Author Topic: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?  (Read 1404 times)

FerriswheelBueller

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Anyone heard of/looking forward to this? Been in development for something like 6 or 7 years by the studio that did The Witcher.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/27/17787600/cyberpunk-2077-cd-projekt-red-48-minutes-gameplay-demo-reveal

I might be very out of touch here, but the level of customization and extra twiddly content looks bewildering to anyone except the most dedicated player.

I had a similar complaint about RDR2, but I was able to (mostly) play that game on my terms so it didn’t bother me that much. Cyberpunk 2077 looks like the customization will be unavoidable and integral and that seems mad and boring to me. Maybe it’ll be grea, but I doubt I’ll have the thousand hours spare to put into this to find out.

Mister Six

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 01:02:34 AM »
I remember watching the trailer a bit back and it didn't seem that bad - just a case of buying mods or weapons that allow for different play styles. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Hopefully it's better than Witcher 3, where there were countless buffs and different upgrades, but you could beat almost everything by just rolling, slashing, rolling, slashing. One of the reasons I'm glad this is FPS now.

That said, The Witcher 3 was a bit too big for me. On the one hand it's amazing that all these squillions of side missions are scripted and animated in such detail; on the other, it just feels so fucking overwhelmingly immense. Each individual quest is enjoyable but every time I think about how much I have to slog through to even finish the main story, it feels oppressive.

Maybe it's just that I'm old and married and can't just plough 200 hours into something like Skyrim any more without feeling guilty. Or maybe it's that if I don't enjoy the raw gameplay, the folly of wasting my life gawping at a glowing box in my living room becomes more obvious.

Is there even a point to this message? Fuck it, post.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 01:16:55 AM »
I remember watching the trailer a bit back and it didn't seem that bad - just a case of buying mods or weapons that allow for different play styles. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Hopefully it's better than Witcher 3, where there were countless buffs and different upgrades, but you could beat almost everything by just rolling, slashing, rolling, slashing. One of the reasons I'm glad this is FPS now.

That said, The Witcher 3 was a bit too big for me. On the one hand it's amazing that all these squillions of side missions are scripted and animated in such detail; on the other, it just feels so fucking overwhelmingly immense. Each individual quest is enjoyable but every time I think about how much I have to slog through to even finish the main story, it feels oppressive.

Maybe it's just that I'm old and married and can't just plough 200 hours into something like Skyrim any more without feeling guilty. Or maybe it's that if I don't enjoy the raw gameplay, the folly of wasting my life gawping at a glowing box in my living room becomes more obvious.

Is there even a point to this message? Fuck it, post.

Yes, exactly what I was trying to get across.

The trailer put me off playing this because it looks like the amount of time I’d need to put into it to enjoy is bonkers.

biggytitbo

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 07:21:16 AM »
Yeah I can't be doing with overly long games,  it doesn't matter how good a game is it can't sustain the same level of fun beyond 2 or 3 weeks of regular play and inevitablely becomes a job of work where you're grinding through it just so you can get it finished. A lot of them are artificially extended in play time with padding and repetitive busy work anyway, it's not like its 30+ hours of gold.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 09:08:37 AM »
The Witcher 3 was easily an 80-100 hour game, but it's not like you have to rush through it. I must've played it on and off for the best part of 4-6 months, but always enjoyed it. Plus the way the content was parceled out helped with the pacing, the first isolated area then progressing gradually through regions with extra side-quests popping up now and then. For me that's easier to cope with than a Skyrim where you can tour the entire world and become head of all the guilds before mission... 7.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 11:46:25 AM »
Specifically regarding the question in the thread title - People want games to be these other places they inhabit, an "experience" isn't enough for some people they want a virtual world they can live in.

Zetetic

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 12:54:24 PM »
Smaller video games are available.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2019, 02:45:46 PM »
Specifically regarding the question in the thread title - People want games to be these other places they inhabit, an "experience" isn't enough for some people they want a virtual world they can live in.

Smaller video games are available.

They are, and I play them.

