Cyberpunk 2077

I recently decided to give Cyberpunk 2077 another chance. It had been several months since last I went hands-on with it, as I was waiting to see how CD Projekt Red went about trying to save their less-than-optimal open-world RPG.

To give you an idea as to how long it’s been since I’ve thought about this game, out of the three times I’ve typed the title thus far (in the title and in the previous paragraph), I twice referred to it as Cyberpunk 2099. I realized I was mixing genres and mediums and made my corrections as I should, but I the point I’m making here is that Cyberpunk 2077 has been fading from my thoughts.

It stayed somewhere in the back of my mind, though, waiting patiently through patches and hotfixes. There’s always been a part of me that hoped to hear a magical string of words in a chorus of print and video voices: “Cyberpunk 2077 is finally fixed; it is finally good.”

But while I was waiting for those magical words to be uttered and typed in unison, the reality has been anything but a consensus. Some commentators have been claiming the wait is finally over; the game is fixed and is now great. Others trumpeted even more issues stemming from the intended fixes that have rendered the game even more broken. There’s also a third group that believes, regardless of CDPR’s attempts to save this flatlining game, it’s far too broken and might be forever irredeemable. It’s over folks. You can all go home.

Cyberpunk 2077 Glitch

More curious than hopeful, I decided to see for myself what state Cyberpunk 2077 is in — especially considering I now own a PS5. Since I originally experienced the game on my older PS4 Pro, there stood reason to believe the beefier console should at the very least run the game more capably, regardless of the fixes that have been rolled out in the interim.

This sadly was not the case — at least, not once I got past the initial awe of seeing Cyberpunk 2077 on a PS5. My first few moments back in Night City were quite awe-inspiring. I couldn’t believe how much better it looked. But then I started actually playing the game, and everything went out the window.

I jumped into my mid-tier sports car and decided to tool around the city for a bit to get myself back into the swing of things. After spinning out on a couple of turns at high speed, I was feeling the flow again, and in no time, I was bending corners to my whims. This was especially amazing considering I was a friggin’ wrecking ball during my original playthrough. But that’s when I noticed something weird: All the NPC vehicles were simply gone. There were no other cars on the road — in fact, there were no pedestrians either. Heck, even the guardrails failed to load.

Cyberpunk 2077 Glitch

I could see the mirage of traffic in the distance, a programmer’s trick to give more life to the distant parts of the city. But as soon as I started to drive for longer than about one or two city blocks, the game would just flat out fail to load assets and even portions of the game world. I can drive faster than the game can render a world for me to drive in.

Here I was on a more powerful console, after a number of substantial game updates, and fundamental game assets were failing to compute. I stopped and gave it a few seconds, moving the camera around, and things started loading outside my line of sight. Of course, some assets — like the aforementioned guardrails — would suddenly pop in as if by magic. At one point, I even drove into an underground garage, only to find the infinite world of nothingness that lies beneath all video games.  

I simply couldn’t believe it. CDPR had in fact figured out a way to make a problematic-yet-still-mostly-playable mess of a game even less playable. Even jumping console generations doesn’t seem to matter as far as performance is concerned. I can only imagine how underwhelming it must perform on my PS4 Pro at this point.

I was hesitant to write this editorial. I really was. As someone who found a decent amount of value in Cyberpunk 2077 — despite how much work it was to get it running in the first place — I didn’t want to just jump on the dogpile and write another “Cyberpunk 2077 is trash” article. Because it isn’t flat-out trash.

But on the other hand, this game is becoming more and more trash-adjacent as it goes. I don’t know how CD Projekt Red managed to do it, but Cyberpunk 2077 is somehow less playable than before.

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1 year ago

I started playing cyberpunk on a fat ps4 on patch 1.2 already. One tends to notice the glitches and i mean big glitches when you go beyond the main storyline. However, if you go into the mythology of the whole thing, it’s a pretty good job. I just didn’t like the fact that i couldn’t reset my perk points to help me with a few trophies. I shall push thru a second character when the next large update happens. Like no man sky, i don’t regret my purchase

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