Critics have been covering Cyberpunk 2077 extensively, with pre-release reviews ranging from good to perfect. However, CD Projekt Red was met with a maelstrom of negative comments right after Cyberpunk 2077 launched. The reason behind this? Its suboptimal performance in last-gen consoles.
FISHY PRE-RELEASE REVIEW CODES
One thing to note about these pre-release reviews is that all of them were made on PC. This is because CD Projekt Red only gave reviewers PC codes, not PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. This kept console gamers in the dark. Having to rely on PC reviews to decide on their console purchase was not ideal, but is usually not a big deal either. However, for the case of Cyberpunk 2077, the difference between the PC and console releases is astronomical.
Prior to the pre-release reviews being published, fans already had very high expectations for the game. Following a generally favorable critical response prior to release, the hype for the game just increased. The game’s unplayable state at launch for the console versions sent shockwaves throughout the gaming community. Reality has never missed the mark expectations have set as far as Cyberpunk 2077 for the consoles have.
TWO SIDES OF THE SAME CYBERPUNK 2077 COIN
Reviews for the PC version of Cyberpunk 2077 noted how the game’s core mechanics and gameplay loop are fun and engaging. The whole experience is only marred by the prevalent bugs and other technical issues the game has. To many PC gamers, this problem can be solved by changing settings or upgrading their parts. However, console players are stuck with the only hardware their consoles are available in. There’s no way to upgrade or improve the gaming experience. As a nail to the coffin, bugs and technical issues seem to be much more commonplace on the console versions compared to the PC version.
This is yet to mention the graphical downgrade of the game. The console versions’ graphics are so bad that it looks worse than the PC version’s graphics at the lowest settings. Playing the game on backward compatibility on next-gen consoles helps a little, but not everyone has that option. Finally, there’s the issue of the game’s large storage consumption on consoles, reaching over 100GB on consoles at launch.
Currently, the gap between the PC and console experiences is very apparent in the game’s critical reception. For the PC version, the game currently has a 90 Metascore with a 6.6 User Score based on over 10,000 ratings on Metacritic. Meanwhile, critic reviews are still not ready on Metacritic. But the aggregate score given by users on the console versions is even lower compared to the PC version. As of this article’s writing, Cyberpunk 2077 has an aggregate score of 2.6 based on over 4,000 user reviews on the PS4 and a 3.2 based on 1,500 reviews on Xbox One.
‘INEXCUSABLE’ FAILURE FOR PAST-GEN CONSOLES
While CD Projekt Red has a good track record when it comes to updating their games with meaty chunks of content for free, it still doesn’t excuse them from releasing a broken version of the game on consoles.
In an episode of IGN Now, IGN’s Brian Altano and Max Scoville discussed why Cyberpunk 2077’s poor performance on consoles shouldn’t go scot-free. The game was, after all, announced to be in development even before the PS4 and the Xbox One were announced. The game was also marketed prominently for current-gen consoles. For all intents and purposes, the games were made with the PS4 and Xbox One in mind, and it just goes to show how CD Projekt Red seemingly prioritized the PC version at the expense of the console versions.
Those playing Cyberpunk 2077 on their original PS4s and Xbox Ones have been reporting major issues with resolution, frame rate, texture pop-in, and more. https://t.co/kIx1TkDXLh pic.twitter.com/cGCnBgTemb
— IGN (@IGN) December 10, 2020
CD Projekt Red should have skipped the PS4 and Xbox One versions and just released the game later on for the next-gen consoles. Thankfully, the company’s announced that owners of the game for the current-gen consoles will eventually be given a free copy of the game on their next-gen consoles. The problem is this version of the game currently doesn’t exist yet. We still don’t have an exact release date for the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S versions of the game.
We can still give CD Projekt Red the benefit of the doubt, though. The developers have been endeared to fans for a long time now thanks to their consistency when it comes to their post-launch updates and content. Hopefully, CD Projekt Red can redeem Cyberpunk 2077 with their post-launch content and fixes for the game. In fact, the developers have been hard at work on updates, rolling out version 1.04 for all versions just recently.
CYBERPUNK 2077 DEVELOPMENT STILL A FINANCIAL SUCCESS FOR CD PROJEKT RED
Regardless of the game’s poor launch performance, the game was still profitable for CD Projekt Red. In a series of tweets, the company revealed that it has already earned back its investment for the game with its over 8 million pre-orders across different platforms.
Cyberpunk 2077 already exceeded $50 million in revenues on the Steam platform over 2 weeks ago 👌 pic.twitter.com/JkDDMJdp83
— CD PROJEKT IR (@CDPROJEKTRED_IR) December 10, 2020
In spite of this, CD Projekt Red’s stocks dropped by 29% in value due to the game’s catastrophic launch day. Regardless, we doubt the company’s in any hot water. In fact, the game’s higher-ups seem very pleased with Cyberpunk 2077’s financial performance. This incentivized them to rework their company’s bonus structure to make sure the developers will still receive their bonus pay. Originally, the rule was that the developers’ bonuses will be based on the game’s review scores. However, the company announced that they will give the developers their bonus pay regardless of the game’s review scores. That’s great news, considering how much the game is being lambasted right now on Metacritic.