Would this game have come out/been fixed with another one year delay?

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LilNatureBoyX

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Its been in development since 2012. So I'm wondering if what pushed the "owners" over the edge was to 1) not sink more money into development 2) fear this would turn into a Duke Nukem situation and never be done-enough?

To me, in regards to bugs, it might've not been enough time to make good even with a holiday 21 date. But worse, fundamental design decisions that aren't bugs, they're features, that'd require completely redoing much of the game. Example:

the looting system requiring you to be perfectly hovered over anything or body you're trying to loot. No saves during unusually long combat missions. Looting button being the same as dialogue choice button. The fact that you can instantly choose a dialogue tree option without it ever being spoken/performed/read Family Feud button-style. The labyrinthian inventory system. Systems like quick-hacking and "cold-blood" mentioned without any cutscene introduction/explanation, having to go into the database journal to learn what anything in the gameplay and or fictional universe is. Bioshock extended lore tapes placed right in the middle of huge dangerous battles. The bullet sponging enemies being so bad you'd think they had a god mode glitch. The lack of significant (say goldeneye or halo or COD style) damage/health warnings leading you to stare at the health bar like your rearview mirror while trying to impress the DMV test giver, or to die suddenly. The deadly premonition-like driving/handling especially in first person. Side missions, phone calls, or the next step in your main mission all fighting for your attention at once. (Do I not answer Dex's call or not finish talking to Jackie about surviving the fight??)

I feel like this without glitches or poor graphics or low framerates would still be more Saints Row 1/Crackdown 1/True Crime than GTA San Andreas/GTA4/Sleeping Dogs..... let alone GTA5.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#2  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

It has not been in development since 2012. They gained the rights to the IP in 2012 and put out a cinematic trailer to announce the project. A small team worked on pre-production while the bulk of the studio worked on The Witcher 3.

They were very open about the fact the majority of the studio didn't start working on Cyberpunk until they shipped Blood and Wine in early 2016. Even without that context, I think it's pretty obvious the game would be in a much better technical state if it were delayed further.

Regarding your final point, I think you've perfectly illustrated why a lot of people are disappointed with the game by comparing it to other urban open world game. This game isn't really an open world sandbox in the style of those games, it's much more of a quest driven RPG. Personally, what I wanted out of this game was quality quests, well written dialogue, and interesting characters. I feel like I got what I was looking for, but I don't blame anyone that wanted a more alive city with the type of simulated world you'd find in a rockstar game and feels disappointed. I think the city itself is incredibly impressive in terms of scale and detail, but the simulation of the open world as a whole isn't great.

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bigsocrates

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No game is ever perfect so there would still be problems. Some of the issues you're talking about (UI stuff, lack of tutorials) could be fixed with more time, some (story issues, systems that you personally don't like) might not have been.

But the bugs and glitches could probably have been fixed, and they're the reason the game is a disaster, not the clunky interface or balance issues like how much damage the enemies could take.

So yes, the game would have come out in much better shape a year from now. It would not be a perfect game. It might not even be a game you (or Jeff or whoever) liked, but it would be in playable shape and run stably and all the rest of the bare minimum requirements.

Duke Nukem Forever kept getting restarted and torn up, and at some point you absolutely do have to just bite the bullet and go with whatever design choices you've made in order to ship a game, but that's very different from shipping a game that's a technical mess. CDPR has the resources and experience to fix the technical stuff if they had enough time. The design stuff...that's trickier. Some games can improve that with time and some can't, but it's worth noting that people hated the movement in The Witcher 3 when it first came out and that got patched so I think they could fix a lot of the UI stuff and issues like overlapping phone calls and enemy damage balance if they think those are actual problems.

Most of what you're complaining about are polish issues. The bigger, harder, issues to fix are fundamental design issues, or writing/story issues.

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ToughShed

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#4  Edited By ToughShed

One big point of confusion with when Cyberpunk 2077 started development was that they put out an elaborate teaser type trailer before they even did anything on the game I think at all. It was actually aimed at recruiting people to work on it and build out the team in a major part.

