The role-playing game that never was
Write an analysis of Cyberpunk 2077 At this point in the game it seems like a wasted effort. Since the release of the title, CD Projeckt has been in the crosshairs of media and gamers alike because of uncontrolled expectations that emerged from the studio itself through teasers and development diaries. In this post we will try to analyze the main characteristics of one of the most controversial titles of the last few years.
The project of CD Projeckt was born with the intention of adapting the role-playing game Cyberpunk created by Pondsmith in the late eighties. This one tried to create a playable environment based on the novels Blade runner Y Hardware, although the final product was closer to Neuromancer by William Gibson, considered the model work of the cyberpunk subgenre.
Despite sharing very representative elements with dystopian science fiction, aesthetics is the essence of Cyberpunk, not science. For this reason, in Pondsmith's game, the plot and the game system are at the service of an aesthetic represented both in Night City and in the characters that inhabit it. Amid neon lights, slums, colossal buildings, excessive technology, cybernetic implants, drugs and sex, criminal factions and large corporations clash in a continuous power struggle as the mob simply tries to survive in an oppressive web of influence. Cyberpunk sample the more decadent and dirty side of the near future that is confused with our present.
The CD Projeckt video game has been able to translate that essence on our screens thanks to a outstanding graphic design and true to the city that many role players envisioned at their gaming tables. The Night City that we go through manages to be overwhelmed by the multitude of elements it presents, from crowded streets with pedestrians to the unpredictable air traffic. We will visit locations that ooze style and meet charismatic and interesting characters.
In Cyberpunk 2077 We control V, an outlaw mercenary in search of an implant that is the key to immortality. Even though our role in the adventure is determined by the plot, we are allowed to modify both the appearance of V and its attributes. These simulate the creation of the character sheet and include constitution, intelligence, reflexes, technical ability and mettle. Each of these attributes is tied to different skill sets; for example, by increasing the Reflex attribute we can spend experience points to acquire skills from the Pistols, Assault or Edged Weapons set.
Attributes and abilities They provide various bonuses according to our preferred play style and, in a way, allow us to emulate the roles of the game of paper and pencil.
However, as its development progressed, Cyberpunk 2077 moved away from the traditional mechanics of role-playing games, changing its label to action game in an open world. This deviation from the original concept, which seems trivial, marks the beginning of the debacle.
In the traditional role-playing games our abilities are determined by the characteristics of the character we play. Our prowess with the command does not influence the abilities of the character we control, as they are limited by a series of probabilities of success according to their attributes. Therefore, the strategy to face the obstacles is more important than our reflexes.
Cyberpunk 2077 chose not to bind the player to an archetype allowing develop the character fluently and we are rewarded with skill points for repeatedly using the action to which it is related. In other words, if we choose to fight with rifles, we will gain experience by using them.
For this reason, he dispenses with the board game classes, leaving only to choose between three backgrounds based on these, Corpo, Nómada and Buscavidas. These do not have a greater impact on the game mechanics than adding certain dialogue options, although they contribute to the tracing of our character's personality.
Although V evolves through a series of skills linked to the attributes that allow us to emulate the classes of the board game, the problem lies in the implementation of these and the little impact they have on both the narrative and the game environment.
In Cyberpunk 2077, premium action on the restrictions of a role or strategy, so that we can perform any action, even if our character has no skill in the matter. Improving certain attributes will make it easier to successfully solve certain missions, but they do not limit. If in traditional role-playing games to combat melee we need to meet certain requirements, in this Cyberpunk our command expertise influences more than the character's attributes.
This aspect that we have just discussed is one of the main reasons for the change of the label role playing game for that of action in an open world. The first sensation it causes Cyberpunk 2077 is to meet a shooter with role elements style of Borderlands.
On paper, we can face the encounters in different ways, shootings, knives, stealth, or hacking terminals or enemies as if we were performing spells, however the numerous weapons that we find during the game are focused on distance combat.
Weapons range from simple weapons such as knives to smart weapons with remote-controlled ammunition. To make use of certain weapons to their full potential we will need cybernetic implants. For example, we can see the trajectory of the bullets or make them bounce or go through walls depending on the weapons and implants that we acquire.
The possibility of modifying both the body and the mind and their capacities through cybernetic implants is the most recognizable aspect of the genre cyberpunk. These modifications that raise philosophical debates about existence and humanity can be made in Cyberpunk 2077 like the one who changes shoes. Among others, we can implant arms that give the strength of a gorilla, reinforced tendons or operating systems that allow us to enter the network to hack the implants of the enemies.
However, these operations, which should suppose a possibility of loss of humanity or sanity, are implemented as a simple change of outfit, without our decisions having a greater impact than modifying our style of play, our skills and combat bonuses. Although, as we have commented at the beginning, aesthetics is the essence of Cyberpunk, the various surgical interventions to which we undergo to chipearnos they would at least have to influence the perception that other characters have of V.
It is in this aspect, how our decisions affect the development and the narrative, we also appreciate the change of direction in the design of the game system and its impact on the final product. For example, working for opposing factions has no repercussion, not meeting certain objectives for some clients is nothing more than a reprimand, we can steal with impunity and the system of crimes and persecution seems like a joke.
Although we are free to accept jobs or develop our own style of play, the environment and characters do not react significantly to our actions. Consequently, implants, dialogues, factions and other options that should affect and mark, to some extent, the future of our adventure as V, become simple props.
All these half-cooked ingredients that we have just mentioned have been integrated into the jAction game in an open world with role elements that is Cyberpunk 2077. You have to recognize the ambition of the study in its initial purpose, but the combination of these elements has created a defective product.
We are not going to enumerate, again, the errors of all kinds that the game presents, but we must highlight the atrocious artificial intelligence that our adversaries show off. These are not able to conveniently use all the weapons, implants and combat options available in the game resulting in really funny, and frustrating situations.
Despite all the negatives, the title hooks thanks to the sheer number of missions available. Divided between main and secondary courses, the missions are very elaborate and present a wide variety of objectives related to both the personality of Night City and the cyberpunk spirit. The outstanding dubbing and the amount of documentation that we find in external memories give these missions a remarkable depth, setting and interest.
We have waited months since the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 to write this review in the hope that a series of patches would fix the most notable bugs. As of this entry, the game continues to show multiple errors that prevent you from enjoying a correct gaming experience.
If over time the bugyes, Cyberpunk 2077 would be an excellent action game, with a good narrative, spectacular graphics and multiple options to customize the style of play, but as a role-playing video game for the new generation it would be just as disappointing. For these reasons and according to the expectations and tolerance for mistakes of each player, Cyberpunk 2077 it will always provoke conflicting opinions.