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Cyberpunk 2077

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by MrINBN, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Viewtiful

    Viewtiful Groundskeeper

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    Finally finished my first playthrough today. FInal playtime came in at a little over 40 hours, but I had several side-quests left to complete because I eventually got too curious about the ending. Overall impression of the game is positive - I think without performance issues (and I had a solid 60fps at 1440p on PC) it's a solid 8/10, and I definitely enjoyed it more than The Witcher 3. The shittiness of CRPR's review practice and how the game was obviously not ready to be shipped on certain platforms has soured me on the company though, even if I think they've gotten better at actually making games.

    I got the Panam ending (with Judy along as my romantic partner) and I think it's mostly satisfying without being happy, which feels appropriate for the game. Th e best part of it for me was leaving Night City - it made the most sense for my character as a Nomad, and I think even without that it's V's best chance at having a meaningful life. As much as I was on board with Johnny being all "fuck the corps and burn it all down", the reality of Night City is that V is ultimately powerless to change anything on a systemic level. She might rise to Rogue's position as the queen merc in one of the endings (which I also checked out after my first ending), and Arasaka might go through some financial tribulations, but Night City is still a borderline dystopian nightmare where everything is controlled by the corps (and my interpretation of one particular sidequest is that AIs are going to be taking over Night City (as also predicted by the Voodoo Boys) so things might get even worse). Just abandoning it all together seems like the most emotionally fulfilling thing to do, even if it's bittersweet to never realise Johnny's ambitions. I essentially became BFFs with Johnny in my playthrough - even collected his gun, car, and all his clothes - so I was slightly hoping for a happy ending for both Johnny and V, but that was never in the cards.

    And sure, it sucks that V only has like 6 months to live, but as far as I understand it V already died when Dex shot her in the head - having the biochip in her brain is the only reason she didn't stay dead in a landfill. 6 months of riding with Panam and Judy isn't a terrible funeral march.
     
  2. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    Started a new playthrough. Will collect my full thoughts after I get to play the don't fear the reaper ending.
    Game is much more fun on my second playthrough without all the gear and weapons at level 50.

    I've seen this twice so far because of reloading, but a random civilian drops from the yaiba building next to lizzie's bar as I drive past. First time was aleksy varonin, second time was nakamoto kenzou. Any one else know what this is or is it just ambience?
     
  3. douter

    douter DA Member

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    While I have been waiting for this game ever since the trailer that came out years ago, I didn’t have the crazy expectations that lot people seemed to have. It’s like people were expecting to be able to plug the game directly into their brains. Plus, I was super pumped for fallout 76 and have been cautious ever since. Also, I think a lot of people where expecting gta v but with a cyberpunk skin.

    The game I was reminded most on my first playthrough, was Rage 2.

    I play on PC, so the only bugs and glitches I’ve come across are pretty typical game bugs.

    I'm on my second play through, as I sorted rushed through the first one and I'm already enjoying a it a lot more. Through the first few hours were spent solely on acquiring the double jump legs. Also, I rushed through the character creation on day 1 believing I could change my appearance later and ended up with an Irish potato farmer with blue sideburns, which wasn’t too bad in till the Panam tank scene. Where I got to really bask in that mistake.

    In my first playthrough I mainly stuck to stealth and net running, but now that I know how to play the game, I’m enjoying a more assault style playthrough.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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  5. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'm willing to forgive a lot of things for this game, but removing the perfectly existing and playable romance options for Judy and River for male V? That's unforgiveable.
     
  6. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    How long do you think until that's modded back in?
     
  7. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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  8. MrINBN

    MrINBN Unspeakable

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  9. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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  10. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

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    So after 2 full playthroughs, with nearly every quest completed twice and every ending run through, I'd like to give my last thoughts on the game. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree, maybe you're still on the fence about buying it. At 200 hours played, I enjoyed the game immensely, but it is full of flaws and my playtime probably says more about my obsessiveness than its quality as a game. Cyberpunk 2077 is worth the play if your computer can run it, but I don't speak for console versions at all.


