Image: CD PROJEKT RED

CD PROJEKT co-founder and joint CEO Marcin Iwiński publicly apologized for the shortcomings of Cyberpunk 2077 earlier this week, but that hasn’t stopped gaming journalists from digging up additional dirt to add to the sci-fi RPG’s ongoing controversies. The latest comes from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, who shared a report today with some interesting claims such as the notion that CD PROJEKT RED didn’t really begin developing the game until 2016. That’s rather shocking, being that Cyberpunk 2077 was originally announced all the way back in 2012.

“Part of the fans’ disappointment is proportional to the amount of time they spent waiting for the game,” Schreier wrote. “Although Cyberpunk was announced in 2012, the company was then still mainly focused on its last title and full development didn’t start until late 2016, employees said. That was when CD Projekt essentially hit the reset button, according to people familiar with the project.”

“Studio head Adam Badowski took over as director, demanding overhauls to Cyberpunk’s gameplay and story. For the next year, everything was changing, including fundamental elements like the game-play perspective. Top staff who had worked on The Witcher 3 had strong opinions on how Cyberpunk should be made, which clashed with Badowski and lead to the eventual departure of several top developers.”

The report goes on to allege that Cyberpunk 2077’s first gameplay demo, which CD PROJEKT RED shared behind closed doors during E3 2018, was “almost entirely fake.” This is an interesting claim because the demo doesn’t look too far off from the final product.

“Fans and journalists were wowed by Cyberpunk 2077’s ambition and scale,” noted Schreier. “What they didn’t know was that the demo was almost entirely fake. CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.”

CD PROJEKT RED’s studio head Adam Badowski has posted some of his thoughts regarding the report, which you can check out in the tweet below. Badowski denied that the demo was fake, insisting that the final game looks and plays way better than what he showed at E3 2018. He also pointed out that the report stems from only 20 staff members, practically all of whom were anonymous.

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41 Comments

  1. Hehhe, I always thought this x years in development sounds fishy. … I hear that and think yeah right 5 years in hiatus 2 of work, and one of meetings.
  2. More like 2 years of meetings THEN someone makes a trailer to fit a vision… THEN if the market is excited they start pouring money into it. I don’t see the issue… but then again I’m an adult who lives in the real world and the quality of my life isn’t tied to a video game.
  3. Sounds like a tempest in a teapot to me.

    I havent played it yet, but from all accounts the final product is a very good game.

    Sure it has its launch bugs, but what game doesn’t these days. I wish that weren’t the case, but the truth is developers in the age of "easy patches" face a tremendous pressure to ship by arbitrary dates, unlike back in the day before digital distribution, when the game you shipped on launch day was usually the final product. I don’t think that genie can be stuffed back in the bottle.

    IMHO the only people who have reason to complain here, are those who bought it for last gen game consoles. It sounds like their experience was pretty much unplayable.

    Everyone else should take a chill pill.

    I think the lesson learned here is that there is a reason most games don’t launch simultaneously on all platforms. This is a pretty tall order to accomplish.

  4. Sure it has its launch bugs, but what game doesn’t these days. I wish that weren’t the case, but the truth is developers in the age of "easy patches" face a tremendous pressure to ship by arbitrary dates

    Well you don’t want to end up like DNF or star citizen so there needs to be some kind of schedule people need to adhere to, it also in this case did not help that after the last couple delays people were getting very angy and frustrated about the constant delays.

  5. Well you don’t want to end up like DNF or star citizen so there needs to be some kind of schedule people need to adhere to, it also in this case did not help that after the last couple delays people were getting very angy and frustrated about the constant delays.

    Definitely. This tired meme kind of sums it up:

    View attachment 784

  6. More like 2 years of meetings THEN someone makes a trailer to fit a vision… THEN if the market is excited they start pouring money into it. I don’t see the issue… but then again I’m an adult who lives in the real world and the quality of my life isn’t tied to a video game.

    You can really say that (the last part) about most things in life (assuming you are well), but this isn’t the eating and shelter for survival discussion board.

    I think more honesty in this market would be rewarded albeit slowly.
    Its not the first time I see games with supposed long development times, they just sound silly, and in this case the company didn’t help itself with it, I don’t even know where the 8 or 9 year crap comes from, but would have helped to clarify sometime after 2012 or what have you that nothing was produced, there is no team yet and so on.
    I guess this is not so much about the game, and more of the hype vs game. Hype, can grow and grow endlessly, sometimes it bites.

  7. I honestly wasn’t expecting the game until 2022 at the earliest. I was shocked when it was first announced that it would be coming out last year.
  8. I honestly wasn’t expecting the game until 2022 at the earliest. I was shocked when it was first announced that it would be coming out last year.

    That’s what I thought too. I thought ti was an ambitious project that would likely take more time.

    IMHO, part of the problem these days is that "Gamers" as it were, tend to be whiny impatient bitches. These game developers are essentially trying to satisfy undisciplined children. That’s never a fun position to be in.

    A few lessons developers should take away from this.

    1.) Plan and set realistic expectations early.
    2.) Under promise, over deliver
    3.) Don’t try to release on all platforms on the same date.

  9. I really think internally they had the agreement made. "We have this license to make Cyberpunk 2077 based on Cyberpunk 2020. How cool would it be to release in 2020! Lets do it team NO MATTER WHAT!!!"

    The cool sunk into the team and they strived to get it out and thought they had it down to the wire but they messed something up. Old gen console players got hosed… it was sad.

  10. I really think internally they had the agreement made. "We have this license to make Cyberpunk 2077 based on Cyberpunk 2020. How cool would it be to release in 2020! Lets do it team NO MATTER WHAT!!!"

    Funny note.

