After years of fervent anticipation, millions around the world have finally jacked into Night City, and as you’d expect, there’s a lot to love in CD Projekt RED’s ambitious open world RPG. No game is ever perfect though, and Cyberpunk 2077 certainly has its fair share of flaws as well- some minor, others… not so much. In this feature, we’ll be talking about the ten issues with Cyberpunk 2077 that players have brought up most often since its recent launch.
And we’re going to begin with the most obvious one-
BASE PS4/XBOX ONE VERSIONS
Cyberpunk 2077 is an incredibly ambitious game, and if you play it on the right hardware, it can be a visual beast. But that ambition has come with some tradeoffs, and significant ones at that. On the base PS4 and Xbox One, the game’s performance has been shockingly bad in its early days. From pedestrian and traffic density being extremely low to textures often taking dozens of seconds to load to frame rate being choppy and slow to sudden crashes that keep booting people out of the game, Cyberpunk 2077 has come in hot on the base consoles- and there are still many other technical issues that we haven’t even mentioned. We can take some solace in the fact that The Witcher 3 also had quite a few technical problems at launch (if not quite to this extent), and CD Projekt RED managed to fix that game very effectively. Here’s hoping they’ll do the same with Cyberpunk.
Melee combat is so often something that first person RPGs struggle with, especially ones that rely on guns and shooting as their primary means of combat. Cyberpunk 2077 has this issue as well. To be fair, melee combat here isn’t terrible. Weapons like katanas and the mantis blades feel great to use, for instance- but when you’re restricted to using only your fists, things become a bit trickier. Combat ends up feeling sluggish when you’re throwing punches, and looses a lot of the impact that gunplay in Cyberpunk 2077 benefits from.
Again, this is an issue that we see quite often in games that try and toe the line between RPGs and shooters, so it’s not a surprise that Cyberpunk 2077 has a few too many bullet sponges. The “why” of it makes perfect sense, of course- this is an RPG, so your effectiveness in combat is primarily governed by your stats, your gear, your progression. Even so, pumping a dozen headshots into an enemy’s head, only to see them shrug it off and duck behind cover can feel a bit incongruous, and at times, frustrating.
CLUTTERED LOOT SYSTEM
Cyberpunk 2077 has a pretty major loot game embedded into its core, and this is another area where several players have pointed out issues. The game throws new gear and weapons and items at players on a near-constant basis, which means you end up constantly swapping out your gear and equipment, essentially to watch the numbers (specifically, your armour rating and DPS) go up. Why is that the case? Because other than some rare exceptions, the perks and unique benefits that gear comes with more often than not ends up being too granular, and as such, meaningless. The end result is the game constantly giving you new loot, but not giving you nearly enough incentive to care about much of it other than whether or not it has a higher base stat.
NIGHT CITY ISN’T VERY EMERGENT
Exploring the futuristic streets of Night City and diving into every seedy nook and cranny of this crime-infested metropolis has been one of Cyberpunk 2077’s most exciting prospects for as long as we’ve known about the game. In many ways, it lives up to that promise- Night City looks great, and thanks to typically excellent world-building, serves as an excellent backdrop to the game’s story. But for those of you who were hoping for a systemic environment that would make way for emergent gameplay- well, prepare for disappointment. Like The Witcher 3’s world, Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City is not a sandbox- it is a carefully constructed world that has been packed full of activities prescribed by CDPR. And those activities are excellent (most of them, at least), so there’s no deficiencies on that front. But this is certainly not a world that will let you make your own fun by dynamically reacting to your actions.
Night City is an extremely crowded city, and quite a few of its denizens occupy interesting roles in Cyberpunk 2077, from characters that hand out side quests to enemies just itching to become hostile, from vendors and fixers to cops and gang members. But many players have talked about how the vast majority of NPCs in Night City end up serving no purpose other than just standing and milling about to make environments look packed and busy (and if you’re playing on a base PS4 or Xbox One, even that might not happen as often as it should). Even when you can interact with these NPCs, you get little more than a single line of dialogue in response.
DISAPPOINTING POLICE AI
Over the last couple of years, too often have we seen people talking about how they want Cyberpunk 2077 to be a futuristic take on GTA’s open world carnage. And there’s plenty of chaos to sow in the open world, of that there is no doubt- but having law enforcement try and chase you down and put a stop to your actions is an important part of that loop, and it’s a part that Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t implement very well. Even if you do get seen committing crimes by cops or law enforcement, unless you’ve done something incredibly grievous, more often than not they will give chase for a couple of blocks, after which they won’t bother looking for you for too long and give up all too easily.
TOO MANY PHONE CALLS AND TEXTS
V’s phone is an important tool in Cyberpunk 2077, in that it serves as a nexus for many quests or side activities. But it goes a little overboard with how frequently you receive calls and messages. You’re often contacted by characters with details during missions and side missions, entering or re-entering areas of the city often results in you being contacted by characters with side jobs and gigs, fixers keep shooting texts your way to tell you abut vehicles that are available to purchase- the list goes on.
RELATIVELY SHORTER MAIN CAMPAIGN
Cyberpunk 2077’s main campaign is significantly shorter than The Witcher 3, with its critical path clocking in at roughly 20-25 hours as opposed to the latter’s 50 hours- and that short length has been criticized by several critics and players. There are a couple of caveats to note here, of course. For starters, a 25-hour long game isn’t exactly a “short” game. On top of that, ignoring side quests to beeline the main story feels like a very reductive way to play a game like Cyberpunk 2077, given how crucial and excellent these side quests can be, and how much meatier they can make a playthrough. But, of course, not everyone likes to do every single optional activity, and if you were hoping that Cyberpunk 2077 would be the kind of game that could keep you occupied for 40-50 hours with just its main story, you will be disappointed.
Cyberpunk 2077 has a rather extensive character creation and customization system, but… well, you can probably tell where we’re headed with this. It’s something that’s been brought up countless time over the last couple of years. This is a first person game, and one where you don’t get to see V’s face or clothes too often- so what’s even the point of having all these intricate details that you can customize, like the length of your nails or what kind of teeth you have, if you’re never going to be able to see any of that stuff?