    Cyberpunk 2077 is a fun open world shooter with some RPG elements that fails to scratch the surface of the beautiful world it inherited. Lorewise, Cyberpunk feels pretty unique among triple A titles. It's a great universe that feels original and relatable and CDPR did a fantastic job at creating the backdrop against which you shoot, slash, and bash your way through scores of gangsters and rapists. The soundtrack is beautiful, the visuals are stunning, the sound effects are top notch, and the voice acting is pretty strong. Cruising through night city listening to the radio felt almost real, right up until you face plant into a wall and fly 90 feet into a barricade. With a full play as male and female V, both voice actors were strong. I feel that people always say female VAs are stronger, but I think people just prefer the gender they decide to start their playthrough with.

    The gangs and districts of night city truly feel unique, and each area feels different from the rest. Some are pretty close in experience, but the industrial maelstrom turf vs the trailer park 6th street vs the lower city japantown all had their unique vibes, while pacifica was wild and the badlands were free. I mean, except when pacifica, which the city doesn't try to police, still gives you a police tracker and still summons the same mobs on top of you except now they're "afterlife mercs" instead. Or the badlands where the police will teleport into the desert to make sure they can shout "anotha mothafucka tryin' kill me" even if you're running for your fucking life.

    CPDR did an amazing job at creating a vibrant and intoxicating world, and it sucks that your V doesn't really get to delve into any part of that world but where CPDR wants you to. While gangs thematically and visually are amazingly well-done, they don't matter. Each gang is an extension of the world's backdrop in that they all serve as bad guys to be killed. There are few differences between them, and require little to no strategic changes to defeat. Animals do occasionally run at you and try to beat you to death, and more tiger claws will pull out katanas, but you're more likely to get insta-gibbed by a stray headshot from a pistol wielding mook than you are to die from not kiting a melee-swinger effectively or not finding cover vs a minigun. There are no downsides to approaching each enemy group with the same gameplan (whatever you are putting perks towards) and few upsides for creative gameplay.

    Gangs are all aggrod to you at all times, with some exceptions. You can save Brick during the first story mission to have an easier time at totentanz in an side mission later. Beating Rhino as part of the beat on the brat quest lets you ignore the rest of the Animals when doing a gig in the same gym later, (or you can kill Rhino as part of the gig and autocomplete the beat on the brat quest). Another gang automatically shoots you if you've aggro'd them prior to a gig at some point, though I forget where. Point being, replacing one gang with another makes no measurable difference in 95% of the content you face.

    It feels like a faction system was the correct way to go in a world like this, but we don't see it at all. This is true of all factions in cyberpunk, as we see glimpses of consequences or opportunities that almost were. The corporations rule the world, but we only ever interact with Arasaka at large. Militech and Meredith Stout are a forced sex scene but nothing else. We blow up an AV for a main story quest and yet I can't remember the name of the company we attacked because they don't matter to the rest of the story. There's a big hullaballoo about picking netwatch or voodoo boys, but at the end of the day neither matters and your end results are the same, give or take some experience. Netwatch and Voodoo boys do not matter after the point where you interact with that quest. You can kill the entirety of the voodoo boys leadership and their members won't even aggro onto you faster than other gangs. You can kill Netwatch and never see them again instead. To me, the reveal of that particular quest back when they released that early trailer showcasing playstyles implied that choices had long lasting consequences. You can send Jackie's body to Viktor and it gets taken by Arasaka for you to interact with his engram at the end, but so what? It seems almost as bad as Peter Molyneaux and Fable hype in how little long term consequences actually exist in the game except for very specific choices made during story missions. The one exception to this in terms of a choice mattering is the 'secret ending' where you have to answer a specific question with a specific answer in order to make Johnny hate/love you just enough to get to 70% on the Samurai tracker. That doesn't feel like choices mattering so much as it feels stupid as hell. Oh also, you can punch or kill Fingers and later find out from the internet that he sells unique cyberware you can't get anywhere else, including a sandevistan that has a 12 second duration with 15 second cooldown, and booster legs that let you hover MANDO style.

