back to article Cyberpunk 2077: There's a great game within screaming to get out, but sadly it was released 57 years too early

Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Merry Christmas? Maybe not if you found Cyberpunk 2077 in your stocking. Only a month ago we were poking gentle fun at the state in which Ubisoft games often land, and triggering Assassin's Creed fanbois with a balanced criticism of …

  1. Vometia Munro

    Fun but wobbly

    I'm enjoying CP77 a lot, but God, the bugs. I'm perhaps fortunate to have not to run into anything game-breaking yet, at least nothing that can't be recovered from a save/reload, or worst case one of the happily quite frequent auto-saves, but there are so many little annoyances and a few fairly big ones. As well as a lot of stuff being conspicuously unfinished: being able to redo the player's appearance, the paucity of items available, the weird lack of third-person mode with no apparent reason for excluding it; the driving, which is supposed to be a core part of the game being so dysfunctional I wonder if any of the developers has ever driven a car; the awkward controls which often don't work correctly; and so on. The excuses for it being in this state are a bit flimsy too, comparing it with Larian's Baldur's Gate 3 which, however much debate it might generate in the precise implementation and storytelling, just works. At what should be the other extreme, CP77 has more glaring bugs than Ubisoft's Valhalla. The maker of The Witcher 3 failing such a low bar is... well, it's surprising.

    The patch system also seems a little unrefined when it has to download basically everything whenever there's an update instead of simply downloading, y'know, the update. As most other games have done for many years.

    At the moment it's a mixed bag. I love the game, there's loads to do, loads to explore, the story is interesting and it has Keanu etc. But quality control is pretty arse.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Fun but wobbly

      I'm playing it on an Xbox Series X (with full installation from the two DVDs and patches through 6) and bugs seem less frequent than many have described but they are definitely still there.

      My criticisms are more about the mechanics and story. The mechanics of driving is abysmal and I've taken to walking everywhere but the route guides always assume you are driving. Finding things on the map is harder than it should be. Combat can be kludgy. And why can't I change my haircut? Et freaking cetera.

      But the real problem I have is with the story. There is no real sense that your decisions mean anything. The main and side jobs and encounters are almost all of the go and kill type. There is little chance for you to do any random acts of kindness. I prefer some sense in an RPG that my character can evolve beyond beyond accumulating kills and weaponry. So far (and I'm still in Act 1) it seems like a FPS with RPG elements rather than the other way around.

      1. needmorehare
        Trollface

        Forget the bugs for a second...

        In Cyberpunk 2077, you surf the web, read emails and control network devices from the comfort of a desktop terminal, while your phone system is rightfully relegated to video calls and MMS. Milk is synthetic, clothes are synthetic but tobacco is all the rage, them e-cigarettes are so last century! It is almost like the concept work for this game was done in the late 90s or early 00s back when bionics and flying vehicles were the only things considered futuristic. At least Chobits (joytoys) are a thing, except.. somehow we screwed up and gave them rights.

        I can’t really complain too much because I always wanted to play a video game that’s basically Swordfish x Face Off x Hackers. We coulda done with Angelina Jolie as Alt Cunningham though ;-)

        1. Spoonsinger

          Re: Forget the bugs for a second...

          Its based on a 1980's pen and paper RPG. That's the aesthetic they were going for. Which they seemed to do quite well,

          1. Teiwaz

            Re: Forget the bugs for a second...

            Its based on a 1980's pen and paper RPG. That's the aesthetic they were going for. Which they seemed to do quite well,

            I remember those, they played as well as the most unstable member of the group allowed.

            Sounds like they've attempted to catch the feel by including bugs and general jankiness.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Fun but wobbly

      Regarding updates, on GOG at least the patches are very obviously differential because they vary in size. The 1.05 was very heavy but others are lighter. What is bad is that the differential patch takes longer to apply than it does to download. e.g. I got the 1.06 update the other day which was about 900Mb and it took nearly an hour to apply. The game files are enormous archives and presumably patch is basically playing out changes along the length of the file, or worse extracting and repacking everything and is therefore very slow.

      The use of large .dat files in a game is presumably a throwback to mechanical hard disks and the need to keep files contiguous as much as possible. It probably means a bunch of duplicated models and different level of details in order for streaming to happen in a timely manner. I suppose since the PS5 / XBox X have SSDs they don't need to do this and therefore in theory patching should be faster. But maybe the game has the same mechanism across platforms because of the way the game has backwards compatibility.

      1. Vometia Munro

        Re: Fun but wobbly

        It seems most games consider loose files or those in patch archives to supersede those in the base game's archives. I guess the reason for archives rather than loose files is because opening and maintaining lots of file handles is expensive; istr some games run rather poorly if I extract everything. Contiguous allocation is something that is a bit prickly, and Steam's recent attempts to guarantee it by its glacially slow pre-allocation was an unwelcome development. One they have reportedly rolled back, thankfully.

