By now, you’ve been reading the reviews, and you’ve heard our thoughts on the debacle that is Cyberpunk 2077. Clearly, there are a number of improvements, additions, and polishing measures that the game could stand. But what are some of the most crucial? What would help put this game back on track? Well, sit back, because you’re about to get some ideas.
10. Flying Cars
The Corpo prologue introduced us to the fact that personal flying cars were a thing. Later on, we see one of the aerodynes sitting in the Delamain garage, presumably getting prepped for a new life as an executive air cab. Now, it’s entirely likely that players will find all manner of ways to break things when given access to flying cars. But the game’s so damned broken at this point, how much worse could it get? More to the point, how could players do themselves more damage when all they have to do is avoid buildings? It’s not like they’re miraculously avoiding power lines on the ground.
9. Hover Tanks
In much the same vein, CD Projekt RED teased us with a couple short missions involving a Basilisk hover panzer. Screw flying cars, we had a flying tank! True, it wasn’t really flying, just hovering but that’s a pettifogging detail. And yes, it likely wouldn’t fit down smaller city streets where a car would be better. But even so, it’s just so damned cool. I wanted more than just a little familiarization run with it. The sorts of jobs that actually require that amount of firepower would be few and far between, but think of the rates you could charge.
One of the fine details that came up when tooling around with the Basilisk panzer was that for full efficiency, you need to have a second person riding shotgun with you. And yet, except for a handful of missions, we’re operating solo. Not to be confused with being a Solo. And yes, our companions activities are heavily scripted. But having a choomba you trust to watch your back would make a world of difference. For that to happen though, the AI would have to be radically improved. As well as a good “trust” system to help convince them to come with you when you’re about to do stupid stunts.
7. Better Enhancement Options
What happened in CDPR’s version of Night City history? It used to be you could get your body stuffed to the gills with far more subtle weapons than mantis blades and gorilla arms. Scratchers, rippers, wolvers, built-in “big knucks,” there were options. And that doesn’t even count the more subtle stuff like voice synthesizers, dampers for high decibel or high light intensity incidents (take that, flashbangs!), and voice stress analyzers. Or, if you didn’t want to deal with cyberware, why not go with bioware nanotech improvements like grafted muscle or skin weaves? There’s way more that could have been done with body enhancement, and far better means of obtaining it than padding the Body Lotto.
6. Customization Controls
This one is a big issue. We have no control over how our gear looks. We have no control over how we look once we finish character creation. And for a game which touts such a diverse amount of styles and aesthetics, relying on dumb luck to find the gear that suits our particular sensibilities is a prescription for further discontent. Plus, the fact we can’t readjust our looks at all is just gratuitously insulting. The equally insulting work we’ve got to put in for upgrading gear to make it useful is a related tangent.
5. Improved Street Cred
Street Cred, as it stands right now, might be the second most useless mechanic in the game (the first being the “Commando” perk). Sure, sure, it opens things up like missions and bits of gear, but aside from that, it has no real utility. And that is a damned shame. It needs more weight to it. There should be a feeling of dread from the typical street punks, a sense of respect (and maybe some choice dialogue options) from big name NPCs, an aura of near-menace which surrounds you as you walk the streets. Only the bravest (or the craziest) should be willing to cross swords with you, and they should appear to try and delete you precisely because of that rep. Merchants cut you better deals because, hey, you’re that guy. Put some feeling into it. Something more than just unlocking increasingly expensive crap we can’t afford.
4. Ammo Types
I know that a number of weapons themselves, particularly the Tech and Smart weapons, often have some sort of “elemental” damage effect associated with them like Shock or Fire. Frankly, I’d rather load up specialty ammo than having the effect intrinsic to the weapon. Yes, that might be a bit more tedious, but certainly a damned sight more immersive. As it stands now, too many weapons are “gun goes brrrrrr!” Give me bean bag rounds and “rubber” bullets for non-lethal options. Give me explosive tipped rounds to counteract armor. It’s pushing the 22nd Century in this game. Get with the times.
3. Ditch The Shakes
I’m just going to say it: Tech weapons suck. Why? Because some damned fool thought it would be a great idea to make the thing shake like an overzealous dildo when you hold the trigger to “charge up” the weapon. I could understand a little shaking, maybe even using the rumble function on the controller to help sell the idea. But these are supposed to be precision instruments. And it’s hard to be precise when the instrument is spastic. This one needs to be toned down hard, if not completely eliminated.
2. Granular Reputations
If Street Cred becomes more of a tactical asset, then a factional standing system which is well thought out could very well be a strategic asset. Did you beat the living crap out of an Animal with nothing but your bare hands and your chrome nutsack? “Mad props to you, choomba. Everybody should get their ass handed to them so expertly. Gives them something to work towards.” Did you drop some of the Voodoo Boys with a Power weapon as opposed to something like a System Reset quickhack? “Best be sleeping with one eye open, gonk.” Even when fighting a gang, you should still be able to build a degree of respect, a sense that you’re not just indiscriminately killing them, but you’re abiding by the gang’s own code of honor. When it comes time to talk to them, you’re either somebody who needs to be listened to or somebody who needs to be shot on sight depending on how you’ve dealt with them before.
1. More Gangs
This one seems counterintuitive, I know, but hear me out. There’s half a dozen gangs in Cyberpunk 2077. There could be, and likely should be, a lot more. Smaller gangs, perhaps. Or bigger ones than those we’ve seen so far. Posergangs like the Edisons (big on inventions; probably kitsch/steampunk aesthetics) and the Kennedys (biosculpted to look like JFK, Jackie, and even Teddy; neomilitarism all the way). Combat gangs like Warrior Heart and guardian gangs like the Golden Knights. Even fullbore psycho gangs like the Inquisitors (anti-cybernetics crusaders) and boostergangs like the Brainiacs (the guys who had a cameo in one of the trailers) or the Slaughterhouse (big fans of sharp and pointy cyberware). All of them could have been there, staking out turf, getting into fights, putting their own little touches on the canvas of Night City. Instead, five gangs we fight regularly and one we barely see on the streets. This needs to be better.
What would you like to see added to improve Cyberpunk 2077? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter!