's the blandest, most mediocre shooter I can think of. Again, not BAD, but considering the marketing and hype of this game and the capabilites of CDPR, it's not something one should accept. Returning to the earier AI criticism, the in-fight Ai is braindead as well, COD-level braindead.
– The driving, too, feels off, it feels like it was implemented only for the sake of it being there. I'm not expecting, of ycourse, simulator-level car handling, but they feel to be both under- and over-steering at the same time, as one reviewer put it. Both on motorcycles ad on cars.
-As another reviewer has pointed out, there are NO people riding a motorbike at all in the world. Like??????????
– Chioces are very limited and offer almost always the same outcome, regardless of what you chose. This is not what one would expect from those who have brought us TW3.
These were just snippets that I've managed to collect throughout my time in Night City, and I doubdt I'll continue further. These things are those which no one talks about, because everyone is so preoccupied (somewhat rightfully) with the technical problems of the game that no one notices its core flaws and how mediocre it feels and is, even behind those technical issues. NOTE that I love the story and I think that except some parts, the storytelling and writing is top-notch, just as one would expect from CDPR, but come on. The game itself is mediocre at best.
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