        Some games have varying levels of detail with models, others seem to do it on the fly or just make do with "one size fits all". One of the worst was Dragon Age Oranges' approach to textures: in spite of DDS files containing mipmaps anyway (i.e. with multiple copies of the same image, halving the resolution until it's just 1px) it still had high, medium and low-res versions. :|

        I've just put it down to the strange inconsistency with the game, which is that there's absolutely incredible detail in some regards such as world-building, soundtrack and so on whereas other bits are rather conspicuously unfinished.

      2. edris90

        Re: Fun but wobbly

        All the filesystem overhead across all the layers of abstraction, add up quickly. Storage being the greatest bottleneck in the system, every little thing you can do to make it more efficient is worth it before you even start creating content.

        Your IO system is the foundation of your experience. It's better to optimize it to hell and back from the start. It won't hurt the game to have bandwidth and cycles to spare but if the game chokes itself out on resource loading down the line, you may end up screwed.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Fun but wobbly

          This is true for HDDs but for SSDs it makes little sense. An SSD has no latency if files are scattered all over it, or fragmented. There is no need to duplicate content either which potentially reduces footprint.

          I'm just speculating that the PS5 and XBox X versions of the game don't need big archive files and therefore patches could be smaller since they're not replacing some honking big file when just because a few bytes changed. The reason they probably do use archives is the backwards compatibility with the PS4/XB1. If that were dropped then presumably things would be far easier.

          And on the PC, the patching is clearly differential. It takes longer to apply the patch than it does to download it. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years games say fuck it about mechanical HDDs and assume every platform to have SSDs.

          1. jtaylor Bronze badge

            Re: Fun but wobbly

            Filesystem performance is more than just seek time (which is the primary difference between mechanical and solid state storage.)

            Copy a folder with thousands of small files. Then copy a folder with a few large files that total about the same size as the first folder. The many smaller files take longer because there's a cost per file. That affects other software too, and is a reason to store data in large archive files.

  2. Binraider Bronze badge

    The lesson is never learned it seems - don't get any PC game on day one. There are only 3 decades of examples to learn from.

    Cp77 is right at the top of the wishlist and even warranted a gfx card change, however, I'm quite happy to leave it 6 months to get out of beta.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      There used to be a time when games companies could not rely on patches over the Internet. Those were the days...

      1. Def Silver badge

        No, they relied on pushing them out on magazine cover disks instead.

        The games industry will never change. Under experienced, under paid, over worked employees working to impossible deadlines. The few that don't burn out after a few years move on to more lucrative ventures only to be replaced with a new crop of inexperienced developers who just end up making the same mistakes over and over again.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge
          Windows

          Disks?

          In my day, you had to type in the code yourself. Always seemed to work though.

          1. Def Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Disks?

            Been there, done that. Got the tape to prove it. ;)

            1. Brian Miller

              Re: Disks?

              Ah, the days of paper tape, it takes me back. Kids these days, they don't truly appreciate the smell of hot machine oil.

              (Yes, I've played Cyberpunk2077, and I gave up on it. I simply thought it was stupid, and buggy.)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Disks?

            That was what got me into programming - by the time I fixed up all the syntax errors due to typos, I came to recognise the language (BASIC) syntax

            1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

              Re: Disks?

              My Dad did this for me once, on a Toshiba MSX, a racing game called MadMax, code typed in line by line from a magazine, I was only a wee nipper. Nostalgia for sure

              Definitely agree though, its too easy for software houses to push out rushed or unfinished crap at the bequest of marketing departments / the adults upstairs. i’m getting pretty fucking tired of all of this ineptitude and lack of attention to details, it has the attitude of “oh we can fix that later”, and we have accepted this BS too readily.

              None of these patches come with any warranty, absolutely zero warranty, read that again... ZERO

              When wannacry hit, people were quick to blame unpatched systems, while forgetting the fact that patching this pile of shit OS winwoes is full of jeopardy and usually results in the machine either forgetting it has a disk in there it needs to boot from, or it might just suddenly start deleting important files because you have a certain policy enabled that just got fucked by its creators

              But then saying all of this, other OS’s manage just fine updating and upgrading with zero problems, Debian comes to my mind instantly, I had a headless box (RJ45 only, no vga) saw several distribution upgrades and zero faults. If it were a windows it would be bricked now

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Disks?

            Luxury I tell you, luxury. In my day we couldn't type, didn't have keyboards, didn't need them as we didn't have fingers. Wore them down in the mines to little nubs, digging with my bare hands.

            1. seven of five Silver badge

              Re: Disks?

              Oh, look how the posh one had something to dig!

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Don't get ANY games on day one, the console versions are even worse than the PC versions.

  3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Hands?

    In this ultimate test of self-moderation, the size and look of the character's penis can be tweaked

    What about the size of the character's hands? Can they be made smaller?