There is no major fixing of these current gen versions.

Man the Control PS4 version was really the canary in the coal mine for all this performance stuff on current consoles. That was a while ago and it ran, and runs, like absolute dogshit on PS4 base models to the point where the whole game is entirely ruined as every physics collision drops the frames to single digits, which is the point of the whole game. I got it on PC after when I was so disappointed and it was an entirely different experience. I'm not a big performance snob either.

And there were no refunds on that game going around.

Ever since then I called this all along. The last generation was really such a weak offering power wise its pretty ridiculous to look at in the big picture.

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colourful_hippie

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I don't think anyone here can truly answer this other than the devs inside CDPR.

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bigsocrates

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@ll_exile_ll: I don't have a problem with the game being a Bethesda style RPG, I just wish they hadn't decided to include Bethesda style bugs for the authentic experience. The Outer Worlds proved you could do a Bethesda RPG with minimal bugs and reasonably good performance.

I do think that genre issues aside, a lot of the UI stuff is super clunky and that extends to issues like a lot of the upgrades not feeling meaningful and the weirdness of the loot system etc...

There's a lot of stuff that could be substantially improved without changing the fundamentals of what the game is.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#7  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

@bigsocrates said:

@ll_exile_ll: I don't have a problem with the game being a Bethesda style RPG, I just wish they hadn't decided to include Bethesda style bugs for the authentic experience. The Outer Worlds proved you could do a Bethesda RPG with minimal bugs and reasonably good performance.

I do think that genre issues aside, a lot of the UI stuff is super clunky and that extends to issues like a lot of the upgrades not feeling meaningful and the weirdness of the loot system etc...

There's a lot of stuff that could be substantially improved without changing the fundamentals of what the game is.

Sure, I didn't mean to imply the game was perfect. There are certainly issues with some of the systems, the loot, etc. In general I just think it's interesting to think about the way game straddles genres. Generally speaking, open world RPGs are set in vast wildernesses and open world games in modern cities with cars are modelled more or less after GTA. Cyberpunk is really the first open world RPG I can think of that takes place in a modern style city.

I can totally understand people looking at the pedestrian AI, traffic simulation, wanted system, and other open world city simulation elements and pointing out how unfavorably that stuff compares to GTA and its ilk. While I would like that stuff to be better, it's the other elements of the game, the more RPG side, that appeals to me. All of this discussion is separate from the performance and stability, I'm mostly talking about game design here.

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Whitestripes09

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I don't think even if they were given an infinite amount of time that players would be happy. It is evident that the developers have a different game in mind than what players wanted.

Sure, it's an enjoyable game. When you look pass the bugs and accept that this is meant to be more of a linear game, what does this game add to the open world genre or on the history footprint of video games itself though?

It doesn't add anything that The Witcher 3 hasn't already accomplished. It's still just well written dialogue and interesting side content, but has lackluster gameplay. I think we were ready to give Witcher 3 the pass on that because of its story, world, and characters. It's difficult doing that a second time on a game world I'm being introduced the first time to.

I just can't escape the feeling that we have another well written story, but a mediocre game underneath. If the developers don't realize that, then how would any amount of time save them from this? It seems like the backlash needed to happen much in the same way that Mass Effect Andromeda deserved its backlash so we hopefully get a proper sequel this time around.

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Humanity

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@whitestripes09: Well Andromeda was the inverse this situation as it has pretty good gameplay and a completely forgettable story. I’m a lot more curious how much time they would need to bring the game we received to an appropriate level of quality. So no scripting bugs, no animation glitches, better pathing, solid optimization etc etc. is that a solid year of work? Is it more? How strongly did COVID factor into their workflow? Most large offices in Poland went into lockdown in early March. Having people work from home and doing rendering and sending each other builds and assets over home internet must have been tough.

I would love to hear the whole story about this games time in development one day from people that worked on it.