    I didn’t realize it was based on a table top role playing game named Cyberpunk until just now. I had never heard of that game before :p

    Then again I was never a role playing game fan. I played Dungeons and Dragons exactly once, and the experience made me roll my eyes so far back into my head I thought they would never recover. The fact that the story was just based on some random due making it up as we went along was a big annoyance.

  11. Funny note.

    I didn’t realize it was based on a table top role playing game named Cyberpunk until just now. I had never heard of that game before :p

    It kind of makes what they did more impressive in my mind. The vast majority of the source material is borrowed directly from the Cyberpunk 2020 game world. Major difference is in Cyberpunk it was Jonny Silverhand’s girlfriend decker, Alt that was inadvertently made into an AI.

  12. Funny note.

    I didn’t realize it was based on a table top role playing game named Cyberpunk until just now. I had never heard of that game before :p

    It’s pretty obscure but it’s been around a long time.

    I’ve played and tested the game extensively. The fact of the matter is, it is a very good game. It’s easily one of the best, if not the best open world games I’ve played. To be fair, I’m not really fan of open world games. The vast majority of them lack narrative focus. However, Cyberpunk 2077 has more than its share of problems. I don’t believe all the people saying the game is missing XYZ content or it was supposed to work one way or another. A lot of that is speculative, or based on what they took away from the advertising. They lack evidence to support most of the statements. That being said, its clearly incomplete. It’s not 60% incomplete or whatever some people have been saying. We have no way to know. Despite CDPR’s being more transparent than most companies, there is still a lot we don’t know about what was originally planned for the game. I kept up with the development of the game far more than I would normally have. I digested every bit of official media for the game as it came out.

    That said, its clear the game isn’t entirely as promised. I think people have blown much of this out of proportion. Not to say that some of these claims aren’t certainly legitimate, but much of it is based on individual perceptions of the advertising for the game. Some of the things we thought we might be able to do initially were thrown out early on and CDPR was very transparent about that. The game is missing features like vehicle customization, the ability to buy property or upgrade your living conditions, etc. There are even remnants or traces of partially completed versions of these systems in place.

    The game’s story is probably the biggest double-edged sword I’ve ever seen in gaming history. On one hand, the narrative is very good and several of the endings, though dark in tone can be satisfying enough. I’m normally the kind of guy who only likes upbeat endings in games, so take that for what its worth. But, the doubled edged sword is this. The narrative isn’t branching at all. We knew we would have a more fleshed out protagonist rather than a blank slate like what you get in your typical Bethesda game. That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned as it makes for a tighter narrative. But that being said, you don’t get to influence the character’s personality much if at all. You can pick certain options that give a given conversation a specific flavor, but you can rarely even alter the tone a whole lot. It’s also not always clear when you can do so.

    Blue dialog options can be used without fear of them terminating the conversation. Yellow dialog is where things get tricky. In many cases these are the ones that control the tone of the conversation. Most of the time they advance or end the conversations. However, there are many instances where you will get to run through multiple yellow dialog choices and in such cases, you don’t get to influence the tone of the conversation at all.

    The world is massive and visually immersive. It’s the best looking and most detailed urban environment we’ve ever seen. Yet, your ability to interact with it is extremely limited. Many people bitch about the fact that we don’t have the ability to sit on park benches and RP walk everywhere. I couldn’t give two squirts of piss about that boring ****. That’s not what I play games to do. However, this game was marketed as being the ultimate evolution in open world experiences with unmatched interactivity and immersion. In all the promotional stuff, you see our protagonist V drinking, getting lap dances, eating food, and interacting with the environments in a way not ever seen in other open world games. The animations are present, but only in specific story missions. When you go to get something to eat, you are presented with a typical vendor menu and you can transfer food from the vendors inventory to yours for a price. That’s it. On that front, I can agree with people in that we were sold on some of this stuff and its not in the game.

    When it comes to romance options there are very few. You would think there would also be hookers and one night stand possibilities everywhere. There are only four prostitutes, two male, two female. There is only a single one night stand in the game. The romance options are extremely limited by your gender and body configuration. Essentially, you have one for a gay male, one for a lesbian female, one for a straight male and one for a straight female. The game will allow you to do up to two of these depending on your characters physical characteristics. Honestly, I expected a lot of choices on this front and we just didn’t have them. From what I can tell, we were never supposed to in all reality as it isn’t as though there are a bunch of other characters with enough voice overs, appearances in the game or story arcs to indicate more were ever in the works. Most of these are well written and natural feeling relationships, but we are limited to the four and you are further limited by the way the game’s story is timed. Panam, Judy, and River Ward are all accessible earlier on in the game. Judy being the first one you encounter. Panam and River aren’t seen until after the prologue. Kerry on the other hand isn’t accessible until you’ve done about 50% or more of the main story.

    Once you complete a romance’s story arc, you are almost entirely done with them. Only one of these romance options can actually help you in the final mission of the game and only if you take a specific path for the ending.

    We were absolutely promised branching quest chains and on a technical level, there are a couple that do have consequences down the line. But that’s it. They do not alter the game world in any meaningful way. Most of the time its dialog that tells you the outcome of a choice you made and not anything you’d see or experience. Ultimately, choice in games is an illusion but even BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy did this better. The game always came down to a binary choice in the end, but the flavor of the experience varied much more than it does here. The vast majority of quests and most of the main quests all have the same outcome regardless of what you do. This limits replayability. I’ve gone through and specifically picked different options to see how they turn out and very little of what you say or do matters. Really, the only quest that branches through a large portion of the game with any impact is the Maelstrom quest showcased in all the early gameplay footage. That one really does branch out and how you handle it early on impacts another quest considerably down the line which is part of the main story. That’s really it though. I will say that some quests like River’s and Panam’s can end very differently depending on what you do, but its limited to affecting them and your relationship with them.