    This is a huge miss for the open world that I (and I think many others) were hoping for, and why the streetkid/nomad/corpo memes exist. You don't really get to play a V who smuggles shit and makes political plays in the Aldecaldo hierarchy. You don't get to play a V who ruthlessly works their way through the corpo world. You're always a streetkid, with a 5 minute prelude to how you get there. I think Corpo's the best version of it, since it seems to be the fastest to gameplay. None of the gangs actually matter. You inexplicably have to run and hide from Arasaka after the parade, but you can ruthlessly gun down scores of tigers/maelstroms/6thstreets/voodoos/wraiths and never fear reprisal once you leave their compound.

    The open world loses its charm once you realize the majority of the world building comes from reading the lore shards you find, not progressing quests within different factions. It's more go here, kill bad guys, move on, like plenty of open-worlds before it. That can definitely be entertaining (I just did it for 200 hours), but it's hardly the hype we hoped for. NCPD scanners almost all fit into this mold, with a few exceptions. Gigs are just scanners with slightly more challenging objectives than 'kill them all' and a short voiceover added to the beginning and end. Some of these quests are pretty interesting with some VA lines or interesting shards. And relatively few scenarios don't have some amount of backstory. At a certain point though, it's just became more noise that reminds you of how cool it could've been, compared to this sort-of updated version of Mass Effect 1 planet scanning.

    The world doesn't really interact with you. NPC AI has been covered extensively by reviewers and players, but to summarize if you haven't yet read it: it's awful and terrible. Very few buildings let you enter, very few buildings that let you enter exist outside of quests, side jobs, or gigs. The empty world is filled with cardboard doors and windows, cardboard street vendors you can't interact with. You can't eat the sushi, you can't kill the vendor, you can't rob the till. Most terrain is indestructible, most NPCs are very killable but then you get the terrible crime system instant-aggroing you. Cops teleport behind you and with 6k armor, 8k life, and the ability to deal 50k damage a shot or swing, I still can't fight them for an extended period of time. Don't ever equip the cyberware that shocks enemies if you drop below a certain HP. You might clip while running and take fall damage, triggering it and killing an NPC, then die to the cops. Aim your gun and NPCs freak and run around yelling cyberpsycho, but run around with it and everyone just assumes you've got places to be.

    Honestly, the sandbox feels almost unimportant, once you get over the legendary items sprinkled about and the idea of completionism. The game really seems like an underdeveloped sandbox smooshed into a Mass Effect2 style of story and side missions. It's hard to compare it to even an AC game since without exploits the game lacks the exploration/parkour parts of the AC series. If you do pick this game up, be sure to learn the bunny hop and consider rebinding your dodge by editing some game files.


    Let's discuss the RPG side. Your V doesn't get a backstory that matters. Dialogue lines rarely lead to branching choices. Most answers change little about the NPC response. There are certain choices that do matter, but they are structured in a way that make it very clear which way you are supposed to go. You can refuse side quests, but generally they matter very little and oftentimes the difference is a text message of backstory. You can refuse to help Panam and report her to Saul to get a free and exclusive car, you just can't get dat ass or any other male to female romance options. You can refuse to help Judy, and you lose access to her as (the only female to female) romance option but do get her MOX shotgun faster than if you smash.

    You can't really choose the actual course of your game so much as you choose the order in which you complete it. However, there is 100% a "correct" order for many of the quests because Johnny interacts with you in certain story and side quests and you don't have a choice in your relationship with him. To clarify, no matter what you do, you and Johnny slowly gain a grudging respect/friendship. This can lead to odd interactions when you don't follow the right order. If you get your car before you meet Takemura at the cafe, Johnny is a buddy you talk to in a friendly way. Then you arrive at the diner and you're at eachother's throats again. The only real choice you have in developing your relationship with Johnny is, again, choosing to skip out on the sidequests that follow the parade (tapeworm and chippin in). If you're too nice or too mean, you also lose out on the secret ending, but this is also supposedly due to one conversation at the end of chippin in.

