In two ways, getting across the city can be achieved. Just walking around is one of them. Early on in the game, you get a car for free and you get even more free cars if you do more side quests. You will also purchase cars in addition to those; you can get deals to buy them in your mailbox, and sometimes you will also see a nice car parked by the side of the road that you can lease. Or you can either rent a car from someone else and drive off in it. Cars that you own will at any time be summoned to your place.
Although I love driving around in open-world play, the driving dynamics leave a lot to be desired in Cyberpunk 2077. Vehicle dynamics, especially on motorcycles, can be comically weak. When your bike scarcely flinches, you may have a head-on collision with a vehicle and bring the car into lower orbit, but a two-inch sidewalk could send you all the way to your destination.
The navigation system, and particularly the mini-map, are by far the worst. The mini-map shows the road to your destination, but it’s so zoomed in all the way that once you are far past it, you won’t see a turn coming while driving.Before any left, you either have to stop or just drive around very slowly to not miss the turn and have to come back or re-route. It’s a weirdly confusing device that has seemed to get right in every other driving game.
Both the vehicles in this game appear to have an internal combustion engine, which seems super strange for a game set in 2077, since we are still on the topic of cars. All of them have radios, too, which is so hilarious.
Using rapid movement points is the other way you can get around the game. These are everywhere in the game, and generally only outside key places, so in order to unlock them, you need to visit the location once. When unlocked, you can teleport to another place automatically,
Conversation or dialog tree architecture is the last piece of the gaming puzzle. You interact with characters and are provided with choices for your dialogs, as with most RPGs. The dialog solutions are mostly just numerous items that you would like to read. Mostly, they are a particular topic that could take the discussion in a specific direction. It’s also a comment of distinct sentiments, such as love, hope, or antagonism.
Based on your decisions, the characters will answer, which provides more options. Usually, the decisions you make can lead to the same simple result, but it can change the course of the story at times. Any of them, such as deciding how the story ends, have heavier effects. The game doesn’t discriminate between these, but in that case, you just have to trust your instincts and choose what seems like the better choice.
There would normally be a touch of remorse, of course, which is potentially where the saving system steps in. You can manually save any time other than outside of active combat with Cyberpunk 2077. Of its own, it can often autosave quite regularly.
However, although the manual save slots appear to be unlimited, there are small slots for the autosaves and new ones are overwritten when they come in, so you do not rely on them and save them manually anytime you think it is necessary. Also, the game is super buggy right now, as I’ll explain later, so the more saving points you have, the better.
It is partially influenced by the lifecycle you pick, going back to the conversations. In addition to modifying the first task in the game, the only other influence your lifecycle has is to incorporate some more specific context-based conversation choices.For starters, if you chose Nomad as your lifepath, then every now and then you will get some conversation choices unique to the Nomadic lifepath, which will not be accessible if you were a Corpo or Street Child. This typically may not influence the outcome of the discussion much other than giving you any extra details from what I can hear, which may or may not be beneficial.
What has a larger influence on the interactions and the gaming as a whole is the skill tree of the player. You have characteristics like body, reflexes, technological abilities, intellect, and coolness. – of these attributes can be updated as a whole, but you can also independently dig down into each of these to find additional advantages for updating within each. The characteristics and advantages have their own distinct points, and can be used to update them.
I found that updating the attributes as a whole was more successful than the individual benefits. You get more conversation choices to choose from if you have qualities above a certain amount, which may lead to more details about the mission. You can also do things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do with a lower ability mark, including hacking objects. If you come across a locked gate but have ample level of body attribute, you can only opt to tear the gate through its hinges cleanly. Or if it’s a closed electronic door, then an attribute of high enough technological competence would let you crack it open.
You need to do missions to get these points or even the money to purchase cyber implants or cars. The Cyberpunk 2077 missions are categorized into three types: plot missions that carry the story along specifically, side missions that may or may not have an effect on the main story, and gigs that are solely cash work.
While the story objectives are definitely the final focus, it is the side missions that give some of the game’s most satisfying moments. It’s where you’ll meet new friends in the story missions or begin journeys with people you’ve met. The game lets you have smaller plot arcs through the side quests with several different characters in the game. At a certain point, these storylines and the characters in them will also have a major effect on the main plot, even affecting the conclusion.
The side quests are also where you can find the choices in the game that are romantic. You may have romance with at least one of the characters in the side missions based on your preferred appearance and voice (yes, both are important). This is almost the only effect that the presence of the player has on gameplay. The remainder is only for aesthetics, which in a first-person shooter matters even less.