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cikame

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The really boring answer is that yes with another year it would have had less bugs, would it run significantly better on consoles? Maybe.

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acsellers

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Potentially?

We don't really know if the missing features are missing because they weren't worked on or if they had to be disabled. Sometimes, if subsystem is is having issues, it will be disabled and a simpler version will replace it. The programmers will spend plenty of time trying to optimize or fix the code before having to give up and that means whatever the replacement is, it won't have nearly as much work invested since there isn't enough time left before release. If they got another year, they could take another look at the abandoned code or improve the replacement code.

For example, there may be a more complex police AI in the Cyberpunk code, but they couldn't get it running properly or it depended on another subsystem that broke. Imagine if there was an issue in the NPC pathing AI subsystem, so it had to be replaced with a fixed path system a few months ago. If NPC's can't path intelligently and performantly, you can't have police AI where they spawn a block or two down and then approach the player. When you're hurrying to setup the fixed paths, you might be off in some cases, leading to NPC's walking through walls or cars driving through things. I don't have anything to suggest this actually happened, it's just an example of how one failure can have ripple effects.

Unless or until we get more knowledge into how the development went, it's hard to guess how much another year of development would have changed the released game. Even if we look back from December 2021, we won't really be able to guess. CDPR is going to focus on fixing the bugs in the shipped game and is unlikely to attempt to fix or finish abandoned features.

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charlie_victor_bravo

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I don't know. Game has really big base problems with how it balances some systems and with basic GUI design (among other things). Like the map and journal are both a mess. Also these two are not linked in a way that would make sense.

Map is the worst. It is extremely hard to find something specific on it. How city layout is presented just sucks - often something is blocking the view of the roads. There is no kind of color differentiation between areas. There too few icons to separate different kinds of missions from each other (and no color coding). The map wont even show names of the jobs or shops. It just says "clothing store" or "side job" and some generic text. Like WTF?!

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bigsocrates

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@charlie_victor_bravo: These are the kinds of systems that could be overhauled given more time, and often are in games. The map could have color differentiation and other issues fixed. The journal could be fixed. Some of the issues with usability on the various menu screens could be streamlined. Most of that could be done relatively independent of squashing a bunch of bugs in the open world and physics routines (though of course the game would have to have its systems integrated for final bug squashing in case somehow a change to the menu screen messed with AI pathing or something silly, which can happen.)

There are three types of issue with the game

1) Outright bugs (t-posing characters, dropped lines of dialog, unlootable objects, crashes)

2) Issues that aren't bugs but could be refined without changing the whole game (bad driving controls, bad UI)

3) Fundamental issues with the game design that you may or may not like or agree with (Story/character design, game design, more complex and integrated systems.)

Category number 1 can see the most improvement quickly and will be addressed.

Category number 2 could be improved over the course of a year (which is a long time in game development) but probably won't get fixed at this point, though it might (there are certainly games that have overhauled UI post-launch. I could see them fixing the map and improving the driving, since they fixed Witcher 3 movement after launch.)

Category number 3 would take longer and will never change. This is never going to be a GTA type open world game, and V. is always going to be a jerk of a character. That's just how the game is designed. Whether those are flaws or not depends on personal taste.

I personally would like them to fix some of the category 2 things, though I'll probably be done with the game before that comes close to happening. But this game could be much better if it had a more usable UI and some other relatively minor fixes.

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Junkerman

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I've heard people talk about the performance of Control on PS4 as being horrible... I played that game maybe half a year after release on a launch PS4 and experienced almost zero issues beyond the odd frame rate drop. Were the issues related to 4k tv's or something?

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digitaldisco

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Obviously more time would have given the devs a chance to address the technical issues. Would it have been a better game? Who's to say. Like Jeff has speculated, maybe they dropped systems and gameplay mechanics to ship the game. With more time those might have been left in, fixed, and contributed to a richer experience.

