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What did we actually want? (A Cyberpunk 2077 discourse and lite-critique)

Content of the article: "What did we actually want? (A Cyberpunk 2077 discourse and lite-critique)"

It has now been over a month since Cyberpunk 2077's release. The release was mired in controversy from start to finish: a third delayed release window, a buggy launch, CDPR corporate culture slamming, and current company litigation. IMO these issues stand apart from the actual game people have bought and are absolutely loving, myself included. To this day, I have not watched or read a single review video or article on this game but am really looking for some good discourse surrounding other players' experiences and wants for the game.

I'm making this post as a carry over from a Twitter thread started by quest lead, Pawel Sasko. He seems genuinely interested in collecting data and specifics about gameplay and experiences via the game. I read a lot of replies regarding AI in all its iterations: combat, police and wanted ratings, etc. These are issues beyond storytelling AFAIK, although I am a novice in game design and programming.

Yet more replies decry the lack of NPC interaction and "single-line" choices for dialogue when dealing with any random Night City citizen on the street and I have to wonder: who really cares enough to interact with every NPC? For a game billed and sold as an immersive RPG story, what value are consumers expecting to glean from that insane amount of micro-gameplay? I illustrate this example as a jumping off point for more discussion about what your expectations were for this game.

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Personally, I wanted a game with great combat , and a decent story (I'm satisfied with playing on Hard ATM, and I'm over halfway done with the story). Everything else would've been gravy for me due to my strong love of the cyberpunk genre. I love the wealth of vehicles and awesome gear to deck your V out in, but had no illusions about any GTA-style vehicle customization options. Story-wise, I like the pace that things progress and find a lot of joy in juggling missions that are deemed "urgent" by allies/fixers. I'm not even sure if any main missions are time-sensitive but if anyone knows if they are, be coy with your response to keep the mystery alive!

My only letdown (if I can reasonably call it that in a AAA game like this) is the lack of gang interplay. I really thought that would play a bigger part in completing missions in certain ways, gaining trust a la Mercenaries (2005), and leading to new side stories. No information was given by CDPR to indicate this was going into the final product, but I think it was an expectation for many who know the genre well and understand turf wars and gangs as a cornerstone of the world.

What about y'all? Do you like the way the story is presented? Whether it was hype from the very first trailer release over 8 years ago, or the Keanu Reeves announcement two years ago, what did you expect from this game as it developed? Should we temper our expectations for games like this in the future, evident as recently as EA's Anthem, Bethesda's Fallout 76, and now CDPR's Cyberpunk 2077?

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TL;DR What were your realistic expectations for Cyberpunk 2077? If you want to expand on hyperbole, I'd encourage you to start a new thread and I'll even jump in to respond!


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