The Ironic Unrealized Potential of Cyberpunk 2077

I’ve been playing Cyberpunk 2077 for a few days now, and it is no where near as bad as everyone says it is. Yes there are a lot of bugs, but at least on the PC, those bugs are not making the game unplayable. The game was not ready for console, especially last gen consoles (PS4, XBoxOne) that much was obvious, but at least on PC, Cyberpunk 2077 is a few bug fixes and feature packs away from being the perfect FPS-RPG that everyone has been waiting for since 1993’s Doom showed us how much fun these games could be.

This game has Sex, drugs, nudity, and of course violence in a very large original sandbox environment that would take you months to explore. Dozens of well written missions, both main missions and side missions, with different mechanics, and original ideas. A robust RPG system that can turn your character into a god in the world, and a decent compelling story that doesn’t feel like filler plot.

Every complaint I’ve heard about FPS games and RPG games in the past is addressed here. If you ever wanted x in a FPS-RPG, it’s in this game (or it is scheduled to be added soon).

It does not shy away from taking advantage of the latest technology like real time ray tracing graphics and cheap storage space, which is part of the problem since the lack of optimization is the main reason it does not run very well on older consoles and non-gaming PCs.

In short, the developers have built a compelling lived in world with lots of gaming and plot potential that could be built upon for years to come, but will that potential be erased by mad players and mad investors?

What is really ironic is that the real life corporate machinations, developer “crunch time”, and release drama feels like a plot from the game itself: which is about powerful corporations taking over the world and making life miserable for everybody, especially the day to day workers.

The second level of irony is that the game’s release proves the superiority of the PC gaming model just as the PS5 and XBox X consoles are being released. It does not take much to fix Cyberpunk 2077 on the PC, and what doesn’t get fixed by the developers, will get fixed by the modders. And yet it is the recent decision by Sony and Microsoft to refund the game, costing the developers millions, that could potentially kick the game to the trash heap before anything meaningful gets done.

Regardless of what happens, the “release” of Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be an object lesson of everything wrong with gaming and Triple A game titles. It is actually the latest in a series of bad triple A game release flops that have brought down many major gaming studios. The days of the big sandbox games are numbered, as the economics of these games development and sales no longer makes sense.

The You Tube Essays about this will be numerous. Looking forward to watching them.

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