It also seems clear that with more time they might have decided to drop the last gen consoles versions all together. The optimization issues for older consoles seem like they are going to be very hard to fix without essentially creating a much different version of the game. How many textures can you de-rez and how many NPCs can you remove for performance sake before its a completely empty experience. I already don't get the sense that Night City has as many residents as its size would have you believe.

Cyberpunk is also a victim of their own hype machine. At some point the game would never have been able to meet the expectations that they themselves helped to create.

My issues with the game are less technical and more thematic and about game play. I just don't think its a fun game to play.

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ToughShed

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#16  Edited By ToughShed

@junkerman said:

I've heard people talk about the performance of Control on PS4 as being horrible... I played that game maybe half a year after release on a launch PS4 and experienced almost zero issues beyond the odd frame rate drop. Were the issues related to 4k tv's or something?

It was nothing to do with the TV I am on a standard 1080p monitor.

Dude you must have a VERY high tolerance for frame rate drop because you can see talk about this anywhere online, including Jeff here on Giant Bomb. Every single time I used my physics powers and objects collided (again, the whole point of the game) the frames hit single digits and must have been dropping a good 20 frames or more. Its not "bad framerate" its a complete frame rate crash. I've played it on base PS4 and it was such a bad experience and playing it after on PC it was so much more fun and with zero of the dropped frames.

And I played it even after you did, meaning it got more "patching" if it was to be done and it was crappy as hell.

Again, I'm surprised it wasn't a bigger deal and canary in the coal mine but it just wasn't as big of a game. And no refunds.

Maybe you need to try the game on another platform to realize what you missed out on. The game plays so much better without framerate crashes constantly.

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ToughShed

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#17  Edited By ToughShed

And on the Control note, that game came out and never got better on base PS4 even after the patching. I don't think there's any saving the current gen console versions of Cyberpunk.


It was a lame duck console gen power wise.

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FacelessVixen

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For the sake of having a thought exercise, I could try to create a list of the various "could haves", "should haves", and "would haves" for how this whole thing could have played out both better and worse; at least subjectively from the position of really enjoying the game, having a decent PC to play it on, and having a sense of humor about the bugs since I'm pretty confident that CDPR will fix the more glaring technical issues over time. So, sure; another delay could have very well addressed the bugs, but who is to say that delaying the game again for, what, a third or fourth time would be more or less frustrating compared to what is going on now with the current state of the game, at least for someone in my position?

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bigsocrates

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@toughshed: Control is a physics heavy game and everyone knows (and knew) that the PS4 and XBONE were underpowered CPU wise. They had moderately decent GPUs and poor CPUs. One of the big exciting things about the Series X and PS5 in addition to the SSD and ray tracing is that they have acceptable CPUs.

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notkcots

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I'm sure the bugs could have been fixed and the various systems could have been improved, but my issues with the game are a lot more fundamental to its design than that. At some point, they decided not to make an RPG, opting instead to make a linear looter shooter campaign with a mediocre stealth and hacking system tacked onto it, and CDPR simply isn't very good at executing that. They built a gorgeous open world and had no idea what to do with it, and I don't know if any amount of extra time would have fixed that issue.

I'm not even opposed to the idea of a linear open-world game; it's just that CP2077 doesn't really do anything well enough to distinguish itself apart from looking very nice and having a somewhat novel setting, and there's a lot that it does poorly. Playing it really just makes me want to go back and replay Sleeping Dogs, which blows CP out of the water in pretty much every regard from a design and gameplay standpoint.

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Dareitus

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I think the biggest issue is it's hard to discern what they would consider "bad or broken" in the first place. Take all the bugs out of the scenario and say it works perfectly and you still have some pretty glaring issues.

The ENTIRE RPG system needs an overhaul. The intelligence stat is maybe the only stat with interesting progression as you unlock different hacks. Everything else is simply +damage/armor. No new abilities, no new options, just better efficiency at chosen spec. Numbers only progression is boring.