    Just asking on behalf of someone who is bound to have some free time in a few weeks, and playing golf all the time and winning every time gets a bit boring. This should suit him to a tee, with megacities, corrupt corporations...

  4. DavCrav Silver badge

    "There ia also a glitch where the character's package can pop through their clothing."

    Oh, is a 'glitch' what we are calling it now? I'll let Rudy know.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Let me guess, there is a face melting glitch too?

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      "There is also a glitch where the character's package can pop through their clothing."

      Can someone file a feature request for a codpiece or jockstrap to keep things in place

  5. Andy Non Silver badge

    Great, I'll have a copy

    for Christmas 2021.

  6. Elledan Silver badge

    Bethesda quality?

    In the PC & PS5-based playthroughs I have seen there aren't a lot of glitches to be seen. It seems that others are experiencing more of them, though it sounds like the PS4 and other legacy consoles are hit hardest, mostly due to an unfinished codebase.

    That said, maybe it's just that we've gone through Fallout 76 (released in Alpha quality if one is optimistic, tech demo otherwise), buggy-as-heck Ubisoft games and massive games like Fallout and recent Elder Scroll titles which were riddled with bugs, broken quests, etc. To this day I'm still not sure that Fallout 3 is bug-free or that players instinctively work around (or abuse) the many glitches. A large community has patched up said Bethesda titles as well, courtesy of mods.

    In that regard, yes Cyberpunk 2077 was released half-baked, but seen as a whole, I cannot really see it as that exceptional compared to other (over)hyped titles, especially after the controversial trainwreck that was TLoU2. Maybe it's just that we expected better from CDPR?

    1. Vometia Munro

      Re: Bethesda quality?

      IME it's not as bad as yer typical Bethsoft game. FO3 had some pretty nasty bugs, particularly the "dead cell" bug (i.e. something with out-of-range coordinates caused an instant CTD forever more when entering that cell; and the longer you play, the more inevitable it becomes. It is fixable on the PC at least but it's extremely laborious to do so) though at least for me, FO4 was a big improvement.

      It's just what Bethsoft do (or did, I'd like to think) but I dunno what happened with CDPR. CP77 feels like it had rather chaotic project management. As much as it's lacking in some areas, I suppose at least it didn't go full DNF.

    2. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Bethesda quality?

      You mean the almost universal GOTY that is TLOU2? We could use more of those kinds of "train wrecks". Unfortunately there are less than a handful of studios that can consistently produce that level of quality. And Sony seems to own most of them.

      1. Elledan Silver badge

        Re: Bethesda quality?

        You may have missed the part where virtually everyone who worked at Naughty Dog on TLoU2 at the beginning of the project left the studio. Including the original staff on TLoU. Also the brutal death march conditions that persisted even after the release was delayed earlier this year.

        If it takes working one's employees nearly to death to get a pretty looking game out of it, then one has to really wonder whether it's worth it.

  7. LDS Silver badge

    It's funny that in 2077...

    ... people still use the wrong name for female external genitalia. But the fact video games are designed by teenagers mind to be played by teenagers minds explains a lot.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: It's funny that in 2077...

      ... people still use the wrong name for female external genitalia

      They are in the esteemed company of Gwyneth Paltrow...

      https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/24/the-goop-lab-review-gwyneth-paltrow-netflix-vagina

  8. Dapprman

    135 hours in to the game...

    Playing on a 3-4 year old PC with a GTX1080ti graphics card. Game auto set itself at 4k (I have a suitable monitor) with a mix of high and ultra settings. Post a graphics card driver update the NVIDIA FPS widget shows I play at 40-50 fps. which did surprise me. I do get graphical bugs such as cars sunk in the pavement and inanimate objects hanging in the air but I've only had two 'to desk top' crashes and two occasions where I've had to kill and reload the game. Love it - as long as you do not try to talk to the general pubic, on a PC is has all the atmosphere you'd expect. note I know you do not get the same on consoles and on old consoles .... nuff said.

    The game was released at least several months too early, but for most PC players it still plays well, more so since the recent patches.

    Game was seriously over-hyped and we all knew that in advance, still there are many people out to get it just because (older console players deserver to have a go at CDPR though). Funniest one for me was accusations that the implementation of the Voodoo Boys was a white person's racist view of Afro Caribeans. Thing is they were designed by the original Cyperpunk RPG create Mike Pondsmith. Have a google for pictures or videos of him and then try and work out the racism angle ... - btw don't play videos of him with your wife/SO near by as his voice gives Barry White a run for his money (and I'm straight).

    Should add as a post note - I was always going to be suckered in to this one as I started playing the original RPG (not 2020) within a couple of days of it landing in the UK, roughly about 4 weeks after it's launch in the US, and I still play 2020 to this day.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: 135 hours in to the game...

