I'm on my way to complete a mission and Johnny Silverhand wants to give me some advice on how to proceed, as he often does. As we ride an elevator together, he tells me to play my cards close to the vest, to not reveal too much about what I know to the client that hired me. I don't always take his advice, but I value it.
I have a timed dialogue prompt, which gives me just a few precious seconds to decide how to respond to Johnny. Only I can't choose between the three options because my phone just rang. Another character, from a completely different quest, is calling me, and here in the future of Cyberpunk 2077, you cannot decline a call. It truly is a dystopia.
My phone auto-answers the call, and now that I'm in a conversation with this other character I am locked out of responding to Johnny. Time ticks away, and since I didn't respond, Johnny ends the conversation. Fucking hell. Cyberpunk 2077 has bugs, glitches, and all sorts of problems, but the thing most commonly ruining my experience is the constant phone calls and texts that I am powerless to ignore.
Note: There's a slight spoiler in the brief gif below, so keep the sound off and look away if you're concerned.
This is the second time a call from one quest-giver has interrupted a conversation I was having during another quest. I had the same thing happen while talking to Judy Alvarez, only she was nice enough to wait for me to finish the unwanted phone call, unlike Johnny.
But it's not just the interruptions during quests. It's the interruptions during everything. On a quick drive through the city from point A to point B, I'll get called by half a dozen fixers with boring-sounding jobs for me. Constant texts pop up offering to sell me cars that cost over $100,000. (Hey thanks, I've got like maybe 12 grand in my wallet, but I'll let you know.) I am still not completely sure who Regina Jones is but she's gonna bust my data cap with all the calls I get from her. No matter what I'm doing in Cyberpunk 2077—questing, traveling, exploring—the phone is constantly ringing and texts are constantly arriving. Constantly.
I don't think I've been interrupted in combat, but I have on several occasions dropped the last enemy in a fight and had the phone ring before the damage numbers and words "critical headshot" had even left the screen.
I'm not saying never call me. At times getting a call from someone has felt completely normal and organic. I was driving all the way across the map to do a job, and about halfway there Panam called me with something sounding urgent, so it felt nice and immersive as I screeched to a halt, spun my bike around, and went speeding off in the other direction. Jobs can occasionally sound critical or urgent, something you'd want to drop everything for and tackle immediately.
And I get that people text you about dumb bullshit you don't care about in everyday life. It's just completely overwhelming in Cyberpunk 2077. It's like they looked at GTA Online, took the most annoying part of it—the constant phone calls—and then quadrupled it. Chill, videogame. I've got a huge map filled with icons. I have a gig list a mile long. For some reason, you've added potential car purchases to my quest list. I'm not at a loss for what to do next.
Here's a couple thoughts. As a merc, maybe I should call the fixers to ask for work instead of them constantly showering me with job offers. I was a freelance writer for years, and typically I'd be the one who had to contact my editors for work, rather than them throwing offers in my face night and day.
Secondly, let me decline calls. Please. I'm begging you. I don't need to talk to everyone the moment they want to talk to me. Plus, declining a call and later discovering an urgent message is another nice way to add immersion. Who hasn't screened a call and later regretted it? It's a part of life.
Finally, don't interrupt a face-to-face conversation with a call that can't be declined and a conversation that can't be skipped. If there's one thing I'm enjoying in Cyberpunk 2077, it's interacting with the people in front of me. Don't mess that up by forcing me to interact with someone who isn't.