This might be a great shooter, with loads of extra bits available for people who want them - fine, no worries. But doesn’t look like that to me. And I wonder why they’ve spent 7 years developing a game (with 400 (!!) devs if press releases are to be believed) with no release date in sight, if all that stuff isn’t going to be integral.

I started the thread because this seems to increasingly be a trend in modern AAA video games. You can’t just have a great FPS that is fun to play, it must come with thousands of hours of twiddling about. This makes the games expensive to produce, expensive to buy, less fun for me, and a massive time sink. Cyberpunk 2077 seems like the absolute epitome of this to me. Perhaps 2077 is the intended release date.

My point was - does anyone want any of this? And if not, why is the industry so doggedly determined to provide it to us? Maybe people love changing the colour and fire rate of their auto-pistol and unlocking some new sunglasses for their avatar before hacking into a van with their laser goggles and determining whether the tax disc is up to date, and I’m just a stick in the mud. Personally that stuff does nothing for me other than feel like pointless fluff at best, and a chore at worst.

I was interested what people thought on CaB, as there tends to be a good range of opinion on here.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2019, 03:13:54 PM »
I mean in this case it is an RPG, so it's a strange example to pick on, as surely that's the point? But I know what you mean when it comes to games that add on open world gubbins and a levelling system and crafting in genre's that don't really need it. I'd say the Tomb Raider games are a better examples are a better example of this.

At some point "Linear" become a dirty word in games discourse. I'm not their biggest fan, but I never understood why people would criticise the Uncharted games for this.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2019, 03:34:19 PM »
I mean in this case it is an RPG, so it's a strange example to pick on, as surely that's the point? But I know what you mean when it comes to games that add on open world gubbins and a levelling system and crafting in genre's that don't really need it. I'd say the Tomb Raider games are a better examples are a better example of this.

At some point "Linear" become a dirty word in games discourse. I'm not their biggest fan, but I never understood why people would criticise the Uncharted games for this.

It’s an FPS with RPG elements, no? I mean... yeah fair point, I’m not having a pop at Cyberpunk specifically, it just seems like the most egregious example from my limited exposure to modern gaming in the last year or 2. I don’t mind a nice linear game, me. As long as it is engaging and fun to play, that’s great. I don’t need thousands of hours of extras.

It’s kind of presumptuous on the part of the developers, really - I’m not going to spend thousands of hours on your game. I’ve got things to do. I’m going to play through it once or twice, then keep it on the shelf to dip into occasionally when the mood takes me but that’s about it, so you don’t need to spend 7 years adding in all these system mechanics that seemed like a fun idea in the blue sky meeting in 2014 but now you aren’t so sure about. I will never use them. Give them a miss. While you’re at it, you can reduce the cost of production so games start getting cheaper than the current AAA market rate of $80 a go or whatever it is.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2019, 04:40:41 PM »
It’s an FPS with RPG elements, no?

No, although I get why you'd think that from watching the preview video.  CDPR wanted to very faithfully adapt the '80s pen and paper RPG Cyberpunk 2020, which isn't focused around shooting at all.  The complex customization, skill points, body mods, hacking, wetware, etc. all come from the original game & are integral to the experience; especially the non-linearity of it.  I have the official rulebook and everything in that video is in it.

On the flipside of that kind of thing, Doom Eternal is out this year and the 2016 Doom reboot was a great, back-to-basics, super-linear FPS that you can finish in about 10 hours.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2019, 04:53:31 PM »
Even Doom tacked on a bunch of skill tree stuff.
I can certainly sympathise with finding these mega games daunting. I've had the Elder Scrolls series and the last two Deus Ex games for years and just can't muster the enthusiasm to start any of them.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2019, 05:09:41 PM »
If you thought this was an FPS with a load of shit tacked on, you're wrong but it says a lot about the state of AAA gaming that you would come to such a conclusion. Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the few games which can actually justify all this attention to mundane detail because it's an RPG, albeit one with a colossal budget. However, there are so so many games which can't resist packing the playtime with absolute shite.

Tomb Raider gets some justified stick for its cookie cutter approach to every single element of the modern games. Crafting, upgrading, cosmetics, skill trees, all that. I'd say God of War was even worse, though, and should have been slaughtered for it. I actually think Sekiro can fuck off with its skill tree shit as well. Skill trees are abysmal, just dangling carrots to the keep you engaged and to give an illusion of progress. Why not just make the game mechanics as deep and complex as possible from the off?

