Any way you look at it, Cyberpunk simply gets way closer to unifying RPG, FPS, and open-world sandbox into one game than any other game has tried to before, and you can see this when you directly compare it to any similar game:
The other way around (what these games have that Cyberpunk doesn't have), you'll see that Cyberpunk either has what those games offer, if not fully, then partially, with the potentially to easily add them into the framework they've established.
- VS GTA and Watchdogs: Itemization, loots, detailed environments and detailed quests, high quality FPS mechanics in first person
- VS Fallout: Sandbox, ability to go off-rails, much sharper FPS mechanics and movement
- VS The Division: Seamless open world, sandbox, detailed quests, storylines
- VS Borderlands: Seamless open world, sandbox
I can understand and respect your opinion. I don't agree with it though. I think what flies under the radar is you can throw RPG elements into a game. This, by itself, does not make it an RPG. The important part is the interplay of those elements. And a lot of it falls on the underlying gameplay mechanics.
Quite frankly, this is where a lot of games slapping the RPG label on them fall short. They add or attempt to include character design, character progression, gearing/equipment, attributes superimposed upon the player, narrative choices/consequences, interactions with other characters within the gameworld, etc. into the game. Sadly, they fail to tie all of this together in a way where the gameplay feels and plays like an RPG.
To use an example, in this game I can adjust the physical appearance, starting attributes and life-path of V at the game start. It still feels like I am playing a generic V. No matter what choices I make there it feels like it's not really my V. Hell, I cannot even change the name of my character. I can then evolve this character via the character progression. Even so, it still feels like it's a generic V with a stronger ability to do generic V stuff in specific areas. The same could be said for the dialogue options presented to my character.
Exploring and navigating the gameworld itself presents the same... mental block. It would appear the only things I can really engage in within the game world are quests, many of which feel like they force me in a certain direction and only create an illusion of real choice, and combat. This is what is so disappointing about the focus, almost to the exclusion of all else, on pretty graphics and narrative. It ends up feeling like there is no true way to define or differentiate the character from one to the next. The ways you can are largely superficial.
TW3 arguably failed just as much when it comes to it's gameplay systems. The mechanics at a fundamental level. Weak progression, mostly combat/narrative, primarily action combat, a disaster of a loot/gearing system, etc. Yet, there I actually felt a connection to Geralt in a way where it reeled me into the character. I was playing the role of Geralt. CP, for a variety of reasons, has failed to capture that connection.
It does give more freedom to adjust the character. Sadly, most of those adjustments are, once again, superficial. Despite this minimal increase to freedom it still comes off as being forced into a pre-generated character. This game clearly tries to be a more "open world" then TW3. The problem is it does it in a way where that player -> character connection fails to reach anywhere close to the same strength. That connection, and the way the player is tied to the character they've assumed, is what defines an RPG.
In short, I do not see RPG in this game. I see cinematic. I see action/adventure. I see a respectable narrative, in spite of it's flaws. I see some looter/shooter elements. I see RPG elements and FPS elements. What I don't see is an RPG. I don't mean barebones RPG either. I mean... close to zero. As in, it almost completely fails at delivering an RPG experience.
It's funny because I remember having discussions with members on this very forum well before the game released. Now sure, perhaps we didn't see eye to eye on everything in those conversations. But... in many cases there was apprehension shared in those conversations with what we were seeing in reveals and whatnot. The concern the game was going to say it was an RPG, throw RPG elements into it but fail completely to deliver the experience of one. At this point I personally believe those fears have been realized.
The way I see it they can fix bugs in this game, improve performance, add activities outside the quest/combat content, improve it in various areas, what have you. I do not think they can fix the way the game fails to feel or play like an RPG. The reasons for that run deep. Too deep to be corrected without revamping the underlying mechanics. That just isn't going to happen.
Lastly, I'd reiterate what I've said elsewhere on this forum. I enjoy this game for what it offers. It is fun to play, warts and all. Regardless, I am disappointed it failed to deliver what it said it was trying to deliver. And I really do think it did.