    There are some really great side quests out there, but they don't go anywhere. Particularly the peralez line that is probably DLC bait. Again though, scratch the surface of an AI conglomerate altering brain chemistry to mind control the mayor, then drop it. A large part of the problem is how 'on wheels' everything is. The race quests for example, where you can hold a comfortable lead and the other cars will pass you if you slip a turn for one second, because they keep tethering behind you. Don't worry though, you can do a full flip and get stuck and they won't get too far ahead either. My least favorite part of the whole game is the crucifixion quest (sinnerman) where they force you to stay on wheels so heavily to get quest completion. It was very irritating to complete and I just couldn't help myself but to redo it 15 times to kill the fucker and run away...on BOTH playthroughs. I have a whole rant about this quest on reddit.

    So, your backstory doesn't matter and your dialogue choices matter very little. Your appearance also doesn't matter because you only get to see it in the menu. Unless you spend a lot of time riding motorcycles (which is reasonable, all the cars drive like shit), you don't get to see your reflection in mirrors or in cutscenes with very few exceptions. Throughout the 100hrs of my second playthrough, I would frequently forget I was a female V, because it just doesn't come up while clearing out scanner results or hunting for legendaries. Your nail polish is the only thing seen regularly, unless you get gorilla hands, in which case you lose that too. I don't play a ton of RPGs, but I was pretty unimpressed with the character creator at large.

    You can't change your height or weight, you have like 10 cyberware options (all face only) and 5 tattoo options for body and face. That's so shitty, but I guess they went with that because it doesn't matter as you'll never see it? Meanwhile, the cyberware is the worst missed opportunity in the game. No Alita style monsters roaming around, no super arms or legs. Wait, there are all those things, they just don't matter visually. The RPG version supposedly balances these enhancements with losing humanity. In 2077, it's just a matter of farming money and street cred. It just kind of sucks that the cyberware element is so flaccid. Get bouncy legs and monke fists. Mantis blades are sweet as hell, as are rocket arms and monke fists. But there's just not a lot of payoff to using any of them and the whole concept of Cyberware seems to have been wasted as additional rpg slots that don't matter a ton. Having choices that matter, similar to how they first advertised these options, would've been much more interesting. Mantis arms were going enable wall climbing, monke fists were supposed to enable extra strength feats, and monowire was supposed to allow ranged hacking. Instead, mantis arms are just weak katanas that give a dash, monke arms are mandatory buys for a side quest chain and the feats were just rolled into body perk checks, and the monowire is a ridiculous looking weapon and we have quickhacks instead. I'll get to quickhacks in the combat section, but for now let's talk about clothing.

    Clothing fuckin sucks. Most of the game's clothing items are stupidly expensive to buy and also look like absolute garbage. Instead of future clothes, we got mostly white trash garbage. Most clothing items look like ass and have garbage stats. You run around looking like a clown and the actual variety is limited. There are like 10 versions of the iconic samurai jacket from the cover art, but it's difficult to get any of them with the full mod slots. Crafting is tied to a stat allocation and horribly balanced. On the one hand, it's the best way to make money in the game besides exploits/the epic painting that sells for 4k and rebuys for 5. On the other, crafting and upgrading are stupidly expensive and requires save scumming. The whole crafting system seems like an afterthought, and the lack of any uniqueness to the legendary items means that every piece of clothing just becomes a holder for the mods, and the mods are stupid because there's only 2 worth using.



    What about combat and gameplay? This game is very fun. It has a bad difficulty curve. The largest issue is that this is basically whose cyberpunk is it anyway, where the builds are all OP and the gear doesn't matter. Enough points in any skill makes you strong enough to clear the game. My first play through was full int/cool/tech and my second was reflex/body/cool. Grabbing some of the increased damage perks in any tree makes you strong enough to mow down enemies. My two builds gave me the opportunity to try almost all of the gameplay styles and all of the weapon types with the necessary talents. Here they are ranked:

