Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. I almost feed bad for CD Projekt Red, but I am pretty sure they know what they were doing. I’m also late to this hate train, but I genuinely have been trying to avoid any spoilers for a long time; I even waited until patch 1.05 before I dove in. My Xbox Series X just crashed playing the game, so I figured it was a good time to explain all of the oh noes.
I honestly tried going into this as blind as possible. I’m a hipster when it comes to hype. I’m not a CDPR fan either. They weren’t on my radar until The Witcher 3, and the momentum Geralt builds up when running drove me nuts. It’s a video game, I don’t need hyper-precise physics down to how a character would stop (or not) moving midst a run. It’s a video game. I’d appreciate the animation, but I don’t want to feel it and fall off cliffs in conscience. I’m also not a fan of playing a sole single player game for the entirety of my life, I already have GTA V. Needless to say, I didn’t get far past Gwent, but I gave CDPR the benefit of the doubt, they started GOG after all.
I’ve been playing on my XSX, which reportedly has less bugs and the best visuals. There’s no next-gen patch yet, but I, for the most part, skipped the last generation of consoles anyway. It looks pretty good, minus a few glitches here and there that make it look like a PlayStation 2 game. Saving and reloading seems to fix most of them, so I don’t mind so much for a launch title. I don’t even deduct points for that.
Where I do deduct points is the flat game. It’s about 1/3 of GTA 3, early Assassins Creed games, or Watch Dogs (by a non-shit company). The map isn’t huge, the rumours were wrong. I haven’t tried, but I think I could go end to end 5 times faster than GTA 5, at least. I’m probably being generous there. But I like small, well made games. OOT is still king. With that, it has to be good. Damn good. And CyberPunk fails to deliver.
I’m a programmer. Bugs happen. But what can’t happen is inconsistencies. Press A to confirm, wait, in this case, because it’s dialog press x. Press down to get to the first item in the list, except when saving, you have to press down twice. Gross. It’s not the programmers fault, whoever the project manager(s) are, well they are failing. They should have hired user experience experts to determine the best patterns for the audience and stuck to it. They either didn’t hire the right people, or they ignored their advice. In either case, it’s pure ignorance, there is no excuse.
The real problem though is the depth of the game. I played on and off for about 8 hours today, and I had to force myself to go back. The story is so forced; I don’t want to sit there and listen to shit, SHOW ME the story. If gamers wanted to watch they would watch movies, if they wanted to read, they would read books. They don’t want either. They want the story to unfold in front of them. CDPR failed here, really hard.
So I went exploring. It’s really cool the level of parkour you can achieve, heh. Seriously, you can climb a lot and explore. Unfortunately, like most doors, there was nothing planned. So you usually find nothing, or it’s just an image of a door, it doesn’t even say it’s locked.
By the way, I can hack people and machines with my mind, but I can't pick a lock? Okay, sure.
Exploration outside of that was fine at best. I came across baddies wanting to fight or assaulting someone. I never once felt like I needed to help, but I did anyway, I’m a good guy. It lead to disappointment though, the cops would soon be called on me for saving a poor chap trying to defend his store, so I usually had to book it right after doing the right thing. Sigh.
The NPCs have been great though. I totally appreciate pressing x to hear a one liner, then again for another… maybe. Most of the time it would break the game and I would never hear anything again from them. Totally flat, much like the rest of the game. Stumble across some baddies and kill them… cool. Do some side missions and kill more people… cool. Progress through the main story that’s mediocre… cool. Nahhh, it’s just not for me. It feels like a hyped up The Division to me. Bullet sponges for enemies, a subpar storyline, and repetitive game play out the wahzoo.
I’ll revisit in another year, but for now this game gets a 2/10. Sometimes impressive graphics carries this title, nothing more. I’m glad I got this game for free. I will say I am more happy about that than getting The Division for free, but that doesn’t say much. Get your shit together CDPR, bugs aside you are one of the last great dev houses out there. The whole world is watching.