Breathtaking or Not?

Cyberpunk 2077 had a bumpy launch and an even bumpier release, but how’s the future really looking?


Source: CD Projekt Red

Here’s an official alternate cover art piece by CD Projekt Red for the new game Cyberpunk 2077. The reason why this is an “alternate cover” is because you can play as either a male or a female version of the character “V” that you customize to either look like you or your idea of a cyber punk.

Owen Etter, Staff Writer

Eight incredibly long years ago, a small teaser for a new CD Projekt Red game was announced that had viewers in a buzz. The teaser was just a spin around of a picture of a futuristic-looking woman with blades coming from her arms as she dodged bullets. However, her skin didn’t look to be human and her body looked to have intense cybernetics. That’s when the words slowly faded onto the screen “Cyberpunk 2077” and the world was in shock.

During those eight years, people began to speculate exactly what this game would be. Communities were built, other releases came and went, and the entire time, early fans of Cyberpunk were waiting for any kind of information, which easily lead to lots of questions. ‘Would it be the next GTA 5?’ ‘Would it be the next Skyrim?’ ‘Would it be its own title?’ However, perhaps the most asked question among fans of both CD Projekt Red as a studio and the game was, “Will this game be good?”

Legendary actor Keanu Reeves, and the voice of the legendary rocker Johnny Silverhand, did a small presentation of Cyberpunk at E3 2019. With E3 being one of the biggest video game conferences in the world, this got fans incredibly hyped for what was to come. Not only is this the moment when the internet meme “you’re breathtaking” happened, but this was a groundbreaking moment for the game. Reeves presented a small cinematic about the main storyline of the game and Cyberpunk now officially had a release date of April 16th, 2020.

Even after E3 though, the question of ‘will Cyberpunk 2077 be good’ still wasn’t answered as the game suddenly began to get heavy delays that all came one after another with lots of apologies. The main reason being CD Projekt Red felt that the game wasn’t finished yet and they needed a little more time, which the community understood with the first few delays. It’s often joked amongst the community that the entire project would actually be released in 2077. This was probably CD’s first mistake though, as with an unstable release date continuing to get changed and delays coming one after another, people were growing incredibly impatient.

Emotional tensions were also building quickly with pressure from the community. Lots of early access looks kept people as impatient as ever, money from investors of the game were tapping their feet, and the release of the next-gen consoles of the Xbox Series X and PS5 made it clear that CD needed to do something. Then finally, Cyberpunk 2077 officially released on December 10th, 2020 and the internet BLEW UP.

The game was out, the stage was more than set, and the fans were in their seats with buckets of popcorn and snacks but right out of the gate, it didn’t hit a home run with a lot of people. Reports from people started to pour in about all sorts of bugs that weren’t game-breaking, but incredibly annoying. If at all, the bugs just needed you to go to the main menu and reload the game. This wasn’t good enough though, as some would describe the bugs to be ‘ruining the immersion’ and that they expected more from CD. 

This is where things get mixed, as different players and reviewers from Reddit, YouTube, and Cyberpunk forums either hated the game and wanted a refund or couldn’t get enough of it. Lots of disputes broke out between people saying that the game wasn’t good overall or that it sucked for some people because they put their expectations too high. This didn’t make a huge impact on the game though, as the game was incredibly young still and new players were still pouring in to give their own new and bright opinions.  

Then suddenly, Sony stepped into the mix with a big move. They were listening to the conversations very closely and even looked at the game themselves. Their own findings had led them to see for themselves that Cyberpunk had a very tough time running on now last-gen consoles like the Xbox One and PS4. To Sony, it was unfair to make people buy a next-gen console just to enjoy this new game. This caused Sony to issue refunds for the game for full price, but also, they pulled the game from their online stores. This made some of the community furious with Sony’s decision because it seemed really harsh and CD Projekt Red even gave an official apology to address this.

Now we’re in the present and even at the time of writing this, CD has promised to continue to make performance updates and issue tons of bug fixes throughout 2021. The consensus is that people either love the game, hate the game, or are continuing to delay the game for themselves.

Having over 100 hours and counting, I’m one of those people who love the game, however. I started to play the game on Christmas Day and I have to say that I’m incredibly impressed with the environment, combat, and most of all, the story. The story is super immersive and deeply emotional with its ideas on death and legacy, which could hit home for a lot of players today. The characters are all very well developed and each different side quest is a different story that beams with passion and excitement.

While some combat elements could be improved, as well as some editing on the timing of when voice lines play, the biggest thing that needs fixing in my opinion is the graphics. I’m simply just glad I can even get this game to run considering with all my graphics settings at low, I still get about 20-25 frames per second on a 60-hertz monitor. It’s really laggy primarily when massive crowds spawn in for a mission or lots of things happen at once, but I can easily put up with it because this game is just too amazingly unique and well made.

If you think that bugs or maybe having to reload the game once or twice through your entire playthrough is a problem, then I’d suggest delaying the game for yourself for a while. It’s the same case if you have a last-gen console, it’ll most likely be incredibly laggy and slow for you, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on it. Also, keep in mind this game is M for ‘mature’, so please play the game with a parent’s permission first as there’s lots of nudity, violence, and swearing.

All in all, Cyberpunk 2077 had a very rough bring up, a rocky release, mixed reviews from players, and continues to stir up more winds as things progress. How every single one of these aspects is perceived is up to the player and what they’re looking for in a game and what they have to run it. I know that I’m willing to put up with most of this stuff and love it, but only picking up a controller or sitting down at your computer to play it will help you determine what you personally think of the cybernetic “dark future.”