    As for the story, very little of it is about V or developing your V. Over 50% of the game is really about Johnny Silverhand. His story is intricate and generally well written, but the fact that he blew up 12,000 people in a terrorist attack is largely glossed over. The guy’s a monster and a general piece of ****. While they make the character sympathetic and your influence can change him somewhat, they built into the backstory, something that didn’t make much sense nor was something he could ever atone for in any way. In some ways, the character guides you through a lot of the story, but he also tries to influence and second guess all your decisions and ultimately, due to the way he’s stuck in your head, he influences V a lot making your V even less defined by your choices and more by the game’s overall narrative. While I think this is a good story overall, it’s entirely too fixed leaving no branching paths save for the endings most of which are available regardless of your choices in the game.

    Essentially, there is no replay value here. The story pans out largely the same no matter how mean to Johnny you are. Resist him as much as you like or be a dick to him he’ll still always be your friend. It will lock you out of one ending to do this, but when you see which ending it is you’ll struggle to know why.

    Story is as I said, both one of the game’s greatest strengths and its greatest weakness. The short version is this: It’s actually a linear, single player story where choice is virtually meaningless and the open world elements pad the play time of the game and help give provide an illusion that you actually have some choice in what you are doing. It’s about like taking the story of a single Mass Effect game and tacking an open world onto it. It’s not even a good sandbox because you can’t build a sandcastle or use the swings. The game was marketed as a rags to riches type of story and I left the game feeling like I wanted to play that story, not this gloomy Johnny Silverhand and V nihilistic farewell tour that we got. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it and am still enjoying it. However, I can’t help but think that rags to riches story we were shown a glimpse of would have been more fun and more rewarding.

    Most of the crashing bugs and stability issues were handled early on with the v1.4, v1.5 and v1.6 patches. I never had these issues, but some did. Visually, the environments are masterfully crafted. For brief moments the city looks like a place you could visit, but then you end up remembering you can’t do anything with it. To make matters worse, quick travel doesn’t feel all that quick and traversing the city via a car can be daunting. Not because of the drive time, but because the cars almost all handle like ****. They either turn like a dump truck or spin out too easily, or both. Granted, I can traverse the city without running into anything, but it took time and some driving mods to get there. You have to use the brake, never drive at top speed, (or only do so on straight roads), and you really have to think like you must obey traffic laws. Partly, this is due to the vehicle density in the city. It can be quite high and you can even get stuck in traffic.

    Even so, traveling 4.4KM in Night City is a hell of a lot better than driving 2.5KM in something like Ghost Recon Breakpoint. In that game I’d quick travel anything over 1 or 1.5KM.

    The visual bugs are bad. You can see all of the pedestrians in an area flashing between a T-pose (nude, of course) and their normal walking animations. Change your camera position and it stops. One hilarious bug has you sticking out of the roof of your car in a T-pose with no pants (bare assed) if you drive too fast. Pedestrians also spawn in almost on top of you at times and disappear unnaturally like you saw a ghost. The vehicle spawn system is hilariously bad. Most of the time you’ll call your vehicle it comes to you missing a door, or with the trunk pushed into the rear tires, or whatever. It also spawns in on top of other cars and then suddenly explodes and ends up on its roof. Sometimes you’ll summon it only to have to chase after it because it won’t stop. Sometimes, it will even run you over.

    Among all the most unfinished aspects of the game is the police system. It’s alpha level in its functionality and that’s being kind. If you aggro the cops they’ll spawn on you or bullshit cannons come out of buildings to shoot you. However, they are completely incapable of chasing you far on foot and not at all by vehicle. You only have to evade them for about ten seconds or so to get them to stop coming at you.

    Many people bitch about the combat, and like everything else, there are some pros and cons to it. On the one hand, its pretty decent as a shooter if you are running it on a good machine. The bad part is the balance is way off. Weapon balance is generally poor. You can end up with a revolver that does 6,000DPS, due to both high damage and a relatively high rate of fire. However, semi-autos often feel clunky and slow because their fire rates are artificially limited. SMG’s range from feeling too weak to be useful to Legendary guns like "Problem Solver" being so hilariously over powered that it finds a permanent spot in your loadout because of it. Sniper rifles are largely pointless as the distances you can engage targets at is surprisingly low. The draw distance for enemies isn’t nearly as far as it should be. Cyberware like the gorilla arms, mantis blades and projectile launcher are weak and generally inefficient ways of killing. The Mantis blades are obviously the best at it, but the gorilla arms provide the best non-combat utility by a mile. The projectile launcher is almost too weak to ever bother using. In fact, you are better off using it as a non-lethal takedown than anything else.

    For melee combat, its a mess. Animations are limited, hit detection is way off and its overpowered. It’s almost too easy to kill this way. With enough armor, you can just tank the hits without fear of getting shot up while doing this. Mantis blades have an obvious advantage hear as you can charge it and leap to target. Arial takedowns were shown in the demo footage, and until last night I didn’t think they were in the game. No idea how I did one, but I jumped onto a target and smashed his head into the floor. I’ve tried to figure out how I did that, but haven’t. Controls are ****. The game is obviously a PC game first, yet it uses few actual keys and lacks the menu to remap a lot of functions. You have to mod the game to fix this crap.

    Passives in cyberware and level scaling are also way out of balance. You can basically one shot all enemies on very hard if you setup the character right. You really shouldn’t be able to do this. As for the difficulty settings, there is no difference between them other than early on in the game. On very hard its not harder, its just the fights last longer because everything is a bullet sponge. Once you hit high level, its trivial in its difficulty. People do bitch about the AI as well, and I can see why but I think most people are wrong about it. I see evidence of the AI doing some of what they should do a lot of the time. The problem is they react slowly or fail to react at all. This looks more like a bug, rather than just poorly coded AI. Time will tell on that front though.

