CD.. I wanna play the story before you changed it for Keanu..

Apparently Reeves was originally only going to have a small role in the game but then he came back asking for a bigger role...and now here we are. A barebones boring unrevolutionary open world "action adventure game". This is what happens when you start bringing celebrities into video games. Most of the budget goes to them for starters. Seriously this game is easily the biggest disappointment I've ever had with video games.
It 's not probable because of Reeve's budget but because some investors would be reassured to see Reeves's character involvment. Keanu is known to be a modest celebrity.
All best games succeeded without a star, this is clearly an ignorant idea or move from investors/partners.
I never played a "Red title" (game) before and I might be heavily influenced by and biased towards other more 'open sandbox RPGs' that may not have super amazing aspects in where they shine and might be labelled "all around decent" by some on release, but in my eyes they at least get everything right to a minimum degree.

What I mean is that so far in the Witcher series, it seems Geralt is as relatively defined like V is. Geralt is a Witcher and he has certain traits, and a certain job. To my knowledge, if he isn't involved in some grand plot to look for someone, etc, he does his job (side quests) to earn his pay.

Cyberpunk 2077. Let's ignore the life paths here because they are, frankly, window dressing. In more neutral words, they could've utilized more potential. V is a mercenary unable to settle down somewhere, then forced into a grander plot for survival, or, while at it, fame and glory.

In other games, you as well have a sort of defined main character, customization of it or not. Often, you need a certain level of this to be able to show and integrate into a larger plot. Whether you can customize Commander Shepard in Mass Effect or not, you are still starting as a military member of mankind, setting out with a specific tasking and then get dragged into the plot. This isn't bad therefore, and it is to be expected.

Without setting you on rails at all, there can be no plot. Compare to endless online sandbox games where you often do not have an actual plot because every player makes up the content, refer to games like EvE Online or Minecraft, etc.

To get to my point now, I do feel that other games allow you certain other, or generally more freedoms despite being on story rails or having your character somewhat defined. While Mass Effect might not be the best example due to design purposes, I think for example that recent Elder Scrolls or Fallout singleplayer RPGs are good examples of presenting you with a 'main character' usually involved in some grander or personal plot, while at the same time allowing you to go for different endings. The fact alone I can pick factions and go towards and through an ending with them alone is satisfying for me.

And to get to the actual topic now, with all this in mind I feel that perhaps too much focus might've been on Silverhand's narrative, meaning perhaps a tad too much railroading? While there is interesting moments, I feel they might've done themselves and the customers a better favor by going for a different design approach and more branching out, more decision making and influences.

It's a huge city full of factions and bigger and minor plots. Instead, we are locked out of many of those things (ok, many things are covered in side quests, but they end eventually or are short alternatively) because we have to opt for our survival and deal with a digital terrorist / rockerboy in our heads. We cannot decide to settle down or take part in any politics or other things because we are forced to mind our survival and the plot progresses as such.

With that said I feel another story, an adapted story or whatever they had in mind before they switched to the Silverhand thing might've come out better. A different plot, factions to help more actively or join and take part in and different paths throughout the game itself, not just endings largely decided shortly before the endings, and I'm happily in and forgiving other things I currently find nitpicky.
The game we got feels like an early build that has only the main story somewhat finished.
Exactly. Or a ~2009 looter shooter open world game in terms of gameplay, kinda like early Ubisoft open world games. Reminds me of the first Assassin's Creed world... (I played the first two ACs and then given up, to me it's a really bad generic franchise... I generally don't like huge game franchises with too many titles, personal taste).
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