      I'm playing it on a fairly standard graphics card and it runs fine. Yes, there are few bugs, all of which have been solved for me by reloading the last save. No CTD yet!

      I did think about the Voodoo boys section, and then smiled to myself when remembering Mr Pondsmith.

      Loved the original RPG and the one thing this game has done that I bemoan is the lack of chances to play that game or similar with my friends.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it was all about money

    when you're talking "investors", plus "billions" plus "gaming to become MEGA business due to the pandemic", all that combined with clock ticking away towards "CHRISTMAS-BIGGEST-EVER-FUCKING-MONEY-MACHINE-TIPING-POINT-EVER-MAN!!!!!", you can see why they "had to" release it, regardless of how well/poorly the product was baked. Well, serves them right, greedy fuckers. They'll be allright anyway. As to those disappointed players, well, they'll have to cope I guess, you lose 50 quid, you go through all that emotional distress, life's real hard sometimes, you know...

  10. Candy

    I don't recognise the game in the negative reviews.

    Seriously.

    Maybe my gaming PC is similar to their baseline dev boxes? Maybe my play style fits the testing? I've dropped over 150 hours into playing the game and I love it. No crashes, no grief. A few floating objects and a (very) occasional T-pose. Beyond that, it runs perfectly for me. And that lets me concentrate on the oh-so-rich background and scripts.

    Definitely one of my favourite games of the last few years.

    1. Dapprman

      Re: I don't recognise the game in the negative reviews.

      On most PCs it plays fine or well, problems are on the console side - on higher end ones there are a lot fewer people on the street so it does not have the same atmosphere, plus apparently the game is more buggy and crashes more. Key complaint is a senior person at CDPR saying that the game played surprisingly well on the legacy consoles about a week before launch - game in reality is meant to be near unplayable on them.

      So for you, me, and other PC players it's fine or great, for older console players - a lot are asking for refunds.

    2. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I don't recognise the game in the negative reviews.

      This review is based on the PC version, so no, it's not a flawless experience. Like I said, your mileage will vary as to what and how many bugs you run into, but pals who were also playing on PC have dropped the game because of bugs.

  11. gerdesj Silver badge
    Devil

    CDPR said that the pandemic prevented external testing

    Do they normally test in person on your hardware? No of course not.

    I (IT consultancy) have a Polish employee in Poland who is still quite happily WFH, which is what he did before the pandemic. We still joke about it (lol etc.) He worked for us in the UK but decided to go back home in July 2019, marry, drop sprog, look after parents etc. He and the wife have done it all in rather a short period of time. We wanted to keep him on so we came to an arrangement - he works from home. From eastern Poland: Yeovil, Hull and Cardiff are all about 1600 Km away, give or take.

    IT is a naturally anti-social activity, so I call bollocks on using the pandemic as a reason for crap testing.

    If they need help with getting people working with VPNs and remote telephony: I have a 100th dan black belt in that stuff. I've learned more in the last 10 months about fiddling VPNs than I have in 20 years. Back in the day you did split horizon or not. Now things are rather more complicated. If you are not using OpenVPN or another fully routable and configurable VPN solution then you are SOL.

    1. Vometia Munro

      Re: CDPR said that the pandemic prevented external testing

      Yeah, it's nonsense. They may prefer to do play-testing in a controlled environment for various reasons but as long as NDAs are signed I see little problem to doing it remotely and a few advantages (i.e. a more diverse sample of hardware and less coaching of prospective testers).

      WFH or rather the lack of it prior to the plague has been frustrating. I did it in the mid '90s because my then employer wanted to close yet another office and knew its staff were getting tetchy about being repeatedly relocated. It was simple to do then: they gave me a desk, a nice chair, a Vax and a laser printer, installed a KiloStream leased line with a network bridge* at either end, don't remember if the phone was piggybacked onto it or another line, go into an office once or twice a week so I don't fall out the loop (and do it in work time: yay!) and it worked perfectly. But trying to get any subsequent employer to do the same thing even though it'd save them money and me stress was practically impossible. Usual excuse, "staff are bone idle and won't work without my 1337 overseeing skillz!" as we saw plenty of managers still wailing, but who were happily increasingly overruled this year.

      * sort of on-topic, the network bridge was pretty beta quality and I'd have to phone ops at least twice a week to reset the bloody thing at their end... :|

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CDPR said that the pandemic prevented external testing

        NDAs are not exactly a reliable protection from software piracy or unauthorized video streaming.

        1. edris90

          Re: CDPR said that the pandemic prevented external testing

          Neither is anything else. Piracy prevention has always been more of a a illusionist performance.

          In reality it's a wish that will never come true.

          It's just a matter of motivation.

          A limited team who are indirectly motivated by they need to pay their bills (their current strategy of employment being only one of potentially unlimited ways to get money to migrate from others to them,)

          Vs

          Potentially unlimited number of people who are naturally motivated by the situational value of just being able to play or view, who willing to spend and unlimited amount of personal labor to develop an alternative way to access but not willing to spend money to access this content.