    Despite the game’s many issues, I think its fantastic. The settings and the characters elevate the game way past what it would ordinarily deserve on its non-visual related technical merits, which isn’t much. The game’s a technical mess. Estimates saying the game needed another 6 months of development (even on PC) aren’t an exaggeration. In this state, I think it needed a year or more of refinement. I enjoyed the game well enough and got my money’s worth out of it. That being said, I can’t help but feel the game could have been so much more. The foundation of it is solid and if they had put the work in, this never could have matched some of the expectations that some people had for it, which were frankly unrealistic. But, it could have been another instant classic that raised the bar for the genre and what open world games should be. Unfortunately, CDPR decided it was more important to have that revenue stream before 2020 was over than anything else. Here’s hoping they can pull off a "No Man’s Sky" type comeback with it down the line.

  13. That’s what I thought too. I thought ti was an ambitious project that would likely take more time.

    IMHO, part of the problem these days is that "Gamers" as it were, tend to be whiny impatient bitches. These game developers are essentially trying to satisfy undisciplined children. That’s never a fun position to be in.

    A few lessons developers should take away from this.

    1.) Plan and set realistic expectations early.
    2.) Under promise, over deliver
    3.) Don’t try to release on all platforms on the same date.

    There is also the shareholders a public company has to answer to. The pressure to produce ROI rather than a genuinely good product is why there are so many large and forgettable releases out there.

  14. That’s what I thought too. I thought ti was an ambitious project that would likely take more time.

    IMHO, part of the problem these days is that "Gamers" as it were, tend to be whiny impatient bitches. These game developers are essentially trying to satisfy undisciplined children. That’s never a fun position to be in.

    A few lessons developers should take away from this.

    1.) Plan and set realistic expectations early.
    2.) Under promise, over deliver
    3.) Don’t try to release on all platforms on the same date.

    The game’s original scope was probably too ambitious for technology at the time as well as the limited staff that it has. Apparently, GTA V had over twice as many people working on it. Yeah, gamers can be a bunch of entitled children and should generally be ignored. That being said, its a hell of CDPR’s own making as the marketing department worked overtime to build up hype for the game with concrete release dates that were unrealistic and touting features before the developers were sure they would work on either a gameplay level or a technical one. CDPR inflated expectations over the moon. This was bound to happen to some degree anyway, but they compounded the problem with "transparency." Something CDPR should have backed off of or simply not done in the first place. I think CDPR was overly communicative as they shared ideas with the public before they were concrete in the actual game’s code.

    1.) Absolutely. The game probably was scrapped and restarted 4 years ago because the developers wanted a game that would have better graphics, leverage newer technologies etc. that weren’t available 8 years ago. I truly think CDPR wanted to push the envelope, but didn’t give themselves time to do it properly.
    2.) Naturally. This should go without saying. However, in the business world all they care about is the hype machine as it should generate sales. They believe that front loading the profits beats getting them on the back end when positive reviews and word of mouth sell more copies of the game than sold initially. They want those preorders because they want that money now. Partly, for development costs. That’s why the hype train started rolling years ahead of time.
    3.) No.

    On bullet point #3, I disagree. A multi-platform release is fine when you’ve taken the time to do the work necessary for a multi-platform launch. The developer was also too greedy in that it developed a version for 7 year old consoles that were obviously going to provide an inferior gaming experience. It should have been for next generation consoles only. Now, multi-platform launches are rarely done well with one version suffering over another one. I get your point but it doesn’t have to be that way.

  15. 2.) Naturally. This should go without saying. However, in the business world all they care about is the hype machine as it should generate sales. They believe that front loading the profits beats getting them on the back end when positive reviews and word of mouth sell more copies of the game than sold initially. They want those preorders because they want that money now. Partly, for development costs. That’s why the hype train started rolling years ahead of time.

    That is true, but games a re huge undertaking these days, unlike back in the 80’s when it was just a few guys working on a project together for a few months. The true part is, without the finance guys to provide the funding, they just wont happen, and the time value of money is real.

    Any future cashflow has to be discounted by your cost of capital, meaning money made is the future is of actual less value than money made today. If future cash flows are going to be worth it, they have to be large enough to offset being discounted by time.

    True NPV (Net present value) analysis can make or break the feasibility of a project.

    3.) No.

    On bullet point #3, I disagree. A multi-platform release is fine when you’ve taken the time to do the work necessary for a multi-platform launch. The developer was also too greedy in that it developed a version for 7 year old consoles that were obviously going to provide an inferior gaming experience. It should have been for next generation consoles only. Now, multi-platform launches are rarely done well with one version suffering over another one. I get your point but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    Well, it seemed to me like they bit off more than they could chew all at once. Looking around, games are almost always launched at different times on different platforms. Handling two, or maybe even three simultaneous releases might be doable, but the – what – 7 of them CPDR was targeting just seems unrealistic. At least without massively scaling up for the effort, or using some third parties to do simultaneous ports.

  16. It’s pretty obscure but it’s been around a long time.

    I’ve played and tested the game extensively. The fact of the matter is, it is a very good game. It’s easily one of the best, if not the best open world games I’ve played. To be fair, I’m not really fan of open world games. The vast majority of them lack narrative focus. However, Cyberpunk 2077 has more than its share of problems. I don’t believe all the people saying the game is missing XYZ content or it was supposed to work one way or another. A lot of that is speculative, or based on what they took away from the advertising. They lack evidence to support most of the statements. That being said, its clearly incomplete. It’s not 60% incomplete or whatever some people have been saying. We have no way to know. Despite CDPR’s being more transparent than most companies, there is still a lot we don’t know about what was originally planned for the game. I kept up with the development of the game far more than I would normally have. I digested every bit of official media for the game as it came out.