The Cyberware system is equally basic. Wanna mod your arms? Cool you've got 3 choices:
A melee weapon.
A melee weapon.
A melee weapon.
Ohhh but one scales off Cool, one on Reflex and the other on Body! Weeeee

There is no variety to ANYTHING in this game. Every enemy acts exactly the same, the stats just go up as the game goes on. The guns just do more damage as the game goes on. The skills just add more damage as the game goes on. Nothing. Changes. At. All.

And the story was meh imo.

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Dareitus

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Spoilers for the following character: JUDY

Writing often felt strong for a bit but ends with a wet fart in almost every case. Judy is the prime example for me, where a very strong series of well written and interesting quests leads to a touching diving scene with Judy and a potential romance. Awesome. Right up until she casually mentions, oh, btw, our friends are dead, it was all pointless but hey - you came here for a sex scene so lets do that. Never again can you visit clouds, or discuss the ramifications of your actions. Other variations on the scene result in her not bringing it up at all.


Spoilers for the following character: Voodoo Boys

Similarly, the Voodoo Boys arc was one of my favorite bits of story telling in the entire game but in the end the game doesn't care about any of the choices you make. I chose to follow the Voodoo Boys' plan and linked myself to the Netwatch agent, killing him and his entire crew. Then after meeting with Alt I demanded revenge for my attempted murder and killed everyone in the Voodoo Boys as well. And? And nothing. No one cares. I can still go to all the stores in Pacifica and buy goods and services from Voodoo Boys. All powerful and all seeing Netwatch hasn't sent kill squads after me. Nothing happened. Wet. Fart.

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navster15

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Can I say that I hate the framing that the PS4 and X1 were and are “underpowered”? It’s not like Sony and Microsoft deliberately hobbled their machines, that simply was the power the could get at a $400 USD price point back in 2013. The so-called “adequate” PCs cost at least double to build throughout most of the generation and now the “adequate” current gen consoles are impossible to find. So to me, it’s on the devs for not speccing their games properly to meet the market where it is. Cyberpunk or Control could in no way justify their production budgets without assuming the current gen install bases, so they in no way should be given a free pass for not meeting last gen performance. It’s beyond awful that these companies continue to take advantage of the least privileged gaming demographic while rich PC owners continue to bitch about being “held back”.

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Blommer4

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I stopped playing after about 6 hours because I wasn't enjoying as much as I had hoped. For me, the problem is that the city doesn't feel alive. The biggest reason is that the AI seems so out of date compared to any of the games I've played for years now. I think with 1 more year, this would've at least been better, if not fixed entirely. I'm holding off on playing more until it's been patched, and then I hope to see some AI improvement. If they could fix/work on that, and solve some of the bugs (I have not encountered many, but have also not played a lot) I think I will end up enjoying this game immensely.

Oh, and yeah, this is from a PC only perspective.

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bigsocrates

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@navster15: First of all the Xbox One cost $500 at launch, in part because of the dumb decision to include the Kinect, which also is one of the reasons it was underpowered (the Kinect was actually subsidized, it probably cost about $150 to manufacture at launch, and the rest of the machine came in behind the PS4 because of it) so it's not just a matter of how much everything cost at the time. Decisions were made.

Secondly, it's pretty clear that the great recession and all its fallout caused the launch of the systems to be pushed back further than they otherwise would have been (prior console generations were about 5 years, and the 7th gen was 8 years without a mid-gen refresh) and there's some evidence that the specs for the consoles were set and then there was a delay before launch. They came in weak, which is evidenced not just by random opinion and rumor but the fact that they both got new versions released a few years into the gen to try to fix some of the issues (there's also the matter of 4K.) Because GPU scales easier than CPU in game design the refreshes didn't have the needed CPU improvements, but there was a tacit acknowledgement that the consoles came in weak.

The fact that the consoles were CPU weak doesn't do anything to excuse CDPR's decision making here. Plenty of games run fine on the older hardware and designers are still responsible for the product they put out and especially for how it's marketed, which was dishonest here. They're independent issues. But the weak 8th gen CPUs did have repercussions in game design and how things run and they're definitely part of the story for Control especially.

