Projects like Cyberpunk come out once in a generation. The expectations of players all over the world were raised to the skies, and this played a cruel joke with CD Projekt RED. Horrible versions of the game for consoles of the last generation, poor technical condition – the publisher has messed up a lot of firewood. But what was Cyberpunk 2077 like before its release in the minds of players and what has it become after? Let’s figure it out together.
What promises shouldn’t have come true?
Let’s define the frames right away. We will not count the videos from the exhibitions as “promises” for one reason. CD Projekt Red said that any of the early videos “do not reflect the final look of the game.” A similar plate appeared in every video with the gameplay. Can you call this a hoax? It is unlikely that the developers immediately warned that the game might look different.
The second point is the cut mechanics, which were reported by the developers themselves. Here:
- The metro will be present in the game only visually.
- You cannot run along walls with mantis blades.
- Auto customization will be cut.
- Apartment decoration will not be available in the final game.
- Third person casters have been removed to enhance immersion.
- The robot cannot become the main character’s companion.
It all started with the transfer …
Cyberpunk 2077 was originally supposed to be released on April 16, but this did not happen. On January 16, 2020, CD Projekt Red announced that they were postponing the release to September 17, 2020. The reason for this is the desire to make the project “the best achievement of a generation”, although in the same address you can see that the game is ready and it can even be completed. Most likely, the plot of the project was implied.
The next transfer took place on June 18th. In their message, the developers said that they need another 2 months to complete the game, and postponed the release from September 17 to November 19. Here they mentioned that Cyberpunk 2077 is already completely ready – tasks, pumping, cinematics and filling the world are done, but it takes more time to remove bugs and balance the game.
On October 5, CD Projekt Red announces that Cyberpunk 2077 has gone gold. This means that the master discs on which the game is located went to the factories and began to print millions of game discs from them. After 22 days, something happens that has not happened in the gaming industry for a long time – a game that has gone “for gold” is again transferred. 21 days from the planned release date. December 10, 2020 – new day X.
What were the heads of the studio guided by this time? By polishing and fixing bugs in all nine versions of the game: PlayStation family consoles, Xbox, PC and Google Stadia. According to them, they had to make sure that everything works on all platforms as originally intended. There, for the first time, people heard about the “zero-day patch”, which should fix most of the problems.
Cyberpunk 2077 was released on December 10. And it was a holiday for some users and mourning for others. The technical state of the game on PC is much better than on consoles, but still far from ideal. Someone was lucky, and he was able to play at maximum graphics settings, while someone saw 15 frames per second while traveling in Night City and rightly began to be indignant. Cheating by CD Projekt? Of course. Nobody expected this.
My tongue is my enemy?
But that was just an introduction. Let’s go back to the time when Cyberpunk 2077 was presented with a single trailer and was just starting to grow into details in the heads of the players waiting for it. Was there something that the developers promised to implement in one of the interviews, but didn’t?
“Live” Night City
One of the main complaints about Cyberpunk 2077 is the ill-conceived artificial intelligence of city residents, their lack of a daily routine and routine activities that the developers promised. This is only half true: during the day in Knight City, huge crowds walk the streets, and their number depends on the area and on the “crowd density” setting. At night, most of the “dummies” disappear, like many cars on the roads, bandits appear in disadvantaged areas – therefore, the daily routine is still present.
But not everyone really has routine activities. Most of the cars just drive along the set routes and create a simulation of life. Only a fraction of the residents of Night City are really busy with something in different parts of the city – but in 90% of cases it is a looping animation. But what did the developers say about this to different publications back in 2018?
In one of the podcasts of the German portal GameStar, the developer shared the following information: “In Witcher 3, we had many villages where the locals were not doing anything. They didn’t have any routine. We want to fix this in Cyberpunk 2077. ”
In another interview with RPG Site, Mission Designer Patrick Mills said: “We want the city to feel alive and filled with different people walking around and doing something. We want it to be a realistic place. “
Speaking to Eurogamer in August 2018, another CDPR quest designer, Philip Weber, said: “We will have many neighborhoods and each will be different from each other. The multicultural Watson, in which the game begins, will become a training platform for the player, although no one forbids going anywhere on the map at once. We’ve tried to balance the exploration of the city, both for new players and fans of the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop. So the storyline will take you through all the neighborhoods when you need it. “
The keywords in almost all of these interviews are “we want.” There will be no “in our game there will be …” – just a desire to make such a mechanic. This is an important point in any developer statement, and this is where CD Projekt Red is safe.
In an interview with Gamerant, UI Coordinator Alvin Liu revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 will have a “tracing” system, and that the player will be chased by the police or gangs if he starts terrorizing the city’s residents. This is indeed present in the game, but getting away from the chase is as easy as shelling pears with the gangs. Policemen and bandits lose interest in the hero as soon as they lose sight of him. A technical flaw? Yes.
The following words sounded more interesting: “the system will differ from the same Grand Theft Auto V – in Cyberpunk 2077 the police are corrupt and take bribes”. This was not reflected in the gameplay, but from a narrative point of view, this is exactly the case. During the prologue in the “Street Child” branch, it is the corrupt police officers who find the protagonist and Jackie Wells at the crime scene. In one of the side “orders”, dishonest servants of the law ordered their colleague – you can tell her about it and thereby resolve the conflict peacefully. Races also take place under the watchful eye of the police, and if any of the passers-by or participants dies, they will simply close their eyes to this.