    That said, its clear the game isn’t entirely as promised. I think people have blown much of this out of proportion. Not to say that some of these claims aren’t certainly legitimate, but much of it is based on individual perceptions of the advertising for the game. Some of the things we thought we might be able to do initially were thrown out early on and CDPR was very transparent about that. The game is missing features like vehicle customization, the ability to buy property or upgrade your living conditions, etc. There are even remnants or traces of partially completed versions of these systems in place.

    The game’s story is probably the biggest double-edged sword I’ve ever seen in gaming history. On one hand, the narrative is very good and several of the endings, though dark in tone can be satisfying enough. I’m normally the kind of guy who only likes upbeat endings in games, so take that for what its worth. But, the doubled edged sword is this. The narrative isn’t branching at all. We knew we would have a more fleshed out protagonist rather than a blank slate like what you get in your typical Bethesda game. That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned as it makes for a tighter narrative. But that being said, you don’t get to influence the character’s personality much if at all. You can pick certain options that give a given conversation a specific flavor, but you can rarely even alter the tone a whole lot. It’s also not always clear when you can do so.

    Blue dialog options can be used without fear of them terminating the conversation. Yellow dialog is where things get tricky. In many cases these are the ones that control the tone of the conversation. Most of the time they advance or end the conversations. However, there are many instances where you will get to run through multiple yellow dialog choices and in such cases, you don’t get to influence the tone of the conversation at all.

    The world is massive and visually immersive. It’s the best looking and most detailed urban environment we’ve ever seen. Yet, your ability to interact with it is extremely limited. Many people bitch about the fact that we don’t have the ability to sit on park benches and RP walk everywhere. I couldn’t give two squirts of piss about that boring ****. That’s not what I play games to do. However, this game was marketed as being the ultimate evolution in open world experiences with unmatched interactivity and immersion. In all the promotional stuff, you see our protagonist V drinking, getting lap dances, eating food, and interacting with the environments in a way not ever seen in other open world games. The animations are present, but only in specific story missions. When you go to get something to eat, you are presented with a typical vendor menu and you can transfer food from the vendors inventory to yours for a price. That’s it. On that front, I can agree with people in that we were sold on some of this stuff and its not in the game.

    When it comes to romance options there are very few. You would think there would also be hookers and one night stand possibilities everywhere. There are only four prostitutes, two male, two female. There is only a single one night stand in the game. The romance options are extremely limited by your gender and body configuration. Essentially, you have one for a gay male, one for a lesbian female, one for a straight male and one for a straight female. The game will allow you to do up to two of these depending on your characters physical characteristics. Honestly, I expected a lot of choices on this front and we just didn’t have them. From what I can tell, we were never supposed to in all reality as it isn’t as though there are a bunch of other characters with enough voice overs, appearances in the game or story arcs to indicate more were ever in the works. Most of these are well written and natural feeling relationships, but we are limited to the four and you are further limited by the way the game’s story is timed. Panam, Judy, and River Ward are all accessible earlier on in the game. Judy being the first one you encounter. Panam and River aren’t seen until after the prologue. Kerry on the other hand isn’t accessible until you’ve done about 50% or more of the main story.

    Once you complete a romance’s story arc, you are almost entirely done with them. Only one of these romance options can actually help you in the final mission of the game and only if you take a specific path for the ending.

    We were absolutely promised branching quest chains and on a technical level, there are a couple that do have consequences down the line. But that’s it. They do not alter the game world in any meaningful way. Most of the time its dialog that tells you the outcome of a choice you made and not anything you’d see or experience. Ultimately, choice in games is an illusion but even BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy did this better. The game always came down to a binary choice in the end, but the flavor of the experience varied much more than it does here. The vast majority of quests and most of the main quests all have the same outcome regardless of what you do. This limits replayability. I’ve gone through and specifically picked different options to see how they turn out and very little of what you say or do matters. Really, the only quest that branches through a large portion of the game with any impact is the Maelstrom quest showcased in all the early gameplay footage. That one really does branch out and how you handle it early on impacts another quest considerably down the line which is part of the main story. That’s really it though. I will say that some quests like River’s and Panam’s can end very differently depending on what you do, but its limited to affecting them and your relationship with them.

    As for the story, very little of it is about V or developing your V. Over 50% of the game is really about Johnny Silverhand. His story is intricate and generally well written, but the fact that he blew up 12,000 people in a terrorist attack is largely glossed over. The guy’s a monster and a general piece of ****. While they make the character sympathetic and your influence can change him somewhat, they built into the backstory, something that didn’t make much sense nor was something he could ever atone for in any way. In some ways, the character guides you through a lot of the story, but he also tries to influence and second guess all your decisions and ultimately, due to the way he’s stuck in your head, he influences V a lot making your V even less defined by your choices and more by the game’s overall narrative. While I think this is a good story overall, it’s entirely too fixed leaving no branching paths save for the endings most of which are available regardless of your choices in the game.

    Essentially, there is no replay value here. The story pans out largely the same no matter how mean to Johnny you are. Resist him as much as you like or be a dick to him he’ll still always be your friend. It will lock you out of one ending to do this, but when you see which ending it is you’ll struggle to know why.

    Story is as I said, both one of the game’s greatest strengths and its greatest weakness. The short version is this: It’s actually a linear, single player story where choice is virtually meaningless and the open world elements pad the play time of the game and help give provide an illusion that you actually have some choice in what you are doing. It’s about like taking the story of a single Mass Effect game and tacking an open world onto it. It’s not even a good sandbox because you can’t build a sandcastle or use the swings. The game was marketed as a rags to riches type of story and I left the game feeling like I wanted to play that story, not this gloomy Johnny Silverhand and V nihilistic farewell tour that we got. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it and am still enjoying it. However, I can’t help but think that rags to riches story we were shown a glimpse of would have been more fun and more rewarding.

