One would think that seven years of development time would result in one of the most polished games ever, but, uh, nah. The game is so broken on console that Sony has taken the unprecedented step of completely removing it from the PlayStation Store.
According to NBC News, the move comes only a week after the game launched on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Sony Interactive Entertainment released a statement on its site saying they would be offering “a full refund” to anyone who purchased the game through the PlayStation Store. Normally, that would be that, but Cyberpunk 2077 has been anything but normal. Sony decided to take things one step further by delisting the game from the PlayStation Store “until further notice.”
This means you straight up cannot buy Cyberpunk 2077 digitally through the platform. Go on, try it. I’ll wait. Folks can still buy physical versions of the game on console but given the fact that even NBC is reporting on this L, I doubt folks are going to be rushing off to grab it.
This is damn near unprecedented, especially for a game as hyped and expensive as Cyberpunk 2077. The game sold 8 million copies in pre-orders alone and already recouped its development costs before it even came out. It’s not hyperbole to call it the biggest game of 2020, due largely to just how long people have been waiting for it.
For reference, I was still a junior in college when the game was announced in 2013. I distinctly remember watching the trailer in my “storytelling in video games” class and all of us losing our collective minds. If only I could have warned baby me of what was to come.
Despite that long development time and numerous delays, the game was still released in a broken state on consoles. Like broken broken. Like Batman after squaring up to Bane broken.
Yeah. That broken.
If you think details of Cyberpunk’s failure have been greatly exaggerated, just watch a couple seconds of this episode of Highlight Reel and see for yourself. The console versions straight up look like a PS2 game. Textures can take forever to load, which means that the things that give the game detail (faces, building exteriors, weapons) frequently aren’t there.
The frame rate often dips into the teens, which is a massive problem that essentially renders the game unplayable. The commonly accepted baseline framerate a game needs to hit is 30 frames per second (FPS), and most current-gen games are capable of hitting 60fps. This breakdown from Digital Foundry shows that on both the base PS4 and Xbox One, the game frequently chugs into frame rates as low as 10-15 frames per second.
This is a massive problem for the basic fact that the average consumer is probably playing on a base PS4 or Xbox One, due both to the scarcity of next-gen consoles and the fact that only hardcore gamers are willing to shell out over $1,000 on a gaming PC.
I’m currently playing the game on PC, which is considered the “optimal” version and even that is filled with multiple bugs that break my immersion in the game. I was going through what was essentially the mission that sets up the stakes of the game and I had to completely restart it because it kept loading the objective outside the parameters of the mission.
In literally my first moments with the game, I couldn’t get an item descriptor to go away so I had to walk through the opening mission with a picture of a soda can at the bottom of my screen.
So, yeah, Cyberpunk is a bit of a shitshow at the moment and publisher CD Projekt Red’s handling of things has greatly damaged trust in what was widely considered the gold standard in gaming when it came to consumer friendly practices. (Its working conditions are a whole ‘nother thing though.)
The studio’s last game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was loved by damn near everybody who played it. That was a similarly ambitious game and it ran well on console, which makes Cyberpunk’s jankiness look even worse in comparison.
It’s also looking a lot like the company knew the game was buggy as hell and that the console versions just didn’t work. Reviewers were only given codes for the PC version before launch and reviewers were not allowed to use their own footage in pre-release reviews, only B-roll provided by the company which shows the game working in it’s best state.
Now, because of laws and stuff, I can’t straight up say “CD Projekt Red lied” but it ain’t looking like they were too truthful and now they pay the price. CD Projekt’s stock prices have tumbled 20 percent and the company’s market value has dropped by an estimated $6.6 billion since the game’s launch.
The studio has committed to fixing the game, releasing a statement saying players can expect two big patches in January and February that should hopefully fix the major bugs. This leads to the question of why weren’t the console releases delayed? Yes, the game had already been delayed countless times, but I think folks would’ve much rather waited and had a game they could play, as opposed to the steaming pile of disappointment currently sitting in their harddrive.
So maybe instead of doubling down on its edgelord, transphobic marketing campaign they should’ve just focused on making a game that, you know, worked. Instead, CD Projekt Red is out here looking like Boo Boo the Fool and they only have themselves to blame.
You hate to see it.