It’s been more than half a year since the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and people, at least in my personal online bubble, seem to be oddly quiet about it. Things were completely different in December with a literal storm of rage and disappointment which led to a huge blow to CDP Red’s reputation and market value. Most points of criticism were the same: the game being plagued by bugs and glitches, its abysmal performance on older generation consoles, the ridiculously bad AI behind the pedestrian and police behaviour, and so on. Some things have already been dealt with via several patches, but a lot remains to be improved, and we still haven’t even seen a glimpse of the promised DLC content.
In this post, I’m making an attempt to take a bit different angle and provide a very personal criticism of the game. A tongue-in-cheek approach, but not entirely.
Let me feed my cat
There’s that one small sidequest involving getting V their own pet in a city where most animals were annihilated due to an epidemic. The key item necessary to do it is cat food which you can use to lure the little furball. Now, it’s a rare item with only one guaranteed spawn location, but from time to time you can loot it from enemy corpses. Play long enough and your pockets will be filled with cat food, the problem is that there’s no way to feed your little friend. Immersion lost, heart broken.
Let me feed myself
Some people seem to think that food in Night City looks disgusting and Takemura insists that all local cuisine is simply heavily spiced crap, but I respectfully disagree. Most of the stuff looks tasty to me and I feel simply furious that my character can’t even touch it. Sure, you can buy some snacks here and there, but they’re just regular health items and there’s no eating animation at all. The only occasions when you actually see V stuffing themselves are rare fixed points in certain quests. I’ve always believed that eating and drinking is very important for immersion in cRPG games, so please, let me sit at the counter and get that sweet bowl of ramen into my augmented hands every time I want.
Let me sleep
This is Night City, not San Andreas, so buying a new apartment is out of question now matter how much you abuse that glitch with a space painting giving you infinite cash. Yes, you can get an access to a few new places to lay your head, but it requires finishing certain character quests and that may take lots of your time. Thanks to being a real challenge, it feels like a real achievement and can even be a bit heartwarming, after all, someone letting you feel yourself at home when youre in their home means they really trust you. Here comes the disappointment: the bunk in your new hideout is absolutely unclickable! Sure, you can you the Skip Time button, but it’s not the same as actually seeing V spread themselves across the bed.
Let me find a proper machine gun
This is one of my favourite power fantasies in this game: sneaking into the enemy territory, hacking a turret, ripping the big freakin’ gun like you were B.J. Blaskowitz himself and finally mowing down the gangoons around. What’s even better, you can then throw it into your car’s trunk and use it in another location. Sadly, there are several problems with this lovely piece of junk. To put it simply, it’s broken. I actually like that you can’t hide it in your pockets, it makes me feel like my V is holding a real huge MG in their hands, but you can’t reload when you run out of ammo and there’s no way to improve its stats, so its use is limited. Please, der CDP Red, I just want to have some mindless fun, Wolfenstein-style.
Bonus points if you could mount the MG on your car. Why only let Pam have all the machine gun fun?
Let me drive the biggest truck
‘Wheels on the truck go round and round,’ too bad that you can only watch. I understand why the game lets you drive a hover tank or a cool rusty train only once or twice, it’s supposed to feel special, but come on, where are the keys to the almighty Kavkaz? Russian trucks are my weak spot, they were a part of my childhood’s landscape, and this one looks really gorgeous. A real beast from the East, it even has the cool bear logo, but nobody has the keys! The closest think you get is are smaller versions of the vehicle, but everyone knows that the larger your truck, the cooler it is. Just imagine driving this behemoth through barricades or even the fortified southern border. And even having some almost-postapo missions where you could be a truck driver in a convoy cruising through the desert. Another lost chance.
That would be everything on my list. Like I said before, my approach to criticism wasn’t entirely serious, but I really wanted to point out that small things matter too. The criticism about bugs, mechanics, gameplay and inventory is all viable, but Cyberpunk ’77 was supposed to be a true masterpiece and it’s all those little touches and tiny details which make masterpieces so memorable — if you don’t believe me, play Red Dead Redemption 2. Fortunately, it really seems that the CDP Red crew hasn’t given up yet and new fixes are released more or less regularly, so it may turn out that this little wishlist won’t be necessary in the future. There is still hope for Night City.
First published on my PeakD blog. All pics taken by yours truly.