I recently wrote about how great Fallout would be as a survival horror game.. Currently, he’s at odds with himself, the supposed scarcity of resources in the post-apocalyptic wasteland offset by the number of hits it takes to assassinate a Super Mutant. I started playing Cyberpunk 2077 over the weekend and engaging in the hard difficulty setting, I realized what would fix so many RPG shooters: killing everyone, including the player, in a few hits.
One of Cyberpunk‘s first missions had you breaking out of a gang hideout after a deal was struck. It’s a game that encourages stealth, with plenty of perks tied to it and sneaky takedowns you can do. But no battle plan survives first contact, and things invariably turn south. It’s no fun saving up to get the perfect ghost streak, and I like being forced to react intuitively if I get scolded, but die a few hits at the hands of enemies who can survive entire magazines slammed into them. are thrown away is frustrating beyond belief.
I love the challenge of a tough combat scenario, and with the amount of tools at my disposal in Cyberpunk, I want to use them all. Pinning people to find out where all the enemies are, breaking through their cyberdecks to hack easier, and blinding them from afar so I can sneak past is thrilling. It would be great if I could lure enemies to a hacked machine then throw a grenade at them then sneak around to finish the rest with a Tanto but what actually happens is they all take damage and unleash an infernal fire. me, killing me almost instantly.
I just want a difficulty setting where everyone plays by the same rules. I’m fine with some boss enemies being harder to kill. Sure, a victim of chrome cyberpsychosis will be hard to take down with his titanium bones and second heart, but why are street gangsters immune to a headshot? It’s no fun if I have to choose my moment carefully, poking my head out of my cover for a second or two at a time to munch on endless health bars lest I die as soon as I set foot in a corner .
If people dropped realistically, it would make stealth much more tense. I won’t start again as soon as I’m spotted, but try to quickly eliminate those who have seen me. Accuracy of aim would be rewarded and I would still have to position myself carefully to avoid being flanked and killed myself. There’s also the untapped potential of making health items more like real-world combat drugs. Like soldiers on amphetamines, getting shot wouldn’t stop a chrome from charging head high like a kite. They would succumb to injuries once the adrenaline wore off, but first they would have a chance to take you down with them. There’s so much more potential than just changing the size of everyone’s health bar.
This type of gameplay might be a little unreasonable for Skyrim and God of War, but these grounded in reality games eschew it entirely in favor of lackluster difficulty settings where all that changes is the disparity between your strength and that of the AI.
I love the world of Cyberpunk 2077, but so far I don’t feel like an elite cyborg mercenary. I lowered the difficulty to medium because I just wasn’t having fun hard, but now it’s a little too easy. I don’t die quickly, but my enemies still take quite a few kills. A melee build is clearly out of the question without the right perks to improve damage, but that just means the way I want to play is stuck in the mid and late game. Just create a setting where everyone plays by the same rules and I’ll be happy.