Bringing up Cyberpunk 2077 can bring back several memories. The first, on PC, is quite pleasant – but the second, on Xbox and PlayStation, is much more contrasting! Often, the huge blockbuster signed CD Projekt Red sends back the image of a sweet dream that did not keep its promises, at least at the beginning. Now it’s a comeback! Story of an extraordinary “remontada”.

Just imagine. A new RPG from the creators of the amazing The Witcher 3; a universe necessarily impeccable because inspired by a famous paper role-playing game; a scenario presented as “non-linear”; a team that envisages, from 2015, the “biggest commercial success in the world”. It’s very simple, at the time, no one could have foreseen the particularly complicated fate that awaits the CD Projekt Red studio and Cyberpunk 2077. Lately, this futuristic blockbuster has offered itself a second youth thanks to the arrival of the next-gen update, on PS5 | Xbox Series, at the beginning of the year; and especially thanks to the recent broadcast of Edgerunners, adaptation in Netflix TV series acclaimed by critics. On the Steam store, sales and player reviews have returned to the green. “Thank you for this second chance” writes a developer on Twitter.

“Every day this week, Night City has been visited by a million players, new and old! We wanted to thank you for being with us and playing the game. Thank you”

Unprecedented case

A second chance that was really not won in advance. Some time before the release of Cyberpunk 2077 – December 10, 2020 – a bad feeling begins to set in. On the one hand, the action-RPG has three postponements, including a rather strange last one, of only 21 days (November 19 to December 10, 2020). Two, the more the days pass, the more a demonstration of the PS4 and Xbox One “FAT” versions – original models – is long overdue, never to come.

At the time of the exit, it is the cold shower. Although Cyberpunk 2077 is completely playable on PC and more or less okay on PS4 Pro | Xbox One is unanimously catastrophic on 2013 consoles. Between framerate problems and various and varied bugs, the game is in such a state that it will be removed from the PlayStation Store a week after its launch (to return to it 6 months later). Reimbursement solutions are even put in place by CD Projekt.

The studio then begins a long and painful road to repair Cyberpunk 2077 and, above all, to regain the confidence of the players, considerably damaged by the controversy. Before this, CD Projekt Red always had a image de “good guy”, driven by the huge critical success of The Witcher saga and more particularly of the third episode. It was almost something taken for granted: the Polish team masters the technique, the writing and the gameplay. The Witcher 3 was very solid on all three counts, even on PS4 | One. Cyberpunk could only do the same.

Go back up the slope

You know the rest, that’s not quite what happened. A few days after a successful release (eight million pre-orders) CD Projekt Red request forgiveness in a press release. “First of all, we want to apologize for not having shown the game on previous generation consoles (PS4 and Xbox One FAT, editor’s note) before its release and – therefore – having prevented you from making an informed decision when your purchase,” the company writes. “We will fix bugs and improve the overall experience. The first wave of updates has just been rolled out, the next one will arrive in the next seven days”. From this moment on, CD Projekt Red will tirelessly update and polish Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077: Running the RPG on FAT consoles, mission impossible?

In the case, on the sidelines of many bugs on PC | consoles, it’s really the state of the PS4 and Xbox One FAT versions that’s the problem. Somewhere, what does it matter if the scale of the project seems incompatible with the power of these machines: Cyberpunk 2077 was announced in 2012, a year before their release. In other words, open-world action-RPGs have always been planned for eighth generation, not only on “mid-gen” consoles (PS4 Pro | Xbox One X) where the situation is a little better. Today, according to recent YouTube videos, the state of Cyberpunk on PS4 and One seems to be pretty decent. Even if we feel that it is still and always cramped.

To have to be lucid

2013 consoles no match for a futuristic game like Cyberpunk 2077? It’s a fact, we know it, and so does CD Projekt Red. At the time of apologizing, a week after the release of the project, the studio already explained that the PS4 and Xbox One versions “will not look like the high-end PC versions and next-gen machines”. The Polish firm then presents itself lucid and realistic, recently confirming this vision of things. During the last Night City Wire (talk dedicated to Cyberpunk 2077) we learned that the 1.6 update will be the “last major update for older consoles”. The patch in question arrived at the beginning of September. Note also that Phantom Liberty, the first and last expansion of the title, will be released exclusively on PC, PS5, Xbox Series. The PS4 and One are therefore put aside for good.

Between us, it’s probably the healthiest decision for CD Projekt Red and its developers, who will no longer have to bridge the chasm that separates the eighth and ninth generations – avoiding in passing a new period of crunch (hours in more often requested to complete a production). Now, Cyberpunk 2077 will be able to continue its good momentum, as Gabriel Amatangelo, director of the game, explains in the latest episode of Night City Wire:

“(Our last big step, editor’s note) it’s a mix of update 1.5 and 1.3 with lots of bug fixes. Then some sort of overhaul, rebuilding for a bunch of core systems to work well on all platforms. I think Cyberpunk 2077 can be experienced as we imagined” – G. Amatangelo, Game Director de Cyberpunk 2077 (Night City Wire)

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