Games Inbox: Have the Cyberpunk 2077 bugs been exaggerated?

Cyberpunk 2077 – have its issues been overstated? (pic: CD Projekt)

The Wednesday Inbox wonders if Cyberpunk 2077 will make people think twice about pre-orders, as one reader offers advice on PC gaming monitors.

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PC experience
I feel like I must add to the Cyberpunk 2077 discourse as many things are being said but don’t seem to align with my experience thus far.

First of all I have to say I feel terrible for those who were deliberately misled about the last gen versions with leaked footage actively sought out by CD Projekt and hidden, as well as late review codes sent out. I would encourage anyone who purchased the game for the base, underpowered, consoles and who feels it is unplayable on those formats to avail themselves of CD Projekt’s offer of a refund. Unless you are planning to upgrade to current gen hardware soon, I guess.

I’ve been running the game on a quite modest PC at 1080p with some settings turned off and it runs… fine. There are still bugs aplenty but I’ve seen those patched out many times in the past in other games, and they really haven’t ruined my gaming experience, or indeed my life.

With all that said, I’m loving the game so much. Genuinely and not in a determined ‘I will enjoy this game no matter what’ through gritted teeth kind of way. When I’m not playing it, I’m thinking about playing it. I don’t get that feeling very often these days and I find that a real joy.

I just hope the developers can get the game running smooth enough on PlayStation 4/Xbox One with the coming patches so those who purchased it with high hopes can just play the game and experience the world this team has made without thinking about performance issues or glitches.

The negativity and tempered review scores may obscure what I personally feel is one of the games of the generation (sorry GC!) I hope it all works out for the sake of fans and the hardworking developers.

Hourly schedule
I’m currently playing Cyberpunk 2077 on a PlayStation 5 and really enjoying it. In terms of detail, scope and depth it’s one of the most impressive games I’ve seen. It looks fantastic, and the gameplay itself is excellent, but it is still hugely buggy.

At the moment I’m finding it manageable, with the semi frequent crashes (every couple of hours probably) partially offset by the quick load times. That said, the experience on last gen consoles sounds pretty unpleasant.
Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)

Ugly, bland, and buggy
So I feel the need to defend Cyberpunk 2077 a little, now I’m playing on an Xbox One, not S not X just the One that I bought five or six years ago. Is the game ugly? Yes. Grainy, bland? Yes. Is it buggy? Yes. I’ve become stuck on water, on piles of rubbish, had characters glitching and clipping through scenery… but the frame rate, well things like that don’t bother me, like at all. I’ve been playing games since the NES so things like frame rates and performance have literally never bothered me.

End of the day it’s a good game, I’m compelled to go on, to see what’s next, to meet the weird and unique peeps of Night City, if it wasn’t I’d of gone back to Assassin’s Creed or Animal Crossing or Control and, performance issues aside, I’ve never experienced any slowdown in 20+ hours. And besides, GC gave it a solid 8 out of 10, go in with your eyes open and it’s an eye-opening experience, especially when you give yourself a love heart pubic mound!
big boy bent

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Déjà Vu Ex
So I have had my Xbox Series X for over a week now and I’m fairly impressed with it. I upgraded to Games Pass Ultimate for a £1 month trial and it converted my current Xbox Live Gold membership into Ultimate so I basically have well over a year’s worth for £1! I’ve download Streets Of Rage 4, Control, Carrion, Untitled Goose Game, Ori, Sea Of Thieves… I would have never of tried some of these. Can’t really praise Game Pass enough.

I also upgraded my TV after 11 years, so the graphical difference is huge for me. Loading times are almost non-existent and games just feel smoother. Jumping into different games with the quick resume I thought was a gimmick but it;s actually helpful to keep interest and feels less of slog to complete games.

I have to say I haven’t come across major bugs with Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a strange game, sometimes it’s beautiful, especially driving up to Japan Town and looking at the neon skyline with the sense of scale and busy, hustled streets which reminds me of a trip to Hong Kong. But then other times the streets seem empty and character models look plasticky. The illusion of a big interactive city is the best to date but probe a bit deeper and it feels just like Deus Ex.

Inform and guide
I was wondering if GC had a comment on the controversy surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 and any responsibility reviewers might hold. It was clear from both the development hiccups and then the refusal to send any review copies out bar PC that something was amiss. Yet reviewers rushed to give the game a score, with the game sitting on 90 on Metacritic at one point yet being fundamentally broken on some platforms.

There appears to be a drive to have instant news which gives little time for reflection and analysis. I appreciate it’s a difficult balancing act, driving and maintaining traffic with quality journalism and I’m not singling you out but to be honest, a lot of us hold you in high regard and I am disappointed with how gullible reviewers have been. Fundamentally you are here to inform and guide and I’m not sure you met the standards we have been accustomed to since Digi days.

Any plans for a last gen review?

GC: In what way have reviewers been gullible? As far as we can see all the major sites seemed to act responsibly. The reviews were only for the PC version and the state of the game on consoles has been made very plain via a near endless stream of news stories. There’s no point in a last gen console review at the moment, not least because everyone is already very well aware of how it plays on those formats.

Worse than expected
So like many, I spent my weekend diving into Cyberpunk 2077 and I have to say, despite the many warnings of bugs, I’m shocked at how bad it is.

