Cyberpunk 2077 may not be exactly what you expected and definitely not as perfect as it was advertised, but that doesn’t make it a bad game. Probably the main reason why it has generated so much fuss is that the company has raised a lot of expectations.
Compared to the older games, Cyberpunk 2077 is just a masterpiece. At the same time, there are numerous fans who still play Mario Karts or The Legend of Zelda. If you want to remember this old-school vibe, visit Roms Planet and download any games you wish.
The expectations about the game were raised both by direct promises from the developers and by laudatory articles in the press and simply by the fantasies of the players, but somehow they appeared. If we put them together, then we get a dream game with:
- Deep and diverse plot;
- Realistic challenges and tough moral choices;
- Cinematic first-person staging similar to Call of Duty;
- The level of immersion and variety of game mechanics;
- Stealth, at least on the level of the Deus Ex prequel dilogy;
- Huge open world and car rides, just like in GTA;
- Dishonored-style vertical gameplay, but on a big-city scale;
- The most beautiful city of the future in video games.
But, of course, first of all, the gaming press and the gaming audience saw CD Projekt Red “The Witcher” with guns in the new game. At the same time, the game has been selling quite well and during the first 10 days, 13 million copies were purchased.
Cyberpunk 2077 and Inflated Expectations
Now let’s see what really happened with the Polish studio. Let’s start with its previous project.
When comparing Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3, you need to keep in mind their fundamental differences. Perspective: first-person view – third-person view. Setting: fantasy – fantastic. The core of the gameplay: slasher combat system – elements of an immersive sim.
Not many gamers are neutral about all of these characteristics. The preferences of the players can strongly influence their judgments about the game, even when they feel they are capable of an objective assessment. It is possible to suppose that many are deliberately (in one direction or another) prejudiced against Cyberpunk 2077 due to a change in concept, compared to Witcher 3. There is nothing wrong with that: everyone has different tastes. But when evaluating a game, it is helpful to adjust for personal bias.
The design of locations in Cyberpunk 2077 provides for different paths to the goal and many options for interacting with the environment, even if we take the location of the side quests.
Reasons of Failing
Many players and critics compare the game with GTA. Polish developers failed to create a viable GTA clone if such a task was set by them. But does it make sense to require from any game with an urban open world the same elaboration of activities as in GTA? The absence of at least some unscripted classes did not prevent, for example, L.A.Noire from gaining critical acclaim.
Separately, aspects of Cyberpunk 2077’s gameplay (shooting, stealth, hacking, driving, crafting, open-world activities) fall short of the best examples of the genre. But the gameplay is not the arithmetic mean of its various aspects.
The key advantages of the immersive sim genre were and remain the variability of the gameplay: the player chooses the style of play that suits them, and with this, Cyberpunk 2077 is doing well. And on top of that, CDPR games have always been distinguished by meticulous scripting and character development – and Cyberpunk 2077 has that, too.
Cyberpunk 2077 came out very imperfect, but it’s still a big step forward for CD Projekt Red and a small, maybe very small, but still a step forward for the gaming industry.