Cyberpunk 2077 is better than you think and CD Projekt are worse

Cyberpunk 2077 Keanu Reeves Screenshot

Cyberpunk 2077 – is it deformed? (Photo: CD Project)

The reader assumes that no one should be surprised by the bugs in Cyberpunk 2077, and that despite the problems, it is still a great game.

I just wanted to suggest a few (many?) words of balance to correct the wicked amount of negative press surrounding this game, which gamers currently hate, Cyberpunk 2077.

To put it bluntly: I’m not going to defend the CD Projekt Red. There were lies, deceptions and malpractices before, during and after discharge, and they not only shot themselves in one or two legs, but amputated both legs with no prosthesis in sight and no means to stop the bleeding.

In fact, what surprises me about this company is that it has always been recognized as sacred by all players. They’re not, really, not even close. They have always dealt with the usual questionable business practices of game developers, such as forcing their employees to over-calculate and releasing games that were not so neat at launch with a we will fix it later, I promise. They’re not heroes, and frankly, I’m rather skeptical of anyone who’s ever thought of them.

What I’m still trying to understand is that Cyberpunk 2077 can be so bloated, and yet many players didn’t know it would clearly be released in a less than perfect condition – and then be really surprised by that condition, despite CD Projekt’s track record. This indicates a problem that I’m starting to notice more and more: People (and not just players) don’t do their research, although the internet and the many search engines make it easy to do so. I follow the comment sections of a popular gambling site, and it’s a story that’s repeated over and over again.

For all players who were really surprised that Cyberpunk 2077 was buggy/cracked/modified on consoles (and now, of course, can ruin and lose progress on the PC due to the appearance of 8MB + backup files), I present the following information :

When The Witcher 3 was released on PlayStation 4 in 2015, it wasn’t technically as good as it should have been. There were the usual weird animations, the driving sections (I mean Roach) were less controlled than they are now, framerates could easily drop below 30 frames per second (not just in Novigrad or Crookback Bog), and crashes were half random.

I know because I bought the game at the launch and I experienced it all myself. Does my description sound familiar? Okay, so be it. Although The Witcher 3 gets a lot of love nowadays, it came on the market in the same state as Cyberpunk 2077. If someone has the version on disk and wants to try it, remove the game and reinstall it without patches to get version 1.00.

If you look at the history of CD Projekt, the first two Witcher games were released by many different people in buggy states, and it was only after a few patches (and, if I remember correctly, the actual release of The Witcher 2) that they reached the level of play they should have at launch.

Any simple search on Google (or your favorite search engine) can quickly yield this year’s information that proves these points. That’s why we have them, isn’t it? But judging by the reaction of some gamers, they clearly bought Cyberpunk 2077 in anticipation of a perfect and painless experience. It is a hype and unreasonable expectation that is not well tempered by the facts, and it is always a recipe for disaster and disappointment, and that is exactly what happened.

Unfortunately this is exactly the case with CD Projekt. A look at the history of the company shows that it has been poorly managed for years. They hire talented people, but then work too hard, resulting in a high turnover; just look at the negative reviews on Glassdoor to understand. Their games are very (too?) ambitious, lack features and have a turbulent development.

They always play in a buggy/hacked/corrupt state to begin with – the whole thing is poorly optimized. That information is readily available, and I think every buyer should do his homework before he buys something, even if he’s been on the market for years, to see if it suits him and if it’s a valuable purchase. Otherwise, part of the problem with a product they don’t like is that they bought it blindly, not just from the manufacturer.

With all this in mind, I am surprised that so many people are surprised that Cyberpunk 2077 was released in the state it was in. Again, I’m not defending CD Projekt, it’s just the way they do business, and I don’t see that changing, if it ever happens. A few simple online searches can tell you that.

People online looking for blood and saying stupid things like Cyberpunk 2077 have broken me and CDPR should be burned at the stake need a reality check. It’s a video game, so we don’t forget. Sending death threats and talking about the company on the Internet only spreads more hatred (so you become part of the problem) and, even worse, can make gamers in general look like a bunch of nagging, nagging gamers with very little impulse control. Again, I’m not defending CD Projekt, they behaved in a disgraceful way. But the reactions and bombardment of critics on Metacritic only make it worse.

The thing is, for me, the game is great. No, I don’t want a refund. I knew he’d have trouble with his tee-day and I wanted to play him anyway. Both eyes were open. I see why he has received so much positive criticism from big and small gambling sites. Although it is not the invention of the RPG sandbox wheel as some would have you believe, it is a very immersive world, albeit in some places technically immature.

Yes, artificial intelligence is sometimes a joke (especially for the police), driving is often a mess that is difficult to control, and perhaps the skill/creativity tree systems are so unbalanced that they are ridiculously exploited, but only if you choose to play that way. Besides, these are design flaws, not bugs, because some players use that word as a slogan for things I don’t like in this game.

Among the design flaws and bugs/panels is a big, beautiful, compelling world that I personally call a different mission every time I pick up the controller – it’s amazing how quickly an hour turns into three or four, and suddenly it’s two o’clock in the morning. I barely touched the main story, I just wandered through Night City and did so many side missions that I lost track; Releasing a patient falsely incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital, murdering the owner of a nightclub exploiting immigrants as slaves, industrial espionage by sneaking into a CEO’s computer and hacking into it to find out he was selling some of his chemicals to drug dealers, breaking into a meth lab in a shady motel (the last two cases may be related), it all sounds like fun?

I see at most a mature mix of Deus Ex, Skyrim and, dare I say it, GTA (more in terms of a well-executed story than driving, of course), while in some ways – for me at least – it is more than the sum of all those parts. I can’t remember the last time I immersed myself in a game for 50 hours in two weeks and received a couple of trophies in a short time, because until the release of the game my PlayStation 4, apart from an occasional run by Bloodborne, was still hiding.

For those who still think TL;DR and jumping in the end, I will summarize. Yes, CD Projekt is not a big company when it comes to management. If you do your homework, they’ve never been there. I think they got away with it in the past because their games didn’t get that much attention for The Witcher 3. But to denigrate Cyberpunk 2077 itself – especially without the game, as you can see in some comments and reviews of users on the Internet – and thereby claim moral responsibility, is simply ridiculous. It makes talented people feel worse – artists, programmers, screenwriters, anyone who has done their job well – when in fact it’s not their fault. Their work is brilliant and makes the game, at least for me, a success despite its flaws.

Oh, and frankly, some of the disturbances are hilarious. A car floating so high in the air that you can park your own car underneath, a trashy street punk sitting in a box with only his legs and head out, V trying to throw his body on the ground and suddenly withdrawing at high speed without warning as if he had accidentally become a basic jumper; sometimes these little things make you laugh out loud after repeatedly failed missions and bring much-needed comic relief.

I see a lot of good things in this game, and if you look under the bugs and online anger, you can too. Either that, or you’re reading this (if you’re still reading it) and you already know it.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve walked enough. I was just trying to say this collectively to any player who would listen: Calm down, it’s been a crazy year, don’t lose your head about the game. Merry Christmas and a much less unpleasant 2021!

Gary Diamond Reader

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