Cyberpunk 2077: A Broken Game and A Broken Promise

Cyberpunk 2077

Studies show, that by the time a child has reached the age of just 4 years old, they start to fully understand the concept of apologizing. They can formulate an apology, and think critically on what it means, and the implications of apologizing. One of the major hurdles we all need to overcome on our journey to maturity, is learning how to own up to our mistakes instead of making excuses for them. Cyberpunk 2077 is a theatre of mistakes, and CD Projekt Red keeps making excuses for all of them.

CD Projekt Red hack (Cyberpunk 2077)
Credit: Forbes

CD Projekt Red’s greatest irony is that they fell victim to the same trap the Corpos in Night City have time and time again: they put profit before morality. Releasing an unfinished game that couldn’t run on two of the major consoles it released on is immoral, greedy, and indicative of a flaw in leadership.

Not only did the game not run on nearly half the hardware it was released on, but even on the platforms it could run on, it was still a buggy, choppy mess. The consensus was in. Golden child CD Projekt Red had made mistakes. Big ones.

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So came the first see-through apology. Essentially saying “we’re sorry we bait-and-switched every single one of you into giving us $90, but now that you’ve caught on, you can have it back if you want.”

But then, there was this new problem as well. Something CDPR honestly had very little experience with before, If you, by squinting as tightly as your eyes could muster, could look past them releasing a broken, buggy, unfinished game, you would see the unfortunate truth:

Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t even good when it works.

Cyberpunk Skilltree
Credit: CD Projekt Red

The multiple skill trees provide next-to-nothing in the way of any meaningful development. You can now unlock doors that have a 4 on them instead of a 3, and you can now throw knives that break your game (again) when you throw them. Cool, but where is my character development? Did CDPR forget that Cyberpunk 2077 is an RPG?

Literally no matter what you do outside of making a few massive “this is obviously a giant choice” choices, nothing you do as a player affects the world or story in any way. Skill checks in dialogue? Nearly non-existent, and when they are there, they are completely inconsequential. Can’t tell this NPC how to hack a computer? Cool, now they’ll just do it for you while you shoot at more bad guys who clip in and out of the environment with terrible gunplay.

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Cyberpunk Gunplay
Credit: CD Projekt Red

Combat feels sluggish and unruly, like everyone involved is constantly wearing either cinderblock shoes or ice skates, and the gunplay is an absolute embarrassment. Comparing firing a weapon in this game to almost any other AAA shooter out there right now is night and day. Melee combat doesn’t feel any better, and literally feels like a game from a decade ago with its Skyrim-like system of “swing at them with the same three animations for thirty seconds until they fall over.”

At the very least, the rich, huge, detailed open world that CDPR described before releasing the game… that had to be good, right?

Credit: CD Projekt Red

You will, to CD Projekt Red’s credit, occasionally get lost in certain journeys to the more polished sections (mostly interior) of the game with beautiful details and interesting geometry.

For every one experience like that, however, you’ll have ten more where you’re walking down a same-y street looking at same-y NPCs all using the same animations as they get in and out of same-y cars. Night City only has variety where it needed to for the main story. Once that’s all over, prepare to have a empty void replace the once lively streets.

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So the game was a flop that broke and fizzled out on impact. Remember that apology CDPR issued before, addressing the bare minimum about all of this? They mentioned a patch in there, one that would fix everything and make the game, you know, playable.

Guess how that went.

CDPR suffered a ransomware attack. A breach that was mostly an issue of data on a game completely unrelated to Cyberpunk 2077 took place, and CDPR apparently had to stop absolutely everything to deal with it.

And yes, Xbox One and PS4 owners who were robbed and lied to: that includes the patch. It will be three months since the game’s release before it’s in a condition to even be jokingly called “sellable,” and CDPR are now blaming the delay on an event that happened just a week or two before the patch was supposed to drop. The patch that they had “been working on” for two months. The patch that should have never been needed in the first place.

The hack is not an excuse, CD Projekt Red. It’s a scapegoat.

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Mod
Credit: CD Projekt Red

This is not the CD Projekt Red who made The Witcher 3. The pedestal that they had built for themselves as one of the few consistently incredible AAA developers has crumbled away to nothing with every meaningless update and vapid Twitter post promising a patch that isn’t coming any time soon.

This is a shorter rant compared to most levied against Cyberpunk 2077, but honestly, the game isn’t even in a place where it deserves to be talked about anymore.

It’s terribly sad. The game that was one of the most anticipated titles of the decade has been relegated to nothing more than a broken mess that it’s too late to fix. When you inevitably see Cyberpunk 2077 on sale for $40 by this summer, remember:

It’s not even worth that much.

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