Is Cyberpunk 2077 anything more than a reskinned GTA? Wired UK says not really

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Of the GOG reviews I’ve seen on the game the most telling ones are those which focus on how the story is fixed. Meaning even if you pick corpo you’ll have to make non-corpo decisions to progress the game and vice versa for the other backgrounds (nomad and street). This all screams the same mistakes that Bethesda has done with their games: a single major plot with little to no variation in endings or side quests/events. That really means I’m not interested in the game. I got Fallout 3 and 4 if I want that kind of playthrough so why fork over 60 bucks to do in some 80s nostalgia version of the future?


The best Cyberpunk-like game experience i had was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The game was rough around the edges but the story was mostly compelling and most of the mechanics were interesting and fun, i never played the last one in the series because it didn’t seem like it added anything new and reviews lambasted it for being an incomplete and short story.

As far as Cyberpunk 2077 goes, i would like to play it eventually but i personally wasn’t expecting the game to do anything i hadn’t seen before. I think most people were under the expectation that it was going to blow them out of the water but i’ve done that song and dance before with games over promising a lot, which is why i usually wait before buying. And yeah i wouldn’t mind playing a GTA-like game set in the future, nothing wrong with that considering most open world games end up playing as such anyway.


If you can endure late 1990s (or was it early 2000s) game design then I would try the OG Deus Ex as well. It has many alternate ways to solve the main plot plus tons of side stories to explore. This is something I wish more developers would do rather than give us the movie-like experience of one main story with little or no variation in the ending.


This all depends on what you mean when you say “reskinned GTA”. It’s an open world RPG where you play morally ambiguous characters who are going to do illegal stuff. If you dig no further than that then it very much feels like it’s a GTA game reskinned.

The style, though, is very different and there’s a lot more depth to the “RPG system” than most computer RPGs. It really does have a feel of a late 80s or early 90s cyberpunk setting and for that it’s to be commended.

There are times where you end up being railroaded into decisions that you feel your character might not make and inevitably the branching narrative of the main plot reconverges at several points because that’s the limits imposed by what can realistically be done in a CRPG.

There’s a wider array of narrative endings than you’d generally expect for most open-world RPGs (7 in total, IIRC) and most of the time I was playing I felt like my character could follow the path they would have chosen (I come from a background of tabletop RPGs so I’m used to infinite choice but I know what I can realistically expect from a CRPG).

But yeah - approach the game like you’re wanting to play another GTA and that’s what you’ll get out of it. Immerse yourself in the rich background and explore the world and there’s a really nice, proper cyberpunk game in there.

Of course, to do that you have to be enjoying it despite the bugs and I know that has been a challenge for a lot of people. Personally, I’ve felt not so burdened with the issues even playing it (as I am) on a standard PS4.


I’d actually say that is a disservice to GTA. I even see CP2077 as an anti GTA. Very bad gamemechanics, extremely unpolished, worldbuilding falls flat, but excellent story. GTA (and Red Dead Redemption for that matter) fall flat when it comes to their story mission design which all feel more like a bad tutorial. Go here. Press . Survive this assault. No no! Not by running away! Mission failed. Online is much better with this and feels indeed more like an RPG.


A games of that vein that i loved was Fallout 2. There were so many different ways to tackle the game, some were really absurd, and actually had an impact on how the game unfolded.


Then you’d like Fallout New Vegas as well. The main event still happens but everything around it you get to change for good and bad.


I’ve played New Vegas and it’s my favorite of all the 3D Fallout games :slight_smile: I’d love for that setting to be revisited some day


I’m playing it and at roughly hour three I said to myself “man I wish Rockstar had made this.”


I suspect that people who pay attention to pre-release product hype are often disappointed - whether it is for video games, movies, or even books. The first time I see a game that looks interesting, I file the name away and try not to learn anything more about it until it’s about to launch.

“Cyberpunk GTA” was exactly what I was looking for. Way back in the day, when I was playing GTA:3 for the first time, I thought that the modern-day setting was okay, but didn’t really gel. A futuristic, cyber-punky setting would be close enough to modern-day to resonate, but as sci-fi, you could exaggerate the inequality and despair and really make it shine. It took a long time, but Cyberpunk 2077 is scratching that itch for me now.

I don’t think it’s fair to call it a GTA reskin, though, unless that’s how you choose to play it. It has the overworld characteristics of GTA, including some of the funky (and to me, nostalgic) vehicle physics of GTA:Vice City. It has stealth and “investigation” sequences that are reminiscent of the Arkham series (though the stealth so far is entirely or mostly optional, a welcome change). The combat physics and dialog system take me back to Mass Effect.

For me, mechanically, 2077 is close to the perfect game. It has the sort of bugs that I’ve run into in all of the above titles as well. Things sink into the ground, or go careening across the room. The camera or character controls occasionally get stuck. I’ll sometimes pick up an item that doesn’t have or show a name and stats. Skill and stat progression are unbalanced. Maybe I’ve been doing the PC gaming thing for too long, but none of this surprises me. CDPR is, as far as I’m aware, primarily a PC game developer. It also doesn’t surprise me that the PC would be the platform the game shines on.