    Most of the crashing bugs and stability issues were handled early on with the v1.4, v1.5 and v1.6 patches. I never had these issues, but some did. Visually, the environments are masterfully crafted. For brief moments the city looks like a place you could visit, but then you end up remembering you can’t do anything with it. To make matters worse, quick travel doesn’t feel all that quick and traversing the city via a car can be daunting. Not because of the drive time, but because the cars almost all handle like ****. They either turn like a dump truck or spin out too easily, or both. Granted, I can traverse the city without running into anything, but it took time and some driving mods to get there. You have to use the brake, never drive at top speed, (or only do so on straight roads), and you really have to think like you must obey traffic laws. Partly, this is due to the vehicle density in the city. It can be quite high and you can even get stuck in traffic.

    Even so, traveling 4.4KM in Night City is a hell of a lot better than driving 2.5KM in something like Ghost Recon Breakpoint. In that game I’d quick travel anything over 1 or 1.5KM.

    The visual bugs are bad. You can see all of the pedestrians in an area flashing between a T-pose (nude, of course) and their normal walking animations. Change your camera position and it stops. One hilarious bug has you sticking out of the roof of your car in a T-pose with no pants (bare assed) if you drive too fast. Pedestrians also spawn in almost on top of you at times and disappear unnaturally like you saw a ghost. The vehicle spawn system is hilariously bad. Most of the time you’ll call your vehicle it comes to you missing a door, or with the trunk pushed into the rear tires, or whatever. It also spawns in on top of other cars and then suddenly explodes and ends up on its roof. Sometimes you’ll summon it only to have to chase after it because it won’t stop. Sometimes, it will even run you over.

    Among all the most unfinished aspects of the game is the police system. It’s alpha level in its functionality and that’s being kind. If you aggro the cops they’ll spawn on you or bullshit cannons come out of buildings to shoot you. However, they are completely incapable of chasing you far on foot and not at all by vehicle. You only have to evade them for about ten seconds or so to get them to stop coming at you.

    Many people bitch about the combat, and like everything else, there are some pros and cons to it. On the one hand, its pretty decent as a shooter if you are running it on a good machine. The bad part is the balance is way off. Weapon balance is generally poor. You can end up with a revolver that does 6,000DPS, due to both high damage and a relatively high rate of fire. However, semi-autos often feel clunky and slow because their fire rates are artificially limited. SMG’s range from feeling too weak to be useful to Legendary guns like "Problem Solver" being so hilariously over powered that it finds a permanent spot in your loadout because of it. Sniper rifles are largely pointless as the distances you can engage targets at is surprisingly low. The draw distance for enemies isn’t nearly as far as it should be. Cyberware like the gorilla arms, mantis blades and projectile launcher are weak and generally inefficient ways of killing. The Mantis blades are obviously the best at it, but the gorilla arms provide the best non-combat utility by a mile. The projectile launcher is almost too weak to ever bother using. In fact, you are better off using it as a non-lethal takedown than anything else.

    For melee combat, its a mess. Animations are limited, hit detection is way off and its overpowered. It’s almost too easy to kill this way. With enough armor, you can just tank the hits without fear of getting shot up while doing this. Mantis blades have an obvious advantage hear as you can charge it and leap to target. Arial takedowns were shown in the demo footage, and until last night I didn’t think they were in the game. No idea how I did one, but I jumped onto a target and smashed his head into the floor. I’ve tried to figure out how I did that, but haven’t. Controls are ****. The game is obviously a PC game first, yet it uses few actual keys and lacks the menu to remap a lot of functions. You have to mod the game to fix this crap.

    Passives in cyberware and level scaling are also way out of balance. You can basically one shot all enemies on very hard if you setup the character right. You really shouldn’t be able to do this. As for the difficulty settings, there is no difference between them other than early on in the game. On very hard its not harder, its just the fights last longer because everything is a bullet sponge. Once you hit high level, its trivial in its difficulty. People do bitch about the AI as well, and I can see why but I think most people are wrong about it. I see evidence of the AI doing some of what they should do a lot of the time. The problem is they react slowly or fail to react at all. This looks more like a bug, rather than just poorly coded AI. Time will tell on that front though.

    Despite the game’s many issues, I think its fantastic. The settings and the characters elevate the game way past what it would ordinarily deserve on its non-visual related technical merits, which isn’t much. The game’s a technical mess. Estimates saying the game needed another 6 months of development (even on PC) aren’t an exaggeration. In this state, I think it needed a year or more of refinement. I enjoyed the game well enough and got my money’s worth out of it. That being said, I can’t help but feel the game could have been so much more. The foundation of it is solid and if they had put the work in, this never could have matched some of the expectations that some people had for it, which were frankly unrealistic. But, it could have been another instant classic that raised the bar for the genre and what open world games should be. Unfortunately, CDPR decided it was more important to have that revenue stream before 2020 was over than anything else. Here’s hoping they can pull off a "No Man’s Sky" type comeback with it down the line.

    Thanks for the most comprehensive, and legitimate, pro’s and con’s I’ve ever read on this game to date. Completely blows away whatever reviews I’ve read as you’ve gotten down to the nitty gritty of it all.

  17. 1.) Plan and set realistic expectations early.

    I’d say know when to drop features and scale back instead. You can’t have a perfect plan. Dare to alter it, even when it hurts. For example a little known fact is that Deus Ex had tons of cut features, and even entire levels, character arcs completely dropped due to lack of time or narrative problems. But you’d never know playing the game, and it’s still one of the best narrative games ever created, or the best if you ask me.

    2.) Under promise, over deliver

    I think the hype just made everyone make up their own minds on what to expect, and most of it were totally outlandish and unreasonable, but even more would’ve added very little to the experience. For example the NPCs having full 24 hours life cycles. It makes zero difference to me whether an NPC was spawned 5 seconds before getting flattened under my car, or the game has built an entire life story for them.