Explanations are not the same thing as excuses.

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NameRedacted

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If CDPR were on Bake Off, Paul Hollywood would tear Cyberpunk apart, put his thumb in it and say: "it's underbaked and underproofed; look--it's rawr in the middle."

Looking back at how much CDPR overpromised and then striped out of Cyberpunk to ship it... This game needed at least another year "in the oven."

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TheRealTurk

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Honestly? I don't think so. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I view this debacle as almost entirely a marketing-caused problem. Marketing built the hype around this game to the point where it almost had to be released when it did, technical state be damned. Announcing the last delay caused CD Projeckt's stock price to drop by 20%, to say nothing of the death threats the devs were getting, so you can only imagine what would happen if they'd had to delay it again to a point well after both the holidays and the new console launches.

Plus, even if they had launched a technically flawless game, I think there'd still be a ton of people who felt shafted. The game was advertised in a way to make it seem like something it clearly isn't. The ad campaigns I've seen emphasize a big open world and a lot of pew-pew shooty-shooty to appeal to the COD crowd when that isn't what the game is at all.

Is the game fundamentally broken? Yes. Did the developers know that it was fundamentally broken? It sure sounds like they did. But the thing is every single game ever made was fundamentally broken at some point in its development cycle. The reason you don't think about it is that the marketing is usually timed much better so that you reach maximum hype right around the release of the game. In this case, I'd argue that people have been at peak hype for several years, so the game was never going to satisfy people no matter how good it was.

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ragnar_mike

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I'm mostly in line with Jeff's thoughts with the game at this point, which is strange because usually we rather diverge on RPG games. But I think that is largely because Cyberpunk doesn't know what it wants to be. The main story arc of the game has interesting beats and good performances and all that, but how you get to those beats feels shallow and meaningless. By far the most enthralling part of the game to me is the city. The vistas are incredible and I wanted nothing more than to wander around the streets and get into trouble. But that's not what the city is. The streets are like dioramas, you see the same people eating at the same stalls outside your apartment. The cars drive in circles endlessly, only reacting to your presence by breaking their loop and halting until you leave. The cops flutter in from the aether when you commit a crime but their jurisdiction is a single block it seems. The city is best experienced on a bike, not stopping, but looking around as you pass by all the broken systems.

It's not fair to compare this game to GTA. But it's also not fair to compare it to Deus Ex, or Fallout, or Mass Effect, or Bioshock, or Alien: Isolation or Dead Space, or Silent Hill, or Resident Evil. All of these games have a more robust world and systems and inventory and half of them have better combat or crafting depending on your preference. Cyberpunk cribs from all these big tropes of RPGs but does them all mediocrely to the extent that it feels like they had to scrap 90% of each system to get to game to run. Maybe that's the truth, maybe they just didn't have enough systems devs and focused almost entirely on the art: Art that cannot save an empty experience.

I wanted to like this game and I'm very forgiving about the trials and tribulations of development. I had fun with Andromeda even with how temultuous that development was. But this is a different level. Its not that the game isn't finished. Bugs will be fixed, and performance improved. But even if this game ran perfectly, there's no meat on the bones. Much like No Man's Sky of GTA Online, given a year or two of dlc and content, could this game become what they originally wanted? Absolutely. Will I return to it by then after my lackluster experience now? Probably not.

That being said, the 8 barreled smart shotgun is hella dope and might be my new favorite "video game shotgun"

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bigsocrates

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@ragnar_mike: I actually think it's very fair to compare this game to Fallout because it really is structured like a Bethesda game. You can say Fallout has better combat or other systems but it's definitely a comparable game, and I think a lot of people's complaints about the open world is that it's a lot like a Fallout wasteland. It's pretty to look at and there's interesting stuff in it, but it's ultimately not that interactive.

