Cyberpunk 2077 is back in stores – but does it work this time? | News from science and technology
It was set to be the biggest video game blockbuster of 2020.
Cyberpunk 2077 It took more than 500 people eight years to finish. Released to a great din on December 10, 2020, developers had even booked CD Projekt Red Keanu Reeves to make an appearance.
What could go wrong?
Quite a lot, it turns out. It was predicted to be the gaming world’s Ferrari – but rather than a turbocharged masterpiece, its introduction greeted avid gamers with more glitches and flaws than a Morris Marina.
Whole compilations were published on YouTube showing mishaps ranging from palm trees inexplicably sinking into the street to NPCs (non-playable characters) walking along the street with parts of the fence seemingly stuck in legs.
Cyberpunk is an open world game with a non-linear storyline that allows the player to customize and improve their characters however they want and to advance the story in the direction of their choice.
This game model is notorious for bug because of the millions of possible events that can occur each time you play through it. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was another fine example of an open world (widely popular) game that suffered from some hilarious glitches.
The problems ended up being so numerous for Cyberpunk that CD Projekt was Red forced to take it off the market and offer refunds to those who have already purchased a copy; an unprecedented step in the industry.
But after more tinkering and long hours, last week the game returned to the PlayStation Store. So, is it working now?
In the past year, fewer glitches have been reported when playing on PC, so Sky News put the latest iteration of Cyberpunk to the test and played the PS4 version on a PS5. The game will receive a free PS5 upgrade later this year.
First impressions are good: the graphics are on the high end for a game designed for last generation consoles, the sound design is immersive and, most importantly, there are very few flaws.
The most noticeable mistake experienced so far was a deceased enemy who seemed to wobble on the floor and raise bizarre limbs in 1980s disco fashion. Sometimes different characters talk about each other, but that’s hard to avoid when the player can interact with different NPCs at the same time.
However, these issues are barely noticeable as action sequences and fights flow seamlessly.
We didn’t have any crashes and load times were acceptable for a game of this size (the PS5’s solid-state drive will have sped this up significantly).
CD Projekt Red has certainly improved the endlessly delayed original version and possibly even saved the reputation of a game that is plagued by bad press, poor results and long hours for employees.
Proving that a game the size of cyberpunk can actually work and provide a sprawling, immersive experience without too many problems raises an exciting question about the future of open world gaming – and how far other developers like Rockstar are going could be titles like Grand Theft Auto in the future.