Based on where you are in the main plot, the story-based side missions in the game will occur as a phone call or letter from key characters in the game. The random side missions typically pop up depending on the position on the map. As these are typically situated near your place, the game may have characters calling you with a work offer depending on your current location. More work opportunities will surface in your journal and on the map as you drive around. The game doesn’t really distinguish between these in terms of significance or relation to the plot so unless you are a completionist, you might potentially lose out on any fun missions merely because their simple explanation didn’t sound good.
Braindance was one part of the gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 that felt under-explored. Braindance (or BD) is someone’s first-person experiences transmitted to a chip that you can then playback as if you are seeing it for yourself in your mind and memory. An intriguing premise and one that has been discussed in science fiction before, but it is used only sparingly by Cyberpunk 2077. The only way you get a BD is because, on a story task, you have to evaluate it. In the first or third person, you will play it back and then have to search it for hints, which can take you to wherever it is you are looking for.
You can’t use the BD yourself outside of those invented situations. There are areas in the game where you can buy BDs, but they are added to your trash pile immediately. That’s because, outside of the chosen few in the story quests, there is no way to access or play a BD on your own. It’s a shame because the game celebrates BDs as this groundbreaking experience that has altered the way they experience all manner of stuff for people in Night City.
the part of the gameplay that is a letdown is the AI. The random people walking the street, except for visual clutter, have little to contribute to the game. You just can’t relate to them and what they have is one or two lines and they’re going to keep chanting. People on the street will mostly just pace back and forth and don’t even go somewhere in general. Many of them either duck down or run about in circles like a headless chicken if you shoot a gun or attack someone. You can also hear the NPC say wherever you go the same few lines of dialog. Underneath the apartment where V lives, there are a few cops who still utter the same lines every time you go by them, no matter how many hours you put into the game.
No stronger is the opponent AI. They don’t efficiently take shelter and instead just sprint out in the open. Alerting one often immediately alarms all of them automatically, but they are all unaware if you go to a different room. You can usually sneak right in front of them without recognizing them, too, and they can instantly notice you from miles away at other moments. The boss only wanted to sit in one position during one boss fight and I was just able to unload into him from a distance using a sniper rifle. It’s all super contradictory and immersion-breaking.
Also underwhelming is the law enforcement aspect of the game. Night City has cops all over the place and there are also occasional side missions in the game that pop up as you drive down the street, where there may be a robbery and you have to support the police for a reward. But other than that, the topic of law enforcement never really plays into the game. Yeah, whether you knock someone down right in front of them or even run over one of the officers, the cops get temporarily angry, but as soon as you speed off or turn a corner, they forget about it and your acts have no repercussions.
The game immediately goes into the Blue Lives Matter mode and labels you as a wanted criminal and sends the Max-Tac cops after you. It’s only if you say you’re going to start hunting the police for fun. Under the Night City police, Max-Tac is a special division which is armed to the teeth and largely unstoppable. You’re dead if they come for you. But that’s the only time I’ve died in a game against the cops. Otherwise, I would not have had any contact with them.
Another poorly built aspect is the driving of an AI character in a vehicle. You will be given an option of either traveling to a destination by yourself or with another player multiple times during the game’s missions. Most times, you have no choice but to have the character drive you there. All the characters in the game drive incredibly slowly and the car, with its static motions, is quite clearly running on a rail. It’s like your grandma’s walking around and it gets boring very easily. Fortunately, if there are no more interactions to be held after the journey, the game lets you miss the drive.
The dilemma of walking next to a character and matching your pace has still not been properly addressed by Cyberpunk 2077. As long as you walk precisely behind them and point at them, the play suits your pace with other characters. Then you start walking at your usual speed, which is far higher than the AI characters, whether you turn away or point somewhere. Even, on the stairs, the rhythm match is interrupted for whatever reason and you walk there at full tilt. If you know where to go, you can only start running and that leads the AI characters to sprint after you as well, but you also do not know where you need to go, so you have no choice but to slowly follow them around.
Cyberpunk 2077 has its problems at the moment to round up the gameplay portion. With a clumsy navigation device, driving feels clunky, the AI is only under-developed, the police don’t do anything, being driven around is a hassle, and the BD role feels wasted. I always had lots of fun playing all the missions in the game, though. In the hacking and melee fighting, I wasn’t very tall, but the gunplay can be really rewarding, mostly because of the first-person viewpoint.
I really loved how many game missions just open a can of worms and take you down a couple more missions similar to the first one that you can’t help but see through because they’re just too darn fun (you always have the choice of backing out). Also, the discussions never get repetitive and while the writing here is not as amusing as in Rockstar games, it is always sufficiently enjoyable.
Overall, Cyberpunk 2077 has pretty good base gameplay that doesn’t quite hit its full potential or do something we haven’t seen before, but is still enjoyable.