          The output of Anti-piracy efforts for commercial purposes just cant compare with the motivation and resources of the collective opposition, applying direct effort for direct profitless benefit

  12. Blackjack Silver badge

    More bugs that an early release Dreamcast game

    And with the kind of bugs that makes evident, yes even on the PC version, the game was released a minimum of six months too early.

  13. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Mu Zero - Enter the Atari Humans

    AI has apparently beaten humans at chess, go, shogi, etc. Fairy nuff.

    Lately AI is claiming it can beat humanity on an Atari. I don't think so. I am prepared to stand up for humanity on that platform.

    DeepMind's AI agent MuZero could turbocharge YouTube

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    External testing

    That's odd, my current job - at a Sega owned studio - got more people in to test externally, knowing it would be a hurdle if all done remotely.

    I'd know. I'm one of those lucky folk.

    Interesting on CDPR's website they are advertising a lot of roles. But not QA.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CDPR said that the pandemic prevented external testing

    Why? Does the Internet no longer exist?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The inrernet? You mean, that place where you find leaked software long before it's officially available when you're not careful to do testing in a controlled environment?

      My gosh, I can't even understand how CDPR, the company that takes pride in not using DRM in its releases, could not think of it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Solution to that, ensure each tester gets a personalised build, so each is a different alpha/ beta release. Now when released, because its not just DRM, or a cosmetic change, it would require changing the game itself by comparing changes with other testers builds, making it very difficult to hide the source. The source of the leak is known.

        Making the leaking of the game less desirable by the tester.

  16. sysconfig

    The original table top had glitches too...

    How often did we end up with one player missing for the weekly session, or dice being lost, or the story just not making much sense. We started over so many times... maybe CDPR should too?

    More seriously though, I have been looking forward to this game's release for years. Nostalgia. Hype. Whatever it is. I know I will eventually get it and might have already if it had been released on schedule. But the constant pushing of the release date did not make me very confident, to put it mildly. The first reports and reviews did nothing to change that either, to the contrary! I'll just wait now until it's on sale on Steam. Maybe I'll have a new PC by then and can get a much better experience altogether.

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    Physics and lib calls?

    It sounds like, and yes, I'm just speculating, that there is a problem with physics and lib call, among other things.

    I wonder if they tried to write a whole new engine and that is what is causing the problems?

    1. Vometia Munro

      Re: Physics and lib calls?

      "I wonder if they tried to write a whole new engine and that is what is causing the problems?"

      I was wondering the same thing. It would explain why some aspects of the game seem much less complete than others. It seems slightly reminiscent of what I've read about the difficulties faced by Bioware's Inquisition team after EA foisted Frostbite upon them.

  18. DrXym Silver badge

    It's a great game

    I've encountered glitches but they're virtually all silly graphical things, nothing that breaks the game. It might be different for people on last gen consoles but I have no trouble playing the game on a PC. And it's an epic game really. The animations, motion capture, combat, world, mission structure are a generational leap above any other game I've played.

    I think my main criticism of it is that it has clearly inherited The Witcher 3's crafting / inventory system and you often find after a battle that you have picked up a dozen weapons and have to inventory juggle or break them down. That combined with the usual bin-rummaging seems a little out of character for a supposed cyber punk assassin.

  19. Grunchy

    Yes but have you ever *read* the Neuromancer?

    It’s like the God-damndest worst book I’d ever seen. I found an original 1984 copy at the thrift store, which they gave to me for free just to be rid of it. It’s nothing but utter trash from start up to about page 100, at which point it unfortunately got sent to recycling.

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Yes but have you ever *read* the Neuromancer?

      Yes, it's pretty bad.

  20. iknowitsreal
    Unhappy

    Cyberslop 2077 for xbox one

    I am too skeptical to believe this game will ever be serviceable on last gen. Very first thing i noticed is how funky aiming felt, my thumb sticks felt like i was scrolling a mouse across my screen lol. My first time playing more than 30 minutes my eyes started flipping the ffuck out. My eyes felt like i had someone else’s glasses on lol & i got dizzy as fuck.

    driving around for the first time & it’s like HOLY shit i might as well be on Xbox 360.

    it doesn’t make sense how 8 years of game development into it already & this is where they felt YUP MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! not even sure what’s the correct question to be asking lol...how???? Why?!?! WHO...as in WHO the fuck do you think you CDPR weasels are?!? lol

    i am a huge futuristic sci-fi fan & it’s so depressing how far Cyberpunk 2077 is from being what they advertised

  21. GraXXoR

    Just adding my two cents. 100 hours in and I’m in love with this game. The storyline is engaging and the side quests give a decent illusion of a living city. All in all one of the best titles I’ve played.