I don't see why people think there were all these systems that were scrapped. I feel like there are a lot of systems people wish the game had or thought it would have that it doesn't, but outside of a few examples I don't see a lot of hooks for systems that don't appear to be there. I think the issue is that this game was sort of sold like a first person futuristic GTA V and it's a lot more like Fallout in a cyberpunk city, but with fewer interesting random NPCs You say the best way to experience the city is from the back of a bike going fast, but I think the best way to experience it is following various questlines and treating the city like an interactive backdrop to a level rather than an open world to be explored and enjoyed for its own sake.

More on topic, I don't think that the things you're talking about will ever be "fixed" because I don't think they're broken (well the traffic behavior is broken but not because it goes in circles.) I think the effort and resources for the gameplay were put into all the carefully scripted quests and not making the open city fun, and I don't foresee it ever becoming a fun open city to just goof off in. They may improve the traffic and fix some NPC behaviors, maybe add a couple activities via DLC, but I think the vision painted by the marketing and the vision of the developers are very different.

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MezZa

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#32  Edited By MezZa

Based on my experiences working analysis roles for dev teams in other industries, no, I don't think so. A lot of the issues with this game sounds like leadership issues. That doesn't go away by giving the team another year. That's just another year for those same bad leaders to keep pushing the same mistakes. Plus you also have to factor in the chance that they wouldn't just let up on working the devs hard. An extra year of work doesn't mean much when you're burnt out and can't output your best work.

If they had an extra year I'd bet we'd see another host of marketing hype features creep into scope and a lot of mismanagement continue. It's not like they're suddenly going to correct the ship and fix everything that was going wrong for the last half a decade with one extra year. Bugs and glitchiness would be better, but actual features and content being improved seems incredibly unlikely to me.

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csl316

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If they would have canceled the last-gen versions and put that effort into polishing the current-gen ones and PC, this would probably have been fine. This isn't like Assassin's Creed or Spider-Man, where they're working off an existing template. It was a brand new type of game for them and I don't know how they expected to have a fully-feature cross-gen open world FPS ready to go on several systems at the same time.

I would've been fine with a PC release now, a next-gen version when they're planning to release their patch, and just skip the old gen entirely. But they went for everything and here we are.

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ragnar_mike

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@bigsocrates: That's fair. Maybe Fallout was a poor choice. I think in my head I meant that even if the basic framework is like a Fallout games, but the depth isn't there. And not even just the amount of other crap you can do in Fallout with builds and alents or whatever. The dialog with non main storyline people isn't even comparable. If you wanna compare Cyberpunk to anything in that regard its more like Pokemon: a character specific phrase they repeat each time you talk to anyone who doesn't have a quest for you or sell you something. Granted, GTA has a similar issue, but those at least feel like there's a canned tree of responses. I forgive them for that because the game is like 7 years old at this point.

I'm less talking about comparing the amount of features and more the depth or quality of the ones that made it in. I don't think whole systems were cut from the game, beyond the standard "we planned for a lot of stuff and can only really nail these three things so let's choose these" phase of every game dev project. Its more that even the ones they felt they were able to accomplish feel unfinished. Things being shown like the monowire being able to hack a target from a distance and the energy katana. The armor that feels like the stats are randomly generated. It feels like there are a thousands of little things that got cut because it wouldn't be done in time. More than usual, and without any plans to fill in those gaps. The next three months are going to be bug fixing no doubt. Would that have been spent on content if they were able to reach the unobtainable goal of hitting December? As you said, I doubt it. I will be shocked if multiplayer ever makes it into this game.

I don't believe I ever expected as robust a city as GTA online has become, but some of those systems, the police/wanted systems, the streets full of cars that react to your driving, crowds that do more than walk down a path...those are not new techniques. Those are things that existed in games well before they ever had the right to make a Cyberpunk game. Maybe you're correct in that the goal was always a smaller scale of city as a backdrop. It certainly is a backdrop. And I experienced it on a bike because stopping to actually immerse myself in any of it was disappointing. Its not like I want to be able to LARP in there obeying traffic signals and whatever, but it felt like there were 5 places I bounced back and forth from over and over and going between the them was a trudge, not a reward.

