Most NPCs will be normal goons while “elite” foes will take a “little bit more punishment.”
Cyberpunk 2077 continues to look better and better with each subsequent gameplay reveal. The latest Night City Wire showcased the different Life Paths that players can take along with the weapons at their disposal. However, since this is technically a role-playing game and first person shooter, how is the development team combating possible “bullet sponge” foes?
Senior gameplay designer Pawel Kapala discussed this with VG247 in a new interview and noted that, “In the core of the game, if we’re talking about the normal NPCs that you meet on the street, they can have different rarities to them, I would say. Most of the NPCs that you will meet are normal, just goons. And if you’re continuing to level up, and if you’re on the level of the enemy, you should never experience bullet sponginess. They will feel quite fast to kill, quite fast to engage. However, they’re quite deadly as well, so you need to basically use cover, and move around a lot.”
Then there are “elite” enemies, who may be officers or other higher-ranking goons. They’ll take a bit more damage to go down. “Some of the NPCs would be, like at officer level, so they’re more elite enemies that deal even more damage, and they take a little bit more punishment. However, what we opted to do there is that, we basically ensure that hit reactions on our NPCs are always played.
“This is a big problem in most of the games that I played that have bullet sponges; that basically you don’t see any type of reaction on the NPC, as you’re hitting him. It feels like you’re literally shooting a sponge, like there’s nothing there. And we never want to have that. So, we will still play hit reactions on those NPCs. You will still see that they’re getting hurt. They will stumble, they will fall from your gunfire.”
It’s an interesting approach and one that solves issues that plagued games like The Division for years. If enemies react to damage, then it actually feels like your actions are having an impact even if they take a bit longer to kill. We’ll have to see how this plays out during actual gameplay but it sounds promising. Of course, how this will affect non-human foes – like machines, for example – remains to be seen.
Cyberpunk 2077 is slated to release on November 19th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.