Fan Reaction To Cyberpunk 2077 Is Starkly Divided
After years of hype, fans have finally gotten their hands on Cyberpunk 2077, and online discourse couldn't be more divided.
Fans waited for Cyberpunk 2077 for almost a decade, and that sort of time breeds expectations. Now that the game has been out in some form or another for a few days, fans have had a chance to get to know Night City on their own terms, and their overall opinions run the gamut from ecstatic bliss to total disappointment. This fractious discourse has taken over fan communities like the game's subreddit, and the debate continues unabated.
Many fans have pointed to Cyberpunk's dismal performance on the PS4 and Xbox One as a particular sore spot. Some have even gone so far as to accuse CD Projekt Red of misleading advertising, or other unscrupulous behavior. In a highly-upvoted thread, Reddit user "ldillon7777" posted a PS4 trailer for the game that was released back in November, pointing out that the "gameplay trailer" presents a vision of the game with a stable framerate and impressive visual effects, both of which are not representative of the last-gen versions of the game.
"Anyone that has played the PS4 version can clearly see that this trailer is not recorded on the PS4 or on any last-gen console," the user wrote. "This marketing makes the PS4 version look as good as the PC version. This is completely misleading and not representative of the PS4 version being advertised."
"You see a huge box and a few seconds later it becomes a car," wrote another PS4 player in a popular thread. "I'm too disappointed to go through. Don't even compare to Witcher 3."
Another top thread purports to document the number of promised features that are missing from the final product, from the inability to adjust certain aspects of your character's appearance beyond the initial setup to lack of an aim toggle option. While many are common quality-of-life complaints shared by other games, some are uncommonly specific, such as the fact that your character cannot smoke.
It's not uncommon for fans to complain about mundane aspects of high-profile games, or to accuse developers of "downgrading" the final game compared to its promotional materials, such as pre-release trailers. The most notorious example of this sort of claim is the Spider-Man puddle fiasco, where a fan accused developer Insomniac of "downgrading" the amount of puddles in one of the game's environments. Cyberpunk developer CD Projekt Red previously dealt with a similar "controversy" over a Witcher 3: Wild Hunt trailer. However, that game releases in a much more polished state, despite these discrepencies.
Such complaints generally ignore the messy reality of game development: that not all features can live up to their initial prototype, and that scaling a game to perform well on consumer-grade hardware like last-gen consoles almost always results in some form of compromise. However, given that sources like Digital Foundry have concluded that Cyberpunk's performance is "unacceptable" on last-gen consoles--as well as the fact that the game is uncommonly buggy, even by open-world game standards--some of these fan complaints rise above the usual noise that accompanies most big game releases.
This criticism extends beyond the game's shaky performance and well-documented bugs, with some fans taking aim at minute aspects of the game's design. In another highly-upvoted thread, a Reddit user lambasted the game's driving AI, calling it nonexistent. "There's no AI for driving, at all, period," the user wrote. "That's the reason you've never been in a car chase in the open world, not in a mission. That's the reason the AI stops behind you forever when you park in the middle of the road. That's the reason people don't peel away in a panic when you pull a gun on them in a car. The only driving 'AI' that the game has is predetermined paths for cars to follow along."
On the other hand, there are several highly-upvoted threads from users who say that they're really enjoying the game, with one referring to the complainers as a "vocal minority coming on the internet and complaining." Humorously enough, there were so many threads with the title "am I the only one enjoying the game?" that users started posting satirical threads with similar titles, leading to yet more backlash. For those experiencing crashes or frame rates that drop significantly, however, they probably aren't in on the joke.
Other users have taken the serious complaints of their fellow fans as an opportunity for memes and jokes. The most popular post Friday on the forum comes from a user complaining of a "concerning flaw" in the game--that the manhole covers depicted in Cyberpunk only support up to 12.5 metric tons of weight in real life, and are therefore not suited to street use. The apt top reply to that thread: "This is why people are falling through the world."
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