Speaking to USG, Cyberpunk 2077 producer Richard Borzymowski also shared details about the police system in Knight City. “If a player shoots someone in Pacifica and no one sees it, no one will care about that person. But if you start shooting in the central area of the city, the police will immediately issue a warrant for your elimination … “. When asked how you can interact with the forces of law, Richard replied: “You can run, you can enter into a confrontation and then run away, or you can fight until you die.” And all this is really present in the game. Even during shootouts with bandits in disadvantaged areas, the police will not interfere, but if you start fighting with gangs closer to the center, the player will be put on the wanted list.
This aspect of the game got the most from the fans. After all, CD Projekt Red promised “a real role-playing game!” “Better than The Witcher 3!” and other exclamations that fill the headlines. It’s foolish not to admit that they actually promised a deeper role-playing system than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And they kept their promise.
Cyberpunk 2077 Chief Level Designer Miles Toast tells NetRunner 2077: “We have a huge number of weapons in the game. People will probably forget at first that this is an RPG in the first place. Character customization and equipment selection; choosing from skills that you possess, from talents; how your character looks; what choices you make in dialogues. These are all central to the gaming experience. Some will look and the first thing they think is: “Damn, it’s just a first-person shooter!” But this is just a first impression. The role-playing system in our game is much deeper than in The Witcher 3. “
Now, let’s figure out what is in Cyberpunk 2077 from the “role-playing game”.
The player class can be either universal or strictly focused on one thing. If a player wants to become a hacker, at the ready with a pistol, rifle or blade weapon, he needs to pump the “Intelligence” and “Reaction” branches. They are responsible for these types of weapons. But he won’t be able to make full use of heavier weapons like shotguns, machine guns and heavy sniper rifles, and fist attacks in melee will do much less damage. There are only 50 levels in the game, and therefore it will not work to pump everything.
Unfortunately, there are not so many active skills in the leveling branch in the game. For a “netrunner” it is hacking all kinds of enemy equipment from a distance and creating new “viruses” and using them with the help of a cyberdeck, as well as increasing damage or memory cells. But with firearms, everything is much worse. Among the active talents, one can single out time dilation, when the character simultaneously dodges bullets and fights with pistols or rifles (yes, this skill can be pumped only in the “Reaction” branch). But there are also many useful passive perks, such as increased damage while shooting from behind cover.
Fighting with bladed weapons is completely tied to skills – pumping passive skills like increasing damage during an attack from a block, or restoring health at the moment of parrying – all this forces a change in the approach to open encounters. Players who prefer stealth to brute force are the strongest. It is unclear whether this is a bug, or it was originally conceived, but shots from pistols with stealth silencers inflict some colossal damage – you just need to thoughtfully pump your character.
There are a huge number of such “builds” on YouTube – for any style of passage
Most of the implants have only a passive effect: an increase in weight, which can be lifted, armor under the skin to reduce damage, restoration of “memory” for frequent hacks with the help of a cyberdeck. However, the player can put additional weapons in his hands – mantis blades, gorilla hands or whips. Each of these weapons is designed for different classes and using wrist blades effectively when the character is strong and does not swing the branch of blades will not work. Leg implants can give the opportunity to do a double jump or one, but very high.
The dialogue system depends not only on the path chosen at the beginning of the game (Corporate, Street Child, Nomad), but also on what skills the hero develops. This is especially common in side quests. An answer option appears, intended for a character with a high level of “intelligence” or “reaction”. Once, the author managed to get more money from a friendly netrunner for a contract, only because V was himself an experienced hacker and knew that information was much more expensive. However, the main character was threatened and asked not to behave this way anymore – this is not done in Night City.
We remind you: in “The Witcher 3”, in most cases, there were only two options in the dialogues, and only in rare cases this set was expanded to three or four options. The dialogues in Cyberpunk 2077 are made in the same style, however, the outcome of the conversation depends on the order in which V says certain phrases. Talking to Johnny Silverhand can easily turn him against yourself – and miss an impressive chunk of his story.
Cyberpunk 2077 performance
The state of the game as it appeared on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles cannot be justified. During a meeting with investors, CD Projekt Red announced that they cheated before receiving a certificate for selling the game in the PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store. They promised that they would bring these versions to a finished state with patches of 0 and 1 days, and therefore Cyberpunk 2077 generally appeared on consoles of the previous generation.
Interesting information surfaced on December 16 when indie developer Rami Ismail wrote a series of questions on his Twitter account to answer how this certification is going. Its main goal is to find out that the game does not disable the console, correctly displays notifications of the internal menus of the game system, does not break when the controller is turned off, and so on. The list is very long, but mostly wacky. There is not a word about the performance of the game or about any “quality standard” that a new release must meet. Moreover, they turn a blind eye to non-compliance with certain rules if the developer proves that they are unimportant.
All the blame for the work of the game falls on the publisher, only he decides whether to release the project or not, whether to cancel its release after certification, or sell it unprepared. Here it is worth understanding one thing – neither the platform owner nor the developer is to blame for what happened. All responsibility lies with the holding company CD Projekt, which sent the unfinished product for certification and decided to release it on the previous generation consoles to increase profits, lying about the fact that “Cyberpunk works as it should”.
The best that players can do now is to try to issue a refund using a special hotline created by CD Projekt Red, as Sony and Microsoft have officially announced that they will not refund money for Cyberpunk 2077. Moreover, at the same public meeting with investors the developers made it clear – there will definitely not be a monumental leap in graphics. Graphically, the game will remain the same as it was originally released, only bugs will be fixed.