Get ready for Cyberpunk 2077. From the talented mind of Mike Pondsmith, the creator of a tabletop game from the 90’s that focuses on heavy themes like comodification of bodies, purposeful dehumanization, mass civil unrest and mega corporations taking advantage of mindless consumerism to become greater than the law.
Not a love letter to the idea but rather a warning to the people about selling out and trading in what makes you human. This IP was then turned into an unfinished video game created in a horrendous work environment and sold for 50 bucks a pop. The humour is not lost on us.
At least everyone else now gets to know what it’s like to have Keanu Reeves stuck in your head at all times, it’s no longer just me.
Pop in this data chip and ready those implants as Scarlett Media zips you the deets on the 10 ways CD Projekt Red Ruined Cyberpunk 2077. If you like what we have to say then rock that like button, if you don’t then get feel free to challenge us in the comments.
Number Ten. Linear Gameplay
Remember when this game was sold to us on the idea that it was a long-form RPG where you could take on Night City and make it to the top of the food chain your way? Remember when the game was showcased as one with many endings for you to work toward? Then do you remember how we actually got a 20 hour game with 8 endings that are actually just 2 endings with minor differences? Yeah me too, and so did Metacritic.
When all is said and done, it became apparent to those who finished Cyberpunk that none of the choices you made through the entire game really mattered at all. You don’t choose how you become the best but rather how you die trying. Some would call it poetic, most call it a cheap shot that steals all the meaning from our characters’ existence.
Number 9. Poor Console Performance
Wowee, the game looks so good, Night City looks amazing, the neon lights are stunning and the people look so unique. Unless it’s when the roads looks weirdly gritty, or when buildings don’t properly render and you can’t tell where you are or why you have apparently sunk 3 feet into the concrete. Or when cars or people don’t render in time, causing you to swerve to avoid them and crash into a hot dog vendor before you to fly through the air for 30 metres and land right in the bin.
The game was not designed for previous generation consoles, plain and simple. It was created and tested on the developers’ super high spec computers, without access to their console kits, meaning that it simply isn’t optimized for the consoles but they went ahead and sold it to us anyway.
Number 8. Cut Content
In contrast to the unsettling amount of sex toys they felt the need to add, there was a great deal of content cut from the final game as well. Altering your look after character creation was cut. Third person cutscenes were cut. Wall running was cut. One night stands and being able to spend time with your romantic partner; cut. Powerful mercs that worked within the police; cut. In depth police AI and wanted system; cut. Multiple apartment choices, dynamic NPCs, and even using the monorail or train systems; all cut. The six month montage at the start of the game is highly likely to all be cut content that they paraded in front of us like it was some artistic choice and not a glaring middle finger to the consumer.
The company execs felt it necessary to announce Cyberpunk 2077 in May of 2012. After that, they didn’t make any real progress on the first build until several years later. Developers asked to be allowed to start but it was the executives that said no. What do the developers know? They are just the people who develop games for a living, why would they know what works?
Number 7. Poor treatment of marginalized groups.
Calling people of an alternative lifestyle “freak” is uncomfortable to say the least, and someone’s gender is not defined by the tone of their voice.
My goodness, calling some of these choices missteps is as big an understatement as saying that “space is big.” One of the only examples of in game advertisement that was shown to the public being the poster of a trans individual with the tagline of “Mix It up” might not have been the most clever idea. CDPR claims that this was intended as an example of mega corporations within the game using the body as a commodity in an aggressive advertisement to sell a drink…kind of like CDPR used it to sell a video game.
For a game that pats itself on the back for the choices it contains, the flexibility and fluidity it claims to have in regards to who you want your character to be is sorely lacking. The complete misunderstanding of the concept of gender identity and representation values would be comical if it wasn’t so sad.
Number 6. First Person
Why is it in first person? No one asked for it to be in first person. No one wanted it to be in first person, we all wanted a futuristic version of the Witcher 3 but with more choices. How did they get nearly everything wrong?
Imagine you went to a bar and enjoyed a delicious Mojito. After you finish it, you ask for the same drink again but in a new glass and instead they take 7 years to serve you a handful of chipped ice in an old boot.
Number 5. Huge Internal Reshuffle
There have been numerous reports of the unfair work environment leading to many people quitting, and at the same time, we also heard that many of the management teams and higher ups had also been replaced. These alterations lead to a great many changes and a lot of content being cut.
Not a great game plan. What if someone walked up to Leonardo da Vinci and told him someone else was going to finish the Mona Lisa?
Number 4. The Crunch
If there was ever a practice that could take most of the blame for issues faced within and by the gaming industry, it would be crunch. Crunch is where, due to a severe lack of time, developers are required to stay at work longer, work harder and eventually still cut corners just to make the release date in time. There have been several reports of CDPR employees working 6 day weeks for a year straight just to be able to deliver what we got.
Honestly, it’s like they aspired to be what the game warns us about. The founders and board members treated their employees poorly due to their lack of foresight. It is especially insulting to the developers when the execs promised there would be no crunch.
It’s no wonder that the practices of evil corporations in the game have been replicated so well.
Number 3. Not very Cyberpunk
Lawrence Person once stated that “Classic Cyberpunk characters were marginalised, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society.”
This game really embodies that, because what’s more Cyberpunk than helping a pair of Corpos who are running for the mayor’s office, or helping the police stop other Cyberpunks, or defending a happy-go-lucky vending machine from assault?
That right there is the paradigm of what it means to be Cyberpunk.
Number 2. The Hype Train
Choo choo, all aboard. The hype train isn’t something you can actually ride in the game by the way because, as we mentioned earlier, using the train system was cut before release. No, we’re talking about the outrageous amount of promise and talk that went on all those years ago when the game was first publicised; back when all that cut content was still part of the plan. This is a prime example of why you keep quiet and don’t run your mouth off to the consumer, as the more you tell them, the more they expect from you.
There is a prevalent mindset from many consumers that culminates in “If they’ve got that in the game, then what else could they have?” and then the imagination runs wild. Yes, people can be notified when a game is under way, but the crux of it is that the game actually needs to be in development when announcements are made.
Next time they bring out a game, I might just pay 15 bucks for it and slowly transfer the rest to them in small bundles over the course of a year.
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Number 1. Glitches.
CDPR made the game for western audiences, they said as much. It was designed for a certain demographic and that is why it looks like it does. The small thing I need to bring up is that the glitches are not part of that. Yes, Fallout 76 set the bar but it was surprising that anyone else could skink that low to reach it.
The crunch, although not forgiven, could almost be overlooked, as it occurs often in many industries. The hype couldn’t have been met but at least people would have begrudgingly respected what they did get. The reshuffle, the cut features, the meaningless choices and the linear story could all have been overlooked; if the game had worked when you played it.
Instead we get constant crashes, missing characters, floating weapons, T-posing, missing sound, overlapping sound, exploding cars that sometimes sink into the ground and NPCs throwing themselves off buildings in what I can only assume is a bid to escape the game.
In the end, CDPR have made public apology after public apology, for the delays and then the state of the game upon release, but one can only be left with the suspicion that if they had avoided nearly every other point on this list, number one would never have happened and the release would not have been the utter train wreck that it was.
Oh wait, there are no trains, they got cut.
Did you like the video? Did we miss anything? Leave in the comment what you thought and tell us your experience with Cyberpunk 2077? What were your funniest and most infuriating glitches?
Writer: Laura Townsend
Editor: AB Scarlett
Voice: Scott | http://bit.ly/3bD679R
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