Finally playing the long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077 for more than 10 hours, it’s fair to say I have a good grasp of what the game has and will offer. Here are my thoughts on why Cyberpunk 2077 – on Xbox One – is frustrating me.
I just want to emphasize that this is not a review of Cyberpunk 2077 — there will be a review coming out soon. Rather, this is just a culmination of the issues that have plagued my experience since I’ve installed the game.
Right off the bat, I want to clarify that Cyberpunk 2077 is an extremely rich game, at least content-wise. The world is beautifully crafted, with the fibers of the city in full display in each NPC, with enough variation overall to make it seem like you are in Night City. In the day time, the city is massive as skyscrapers tower over you and at night, the bustling nightlife is at the forefront, with glaring neon lights piercing the night sky.
However, that’s only when the game actually decides to work properly, which is incredibly frustrating.
For me personally, the game looks horrible 90% of the time. That’s not an exaggeration: often textures don’t fully load in, enemies aren’t fully rendered, there are floating objects, characters giving you “important items” only to have nothing in their hands, and so on.
Also, I have phased through car windows, fallen through the geometry of the game, been killed during numerous firefights because the framerate dipped below 20 (!) and made it impossible to aim; the list goes on and on.
Worryingly, Cyberpunk 2077 crashed multiple times in the 10+ hours I’ve played. Most recently, the game crashed as I was talking to a character about a specific gig I was about to do.
Even though I have it bad as a base Xbox One player, some have had it worse. A look at the Cyberpunk 2077 subreddit is lousy with players submitting glitches and bugs they encountered during their playthrough. There are also YouTube compilations showing the various glitches that players experienced.
It’s not just “base” consoles – the original Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – that have these issues; PC players also have issues, even with superior hardware. I get it; there is no perfect game. But considering how long developer CD Projekt Red (CDPR) had to make this game, it shouldn’t be this bug-ridden.
Some may argue, “Oh, you shouldn’t be playing a game on seven-year-old hardware.” The thing is, the game was announced before there was news on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The first teaser for Cyberpunk 2077 was released on May 30, 2012. Mind you, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were announced and released almost a full year later in 2013. That alone makes the issues even more asinine. By the time the game actually came out, a new generation of consoles had been released.
Add on the fact the CDPR only allowed reviewers to review the PC version of the game with a specific set of in-game footage provided by the developer themselves is extremely frustrating. If anything, that’s extremely disheartening to know and incredibly shady especially since CDPR touted that Cyberpunk 2077 had 8 million pre-orders on both console and PC.
If players could have seen what the actual game looked and played like on consoles, there’s no doubt that number would be a lot lower. That doesn’t seem to matter to some as Cyberpunk 2077 recently broke the Steam record for most concurrent players at over 1 million.
Although this may seem like a takedown of CDPR, my intention is far from that. I appreciate the team working extremely hard to push this product out, especially amid incredibly high expectations from fans and themselves. I can only imagine what it feels like to work on a project and see it fall so flat.
To do all this during a pandemic is extremely commendable in and of itself. CDPR worked hard on this game and I understand that if given the opportunity, I’m sure the studio heads would have delayed the game even more.
Whether it was the studio heads’ decision to release the game in this state or the investors will never be known. What is known is that all parties now have to contend with a game that shouldn’t have been released, even after numerous delays.
To their credit, CDPR have issued an apology outlining where the game is headed in the next few months. CDPR have also said that they will be willing to refund players who don’t like the game.
Making matters worse, Sony has pulled Cyberpunk 2077 from it’s digital storefront. Sony Interactive Entertainment has also begun initiating full refunds to gamers who bought the game through the PlayStation Store. While CDPR has not discussed whether Microsoft should pull the game from the Xbox Store, it’s only a matter of time before such talks begin.
Nevertheless, this is the situation all parties find themselves in. If only CDPR stuck to their original message of releasing the game “when it’s ready,” then all of these issues wouldn’t be so noticeable.
That didn’t happen and here we are, frustrated and bamboozled. Personally, I won’t be playing it until after the patches and updates come out, and by then, I hope the game is better.
If not, then this game should’ve stayed in the oven until 2077.