The Friday Inbox feels sorry for the ordinary CD Projekt developers working on Cyberpunk 2077, as one reader imagines Cyberpunk 2077 VR.
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Trust no one
I feel there’s some real-life lessons to learn from how this Cyberpunk 2077 business is unfolding. Like people have said, you lie that blatantly you’re going to get caught out and I really don’t understand how CD Projekt thought this was going to work out for them. Best as I can gather, they were banking on a patch being ready in time? Although I get the feeling they’re all PC nerds and just didn’t really care about the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which seems madness for people trying to run a business.
Whatever happens next their reputation is shot, they’re a laughing stock now and only a brand new game, that isn’t filled with bugs, is going to get them close to back where they were before Cyberpunk. Which gets me thinking, if not them who are the most trusted games company?
First one I thought of was Nintendo, especially in terms of games quality, but then the same day we have the interview reminding me about how awful they’ve been about Joy-Con drift and whatever else they think they can get away with when it comes to hardware. Sony were caught up in tons of half-truths before the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Phil Spencer barely seems to keep the story from one day to the next when it comes to Xbox.
I wouldn’t trust any of them an inch and I’m not sure there’s any big publisher that’s any different. EA, Activison, and Ubisoft? You must be joking! Capcom I’ve got a soft spot for but I’m sure they, like any company that wants to stay in business, still think about profits first and customers second. Like I said, there’s a lot of lessons to learn from this madness and one of them is not to be fanboy or think companies are your friends.
Just thought I’d weigh in with my Cyberpunk 2077 experience, in case it helps anyone with a purchase decision.
I got the game at launch on my PS4 Pro and have to say that I haven’t really experienced any of the major issues that others have witnessed.
Before the 1.04 patch last week the game did look quite blurry on my 4K HDR TV (not so much on my 1080p HDR though), but that particular issue was largely fixed after 1.04 patch. Also, after adjusting the HDR options in game (changed to 900, 170, 0.7), the game looks absolutely beautiful, especially at night.
I haven’t had any noticeable issues with frame rates, except for in one area where there is a particularly busy street market, but then it was only barely noticeable. I certainly haven’t had any issues in combat or whilst driving, where it could be an issue.
I’ve played through the opening act twice now, and some way into the second, probably around 20 hours, and I have definitely seen some physics bugs. I have seen numerous floating items like cans and ‘held’ scenery items with no one holding them. I also had a weird glitch while driving where my car just sort of flipped over an entire building for no reason, landed on its wheels and just kept going! Weird but very cool. I’ve also had the CTD (crash to desktop) bug numerous times but haven’t lost anymore than a couple of minutes gameplay, due to the autosave.
All in all, I’m actually really enjoying it on PS4 Pro. It looks gorgeous, runs acceptably, and the story so far is pretty good. It does feel to me a bit like playing Sleeping Dogs though. Maybe it’s all the neon?
I was always a bit sceptical about Cyberpunk 2077. This was mainly because it seemed very ambitious, but my worries were increased when I heard that reviews would be limited to the PC build and that CD Projekt Red would only let people post developer approved videos. I saw a few people on forums sharing my concerns but the general feeling prelaunch seemed to be very, very optimistic.
I also saw a few YouTubers state they were a little worried too and was interested to hear one of them (RGT 85) say that the video of their concerns not only spiked their subscribers/viewers but also resulted in a very large number of messages complaining they were being too negative and that they were fear mongering. Jim Sterling also had a tangential rant about how gamers seemed to do a complete 180 regarding Cyberpunk 2077 and CD Projekt Red.
Now there is absolutely no way of telling if the group of people dismissing prelaunch fears are the same as those now screaming about how the game is broken and unplayable. However, I suspect there is a reasonable crossover as those people who were the most excited are likely to be those most disappointed. That seemed to be the case when No Man’s Sky released.
I do have a bit more sympathy for the people who were looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077 though. CD Projekt Red were a known entity who had delivered previously with Witcher 3 and had apparently delayed Cyberpunk 2077 purely to fix bugs, so it seemed to be a safer bet. Waiting for reviews and paying attention to the caveats within the text is always safer still though.
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The little guys
RE: Cyberpunk 2077. I get the backlash with the secrecy over outgoing machines, I do. But I sympathise with the developers who have poured their hearts into this against the bigger picture of the execs pushing to launch and the situation snowballing.
In my industry I can have the same pressures (though not with 8 million sales riding on the product, granted). As a designer it’s never finished. There’s always something to fix, to add, to tweak. We can launch ‘just after we do this’. Forever. On the opposite end is the ‘we need you to get it out the door – it’s money’ drive. You need both. But you need a good link between. There’s little worse than being the small voice wanting to make it right and having little say.
The quiet one saying ‘erm guys… maybe we need a meeting, this isn’t going to work’ is the one pushed aside. Yes, there’s people in the middle who no doubt were screaming and shouting at each other to hold again, but I’d bet they were on the wrong side of the seesaw to make a difference.
