by Sterling Raiklen
What’s gone wrong so far with the much-anticipated title – and what’s managed to go right.
From the initial announcement trailer released back in early 2013, to the infamous Keanu Reeves presentation at E3 2019, to the multiple release date delays, Cyberpunk 2077 had garnered one of the biggest fanfares in video game history. Yet tragically, fans and investors alike are extremely disappointed with the state of the game during its opening weeks.
So what is this game exactly? Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person open-world RPG looter-shooter set in a dystopic not-too-distant future( …2077). The government is secretly controlled by greedy, power-hungry corporations, while crime and despair fill the streets of one Night City. You play as V, a mercenary freelancer making his way through Night City whom you can customize and modify using cybernetic enhancements. There are three “Life Paths” the player can choose: The Nomad, The Street Kid, and The Corporate. Each Path has unique storylines and quests for you to discover more about the world of Cyberpunk 2077.
As was reported during the lead-up to the final release date, early reviews noted that the game was filled with bugs and glitches. It’s not uncommon for a “Triple A title” such as Cyberpunk 2077 to have these sorts of problems on release. However, because Cyberpunk was delayed so often, it was expected that whenever Cyberpunk did release would be the time that the developers of the game – CD Projekt RED – felt they had sufficiently polished the game. In fact, “Coming: When It’s Ready” was one of the more cheeky phrases used by CD Projekt RED when marketing Cyberpunk.
After the countless game-breaking glitches and immersion-ruining bugs gamers have reported these past few weeks, the meme potential…can be left unsaid.
Fans were also shocked to discover core gameplay had been affected. In July 2019, GameRant wrote that the Cyberpunk 2077 team was working on a spin to the open-world “Wanted System” concept; a kind of system uniquely designed for a dystopian corpo-government. UI coordinator Alvin Liu stated at the time that the game’s police force would be “up for hire” and that “laws exist to take bribes…” Liu also stated that CD Projekt RED was working on a system in which “powerful” NPCs apart from the Night City police could come after the player.
Both bribing the police and powerful non-police NPCs as a part of the Wanted System are missing from Cyberpunk 2077 as of the publishing of this article.
These things have all now culminated into a massive outpour of outrage from the gaming community. Fans argue that the once-revered CD Projekt RED engaged in false promises and deceptive marketing campaigns. Reports have also indicated that CD Projekt RED pushed the practice of “crunching” – or pressuring employees to work quickly for long hours with little to no extra pay. As a result, CD Projekt RED stocks have dropped nearly 30%; and now a group of investors are considering filing a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegations of fraud.
Things have only gotten worse for CD Projekt RED as of late when Sony recently announced it was removing Cyberpunk 2077 from all its digital stores until further notice – an action not even taken against other similar Triple A title launch disasters such as Battlefront 2 or Fallout 76. With holiday sales fast approaching combined with the release of the next-gen PS5 console, this unprecedented move by Sony could spell disaster for the Polish game developers.
Despite all the looming criticisms and concerns, there are still some positive notes for the game. Cyberpunk 2077 earned an astonishing 8 million-plus pre-orders, plus it broke Steam’s single-player record within just two hours for the most concurrent players. Fans also say that the game’s story is a compelling and fun experience(when bugs don’t get in the way at least).
I, like most gamers, are in agreement that while the game can be fun to play at times, it’s best to wait out the flurry of patches and fixes surely to come in the next couple of months and pick up a copy afterwards. For now though, one thing’s for sure: Cyberpunk’s Saga won’t be over anytime soon.
“Garnering over 1 million views in 24 hours, video game reviewer Angry Joe Show summarizes most fan’s thoughts and experiences of Cyberpunk’s initial launch week.”