Seems we played different games then. I play it, progression is very noticeable and cool, because after leveling up a bit the different skills and perks really click and form synergies. Stealth works like a charm for me. Although the difficulty mostly comes from interlocking lines of sight, and it's often a real puzzle to untangle enemy groups and patrols to isolate single ones and take them down silently. The "suspicious mode" AI is frankly not very clever. Also stealth and sound are kinda broken - the enemies will hear the breaking of a window from really far away (tip: shoot a window with a silenced weapon and lots of people will go investigate, clearing the path for you), but kicking over cans or bottles does not alert them. That is most likely a bug, because the "I kicked something over" sound is so clear and present, it immediately makes you go "oh shit", but then nothing happens.
Point being, if stealth doesn't work for you, it's either you doing it wrong or a bug. 1.0 was very buggy, but not worse than Oblivion.
If you don't hit anything, maybe practice, I have no difficulty with that. You can even shoot off body parts, and yes, it hits where you aim (with aim assist off). That one is on you. Higher skill level increase damage dramatically, reduce sway and recoil effects (makes aiming easier). Whenever I didn't hit anything it was always clearly my fault.
I do agree that the origin stories are really bare-bone, and I also agree that Act I should be considerably longer, with more missions together with Jackie. Not even many more, but two or three maybe. He's such a great character.
Civilian AI is pretty much shit, I can agree with that. Well it's the same with Witcher 3 where it never bothered anyone. I just don't think that is an important issue. You're of course free to insist on good civilian AI if that is something making a game worthwhile for you.
Combat AI is hit and miss - sometimes they act rather clever, flanking, throwing grenades to flush me out of cover, use weapons that can shoot through cover, switch to melee if they feel I have superior firepower - also depending on who you are fighting they apply different tactics - Arasaka ninjas change tactics often and can be PITA. But sometimes the AI can be really disoriented and end up sitting ducks.
I think something that can't be taken from CDPR is the excellent world building. It's so extremely detailed and created with so much love and care, it actually rivals Witcher 3. There's tons of really impressive environmental storytelling, countless cross references of people and events in emails and logs in places that seem unrelated, and each little alley, dumpster, side road, cafe, apartment whatever of the (pretty huge) city has this handcrafted feel that someone actually paid attention to it, and even placed the litter with thought and care to create a unique thing with character. Explains what hundreds of people were doing those five years...
Might not be important to you, but this is something I cherish very much. I can spend hours just exploring and looking at things and notice the effort that went into them, deciphering what the designer wanted to express. That's not specific to CP, but something where the game really clicks with me.
Also character design, voice overs, mo-cap, acting - that's all top notch. If you are with a group of people where one is speaking, you can actually read the emotions of everybody else from their faces and small gestures - all very subtle and "real".
Judgement about the story I'll reserve until when I actually completed it. Can take a while.
I could go on and on about this game - what is good, was is bad, what is ok, or barely so. It's a rather fascinating piece of software and art.
Is the game flawed? Certainly. Too flawed? Up to you. "Bad at every level"? Definitely not. You're of course free to dislike, even hate the game for your own reasons. Like I wrote, if good pedestrian and traffic AI is important to you, well - the game doesn't have it, so you're free to dislike it for that, if it destroys immersion for you (btw. in 1.0 traffic didn't even try to stop for you - they simply ran you over...).
But there is a difference between pointing out flaws and valid points of criticism and blindly raging "everything is shit".
And I also find is weird, bordering on dishonest to complain about GOG preload requiring Galaxy (it's fine to criticise that of course) and then
use Steam to play the game. Steam made clients a thing. Without Steam and co I doubt Galaxy would even exist. You gave Valve your money. Go figure.
I did not give money to steam, nor did I say I had a steam account. I do however know people who do, which is the only way I know much about steam. For many years GOG was my my main platform, so it’s perfectly acceptable to complain about Galaxy, the preload, the online only components, the fact the game was built for microtransactions etc. I certainly won’t be giving gog any money for the foreseeable future, and CDPR definitely not. In fact, GOGs actions over the last few years have made me think about getting a steam account just to move away from here, simply because it’s cheaper and no different.
As for your points, I am not going to go through every single bit, it is flawed on every level, if you want to ignore that you are free to do so. For my money GOG gets nothing further due in part to this product, CDPR will never get anything further from me. That is how bad it is. To be hinest I was a big fan of W3 either having tried to get through it several times now, but the difference there is it’s only average. Perhaps the years of patching and dlc did save that one, so maybe there is hope for cyberpunk, but I will never waste my time with it again.