Maybe it's a case of Andromeda-itis, where the engine was never meant to do those things and there was a brain drain or it just took them longer to make a shooter work in whatever in-house stuff they use. But I would much rather have a working cops mechanic, or fluid driving than the crew of 6 thugs in an alley 50 times. But that's something that they already had available. In all honesty that's what the cops are too. They had the ability to spawn in game asset with a crew of AI and it feels like that was copied and pasted over everything that wasn't the main questline or the side quests of your companions.

In some regards, I wish it was more like Mass Effect. Treat it like scenery. Let me look at it from the balcony as I'm on a mission. Maybe talk to some folks as I do detective stuff. Scope the city wayyyyy down and make it mission based. And then load me into an apartment or have the bar be my hub or something where I can chat with mercs and have a limited set of characters to deepend the dialog with. The less time you have to pull at the bubble gum and duct tape holding that world together, the more time you can focus on the fun story and missions and characters that are kinda the only redeeming quality.

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monkeyking1969

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I think not only did the game need a delay, but that delay needed to have occurred six months ago. Last april 2020 they needed to say, "Sory folk it won't be ready until Summer 2021." That way that could have taken that whole time to regroup. With that sort of time they could decide/plan what to add and what to tweak in a logical way.

All these tiny delays seem to have just been used to put out fires, but not to rebuild what was on fire.

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NameRedacted

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Fudgemuppet on YouTube (famous for their exhaustive and comprehensive videos on the Elder Scrolls / Skyrim) has an hour-long breakdown of Cyberpunk that is quite telling and very unflattering for Cyberpunk. There's a lot wrong with Cyberpunk that reviewers and players aren't addressing, problems with the game beyond the glitches and bugs, things that Jeff spoke about, things CDPR promised in earlier demos that were removed from the game.

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bigsocrates

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@ragnar_mike: I agree with a lot of your criticisms. I think any time you wander off the critical path (and by that I am including the major sidequest chains, but very much not the minor one off quests) the game falls apart pretty hard. There's nobody to talk to and basically nothing to do except endless mediocre shootouts or stealthouts and some sightseeing.

But I think the open world still has value because it adds a lot of atmosphere to the game. You see a big tower in the distance and you can drive there and go inside. Going past the same locations repeatedly gives a sense of place. I really like the world they've built, so long as it's backdrop for the actual game parts of the game and you don't go off the path in it.

I think one of the game's main problems is that it wants you to go off the path. It provides lots of opportunities and prompting to do so. And what you find there almost always sucks.

I like this game a lot but I think that it also has a lot of bad parts, and the game itself doesn't seem to understand that. It bombards you with fixer calls to go on bad filler sidequests while forcing you to wait a day in game between some of the mainline quests (you can fast forward time if you want, but it is clearly prompting you to go do the boring stuff during that time) and it has a lot of other similar prompts (like autopopulating your map with exclamation points for quests) that point you smack dab at its worst aspects.

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cLoudForest

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It's easy to conclude that CD Projekt Red having more time would have somehow "fixed" Cyberpunk given that the general complaint about the game is that it feels incomplete and aspects of it seem under-developed. How much would it change, though, with the same people in charge of the project? Can we be confident that the same people running things whose decisions and poor planning lead to mandatory crunch for years would suddenly be able to turn things around if they could just have been given another year and somehow complete the ideal version of this game?

I'm sure they'll fix the more glaring bugs and glitches in the post-release period, but I don't really believe that the more fundamental, systemic issues are something they'll look to fix. It just looks to me like CD Projekt Red massively under-estimated what it would take to truly make the game they set out to make and the project just got away from them, and so they had to de-scope so that they could get into a position to eventually ship what they had. It sometimes take more than just "more time" to fix things.

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ragnar_mike

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