Just a few days before Cyberpunk 2077 was released last December 10, I joined the bandwagon of over 8 million pre-orders so that I too could play the most anticipated game of the past few years on day one. Though I’m generally a cautious purchaser when it comes to games (only purchasing on day one if it’s a game or series I really like), I bought in on the Cyberpunk 2077 hype because I loved CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3, and I’m a huge fan of Shadowrun games. It was a justified day-one purchase in my mind.
As a lowly PS4 Slim owner, was I worried that the game would run infinitely better on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and high-end PC rigs? Not really, because even though I expected the PS4 experience to be inferior, I was confident that its quality wouldn’t be lacking. After all, triple-A games released this year like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima looked great on my PS4. It shouldn’t have a problem running its generation’s last big-budget game.
When I started playing Cyberpunk 2077, it all seemed like smooth sailing until the first action sequence where protagonist V starts shooting at pursuers from the passenger seat of a fast-moving car. There were frame drops and some dizzying motion blur, but I figured it might get better when I got to Night City. It did not.
I encountered NPCs whose textures loaded up a little too slow, more frame drops when I drove my car a little too fast, and even more frame drops when I engaged in melee combat. On top of it all, Night City didn’t look as pretty or as high definition as I expected, and I later found out that it was because the game was running capped at 720p on my PS4.
I knew that I wouldn’t be getting the absolute best Cyberpunk 2077 experience playing the game on what is now a last-gen console, but as a games writer, I found merit in the fact that I’d be playing it through probably the most common means. Not everyone has a souped-up gaming PC, and the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are still hard to come by. Playing the game on a PS4 Slim puts me on the same ground as most of Cyberpunk 2077’s players who are playing it on PS4 and Xbox One.
It’s exactly the fact that a large percentage of Cyberpunk’s player base are last-gen console players that makes it so strange that the game isn’t well-optimized for these consoles. CD Projekt Red have since owned up to this in a statement last December 14. TL;DR – They acknowledged the buggy and visually lacking performance of the game on PS4 and Xbox One consoles, and promised two large patches to improve performance on these consoles, to be released in January and February of next year. For players not willing to wait, they promised easier refund processes and assistance in refunding until December 21, 2020.
Whether you’ve already bought the game or you’re still just planning to get it, it might be a good idea to wait until at least the first of the two large improvement patches are released next year before you start actually playing.
Despite my various gripes about the game as it is now, the few hours I’ve spent playing it on my PS4 revealed a great game that just isn’t in its final form yet. It’s a case of many complicated and well-made parts being poorly put together, where inspecting these parts individually reveal that CD Projekt Red had put a lot of thought into making this game.
The reason I recommend waiting until the game is patched before playing, is not because it’s “unplayable” right now (the recent 1.04 patch made the PS4 and Xbox One experience significantly smoother and more “playable”). It’s because playing the game on PS4 or Xbox One as it is now would be a waste. You can only play a game for the first time once, and Cyberpunk 2077 holds all the promise of an amazing game that’s just yet to be optimized and finalized. We’ve waited 8 years for the game, what’s one or two months more?
How do you feel about Cyberpunk 2077’s release? Do you plan to wait before playing it, or are you considering getting a refund? Share your thoughts with us in the comments! And for more news on the latest releases, be sure to stay tuned to our website and Facebook page.
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