The Cyberpunk Dilemma: Did It Live Up To The Hype?

Cyberpunk 2077 has recently released from a very long and grueling development cycle for years in the making. However, despite its development dilemma with delays and issues, does the game live up to the hype? Or was it too overly ambitious for its own good?

The Cyberpunk Dilemma: Did It Live Up To The Hype Cover

Finally, Cyberpunk 2077 has released and will bless our hearts with endless entertainment. I know everyone is eager to cruise around the streets of Night City. However, before we dive into relationship building, beating up street thugs, cybernetic augmentations, and other mischiefs. Let’s look back at why Cyberpunk had a bit of a dilemma and does it live up to the hype. A ton of people, including myself, are now looking at the reviews and first impression of the title. Some good and some bad. For the majority of outpours coming from critics, it seems mostly favorable in a positive direction for the PC version. In contrast, many gamers, especially on consoles, tell a different narrative. This is good for people that utilize reviews as a means of convincing. 

However, I would encourage you to try the game out for yourself—no matter what game it is. There is probably some poor soul that enjoys E.T., Superman 64, and other terrible titles. However, people have differences of opinion. The same goes for Cyberpunk 2077. This game will not be for everyone from the gameplay, narrative, and graphics; there is always something to be said. However, this game has been on a very wild ride that spans a near-decade of anticipation and several years in development. This is why the game had its troubles throughout its lifecycle that made the hype either more desirable or questionable, depending on who you ask. 

Doomed If You Do, Doomed If You Don’t.

This what its like going from base console to Ultra setting PC graphics does to your eyes.

This what it’s like going from base console to Ultra setting PC graphics does to your eyes.

A big part of Cyberpunk‘s dilemma on how it can live up to the hype is the release date. Many gamers have anticipated the game’s initial April 16th release. Many people probably planned to skip school, take off work, or bother picking up the kids that day. You know, everyday routines. However, all those hours on the character customization screen came crashing down after the dreaded delay. Delays to many gamers are the worst. However, sometimes they can be necessary to ensure a well-polished game. This could come down to fixing bugs, stabilization, and performance issues. This is also where CD Projekt Red find themselves in a bit of a problem.

It could be called the “doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t” situation. I mean that CDPR could release the game, and it could be a buggy mess with glitches, freezes, etc. People would complain to them about it, claim the game to be broken. If the studio does not release the game, there is a backlash from people as well. The predicament lies in the fact that gamers don’t want bugs and glitches, but they also wish for games to be released as soon as possible.

Sometimes you have to give up one of the other. Developers work hard on these titles to bring the most enjoyment possible without issues. Also, with a massive game such as this one, these issues can be apparent. Meanwhile, Bethesda games are known to have bugs and glitches, and the internet seems to agree. However, why we don’t hold the same standards for Skyrim as we do Cyberpunk 2077? People still love playing The Elder Scrolls, and many glitches have paved the way for infinite rewards and exploits. As for the game itself, there will be bugs. It makes sense given how big and detailed the world is. However, thank goodness for updates, right?

“Crunch” Backlash And “Gold” But Not Really Fiasco

The 2018 E3 Demo shows something quite different than the finished product.

The 2018 E3 Demo shows something quite different than the finished product.

Another controversial subject discussing Cyberpunk‘s development process is “crunch time.” No, not referencing Cap’n Crunch or Crunch bars. However, a candy bar would sound pretty delicious right now. “Crunch” refers to working longer hours within a span of a time cycle to meet deadlines. It’s an infamous red flag in the industry—also a subject heavily in the discussion, especially with AAA titles such as this one. The topic looks into the potential conflicts developers may face within the project to make the deadline. Imagine having to sacrifice quality time with your family because you have to finish coding a level. Yes, very controversial indeed. CD Projekt Red is not the only culprit behind this act. Recently Naughty Dog with The Last of Us Part II was under fire for this. However, the biggest “oof” moment is that developers, despite the crunch time efforts, the game was delayed again.

Not only that, but the game went “gold” in October, weeks before its scheduled release on November 19th. However, the team took back that statement and delayed the game again, resulting in a final release date of December 10th. So yes, CDPR has had a bit of a ridiculous timeline with developing the game. Luckily, the date finally arrived, and we can now explore Night City in its glorious beauty. So you think, unfortunately, despite the efforts and delays from the studio, its latest RPG was a buggy mess on consoles and PC.

In contrast, the PC copies are sitting pretty high and mighty with a few hiccups. The console versions of the game are horrendous. Terrible frame rate, pop-in textures, glitches, bugs, you name it, plague the base PS4 and Xbox One.

Did It Live Up To The Hype?

V and

V and “Breathtaking” Johnny Silverhand

Well this question, depends on who you ask. For base console players, probably not. PC players may differ, especially for those lucky enough to get their hands on the RTX 3080. Cyberpunk 2077, despite its stardom, is also overly ambitious. Through E3 gameplay demos, thrilling trailers, and of course the ever breathtaking Keanu Reeves headlining the game, the title had a lot of expectations. However, I believe these expectations are better suited for newer hardware. Of course, the game has its ton of issues with bugs and glitches, but it seems different. It feels like the game doesn’t belong on PS4 or Xbox One. If the developers didn’t make things apparent beforehand, the awful console expectation would have been less severe. It’s a shame, that base console players will not experience this game to the fullest.

I said before, CDPR was in a “doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t.” situation. People were tired of the delays and but now they are rolling their eyes over bugs and glitches. The studio even delayed the game to fix the performance on past-gen consoles. So what happened? I believe the focus was being too ambitious with the new consoles coming out with next-level graphics. At the same time, new graphic cards are coming out, enhancing overall visual experiences. It seems apparent that this could be the case. However, the studio should have focused more on the last-gen consoles, to begin with, because that is the majority of the market currently. PC is still a niche market, and next-gen consoles are not readily available for the moment, so catering to the mainstream players would have been a valid option.

It certainly helped in its sales with 8 million copies sold and earning a profit within its first day after release. Unlike games before it that had massive hype trains like No Man’s Sky and Anthem, Cyberpunk, from a critical standpoint, seems to be on a positive track. Even with an impressive Metacritic score of 90 (of the time of this article). The user score is 6.8, which is very understandable due to the bugs and glitches. Hopefully, the updates can turn those upset pixelated faces into high-resolution smiles.

Cyberpunk 2077 — Official Launch Trailer — V

What do you think of Cyberpunk so far and its current dilemma, does it live up to the hype? Do you believe CDPR made the right decision to release the game or should have delayed it? Leave your comments below.

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