    3.) Don’t try to release on all platforms on the same date.

    Agreed on that one. Funny this issue is only raised when the console version has problems. For years we have been enduring low effort PC ports of console optimized games.

  18. Yeah but really… what trade show demos aren’t fake? I think they all are.

    This "Oh but it’s fake" thing has been blown out of proportion by a few zealots, much like the crunch issue. Of course it is fake, if the game was finished in 2018 they’d be releasing it, not demoing it behind closed doors. The point of a rolling demo is to show their vision for the game, and of course to sell the game. Gamers are such a stupid mob (with respect for the exceptions).

  19. This "Oh but it’s fake" thing has been blown out of proportion by a few zealots, much like the crunch issue. Of course it is fake, if the game was finished in 2018 they’d be releasing it, not demoing it behind closed doors. The point of a rolling demo is to show their vision for the game, and of course to sell the game. Gamers are such a stupid mob (with respect for the exceptions).

    Regardless, the demo looked almost exactly like the final product. Even if it were fake I’d say it was a pretty good representation of what they were building at the time.

  20. For example the NPCs having full 24 hours life cycles. It makes zero difference to me whether an NPC was spawned 5 seconds before getting flattened under my car, or the game has built an entire life story for them.

    I couldn’t agree more. This is a point I tried to make but couldn’t find the words for it. I don’t creep on NPC’s or really care about them. They just need to look the part when I see them or run them over, hit them with stray gunfire, etc. People whining about them not having a pre-programed life cycle makes no sense to me. Sure, it could add to immersion, and it was touted by CDPR, but ultimately it got cut because it was a huge technical challenge that didn’t really benefit the game a whole lot.

    Agreed on that one. Funny this issue is only raised when the console version has problems. For years we have been enduring low effort PC ports of console optimized games.

    Exactly. We’ve suffered ****ty ports like Mass Effect 1, Arkham Knight, and far too many to count. All of the sudden multi-platform is a problem when console gamers get the short end of the stick.

    This "Oh but it’s fake" thing has been blown out of proportion by a few zealots, much like the crunch issue. Of course it is fake, if the game was finished in 2018 they’d be releasing it, not demoing it behind closed doors. The point of a rolling demo is to show their vision for the game, and of course to sell the game. Gamers are such a stupid mob (with respect for the exceptions).

    This is a good point.

    Regardless, the demo looked almost exactly like the final product. Even if it were fake I’d say it was a pretty good representation of what they were building at the time.

    Not only did the final product look much like the demo stuff, but was visually upgraded since the 2018 E3 demo. Some things like the environmental hacking control weren’t up to what was shown in the demo, and we knew wall climbing / running was taken out long ago. So, in light of that it was pretty close content wise.

  21. Exactly. We’ve suffered ****ty ports like Mass Effect 1, Arkham Knight, and far too many to count. All of the sudden multi-platform is a problem when console gamers get the short end of the stick.

    Nah, that isn’t true. There’s been plenty of butthurt from PCMR folks on bad ports. One finally breaks in the PCs way, and there is an equal amount of butthurt from the Console folks now. Same thing, different team – it’s no different, you just are seeing it from a different perspective than normal.

  22. Nah, that isn’t true. There’s been plenty of butthurt from PCMR folks on bad ports. One finally breaks in the PCs way, and there is an equal amount of butthurt from the Console folks now. Same thing, different team – it’s no different, you just are seeing it from a different perspective than normal.

    I never heard about class action and removal from stores and offering full refunds over bad PC ports. And I’ve seen some that were worse than cyberpunk on console. Not just buggy, but outright unsuitable to play on PC, I’ve seen ports that had no graphics menu on PC or you couldn’t re-map controls. Both are essential and industry standard features.

  23. I never heard about class action and removal from stores and offering full refunds over bad PC ports. And I’ve seen some that were worse than cyberpunk on console. Not just buggy, but outright unsuitable to play on PC, I’ve seen ports that had no graphics menu on PC or you couldn’t re-map controls. Both are essential and industry standard features.

    Which is why I brought up Arkham Knight. On PC, it was virtually unplayable for many people. SLI didn’t work, it was flat out unplayable off mechanical hard drives, and a host of other problems. It was so bad that Rocksteady actually offered refunds to PC users with the promise the game would be fixed post-release through subsequent updates. This was actually true, and now its fine aside from broken SLI support, but that’s a dead end anyway. But when the game came out, SLI support was far more common in AAA titles.

  24. I never heard about class action and removal from stores and offering full refunds over bad PC ports. And I’ve seen some that were worse than cyberpunk on console. Not just buggy, but outright unsuitable to play on PC, I’ve seen ports that had no graphics menu on PC or you couldn’t re-map controls. Both are essential and industry standard features.

    You know, storefronts like Steam started implementing blanket return policies… before that, software was a "Once it’s opened, no return" type thing, and digital refund was pretty much unheard of.

    PCMR people complained so much, about so many different things, that it doesn’t even have to be a broken game. They can just not like it and request a refund….

  25. Yeah but really… what trade show demos aren’t fake? I think they all are.

    I was reading the thread over at DSOG on this and someone tried to make a constructive comment to that effect. Basically explaining that often at trade shows a ‘slide version’, not to be confused with slide presentation, of the game is shown to represent ideas, not neccesarily a finished project. A lot of people called that person a shrill but I feel it was a valid point. CDPR is far from the first and surely won’t be the last. There’s other issues in this rollout but I feel that particular detail should be noted.

  26. Which is why I brought up Arkham Knight. On PC, it was virtually unplayable for many people. SLI didn’t work, it was flat out unplayable off mechanical hard drives, and a host of other problems. It was so bad that Rocksteady actually offered refunds to PC users with the promise the game would be fixed post-release through subsequent updates. This was actually true, and now its fine aside from broken SLI support, but that’s a dead end anyway. But when the game came out, SLI support was far more common in AAA titles.