    1. Intelligence quickhacks. Legendary quickhacks are the strongest possible things in the game. All builds are overkill, but legendary quickhacks have an absurd level of power. In actual combat, you have several very powerful quickhacks that can quickly kill enemies. You also have suicide and system reset that instant kill/knockout. Honestly though, generally my short circuit generally 1 shot most mobs. Contagion with spread perks generally killed entire groups. Vs Adam Smasher, the only boss you can't system reset/suicide, you can weapon glitch, cripple movement, or cyberware malfunction to make the fight trivial as well. Quickhacking is also playing a turn based game where your opponents don't really get turns. Really though, the strength of legendary quickhacks comes from ping, which allows you to breach and ping any part of system, then clear the entire compound without ever moving or entering combat. After fully developing the perks in the tree and crafting the legendary hacks, the game became looting simulator more than actual combat. I started running around beating people with katanas or fists instead, after using legendary reboot optics and weapon glitch to render them blind and powerless, just to feel again.
    2. Snipers/pistols. Using a tech rifle (breakthrough) alongside ping or just overwatch allows a similar level of power in never actually engaging in combat since you can shoot through walls. Damage scaling means you will always 1 shot. Tech rifles are basically shot guns up close as well, making them decent if you get in a scrap. Pistols are as strong or stronger, serving great as stealth/silenced 1shots to the head or just headpoppin blasters.
    3. Melee anything. Melee gets extra armor and healing from hits. Blades are stronger than blunt weapons, but both are fine. In reality, these are both very weak but become strong with enough gear. Once you've specced into armor and found enough slots to hold epic armadillo mods, bounceback inhalers restore more than you lose, generally. Playing melee is about finding the right angles so you don't get pinned down or caught in cross fires before you can take out enemies. It's dynamic gameplay that can feel decently interesting. In reality, Sandevistan makes the build OP as soon as you equip it. Even uncommon versions allow you to sprint past cameras/guards to objectives or clear groups of enemies before they can react. Unlike quickhacking though, this becomes a different sort of fun and allows for a lot of great interactions. Berserk makes you a very strong juggernaut, but doesn't really change much about gameplay like Sandevistan does. In both cases, melee builds generally 1-shot targets with strong attacks.
    4. Other guns. The funny thing about other weapons is that their weakness comes from the ammo system. For whatever reason, ammo is capped and different categories of weapons have different caps. Assault rifles and SMGs fire many bullets faster for less damage per bullet. That should mean the same damage, but with a cap of 700 bullets, it makes for a very annoying gameplay of needing to recraft ammo too often. These are issues I didn't run into with snipers or pistols. Shotguns face less of this issue, but I did run into it since they are capped to 100 shots. A lack of availability of decent shotguns is the more frustrating part, since you can't get a legendary smart shotgun before beating the game, a legendary tech shotgun doesn't exist, and other shotguns fkin suck to reload. It is a LOT of fun to play with smart assault rifles auto-headshotting people. But it's significantly weaker than popping skulls with pistols or slashing people with Katanas.
    5. Throwing knives. You don't get your knives back. Not stuck in the dead body or the wall or on the ground, you throw it so hard it hits them before ceasing to exist. They do 1 shot generally and I started carrying around white knives in my 3rd slot just to throw them at people. It was then I noticed that I could use the white knife to strong attack heads in sandevistan and still 1 shot. It's also really aesthetically pleasing to flip a knife back and forth to activate k-hopping instead of aiming down sights. Overall don't play this build.

    Finally, the story. It's fine. I think it's short and I think the modular nature of it is less than ideal and the odd level scaling made it feel that way as well, alongside the issues with Johnny's developing relationship with V being inconsistent depending on the order you run quests. It certainly is something at least different or unique in the idea of dying a legend and being given a time limit. Playing the main story from start to end feels well-paced. Playing it and trying to be completionist makes it seem odd.

    Johnny and V's relationship is well done. Johnny is an asshole that you grow to like, and he feels like a real character, not just Keanu with a silver arm. I'm not a huge fan of Keanu as an actor, but it did not at all feel like riding with Neo, Ted, or John Wick. The relationship feels different, playing as male or female. As a male, it feels like a power struggle that grows into a friendship. As a female, it took a more gaslighty tone at times. In both, it was tempting to give the body over to Johnny.