    I’ve had a few laughable bug ridden moments and the occasional person standing in a t-pose, but that’s about it.

    The driving could be better but hay-ho, it is what it is.

    Certainly not the fustercluck it is made out to be, at least on a decent PC at any rate.

    1. Vometia Munro

      I'm not sure my PC counts as "decent" these days: the i7 6700 is "good enough", the ATI R9 390 is definitely getting long in the tooth and I still mostly keep stuff on spinning rust, but other than a couple of adjustments (it decided for me to max out everything it could in graphics, so I turned shadow quality down to medium: it looks terrible but I'm used to it and it gave me a few more fps; I also turned the crowd density to medium too, but that wasn't so much performance as finding them annoying!) it runs just fine. It seems it's definitely a PS4 problem and it's not clear whether the fault there lies with CDPR or Sony.

      While I started off saying "God the bugs!", while they can be conspicuous they strike me as being rough edges for the most part. No, they shouldn't be there and we're used to better from CDPR but is it really worse than the competition? I mean I was playing AC Valhalla beforehand and that also has its issues but didn't get quite the same degree of publicity. Horizon Zero Dawn did, albeit fairly briefly, but that was very much worse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How the hell can the fault be Sony? If the game won’t run properly they should’t release for that platform. 100% CDPR. Bug in a system library? Still CDPR for releasing anyway.

      2. GraXXoR

        I think the problem is likely mutual PCDR and SONY. Remember than NMS also suffered a similar fate. Sony are known for being timeline sticklers and this game being late most likely caused SONY to put a lot of pressure on them to deliver something, anything. The difference this time is that CDPR are a lot bigger than Hello Games so could resist SONY for longer, but in the end, with Christmas on the way, they likely just thought, bah! F’ckit! Let’s release, at least the PC version is playable. Lol.

        As an aside, NMS has turned out to be an incredible game, living up to pretty much everything promised and more. It’s considered by some to be one of the biggest redemptions in gaming history, zero thanks to Sony for forcing them to release, tho.

  22. Reg Sim

    Hmm the Young one seems strong with the force...

    My rather old for a young nephew (16) has been playing it and rather happly on the PS4 (standard normal version). After the first big patch he has quite happly completed the main arc and a few side arcs, and is now looking forward to playing it seven ways to sunday again and again.

    For the the cost of the game, it was a good deal time/enjoyment wise, and this will only get better has he plays more. Sure he also bought it planing to play on a shiny new PS5 some time mid next year, where he will play the game all over again, essentialy doubleing the value.

    The main 'issues' the game seems to have are where cars and specificatly speed is involved as the poor old PS4 chuggs along at max 17fps, with dips and a bit of lag. Its not game breaking, it is immersion breaking and this bit/aspect of the game seems to be under the 'next console' heading. Happly there is a fast travel system so you can mostly avoid driving it it really gets on your nerves.

    Still he has had it since day one and has happly lost many many hours playing it (No not losing saves). I suspect not everybody gets the same experiance on a PS4, as I am sure some are in hotter/cooler rooms, some fans have maybe been chocked up with dust, maybe a firmware or slight board diffrence so I can well belive a game that pushs every console to there limits will bump into issues that you don't see on every game.

    In all honistly I was disapointed that it was comming out on the Xbox and PS4. What a waste of resorces IMO - even taking into consideration the extra day one sales. The long term support for this is going to be a nightmare (ie slow to make new content).

    Should Microsoft or Sony see there sales for new consoles not be where they want them, I can see them allowing DLC for there newer consoles only. My worry (and expectation) is that updated DLC will miss out the old consoles over time and/or you will get a very limited extras.

    In consideration, this is not a FPS where every FPS matters, I suspect because at its core its a roleplay game that being a bit rought performance wise is not as bad as a poor story or tiny world would of been. I am sure that if old console DLC brings nothing more than more storys and improve the 'roll play' aspect that most PC4 players will be find. I can not imagine to many complaints 24 months from now when you can pick up used PS5's as the new PS5 Slim/Pro are about.

    -Cen

    1. Jay 2

      Re: Hmm the Young one seems strong with the force...

      I'm also playing on a base PS4. I'd seen the videos around of some of the worst stuff, so I was somewhat prepared (and annoyed). For reasons I only got round to installing it yesterday, straight in with the 1.06 patch.

      So far I've put about 5-6 hours into it (still in Act 1 before The Heist) and it's OK. I've only had one "crash to desktop" and only one or two visual glitches/dodgy texturing etc I've turned off most of the display options). Though I think the most obvious thing I notice is the relative lack of hustle and bustle in such a big city. Usually a smattering of pedestrians about and the odd car, which is somewhat away from what people with better hardware can see. Also as others have said, the driving is just terrible.