I’m most disappointed in the social problems, because failing that really fails to take advantage of what the setting could be. At least they have a big light shined on them, and hopefully the inevitable expansions and sequels are better in that regard.

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I think the game could’ve certainly benefited from more time. I understand why they released it when they released, but Miyamoto’s quote is very apropos

This game has burned through all the good will the company had gained. Realistically the game needed 6 more months to a year more but i understand that they likely needed to release it in order to get their cash flow for future projects. Sometimes studios really have to make the choice to release an unfinished/unpolished game just to survive and keep making titles (ie: see Bethesda and Fallout 76).


It was pretty good overall. There was a clueless, kinda bland, white washed attempt to mirror then current politics at the core of the story that didn’t help. Typical “its not political” mass media approach to politics. And while I wouldn’t call it short it ended very abruptly. Apparently the idea was that it’d run directly into a sequel.

IIRC it literally ends with the main character falling asleep on a train, very exciting. But I think the intent was the next game would pick up right there.

It was otherwise a more refined, expansive take on Human revolution. You see much more of the world and setting, so there’s a lot more context. A lot of the mechanics are a lot smoother.

It reviewed and sold pretty well too. So I dunno about lambasted. Though it does pretty much tell half a story.

IIRC the clusterfuck around release was down to the tasteless marketing that aped BLM and other Civil Rights movements, followed by the vacant presentation of the same in the final game. An incredibly buggy release on a particular platform (in that case PC).

Which should sound pretty familiar at this point.

And then some pretty fucky pre-order, micro-transaction, and always on-line/social features that actively made the game worse. And I think caused a lot of the most significant bugs.

I played it a couple months out once most of the PC problems had been fixed and some of that “games as platform” shit had been turned off. And I really liked it. It could have been a far more interesting game if they’d had any clue what they were on about with the political and current events topics they were aping.

Squenix cancelled the sequel in the aftermath. Claiming the series wasn’t profitable enough to continue. Which is weird cause it sold pretty well.

That’s probably the main reason it might not be worth playing. If there is a sequel at this point I kinda doubt it’ll give a satisfactory back half to the plot.

It’s a remarkably similar sort of face plant overall. But it sounds like Mankind Divided is a better game behind all the mess.

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I do wish the game was more like Deus Ex and less like GTA. Hell I’d even take being as fully featured as a Saints Row game at this point.

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I’m certainly bummed that the developer bungled the last Deus Ex game because it had a lot going for it. I wanted to play it but the whole controversy over the release was enough to drive me away from it, and i’m somewhat at the same point with Cyberpunk. If i do get Cyberpunk it might be much further down the line, unless someone decided to buy it for me i just don’t see the point in spending money on it right now.

As far as what games i might play next i’ve had my eye on Grounded and also Raft for multiplayer stuff to play with friends, and for single player i really want to get Disco Elysium, Wasteland 3 and Baldur’s Gate 3

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So people bought into the hype and were then disappointed by the end result? Well that never happened before.

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I’ve honestly been burning through a bunch of Assassin’s Creed games cause the situation right now has me incapable of handling anything more complex. So I wasn’t really planning to go anywhere near this till my brains start working again, and generally don’t pick up anything early anyway.

As for Mankind Divided. Even when I played it, which was things are fixed, noise died down. It was already clear they were moving away from the series, and IIRC the announcement that the sequel was cancelled came not long after I finished it. So on top of all the mess there’s been a pall of “you’re never gonna get the end of this story” hanging over it. Even as much as I enjoyed it, flaws criticism and all. It seems a little pointless. It’s a good game and worth playing, but it’s hard to tell people they should.

Apparently there’s a new one in the works. But I doubt it’ll really follow on the last one.

Big devs and publishers keep stepping in this particular pile, and I think worse is they usually have the same response. Back as far off that last game as possible on the next outing. Don’t try to learn anything, or fix anything. Just drop it and start over on the path that got you here.

It’s similar to another tech axiom: nobody remembers when you ship something late, but everybody remembers when you ship something bad.

I’m sure much of the buggy elements of CP2077 can be patched out, but everybody will remember the rushed and disastrous launch. Games like No Man’s Sky and Fallout 76 are still talked about for their terrible launches, even though they have improved massively since then.

ETA and god help you if you ship something that’s late and bad. See: Duke Nukem Forever.

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Oh god I wish the 25 years of console game producers that I worked under ever got that. Granted the deadline was a lot bigger deal in the physical media days, because you only got one shot to ship a perfect product, and sales depended heavily on Christmas. That said, the rational response would be to de-scope the game. Instead, they always opted for punishing working conditions and shipping bugs instead. I worked on several games that shipped unplayable bad on physical DVDs, and that’s heartbreaking after pouring your heart into something for 3-5 years.

I think every industry has some version of this expression, but we used to talk about the Software Triangle- Fast, Cheap, or Good. You may pick any two of those corners.


it’s mainly a cost thing at this point. used to be you could build multiple dynamic endings with small amounts of sprites and painted backgrounds. now you have to pay keanu reeves, and a fleet of movie quality artists for each ending.

[ though, at seven years development time for cp77… there’s some budget optimization out there for sure ]