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    jp's Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)

    [December 17, 2020 06:52:50 PM]
    Since playing the intro/tutorial I’ve since gone on to play a much longer session (I think I’m 9 hours in at this point?) that ended at the beginning of Act 2. There have been interesting reveals and stuff that is really setting the stage for what I think is to come. I’ve also mostly avoided doing any of the side missions – for some reason the main storyline seemed more compelling and urgent and I just sort of went with the flow.

    I’ve seen lots of graphical glitches (lots). The most common is seeing Jackie just walk through closed doors (including elevator ones). Nothing I’d consider game-breaking, though the game has crashed a number of times on me. This is what’s bugging me the most, to be honest, but the game’s auto-saving system has not let me down at all and I’ve never felt like I wasted a lot of my time.

    As for the game? I have thoughts and opinions – but, I’m still chewing on a lot of this and trying to make sense of it.

    After the introduction I got into the main storyline mission – you’re approached by a fixer (Dex) who is hiring you to steal a McGuffin – he’s been hired by someone – and you basically spend time getting a piece of equipment (a flathead robot) to carry out the steal as well as doing intel work in order to plan everything. You then “do the mission” – things go south as expected – and that’s sort of the end of act 1. There’s a major story surprise about the McGuffin that I won’t spoil here…

    My overall feeling is – WOW, that was a really fun and authentic Cyberpunk 2020-style adventure. I would definitely have played that back in the day. Or today, for that matter. It’s very much a by-the-numbers adventure that hits the typical things you’d want in a good tabletop adventure. There’s a setup, it’s a high stakes job, it pays well, it would mean a big rep boost, it ties in to at least one of the characters motivations (revenge, here), you need to do some prep work/intelligence gathering, and there are surprises along the way.

    The resolution of the adventure is very much NOT like your typical adventure – mostly because it goes south so badly. In my trpg experience, when things go bad it’s either a TPK or significant loss of resources. Sure, a PC may die – but that’s pretty rare. They’ll get beat up, need to lay low, etc.

    In this sense, so far I’ve had exactly the kind of game experience I was hoping and wishing for. An authentic CP2020 experience that’s engaged with the game’s world and lore.


    I’m surprised by how completely and entirely different the game’s core systems and mechanics are from the tabletop game. I think, at this point, the only commonality is in the basic stats (INT, REF, BOD, COOL, TECH) (though, EMPATHY and ATT ~ Attractiveness is gone, but they also killed it in CP RED which makes sense). I mean, none of it is there. I was curious to see what they’d do – would they keep the skill-based system of the original (to “do” something you roll against a difficulty number using a D10 roll+your skill level (no. between 1-10) + relevant basic stat. While I wasn’t expecting the die rolling to be up front, I wondered if we’d see a list of skills and so on. This matters in the TRPG because different characters in the team have access to different skills based on their role (class) – and though you can choose from one of three roles in CP2077, as far as I can tell the only difference between the roles is the dialogue options you get access too. Perhaps the basic stats numbers are different? But, in the trpg it’s the skill list that really makes a difference. Additionally each role has a special (unique to the role) skill that sets them apart from the other characters. Solos are REALLY good at going first in combat, Techies can jury rig equipment on the fly (ala MacGuyver), and so on.

    Now, the system their using in the game works and I have no complaints about it – you unlock perks that boost your abilities, stats, etc. It’s very standard modern-action RPG videogame fare. There’s a tree with stuff to unlock and you decide where you spend your points. But, it’s not cyberpunk’s system…

    I wonder what the thinking there was? Was it that most skills would be useless/unsupportable in the videogame? They needed to PC to be much more vanilla/jack-of-all-trades?

    Oh, and it’s not just the skill system that’s gone – the videogame has a level-based progression system (you level up and thus unlock points to spend increasing basic stats and perks) that’s completely anathema to the trpg’s system (no levels, it’s all skills – and the skills go up individually).

    Finally, the health system is ALSO completely different. The core concept I mean. Broadly speaking everyone in CP2020 has the same amount of hitpoints. It never really changes and that’s it. This makes combat super deadly and dangerous – regardless of how long you’ve been playing. This is the opposite of other games like D&D where you can start to bullet-sponge enemies and so on. CP2077’s system has hit points and they go up (but not all the time like in D&D)

    So, in the system sense – Cyberpunk2077 is it’s own beast. It’s entirely inauthentic to the TRPG.

    And the other stuff?

    Well, that’s all different too – CP2077 has a significant crafting/modding system (that I haven’t really gotten into) that’s fresh/new to the world. I mean, you could make stuff in the regular TRPG, but not with the ease and simplicity you can in the videogame and perhaps, more importantly, it wasn’t a core system of the game (at most the TRPG’s original sourcebook had rules for creating drugs – but not weapons!) And, while I haven’t gotten into the cyberware too much (in terms of buying/installing) – it already seems really different. There was a strong system reason to NOT go all out with cyberware in CP2020 (it reduced your empathy stat that made all the social skills a lot harder to succeed at) – and, other than lack of money to pay – I’m not sure there is any such disincentive here.

    Netrunning is also completely different – but that’s mostly a good thing because the original TRPG’s system was awful…and it’s all changed based on stuff that’s happened in the world/lore.

    In all?

    Well, I wonder what non CP2020 fans are enjoying/getting out of the game. Is it the world/story/characters? The system? Is the game really Cyberpunk in 2077? Not really, it really feels much more like CP2020 that’s had an editorial facelift to update/remove the things that were futuristic THEN (1980s-1990s) but are quaint and out-dated now. It’s kept the tone and feel while ditching all the crunchiness of the game’s system.

    I guess like CP2020’s rulebook states about what characters should care about – style over substance – I think that CP2077 is all of the STYLE without any of the SUBSTANCE of the original. It’s got it’s own substance – so that’s not really a problem. But there’s more to the differences than just “oh, that wouldn’t work in a videogame so we had to change it”.

    That being said, I probably have many, many hours left to play…so, I’ll see?
    add a comment Add comment
    [December 11, 2020 06:31:11 PM]
    It's quite exciting to play a game (almost) the same day it's released. Especially a title as hyped up as this one.

    I have mixed feelings so far - none of them bad - it's just a really surreal experience to play a videogame based on a tabletop rpg I played (and adore!) for such a long time in the 1990s. It makes me wonder what other (younger, non-TTRPG) people are excited about? Why are they drawn to the game?

    I'm having a hard time reading some of the text on the screen and for now I'm mostly just going along slowly and exploring. I'm playing a corp and, other than the initial sequence for the game - I wonder how much it really matters afterwards.

    It was cool to see the rpg stats on the screen when I started up and I think I noticed a "level" which has me curious - the TRPG never had a levelling system like that, so I'm curious if that's a change/innovation for the videogame version?

    I guess I'll have to wait and see...
    add a comment Add comment

    jp's Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 10 December, 2020

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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