      Overall I'm quite enjoying it and am generally taking my time. If I drag it out enough then the first big January patch may arrive before I finish, or the planets may align and I might be in a position to buy a PS5 when they start re-appearing. I'd agree by saying there's a fairly good game in Cyberpunk 2077 trying to get out, and given a few months' worth of bug squishing, AI tweaking and optimisation it'll be really good. It's just a shame it was released in a pretty unfinished/untested state.

  23. Lorribot Silver badge

    "CDPR said that the pandemic prevented external testing, which is understandable" err no its not it just a line they spin.

    The pandemic would not stop digitally delivering a game to testers that are sat in their own homes doing not much else and have loads of idle time to test the game to destruction and feed back any issues, using the pandemic as an excuse is just a load of nonesense and poor excuse for delivering an under developed, under-tested and under-optimised game.

    Will i play it any time soon...very unlikely as it will be a while till it come down to a price I would be willing to pay as they still charge nearly full price for Witcher , the upside is they may have finished developing (and testing it) it by then.

  24. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Yeah this is what happens when you invite the worlds sociopaths to gamble, ahem, I mean “invest” in your product

    They want their swag back, and plus some

    Lets face it, games do not need to be blockbuster AAA titles, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.

    I am still enjoying CP77, my expectations were not overhyped by the marketing departments, which are a different breed compared to devs and creatives

    Some of the best games contain actual gameplay mechanics, not fancy graphics and the latest hardware driven effects.

    Thankfully Doom and Wolfenstein3D didn’t include front stores pushing micro transactions to hipsters

  25. Pauly D

    A fair review

    Nice to see this review at a time when the rest of the internet is using Cyberpunk as a meme or demanding refunds after 50hrs+ of game playtime. Another prominent web (and print) publication put out a review from someone who criticized the story but obviously didn't make it through Act 2. It's easy to hate the characters in this game when you haven't even met half of them.

    I too was heartbroken early in the game when much of what we've come to expect from an open world game was missing. CDPR seems to have taken an engine AI designed for horses and a few NPC's and attempted to expand it to Tokyo-sized scale, with 150mph hotrods replacing the horses. After playing though all endings and then continuing to play, however, I've started to ignore the issues and just enjoy the excellent story. And the story truly is excellent... those who discount it are missing the callouts to the hardships of terminal illnesses or the difficulties we all face when having to choose between our friends, our families, or ourselves.

    I think the amount of bugs are proportional to the amount of destruction you cause in the open world. As someone who likes to stay quiet, the NPC's rarely deviated from their pre-programmed patrols and I enjoyed a mostly bug-free playthrough. In a world with what seems like perpetual item persistence however, that gun you don't pick up in the middle of the street after a brawl with the police may become a literal launchpad for future AI traffic. I'm sure these things will be patched, in time.

    My largest gripe about the game that likely won't be patched is the sidequest system. With a half-dozen fixers, an obvious method to dealing with sidequests would be meeting each of these fixers to formally introduce yourself. Unfortunately, we're bombarded with phone calls and text messages early in the game, along with the dozens of "points of interest" that follow them. The Witcher 3 was great in its use of the "bulletin board" system to promote exploration, and it's unfortunate that isn't replicated in some way here.

    Even though I told myself I would play through the "main character" sidequests and main story and then set the game aside to wait for patches, here I am, continuing to grind past 100hrs. I'm finding more main characters that I didn't know existed, along with excellent, Witcher-style sidequests that are linked to them. I've been on hour-long calls with friends comparing notes, realizing the sheer number of twists and turns that exist in this game if one decides to make different choices during a second playthrough. And as for those taxi quests... you may or may not be rewarded for them in the future!

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A fair review

      Thanks for reading! I am really enjoying the game, though still stuck in 30s thanks to children needing things during the holiday period. Your comment gives me hope.

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: A fair review

      There is humour in it too - wandering around with all the corps and street hustlers in their finery I bumoed into a bloke wandering along in his dressing gown...

  26. BullRot

    Hype and hate

    Actually the game plays perfectly fine in good PC.

    Got one glitch and sometimes couldn't pick up an item from the floor but hey, all gaming media were actually paid to create hype and now apparently someone paid for hate?

    ALL hate seems coming from console industry, cause for once a title showed the design / performance / limitations flaws even on latest gen consoles.

    To be honest consoles are the limiting point of getting good games and stuff nowadays.

    On one thing I am really happy. Finally a game dev studio put a game which is more demanding than current crappy consoles and artificial effects. They pushed all to the limit and I just hope more like that will come in the future to give the PC the monster power glory once again.

    That way games will progress with time with better and better graphics beside the limitations instead of getting the same Bokeh effects graphics just because a console cannot handle that much. If it was released just for PC with real specs it would be No1

  27. Luiz Abdala
    WTF?

    Didn't CDPR learn anything from Microsoft?

    Let´s step back for a minute here.

    Flight Simulator.