It’s those little guys that this really hurts, the ones who’ve passionately beavered away trying to do the best they can for the world seemingly to go, ‘what have you been doing all this time!?’
I have to be honest I’m finding it fantastic, again like another reader said I’m thinking about it when not playing – always a sign of something special. Graphics are great at the moment on Xbox Series X and I’ve got to say very few bugs or glitches. Overall, very happy with it and hope there’s a resolve somewhere soon, the little quiet guys deserve it.
Time in the sun
Interesting review of Myst VR. I haven’t thought about that game in years (decades I suppose) but now that I think back it’s funny how big it was back then. It really was a killer app and there were so many clones around at that time and for years after. Like you say though, it’s basically been forgotten nowadays and you don’t get anything like it anymore, outside of the odd indie game.
I also remember when every second game was a first person shooter, usually a Call Of Duty or Halo clone, but those days are long gone too. It’s a lesson for very fan and developer that nothing stands still forever. What will be the next to go? Open world games is my guess, as they seem so oversaturated and they’re all basically the same.
There’ll obviously still be open world games but I can see them going out of fashion fairly soon, just like these other examples. Although what interests me is will any of them see a resurgence? We keep hoping for one for survival horror or racing games but that never happened so maybe all these genres only get that one shot where they’re the biggest thing ever and after that it’s just a battle to stay alive.
Don’t feed the beast
Interesting story about MPs debating a motion to ban bots and selling of consoles at inflated prices, but it will never happen.
It goes against the principles of market forces and capitalism, wherein the markets will charge what people are prepared to pay.
If they wanted this to succeed, then the only way to do it would be to pass a law dictating that nothing could be sold above its RRP (recommended retail price), as dictated by manufacturers when they release a product. This would also affect things like concert and sports tickets, meaning touts couldn’t sell them above their original price. Brilliant idea, and one the public would wholeheartedly support, but no government has ever been interested before and I don’t see that changing now.
We’ve spoken a lot about the scalpers, but the basic truth remains the same, if you feed the beast, it will always come back for more. So, don’t do it and leave them with myriad unsold stock that they would then make a loss on instead. Patience is the key. That, and telling the nippers that Santa can’t always get them what they want on one particular day of the year.
Having said that, with the performance of Cyberpunk 2077, I don’t think anyone will now be in a rush to buy any console to play that on for quite a while yet!
GC: It is unlikely but it’s also not impossible as the proposal is targeting bots specifically, not the general concept of selling above RRP.
Look what I received today from the Nintendo Store, a family member is getting me the Mario Tanooki for Christmas too. I am a big Mario and Sonic fan (Dreamcast and pre-Dreamcast). Happy Christmas and a
Happy New Year to all of GameCentral and its readers.
PS: From today, for the next 15 days, Epic Store will be giving away a free game each day.
PPS: GOG are giving away Prison Architect free too!
Work in progress
Thanks GC, for your review of Temtem. I’ve never purchased an early access game before, but I would urge anyone who’s on the fence to give it a go.
The Pokémon comparisons are clear and at times quite frankly outrageous. The first area feels like a direct replica of Pallet Town into Viridian Forest (I’d struggle to even call it a homage) but beyond that, what I’ve enjoyed most is the challenge. Partly that’s due to unfamiliarity with the elemental attributes of the creatures, but mostly it’s because the game requires strategy in navigating the quite difficult battles – of which there are many. There’s constantly a feeling of ‘Shall I chance one more, or head back to heal up?’
Sure, there are areas that need refining. The amount of backtracking feels slightly unnecessary and the pacing of random encounters is – at times – maddening (you can get through entire sections of grass without a single one, and then can’t take more than a step at a time without being ambushed). The text speed also feels like it’s super-fast regardless of what setting you put it on. But I guess that’s what early access is all about.
Most importantly, despite the familiarity of the experience it never feels like you’re just going through the motions. And quite depressingly, I can’t remember the last time I felt that way about Pokémon. Good shout GC.
GC: We’re glad you enjoyed it. We’re not big fans of early access in general but Temtem is great and, as you suggest, a very welcome alternative to the current direction Pokémon is taking.
Merry Christmas to one and all. Stay safe from the zombie apocalypse everyone. Quick question, is Cyberpunk coming to the Commodore 64 and if so will Rob Hubbard be doing the music? I hope so.
Richard’s comment about Cyberpunk 2077 in VR made me shiver considering all the frame rate issues. The game causing actual projectile vomiting is probably one of the only complaints not so far levelled at CD Projekt Red.
Credit where credit is due. I have never requested a refund before for a digital purchase, and as such was unsure what to expect. I requested a refund from a virtual Microsoft agent and it was agreed two minutes later. Very impressed.
After my diatribe the other day about my trials and tribulations with obtaining Cyberpunk 2077 it seems that I’ve been blessed with a touch of Inbox magic as today a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 for PlayStation 4 dropped on my doormat that neither I nor my wife ordered. Perhaps the universe does want me to play CD Projekt Red’s magnum opus after all! Long live Inbox magic!
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?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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.
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