It’s fair to say that Cyberpunk 2077 is a deeply flawed experience. CD Projekt Red has taken considerable flak after failing to deliver on a number of key promises. The game’s branching storyline, which was supposed to depend on your character’s chosen background, is largely illusory. Fundamental mechanics are either missing or broken. And the world is bloated with repetitive fetch quests – a problem common to most open-world titles, admittedly. While bugs represent a patchable problem, it seems highly unlikely that Cyberpunk will metamorphose into the feature-complete product that gamers were expecting.
But players who are willing to overlook these issues can experience some of the best character-driven stories the medium has to offer, all set in a city that often has you stopping mid-mission just to soak up the atmosphere. Flawed, yes, but there’s still a lot to love in Night City, and this feat of storytelling has been achieved by focusing on one very important aspect of the campaign’s design: mission structure.
Cyberpunk’s campaign flows from one logical sequence of events to another. This ultimately makes the whole affair feel less ‘gamey’. For example, pulling off the heist on Konpeki Plaza requires several hours of prep work: meeting with fixers, finagling a prototype robot that can scale walls, and reviewing a braindance of part of the building’s layout – all before the heist even begins.