Wednesday 16 December 2020

Cyberpunk'd 2077

Following a delayed launch, the most hyped game of 2020 was released on 10th December for PC and last-gen consoles. It was meant to bring festive cheer during a torrid year.

Cyberpunk 2077, from developer CD Projekt Red, was announced in 2012. After 8 years of development - spanning 3 console generations - expectations were high, too high. More so given the success of The Witcher 3, and the seemingly consumer-friendly practises of the Polish studio with post-launch patches and free DLC in an era dominated by microtransactions and pay-to-win gameplay mechanics. Looking at you EA and Ubisoft.

This isn't a review of Cyberpunk 2077 as I'm only a few hours into the game, digitally, on PlayStation 5 (PS5) via backwards compatibility. Unlike many playing the game on last-gen consoles, my experience has been great aside from one crash to the PS5 dashboard.

Admittedly, as with the original Mass Effect trilogy and Skyrim, I restarted the game several times until I was happy with my character: Star Wars' Daisy Ridley in Westworld. If I discover any game-breaking bugs, things may go south.

It's 2020 and there's no ray tracing for consoles yet. The PS5 brute-forces 60fps and, by disabling film grain, HDR (if enabled) and motion blur, the graphics are sharper on my Samsung 4K UHD smart TV, which will suffice as a workaround until the release of a free next-gen patch in 2021. Hopefully.

But my opinion wouldn't be so positive on last-gen hardware and, whilst the developer would have strived for the best possible experience on all platforms, CD Projekt Red shouldn't get a free pass. Cyberpunk 2077 wasn't oven-ready.

This satirical YouTube clip distils last-gen console owners' frustrations with hilarious results. Not even Keanu Reeves, playing Johnny Silverhand, can save the inhabitants of potato planet.

Cyberpunk 2077 (affiliate link) is the immersive video game I’ve always wanted in a genre that captured my imagination in the pages of 2000 AD back in the summer of 1980. However, the controversy surrounding the title's launch has been well documented elsewhere and I'm interested in what you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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