A lot of the focus seems to be on the bugs on the base last gen systems. I even see many people with the opinion that the fault actually lies with the player for buying the game on those systems – that is something that I just don’t get. CD Projekt advertised and sold it for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, so surely someone paying the £50 has a right to expect it to work competently? Just don’t get how so many people seem to want to shift the blame onto the player.

As for myself, I’m playing it on an Xbox Series S. Now I didn’t expect world-beating graphics and performance here, but what I’m seeing would’ve looked bad in an Xbox 360 game. Enemies randomly zapping about, floating/disappearing after they have been killed, the same characters being duplicated in crowds of a small few, terrible animation when characters are walking around/up steps, the list is endless. Nothing game-breaking you could say, but it really is distracting at times how bad it looks.

I know many are talking about patches, but how much can patches really do (genuine question)? And I assume such patches will address issues on all consoles regardless of gen? As this is a last gen game at this point I guess, so I’m just playing it backwards-compatible…

GC: Patches can do a lot to fix bugs, how much they can do for performance issues like frame rate is a bigger question, that only CD Projekt can answer.

What’s the rush?
I’m not trying to defend CD Projekt Red, or any other developer, but in this day and age I’m not sure why anyone would purchase a game on day one, let alone pre-order.

Anyone complaining about the bugs either here, or elsewhere on the internet, must surely be informed enough to know that this sort of thing is just par for the course with modern day gaming (GTA 5, Fallout 76, No Man’s Sky, etc). These games aren’t going anywhere so why not just wait, even just a week, to see if the game actually works!?

The long road to Night City
VVVVV long-time reader and first time in around 10 years writer.

The whole Cyberpunk 2077 debacle has been a series of annoyances, disappointments, and contrivances and it seems the universe doesn’t want me to play the game. This is a long one so strap in!

I asked for the game for Xmas in September, which my wife duly pre-ordered with Amazon. Launch day comes and goes only for it not to arrive, lost in the mail, despite it being signed for by someone.

The reviews hit and my PlayStation 4 is obviously not the right choice to play such a demanding game.

My wife has to wait several days due to Royal Mail’s lost in post policy and finally gets a refund on the 14th December. She purchases the game again five minutes, before I see that the game is being refunded on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as it’s effectively broken and largely unplayable. I mention this to her and she cancels the replacement order.

Reading the Inbox on the 14th, I see the mail about free Stadia hardware and a £10 discount. I try to make an account and obtain the free Stadia hardware, only for Google to go down during the account creation process and make it appear that all my Google accounts are wiped and leaving me in a blind panic!

Then today I see that Google has changed its mind about the free hardware due to availability issues. I’ve no other way of using Stadia aside from a tiny phone screen, which is no way to play a big title like Cyberpunk, so I decide to try to see if I made the deadline which closed retrospectively on the 13th at 4pm PST and which I’ve missed by 25 hours. I spend three hours waiting for Stadia customer service to try and see if I can wangle something from them so that I’ll qualify, which I fail at and so don’t.

I therefore have had to cancel the game order as I’ve nought to play it on. I’m now just about to cancel Stadia but this means that as I’ve created an account I’ll never be able to obtain any future offer when joining Stadia with a new account.

In summary, Cyberpunk has cost me three missed or cancelled orders, several hours of my wife’s and my time, the Royal Mail’s time, Amazon customer service’s time, Google and Stadia customer service’s time, and any future Stadia freebies that might have been available.

I’m now utterly and totally sick of Cyberpunk 2077 (or as it’s a massive Fallout style bug hunt shouldn’t it be renamed 2076?) without even seeing the title screen.
Chris McIntosh

Inbox also-rans
Will this debacle finally put to bed the strange obsession with pre-orders? CD Projekt Red would be learning a much harsher lesson right now without those sales.
A_World_Of_Pain (PSN ID)

You see, this is why I don’t download any of my games, because when there is a total mess up with the game Sony or Xbox don’t care – take Cyberpunk 2077, no refunds. Whereas you buy it on disc you take it back to the shop and they will give you a refund, no questions asked.

GC: There seem to have been several questions asked by some shops, according to peoplr on social media.

On one hand, CD Projekt released the Switch port of The Witcher 3 to universal acclaim, the game being held up as a standard bearer of how to optimise a game on limited hardware. On the other, we have Cyberpunk… it really doesn’t make sense.
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Ring Fit and Dragon Quest 10

GC: Maybe Saber Interactive should’ve made the console versions of Cyberpunk.

RE: Bobwallett and PC monitors. IPS is probably best in terms of image quality, TN and VA are very similar technology and known for their faster response times but IPS has caught up a lot. Depending on the monitor model itself it may or may not be as good as a TN in this respect. TN monitors, however, have generally got very washed-out colour production and poor viewing angles.

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, who asks what’s the most money you’ve ever regretted spending on a video game related item?

It can be an early mistake from your children or a more recent purchase but what game, hardware, or merchandise do you really wish you hadn’t bought?

Do you blame the game or item itself or misleading marketing or reviews – or did you simply get the wrong idea about what it was? Did the mistake change your attitude at all and have you made a similar mistake since?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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