    Yep, it wasn’t until I got a 1080 Ti, plus all those patches back then, I could really play it with max settings in 1440p. Ahh, that wound still hurts a little since I’d only just gotten around to finishing Arkham City that same year using SLI @ 1080p and was really looking forward to it then. I did, however, get a giggle recently running the bench with the 3090 in 5120×1440 and watching it mostly hold 100-120 FPS.

  27. Yep, it wasn’t until I got a 1080 Ti, plus all those patches back then, I could really play it with max settings in 1440p. Ahh, that wound still hurts a little since I’d only just gotten around to finishing Arkham City that same year using SLI @ 1080p and was really looking forward to it then. I did, however, get a giggle recently running the bench with the 3090 in 5120×1440 and watching it mostly hold 100-120 FPS.

    My RTX 2080 Ti could barely manage 60FPS in Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Now, it can handle it on the same settings getting 80-90FPS, sometimes more. I haven’t tried Arkham Knight, but I saw videos on that with 3090’s already. Hilarious.

  28. Which is why I brought up Arkham Knight. On PC, it was virtually unplayable for many people. SLI didn’t work, it was flat out unplayable off mechanical hard drives, and a host of other problems. It was so bad that Rocksteady actually offered refunds to PC users with the promise the game would be fixed post-release through subsequent updates. This was actually true, and now its fine aside from broken SLI support, but that’s a dead end anyway. But when the game came out, SLI support was far more common in AAA titles.

    I got that game free with a GPU or something (can’t remember). I installed it at launch, I didn’t personally have any problems with it, it seemed to run OK, but I do recall lots of people complaining.

    Ultimately I only played it for ~10 minutes or so, not because of the bad launch, but because I found the game completely and utterly uninteresting.

  29. I was reading the thread over at DSOG on this and someone tried to make a constructive comment to that effect. Basically explaining that often at trade shows a ‘slide version’, not to be confused with slide presentation, of the game is shown to represent ideas, not neccesarily a finished project. A lot of people called that person a shrill but I feel it was a valid point. CDPR is far from the first and surely won’t be the last. There’s other issues in this rollout but I feel that particular detail should be noted.

    To look at this a bit differently – look at the pre-release concepts that Blizzard and S/E put out – those aren’t in-game engine demos, those are full blown CGI cinematic events, and can only loosely be considered representative of what in game image quality will represent. Blizzard makes them out as fully CGI rendered movie events – S/E for the most part at least uses engine footage, and then stitches it together like a movie trailer.

    Just a couple of examples. You would have to be utterly naive to believe that a Blizzard trailer was representative of game quality, and to be fair, no one is really making that claim. But for some reason people are saying that the CDPR trailer needs to be…

  30. You know, storefronts like Steam started implementing blanket return policies… before that, software was a "Once it’s opened, no return" type thing, and digital refund was pretty much unheard of.

    PCMR people complained so much, about so many different things, that it doesn’t even have to be a broken game. They can just not like it and request a refund….

    You are comparing apples to oranges.
    What is your point? That killing the golden goose or at least trying to is not an overreaction? People seem to love to hate things nowadays. It’s not even just dislike, but deep bubbling hate, they don’t just hate the game but want to ruin it and the company that has made it. Because it is not exactly as they imagined in their dreams. And of course this is not just console users, many PC idiots are guilty of the same thing. This is starting to become a common theme, that first started with Mass Effect Andromeda.

  31. o look at this a bit differently – look at the pre-release concepts that Blizzard and S/E put out – those aren’t in-game engine demos, those are full blown CGI cinematic events, and can only loosely be considered representative of what in game image quality will represent. Blizzard makes them out as fully CGI rendered movie events – S/E for the most part at least uses engine footage, and then stitches it together like a movie trailer.

    If you check blizzards footage from blizzcon you will find a lot of concrete info on the diverse wow expacs and some in game footage. + as an active player it is pretty easy to get in beta’s to check things out.

  32. You are comparing apples to oranges.
    What is your point?

    I was responding to Dan_D who seemed to imply that this outrage was somehow unique to CDPR, or to console users. It isn’t, PCMR folks are just as bad, and claiming righteous indignation over first world problems is industry – if not culture – wide.

    I am just as guilty in my rants over hardware availability if I’m honest about it

  33. If you check blizzards footage from blizzcon you will find a lot of concrete info on the diverse wow expacs and some in game footage. + as an active player it is pretty easy to get in beta’s to check things out.

    I’m sure it exists but I’m not an active player and the CGI trailers are what I see invariably, not in game footage. Just showing how that seems to get a pass, but CDPR is getting hung out to dry over it – probably over sensitivity to the Witcher 3 perceived graphics downgrade from an early W3 trailer.

  34. I was responding to Dan_D who seemed to imply that this outrage was somehow unique to CDPR, or to console users. It isn’t, PCMR folks are just as bad, and claiming righteous indignation over first world problems is industry – if not culture – wide.

    I don’t think anyone actually uses PCMR unironically.

  35. Nah, that isn’t true. There’s been plenty of butthurt from PCMR folks on bad ports. One finally breaks in the PCs way, and there is an equal amount of butthurt from the Console folks now. Same thing, different team – it’s no different, you just are seeing it from a different perspective than normal.

    Same thing? Really? We filed 2 class action lawsuites against the company that gave us a bad port? I TOTALLY missed that. Can you post a link?

  36. Same thing? Really? We filed 2 class action lawsuites against the company that gave us a bad port? I TOTALLY missed that. Can you post a link?

    Even if the lawsuits weren’t actually filed by the gamers, but by investors due to the bad console port, I have never heard of anything similar happening due to any bad PC port. So the investors care more about them it seems.

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