Anyone who's been paying attention to all of the controversies leading up to the release of the open-world cyberpunk videogame, Cyberpunk 2077 (seven long years in the making) can't help but be gobsmacked by the disaster of its release.
But, all of pre-release drama and tech issues aside, is it the game-charger of a game that is was tirelessly billed as? Wired says no, dubbing it "deeply average" and a "genre pastiche, not a prophecy." It appears they put all of their effort into the world rendering and forget the fresh stories and game mechanics to inhabit it.
Last week, after seven long years, CD Projekt Red released Cyberpunk 2077, and chaos ensued. On Friday, Sony ripped the game down from its Playstation Store, as players endured hundreds of bugs, scores of graphical glitches, and one epileptic fit.
Even for an industry where products are often fixed after their release, the takedown is unprecedented. That it should happen to the most hyped game of the decade, perhaps of all time, is a scandal of some magnitude. Questions are being asked about crunch times, about non-disclosure agreements, about corporate greed; and about why nearly four million console players were misled over the state of the game they preordered.
The fallout from the game's release seems certain to have a bigger impact on the industry than the game itself. Because Cyberpunk is not the game of the decade, or even the game of the year, and not a game that you should buy unless you own a next-gen console or a jacked-up PC. It is an entertaining yet generic experience that will improve as its creators are press-ganged into finishing it.
Several years ago, upon seeing a trailer, cyberpunk grandpappy, Bill Gibson, said Cyberpunk 2077 looked like little more than Grand Theft Auto re-skinned with generic, retro 80s cyberpunk. From what Wired UK says (and from what I've seen via play-through videos), once again, William Gibson has apparently divined the future.
Read the Wired review.
Image: CD Projekt Red