Fuck all games actually.

Zetetic

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2019, 05:17:55 PM »
They are, and I play them.

Quote
I started the thread because this seems to increasingly be a trend in modern AAA video games. You can’t just have a great FPS that is fun to play, it must come with thousands of hours of twiddling about.
But you can, and there's loads of them even amongst AAA video games. BLOPS4? Bvttlfvvld? CoDWW2? RAGETWOOOOO SOON?

I think they're all pointless shite, but they're there and people - albeit bad people - insist on playing them so they must be 'fun to play' by their hideous standards.

I suppose part of it is that we've got perfectly good FPSs. Do we need to keep re-implementing them with latest waste of GPU-power? (Well, yes apparently, hence BLOP5 and presumbly BLOPS6 and eventually B7OPS and so on).

BeardFaceMan

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2019, 05:18:49 PM »
Lots of customization = lots of opportunities for microtransactions. And I think the reason games are becoming so huge now ties into this, they want you for a long time so you continue to give them money, give a game a huge amount of content at launch to give people something to do while they bug loot crates and skins. Keep them playing for ages and they'll want new skins. Its this "games as a service" bollocks, selling you a game isnt enough anymore, they have to sell you something you continually spend money on. Padding games out and making them huge is helpful for this.

Mister Six

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2019, 05:26:17 PM »
My point was - does anyone want any of this?

I know I was complaining before, but I definitely do want to play this game, and younger, pre-married-with-a-dog me would absolutely lose weekends and evenings to it.

I suppose the real problem is that I used to play something like Dragon Age, which is tiny in comparison, completing all main and side quests as they cropped up. But Witcher 3 (and by the sounds of it RDR2 and this), while being focused narrative tales, are probably best approached in the same way as Skyrim - just do the quests that interest you and leave the rest, because there are so many, and they each have cinematics and conversations and even branching endings, that it's too much of a timesink to do them all.

I suppose the other factor is psychological... In Skyrim I could quite easily ignore some of the quests (the cult ones, the assassin ones) because I was playing as a mostly good thief, not a psychopath. In Witcher there's no reason why Geralt wouldn't take every mission he comes across, more or less, because it means more money and that's basically his job.

Zetetic

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2019, 05:28:24 PM »
And in the Witcher 3, it's rare for sidequests to be particularly interesting on the basis of their scenario - so it's hard to choose between them. (And then the game fucks up exploration and naturally picking quests you feel like doing anyway, with its absurd levelling mechanics.)

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2019, 06:06:10 PM »
Just to further damage my own position and credibility - I love Skyrim and won’t hear a word said against it. I was unemployed and single when it came out though. I might just be jealous of everyone else’s spare time? Is that it? I don’t know

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2019, 06:13:55 PM »
Trust the Polish to put proper graft into making their games eh?


Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2019, 06:18:16 PM »
Interesting discussion, to be honest. Good stuff.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2019, 01:17:58 PM »
Any game where you need to read an online 'beginner's guide' these days, explaining how to play it, is a waste of time and will be filled with these pointless systems. It feels like you need to revise for a month before you start playing them, and I've not got the inclination to be arsed doing any of that nowadays. I think it's the reason the games I'm most interested in at the moment are just the modern remakes of games I played as a youngster, the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro remakes, and the upcoming Crash Team Racing one. They've added bits and pieces to them (a few bells and whistles) but for the most part you put down your thirty quid for three games (which is good pricing for these remakes to be fair) and that's that. I spent loads of time playing through the above two trying to get all the achievements or whatever, simply because they were back to basics, and FUN.

Blue Jam

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2019, 02:18:21 PM »
https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/27/17787600/cyberpunk-2077-cd-projekt-red-48-minutes-gameplay-demo-reveal

Looks like Deus Ex but massive. Right up my street.