    Exploring Johnny's memories was one of the better interludes I've experienced in a game, and the 'side quests' in getting to know his old bandmates weren't awful. Kerry was actually pretty fun, but this is another place where the lack of divergence in choices is noticeable. River, Kerry, and Judy are quite clearly flirting and into you whether you play male or female V, because they use the same fucking lines with very few tweaks at critical moments--right when you come onto them. Panam is the same way, except she seems to be equally adverse to the idea of you no matter your gender, until you ride the basilisk and she decides she likes you--if you can pipe her down properly.

    Judy and Panam's quests and romances were both quite great, and show CDPR at their best. Their characters feel real and their personalities show. It just sucks how little they put into romance options. It's a shame there isn't really any option for you. You get 1 male and 1 female choice for female Vs and the same for male Vs. And Meredith Stout, who you can't turn down.

    That's most of my thoughts on Cyberpunk that I've added to slowly over the 100 hrs of the second playthrough. It echoes my earlier opinions but if I had to TLDR it, it would be that the game is an amazingly fun yet shallow game that draws me in just enough to make me mourn for what could have been so much greater.
     
  11. Nevermind

    Nevermind Death Eater

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    Schreier‘s exposé dropped. It‘s significantly shorter than his Anthem one, but just as juicy.

    Didn‘t think I had the capacity to be surprised at the video game industry any more, but CDPR‘s con job actually managed it.
     
  12. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Paywalled for me.
     
  13. Nazgoose

    Nazgoose The Honky-tonk ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    2020
    CD Projekt SA Chief Executive Officer Marcin Iwiński made a public mea culpa this week about the disastrous rollout of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 in December. He took personal responsibility and asked fans not to blame the team.

    In a somber five-minute video address and accompanying blog post, Iwiński acknowledged the game “did not meet the quality standard we wanted to meet. I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this.”

    [​IMG]
    Marcin Iwiński
    Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
    Iwiński’s apology, the second within a month, was an attempt to restore the Polish company’s reputation with scores of fans – and investors – who had waited eight years for the game, only to discover it was riddled with bugs and performance issues when it was finally released. Uproar over the botched debut caused a 30% drop in CD Projekt’s shares from Dec. 10 through mid-January.

    Interviews with more than 20 current and former CD Projekt staff, most of whom requested anonymity so as not to risk their careers, depict a development process marred by unchecked ambition, poor planning and technical shortcomings. Employees, discussing the game’s creation for the first time, described a company that focused on marketing at the expense of development, and an unrealistic timeline that pressured some into working extensive overtime long before the final push. CD Projekt declined to comment on the process or provide interviews for this story.

    The Polish company will spend the next few months working on fixes to Cyberpunk 2077 instead of planning expansions to the game or getting started on the next installment of its other popular franchise, The Witcher. The first new update will be released toward the end of January and a second “in the weeks after,” Iwiński said.

    This wasn’t how the development team envisioned starting 2021. Now, instead of celebrating a successful release, they will aim to turn Cyberpunk 2077 into a redemption story. It will be an uphill battle. Unlike competitors such as Electronic Arts Inc. and Ubisoft Entertainment SA, CD Projekt only releases one major game every few years, so the company was relying on Cyberpunk 2077 to be a significant hit.

    Cyberpunk 2077, a role-playing game set in a sci-fi dystopia, had a lot going for it. Warsaw-based CD Projekt already was well-known for an earlier blockbuster title, The Witcher 3, and Cyberpunk benefitted from a massive ad blitz and a leading role from actor Keanu Reeves. Thanks to pre-launch hype, the game sold 13 million copies at $60 apiece in the first 10 days after its release. CD Projekt was, for a while, the most valuable company in Poland.

    [​IMG]
    Keanu Reeves promoted Cyberpunk 2077 during an Xbox event ahead of E3 in Los Angeles in 2019.
    Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
    Early reviews were generally good, but once players got the game in their hands, they realized it had problems on PCs and was almost unplayable on consoles. It performed so poorly that Sony Corp. removed the game from the PlayStation Store and offered refunds, an unprecedented move, while Microsoft Corp. slapped on a label warning customers that they “may experience performance issues on Xbox One until the game is updated.” CD Projekt is facing an investor lawsuit on claims they were misled.

