Well, it’s here now. It took several years of hype, multiple delays, and unethical workplace crunch at CD Projekt Red, but Cyberpunk 2077 is finally out. The game certainly is something different from most offerings in 2020. While the studio’s previous entry, the acclaimed Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015, revolutionized gaming, it remains to be seen what Cyberpunk is yet.
That’s because while the game has unparalleled visuals, writing, and freedom in gameplay, it comes with an onslaught of bugs. Not just that, but it’s generally agreed to lack proper optimization for consoles. So much so that we have an entire guide on troubleshooting its many issues, which you can read here.
The problem isn’t only the game itself. It’s also CD Projekt Red’s launch of the game, across all platforms. The company set different unlock and preload timings in the days leading up to December 10, and different itineraries.
And this only complicated the implementation of the vaunted Day 0 and Day 1 patches. Obviously, they exaggerated their efficacy when asked by gamers about their strategy to tackle bugs and performance issues. However, their explanation and rollout of both patches were haphazard at best.
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On both PS4 and Xbox One, the game is a complete mess of poor performance and graphics
When the game was announced to face a final delay in November, fans worldwide grew frustrated. However, the developers smoothed things over by revealing the intentions behind yet another insufferable delay. They claimed it was to optimize the experience for consoles. Now, when the game comes straight to current-gen consoles before the next-gen (an upcoming, free upgrade for owners of the current-gen), this claim makes no sense.
On the PS4, most players report near unplayable experiences. Textures take almost 20 to 30 seconds to pop in, and the resolution appears almost 720p at best. The textures themselves often face visual bugs, with poor shading and color at times.
Character models, particularly the skin, look subpar and dull. It certainly is a miracle that the game loads up at all, given those aging HDDs on the PS4 and Xbox One. Furthermore, you can forget about 60 FPS (frames per second) on old-gen consoles. Expect not much more than 25 to 30 FPS, with frequent framerate dips into the 15 to 20 FPS region.
Performance this shoddy is completely unacceptable from a AAA title, and that from one of the biggest studios ever. Imagine if Rockstar or Bethesda did something like this with a GTA or Elder Scrolls release. Fans would understandably grow upset, and the fact that so many defend CD Projekt Red’s game is a clear bias. Other games released nowadays, such Spiderman: Miles Morales or Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, also come cross-gen. However, while their current-gen versions are undoubtedly superior, at least the old-gen versions are playable.
CD Projekt Red may still issue further patches for Cyberpunk 2077, which may improve stability and performance
Even on the PC side of the pond, things aren’t really much better. While high-end PCs will attain 4K 60 FPS rather easily (although you need DLSS if you want raytracing), most mid-rangers cannot. With Nvidia and AMD’s newest GPUs performing well enough to comfortably enjoy raytracing, older GPUs face troubles.
Users with RTX 20-series cards may need to turn down several graphical options just to hit 60 FPS, and even then with framerate dips. Cyberpunk 2077 is just excessively resource-hungry, which may be a hallmark of a revolutionary benchmark game like the Witcher 3 was. However, the incessant bugs and pathetic Xbox One/PS4 experience is not justifiable.
For more on Cyberpunk 2077 and CD Projekt Red, stay tuned!