I do like open world games but how big is too big? RDR2 is way too big. MGSV is a little bit too big. I'm not that far into Just Cause 4 but the size of the map and the number of things to do already make it feel a bit daunting. I'm a bit of a side quest completist and the prospect of missing loads makes me anxious...

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2019, 02:26:32 PM »
I've come to accept that not every game is for me, even if all the game websites say it's 'essential'. 120 hour RPGs are sadly not for me, not any more. But some people really like enormous games with massively complex interlocking systems and shit controls and the game is boring, and if that's what they like, that's great. Meanwhile I like Tetris.

Norton Canes

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2019, 02:36:05 PM »
I bamlem Jet Set Willy.

Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2019, 03:47:23 PM »
It's the combination of gargantuan game world and multiple play styles that really gets me. One or the other is fine, but the idea of having to play an already massive game several times in order to see everything is overwhelming.

Horizon Zero Dawn and Bloodborne are long games, but they don't demand more than one play through. Dishonored requires repeat plays, but is relatively short.

I think whenever I get around to the Deus Ex games,  I'll attempt to play non-violently. There's plenty of straightforward shooters to play.

biggytitbo

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2019, 03:56:11 PM »
The new Tomb Raider games definitely have the balance right. You can play through the main story without the open world aspects getting in the way, but then you can have a second playthrough and do all the side quests and challenge tombs. Contrast to Assassins Creed origins where the game actively prevented by getting on with the main story by requiring me to grind out tasks and side quests. Really killed what was an enjoyable game for me.

Prey/Dishonored are a good balance, they're not massive but the sheer number of ways you can play them make the game radically different each time you replay.

Mister Six

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2019, 04:15:28 PM »
I think whenever I get around to the Deus Ex games,  I'll attempt to play non-violently. There's plenty of straightforward shooters to play.

The problem I have with the Deus Ex games is not that they're too big, but too big in the wrong way for me. I think RPGs work best when the main story is relatively simple, or at least segmented (as with The Witcher, where certain characters become irrelevant once you're done with their bit of story) so that you can dip in and out of it fairly easily while you dick about with side missions.

But Deus Ex presents its main story as a big mystery/conspiracy investigation, with multiple factions, betrayals, moles etc, which means there are tons of things to bear in mind. And after hours of poking around people's flats and doing side missions and such, I've totally lost track of why I'm infiltrating this base or chasing that person and what significance it has in relation to whatever it was that motivated my character in the first place.

Zetetic

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2019, 05:17:15 PM »
Not helped by the story being a bit rubbish and poorly executed - it might be able to sustain the breadth better if you had much motivation in the first place.

I do like open world games but how big is too big? RDR2 is way too big. MGSV is a little bit too big.

Does MGSV make you interact with the 'open world' much? What I means, from what I can remember you can mostly go from mission to mission without wandering around much if you don't feel like it. But I suppose all the stuff (including its weapon and companion trees) are still there.

It feels flabby storywise, perhaps, although that probably feels worse because of it being very obviously half-finished. (Which might be counter-intuitive - but it doesn't quite go anywhere after a while.)

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2019, 05:29:00 PM »
Skill trees are abysmal, just dangling carrots to the keep you engaged and to give an illusion of progress. Why not just make the game mechanics as deep and complex as possible from the off?
To state of the obvious - because a reasonable approach to maintaining a tolerable difficulty slope in many genres is to progressively reveal abilities and the situations that demand them.

Other reasons for skill trees and the like is 1) effectively customisable difficulty and 2) increasing player-character identification (or something like that), I think. 

I like the first one as an trend - you can often ignore these systems or at least not worry about them: most of the Witcher 3 abilities (and arguably the gear system mostly), faction orders in XCOM2:WOTC, Dishonored's bonecharms. But there they're there if you want to fiddle with the difficulty of certain parts of the game. I guess the problem is making players aware of these systems, without making them feel essential.


Re: Cyberpunk 2077; or, why are video games so vast these days?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2019, 05:40:12 PM »
As a sledgehammer narrative device to show the character development and growing strength and experience or whatever, yeah, I can see the value. None of them make me feel that way, though. I just feel like they're drip feeding mechanics and systems to keep me hanging on through novelty. It's partly why I find Metroidvania chode tier.