    In his message, Iwiński concedes that the company “underestimated the task.” He said that because the game’s city was “so packed and the disk bandwidth of old-gen consoles is what it is, it constantly challenged us." While the company extensively tested before the game’s release, Iwiński said it didn’t show many of the issues players experienced. Developers who worked on the game argued otherwise, saying that many common problems were discovered. The staff just didn’t have time to fix them.

    Cyberpunk 2077 was an ambitious project by any standard. CD Projekt’s previous success, The Witcher, was set in a medieval fantasy world full of swords and spells. But everything in Cyberpunk was a departure from that framework. Cyberpunk was sci-fi rather than fantasy. Instead of a third-person camera in which the player’s character appeared on screen, Cyberpunk used a first-person view. Making Cyberpunk would require CD Projekt to invest in new technology, new staff and new techniques they hadn’t explored before.

    Another indication of how CD Projekt stretched things too far was that it tried to develop the engine technology behind Cyberpunk 2077, most of which was brand new, simultaneously with the game, which slowed down production. One member of the team compared the process to trying to drive a train while the tracks are being laid in front of you at the same time. It might have gone more smoothly if the track-layers had a few months head start.

    [​IMG]
    Cyberpunk 2077
    Source: CD Projekt SA
    Adrian Jakubiak, a former audio programmer for CD Projekt, said one of his colleagues asked during a meeting how the company thought it would be able to pull off a technically more challenging project in the same timeframe as The Witcher. “Someone answered: ‘We'll figure it out along the way,’” he said.

    For years, CD Projekt had thrived on that mentality. But this time, the company wasn’t able to pull it off. “I knew it wasn't going to go well,” said Jakubiak. “I just didn't know how disastrous it would be.”

    Part of the fans’ disappointment is proportional to the amount of time they spent waiting for the game. Although Cyberpunk was announced in 2012, the company was then still mainly focused on its last title and full development didn’t start until late 2016, employees said. That was when CD Projekt essentially hit the reset button, according to people familiar with the project.

    Studio head Adam Badowski took over as director, demanding overhauls to Cyberpunk’s gameplay and story. For the next year, everything was changing, including fundamental elements like the game-play perspective. Top staff who had worked on The Witcher 3 had strong opinions on how Cyberpunk should be made, which clashed with Badowski and lead to the eventual departure of several top developers.

    Much of CD Projekt’s focus, according to several people who worked on Cyberpunk 2077, was on impressing the outside world. A slice of gameplay was showcased at E3, the industry’s main trade event, in 2018. It showed the main character embarking on a mission, giving players a grand tour of the seedy, crime-ridden Night City.

    [​IMG]
    A Cyberpunk 2077 preview during the Xbox event ahead of E3 in Los Angeles in June 2018.
    Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
    Fans and journalists were wowed by Cyberpunk 2077’s ambition and scale. What they didn’t know was that the demo was almost entirely fake. CD Projekt hadn’t yet finalized and coded the underlying gameplay systems, which is why so many features, such as car ambushes, were missing from the final product. Developers said they felt like the demo was a waste of months that should have gone toward making the game.

    Employees were working long hours, even though Iwiński told staff that overtime wouldn’t be mandatory on Cyberpunk 2077. More than a dozen workers said they felt pressured to put in extra hours by their managers or coworkers anyway.

    “There were times when I would crunch up to 13 hours a day — a little bit over that was my record probably — and I would do five days a week working like that,” said Jakubiak, the former audio programmer, adding that he quit the company after getting married. “I have some friends who lost their families because of these sort of shenanigans.”

    The overtime didn’t make development of the game any faster. At E3 in June 2019, CD Projekt announced that the game would come out on April 16, 2020. Fans were elated, but internally, some members of the team could only scratch their heads, wondering how they could possibly finish the game by then. One person said they thought the date was a joke. Based on the team’s progress, they expected the game to be ready in 2022. Developers created memes about the game getting delayed, making bets on when it would happen.

