Cyberpunk 2077 is a game with many glitches that are mechanically flawed, all of which can be game-breaking. Although games with glitches at launch are not rare, in recent memory, few games have shipped in such a desperate condition, with Fallout 76 and the PC version of Batman Arkham Knight being the only examples coming to mind.
In general, the glitches in Cyberpunk 2077 can be described as either game-breaking or non-game-breaking. Instead of sitting on them, characters will sometimes spontaneously T-pose in front of you, jump up on top of their seats, randomly move between sitting and standing during talks, spawn in the same position as other characters, or sit in the air, stand or walk. Items kept by characters float in the air randomly, whole cars just spawn in front of you randomly or plummet from the sky. Your own character, always ass naked for whatever reason, will spontaneously stand on the seat of your car or bike when driving. Enemies can walk through or get trapped in sturdy doors and partitions, etc.
One day, when riding a bicycle, my character had no head at all. That’s because the game only reveals the third-person first-person character model and there is no head in the first-person character model (which is why the game does not reveal the first-person character model except with RT reflections on it). But now I was running through Night City with this headless horseman.
Instead of being irritating, the non-game-breaking glitches are largely humor fodder. It’s because they figured they would simply incorporate all these glitches for comedic relief instead of writing in a really amusing dialog. The gameplay is not influenced by any of these; you have a joke, take a snapshot for posterity, and then carry on.
The game-breaking glitches are less hilarious. There have been times, from my own perspective, that a significant character in a mission just got trapped in a room and wouldn’t come out. The game wouldn’t go on without the player being outside. No matter of riding around town resets the character and I just had to reload the last save file finally.
In another case, I had to visit a place and had to take an elevator up to a floor. The elevator pad did not reveal the buttons to call the elevator, so that was before I had to reload the last save at the end of the mission.
The person I wanted to gather things from got trapped inside a wall another time, which meant I had no access to them and had to load a previous save again.
Perhaps the most popular game-breaking flaw in Cyberpunk 2077 is when you have to chat to an important individual and the game just doesn’t offer you the possibilities for conversation on the computer. You just can’t do much without the options, but once again you have to reload the old save file.
Though it doesn’t sound that awful to replay files (or occasionally, the whole game), it completely kills the pleasure of playing the game. Also, you might have to drag yourself through long discussions or action sequences based on how far back the last save file is, merely because the game wanted to crap out on you at the end of it. Though not as prominent as the non-game-breaking bugs, there are still lots of game-breaking bugs in Cyberpunk 2077 and often it’s very difficult to enjoy the game.
These are all the stuff that I stumbled across, of course, and others may have had other difficulties. I’m far from finishing all the side quests and gigs in the game and if I wanted to do it, there’s a whole world of glitches out there waiting for me. The way it turned out to be, amid the delays and expectations of polish, is what upsets me most about the state of the game. It would still be terrible if it had begun this way in April, but after three delays, all of which claimed to make the game better, the state of the game at launch is clearly unacceptable. Not to mention that the game had a production span of eight years.
I’m not really going to worry about console game models that I haven’t had much contact with. Everything I’m trying to say is they decided not to submit those out for analysis, which should tell you all about it. The expression ‘It’s better than asking for permission to ask for forgiveness.’ springs to mind. Another year of production work was obviously needed for the title, but CDPR opted to release it early and use its paying customers as unpaid beta testers. On top of that, with crunch time, they have already tired out their developers and will presumably continue to do so for the next year or so before the game is finally done.
All this was so they could hit their holiday launch deadline and the upcoming launch window for console and PC hardware as well.
It’s a sad state of affairs all around, but I don’t lose the irony that all this happened in a game that mostly rails against corporate corruption.
Cyberpunk 2077, as stated at the beginning of this article, is not your ordinary game. It reminds me of Death Stranding in certain respects. Like that film, if I choose to mention Cyberpunk 2077’s pros and cons, it will sound that I dislike the game to a significant degree so there’s a lot to complain about here.
Right now, is it full of bugs? Yeah. Yes. Does it have unreasonably high specifications for hardware? Yeah. Yes. Do sections of the gameplay still sound underdeveloped and unremarkable? Yeah. Yes. Can the studio have been upfront about the release status of the title, maybe indefinitely postponed, and have not burned out the creator leading up to the launch? Definitely indeed.
But much like Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that, considering all its shortcomings, I unabashedly enjoyed playing. I enjoyed the plot, the mini-journeys and story arcs that the side quests took me on, the performances I enjoyed, and the interactions I had in the game I enjoyed.
I just loved wandering the streets of Night City most of all, and feeling like I was a tourist in another world. It was hard to fly this year, but visiting Night City gave me the feeling of discovering a new location that I’ve been missing all year round for the first time.
That was worth the price of entry for me alone. So what if there was a T-posing homeless person everywhere and cars accidentally dropped out of buildings. Any location has its shortcomings.
Although I would encourage everyone to wait until the game has finished creating, as much as I enjoyed it. This is still very much a work in progress, especially if you are the owner of a console. Hopefully, the game should be as it was meant to be at launch a year from now and you would then be able to play it the way the developers would have wanted you to.
And there’s a lot of hard work that people who want you to have a nice time have put in here. But they’re still not done making it.
I expect to re-visit the game when it’s over. But as soon as I’m finished writing this, I still plan on visiting it. This town itself is not going to burn.