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Cyberpunk RED $30.00
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Jordi F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2021 16:15:29

After I've been playing for a few months I can say the game is a mess.

Layout is horrible and trying to find rules it's always a pain in the ass ... like, you want to know how much does a car cost? Maybe in "Fitted for the future" chapter? Nop. Maybe in "Street Economy : Night market" chapter? Nop. They are in vehicle combat. And there are like dozens of things like this, rules dropped everywhere without care ... and when you're playing and need to reference something, you know you've seen it somewhere, but you have to stop the game to try to find it or just pull it from your arse and keep going.

Lore? Yep, a mess to ... the game doesn't know what it wants to be. Look at the cover art itself, then I tell you that commerce is broken and people can't get what they want, corporations are no longer international but broken into local places because no internet, and containers don't reach places and nomads control the trade routes and the game suggest you have to find old abandoned containers to find cool stuff or buy it in black markets ... and it begins to feel a lot more like some kind of post-war post-apoc game than cyberpunk, and you wonder ... how the fuck those corporations are still a thing if they can't sell stuff? Who pays for the neon signs? Who pays for the fuel of those flying cars?

Nomads of course! Because it seems that R.Talsorian has some kind of hardon with nomads. They have the best education. Best cars. Control trade and badlands ... and are the saviours of the world. After the 4th corporate war Night City was almost destroyed. Who saved it? You'd guessed it! Nomads!! You are a techie? Sorry, you won't be able to make better cars than nomads ... no, they don't need skill, they "just" have them.

And those poor hobos on the streets with old lame cyberware? No longer here! Because somehow cloning stuff is so easy and cheap now that replacing your missing limbs with new gadgets it's almost easier than scavenging an arm and paying a doc to install it. Yeah, you hear it, you no longer have organ scavengers or traffickers, because it's just cheaper to clone stuff! It's almost instantaneously too ... but remember that we still don't have global internet nor common trade routes so all this technology and training has any sense to reach anywhere :D

And it keeps going on ...

Rules are, of course, another mess ... from shotgun shells that can only hit someone at 3 meters, to skills like "Autofire" that are harder to learn and use than Cryptography, Mathematics, or whatever other knowledge skill. Why? Because they didn't know how to balance autofire, so they made it hard to purchase and use. Job done. Fuck it.

A weak desperate street hooker is going to hit you with a machete? That's gonna be 2d6 of damage. You say a 2 meter tall full cyborg Adam Smasher-like beast is going to hit you with the same machete? Yep, still 2d6 damage. Strength isn't taken into account at all. Now, if our borg drops the machete and hits you with a fist and 1 rank of karate? 3d6 of damage, here I go, maybe even 4d6 if it's borged enough.

Combat feels bullet spongy, cover makes it feel like some sort of video game with people jumping around trying to dodge bullets. I mean, cover doesn't upgrade difficulty checks, they just add a layer of hit points you have to destroy ... but if not fast enough, your target can just change cover and you'll have to start anew. Unless you ignore cover and run around the battlefield to ignore theirs and use your REF 8 to dodge bullets. Because that's what movies and Call of Duty taught us.

There are so many things that feel wrong that I don't have the patience to write here and ... at a certain point, you just keep doing more and more house rules until you ponder why the hell you are even trying. I didn't pay to do the job myself. I buy a rulebook so I have the job made for me.

Art is cool tho ... except that it just misses any context at all or it's just generic as fuck. Most of the art is just there to look pretty not to reinforce text or help you visualize anything. Like you may be reading about the Fixer class special ability and they show you a giant buddha statue in the middle of containers of a cargo area. Maybe you're reading about skills and they put a drawing of some cyborg dude applying makeup.

Verdict : A failure. It seems like a game that doesn't know what it wants to be. Like two different persons altogether are steering the book in two different directions ... one is an old "I'm tired of this genre" guy, and the other is some CoD kid with that kind of "cool" ideas that make you roll your eyes.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
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Cyberpunk RED
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