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    Canceling features and scaling down the size of Cyberpunk’s metropolis helped, but the team’s growth hampered some departments, developers said.

    While The Witcher 3 was created by roughly 240 in-house staff, according to the company, Cyberpunk’s credits show that the game had well over 500 internal developers. But because CD Projekt wasn’t accustomed to such a size, people who worked on the game said their teams often felt siloed and unorganized.

    At the same time, CD Projekt remained understaffed. Games like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II, often held up as examples of the quality the company wanted to uphold, were made by dozens of offices and thousands of people.

    There were also cultural barriers brought about by hiring expats from the U.S. and Western Europe. The studio mandated everyone speak English during meetings with non-Polish speakers, but not everyone followed the rules.

    Even as the timeline looked increasingly unrealistic, management said delaying wasn’t an option. Their goal was to release Cyberpunk 2077 before new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, expected in the fall of 2020, were even announced. That way, the company could launch the game on existing PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, then “double dip” by releasing versions down the road for the next generation consoles. People who bought the old console versions would receive free upgrades when the new ones were available. Some engineers realized that Cyberpunk was too complex of a game to run well on the seven-year-old consoles, with its city full of bustling crowds and hulking buildings. They said management dismissed their concerns, however, citing their success in pulling off The Witcher 3.

    But by the end of 2019, management finally acknowledged that Cyberpunk needed to be delayed. Last January, the company pushed the game’s release to September. In March, as the pandemic began ravaging the globe and forcing people to stay inside, CD Projekt staff had to complete the game from their homes. Without access to the office’s console development kits, most developers would play builds of the game on their home computers, so it wasn’t clear to everyone how Cyberpunk might run on PS4 and Xbox One. External tests, however, showed clear performance issues.

    Iwiński also said that communication issues resulting from teams working at home amid Covid-19 restrictions meant “a lot of the dynamics we normally take for granted” got lost over video calls or emails. The game’s debut slipped again, to November.

    As the launch date drew closer, everyone at the studio knew the game was in rough shape and needed more time, according to several people familiar with the development. Chunks of dialogue were missing. Some actions didn’t work properly. When management announced in October that the game had “gone gold” — that it was ready to be pressed to discs — there were still major bugs being discovered. The game was delayed another three weeks as exhausted programmers scrambled to fix as much as they could.

    When Cyberpunk 2077 finally launched on Dec. 10, the backlash was swift and furious. Players shared videos of screens overrun with tiny trees or characters gallivanting around without pants, and compiled lists of features that had been promised but were not in the final product.

    Many of the glitches and graphical issues can be fixed, developers say, though it’s not clear what it will take to regain a spot in the PlayStation store. Winning back fans may be difficult, but there’s precedent in the video game world. Games like No Man’s Sky, a space simulator; Final Fantasy XIV, an online roleplaying game; and Destiny, a multiplayer shooter, recovered from rocky launches and earned critical acclaim by gradually improving after they released. And the market seems to be hopeful. CD Projekt shares rose 6%, the most in six weeks, after Iwiński’s message.
     
  14. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
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    High Score:
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    Sadly unsurprised by the way the crunch worked at CDPR. "Of course unpaid overtime is voluntary and we won't force you to do it ... but if you don't do it the rest of the team will have to make up your hours."
     
  15. kelkorkesis

    kelkorkesis DA Member

    Joined:
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    Devlet-i Aliyye-i Erdoğaniye
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    To offer a small showcase of hackerman gameplay.

    https://streamable.com/872nra

    After crafting legendary ping, I had started to clear buildings before entering them. Peak stealth.
     
  16. Churchey

    Churchey Supreme Mugwump

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,752
    Location:
    Texas
    Looks like what I experienced, though I generally used contagion. If you still need exp, almost all quickhacks are nonlethal (contagion/shock just knock them out too) so you can walk through shooting/stabbing/punching bodies for more exp afterwards too.
     
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