    It was announced and BAM, here it is. No major bugs, the airplanes work, you don't fall through the floor of airports... It was released on date (it was?) Except for a glitch or two, based on the quality of the sources they used - a 212 story house - nothing game breaking.

    The thing was thorougly tested, but then again... you have MICROSOFT behind it. Lots of devs, QA, can be mustered to do anything on a moments notice.

    But my point is, they didn't announce the game until it was proper and ready. I heard it was based on the previous version, FSX, but everything except for the physics engine was rewritten, from the rendering to the UI, it was all redone. It had to be integrated with online streaming, another huge hurdle that I heard nobody complaining that "only the low-res models loaded". That thing is being STREAMED, several terabytes of it from azure or whatever, a major flex for them, alright, let´s give them that, but the point remains.

    They kept their traps shut until it was done. Am I the only one that feels like this? That CDPR should simply have kept their traps shut for another year? Or could they have pulled a Blizzard and said "yeah, we are developing Diablo 4, but that will take at least 2 years"? Activision-Blizz is saying nothing on how D4 is going, or how Overwatch 2 is going. They announced it and that's that.

    Yes, there a virus going on, but Microsoft pulled it smoothly, while it was a mess for CDPR. Is it just money? Could they have handled it better despite being a tiny company near Microsoft?

    How does that compare to Hello Games, a company just as tiny, but I don't remember No Mans Sky having "blurred low-res models" loaded making the game unplayable, I just remember my graphics cards griding to make 20 fps, and then suddenly making 40 fps after a patch. A bit of apples to oranges here, but bear with me, there wasn't anything fundamentally wrong with No Mans Sky upon launch, just an extreme lack of content beyond the procedurally generated planets, that turned out less varied than the coding suggests...

    Is it just a feeling, or they could have kept mum about Cyberpunk for another year of Quality Assurance?

    Remember how it took 2 years before Rockstar released GTA for PCs, and it went reasonably smooth? It was far from perfect - believe me - but it was stable.

  28. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Something I find of about certain products with games probably at the top of the list is the way people pre-order things or buy them on the day of release. In other words they buy them without having seen a single review our having any word of mouth about the product.

    Maybe this is a pretty extreme example, but I've heard plenty of people moaning about hyped games that they bought on day one only to find they didn't enjoy it. I just don't understand why folk can't wait a few days before spaffing a big way (of money) that way they won't waste their money if the reviews are bad or the game turns out to be a bug ridden, untested, POS. The only justification for this behaviour is the desire to be one of the first to play the game. Or maybe to be one of the first to find out the game is a POS.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Itsa Longwa...

    Anyone to keep one's Nick till 2k77? :-)

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    Anonymous Coward

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  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pull rod.

    Push rod.

    Touch plastic.

    ^ best game ever.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comments convinced me

    After all the horror story reviews, the PC users comments sound very encouraging. You've convinced me to get the game this year,,, soon as multiplayer is rocking that is :) Thanks

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had no idea game development followed the same agile process that sicked up Windows 10.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £49, glitches, patches....

    I’ll wait a year or two until it’s working and in the bargain bin at £4.99

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    troubles

    "Trouble during development was plain to see. "

    Ah, yes, you've just won the award for understatement of the year !

  36. WallMeerkat

    Flawed but Fun

    I missed the hypetrain, but it was a video of "poor" PS4 gameplay that actually got me interested.

    While I didn't bother with PS4, and my potato of a Mac wouldn't run it, St**ia (in case you think I'm a google shrill) had a deal where they sent the hardware plus the game. I thought you would need a gigabit connection, but it seems to work well with my FTTC (approx 70mbps down)

    Yes it is buggy. I'll park my car up, turn around, and the car behind has gone. I'll be in the desert and see a traffic jam ahead, by the time I reach it the road is completely empty.

    Last night I did a mission but accidentally did one of the sub-missions out of order. The mission kept tagging the sub-mission (which was already done, I couldn't 'complete' it) despite me carrying on the next submissions (which involved moving away from the building, following a vehicle a few km away). Sometimes I can't pick up an item despite looking directly at it. Occasionally it will crash, even just driving out of town one time.

    I picked up a fast sports car (hidden in a tunnel) but it was almost undrivable in the city, I went back to Vs car which is at least drivable. One of the games where I prefer 3rd person driving, the satnav doesn't zoom to speed so turns are last minute.

    Police don't seem to have any central database, I can kill them all in one location, get to another and the police don't care that I'm there.

    Some of your tips are good - do some main missions early to get some good weaponry. I failed one of the (enjoyable!) taxi missions as I ran away from an ambush as I was getting killed with my starter weapons. Similarly one where I break into a warehouse, when I got a good sniper it was a piece of cake.

    Despite it all, I've only maybe logged 12 hours or so a few hours over Christmas, I'm enjoying it. Like a mix of GTA, Mad Max, Fallout with huge 80s scifi feel (Blade Runner, Running Man, Total Recall etc)

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