It was considered one of the most disastrous launches in gaming, but has CD Projekt Red finally fixed Cyberpunk 2077?
CD Projekt Red generated massive hype when they released The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, and since the game was so well-received, fans were immediately excited for the release of their next game, Cyberpunk 2077, when it was announced.
Unfortunately for CDPR, Cyberpunk 2077 ended up being one of the most disastrous launches in gaming when the game came out in 2020. Though the game was praised for its concept and narrative, it was a buggy mess that couldn’t play properly on several old-gen consoles like originally promised.
Fast-forward a few years, and many fans are suddenly revisiting Cyberpunk 2077 and praising CDPR for allegedly having ‘fixed’ the game. So the question remains, “Has Cyberpunk 2077 finally been fixed?”
Cyberpunk 2077 First Launch
Cyberpunk 2077 was originally announced in May 2012 and promised to bring fans to a lore-extensive world in the future dystopia of Nighty City. In 2019, the game was announced for an April 2020 release, but it got delayed multiple times to September and November, finally releasing on December 10, 2020.
With CDPR putting itself on the map with the success of The Witcher II, many fans were excited about the release of Cyberpunk, which also led to a lot of disappointment when the game was constantly delayed. The devs were even said to have received death threats over the last delay.
The game was finally released in December, and though many critics praised the game for its concept and narrative, there was no denying the countless bugs that plagued it. It was well-documented online that the game was having difficulty running on old-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, and it was even leading to multiple crashes for players.
Other bugs that were being reported for the game were delayed textures and effects. Sometimes, the enemy AI won’t even attack you in the middle of what is supposed to be a gunfight.
It got so bad that PlayStation eventually pulled the game from the PS Store, and the developers were hit with a class-action lawsuit that cost them $1.85 million. To this day, the 2020 launch for Cyberpunk 2077 remains a cautionary tale for developers and impatient gamers who cannot stand release date delays.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners and Update 1.5
Even during launch, CDPR scrambled to release as many updates as possible for Cyberpunk 2077, fixing bugs here and there, but the damage had already been done.
Sure, many CDPR fans who loved The Witcher III would come and defend Cyberpunk 2077 and apologize for the numerous bugs that plagued the game, but the terrible launch stuck on Night City like a bad case of Cyberpsychosis.
Enter the release of the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime in 2022. The series had already been announced for a while, but upon release, there was suddenly a new influx of players for Cyberpunk 2077.
Edgerunners essentially took place before the events of the game. They followed the story of David and Lucy—two citizens in Night City who find themselves getting deeper and deeper into the world of cybercrime, much to their detriment.
The anime was a smash hit and brought interest in the world of Night City, not just for fans of CDPR but also for anime fans. Thanks to the anime, more people had decided to check out just how much of an improvement had been going on with the game since launch, and they were pleased to find that a lot of the bugs had been addressed, and the game had been running a lot smoother for old-gen consoles.
It was also the perfect time to release the Next-Gen update for Cyberpunk 2077, which made the game native to new-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Besides performance improvements, the game also gave players many more options, including an enhanced photo mode and new weapons, attachments, and costumes. Players can also purchase updated apartments in Nighty City—depending on what status V has earned for themselves.
AI for NPCs has also been addressed, giving new behaviors to pedestrians, enemies, and oncoming traffic.
Since the anime was also pretty popular, CDPR released an update that added multiple elements from Edgerunners, including items like David’s jacket and Rebecca’s gun. They’ve even added some in-universe details, including a drink in the Afterlife Bar named after David.
If you visit the moratory in Night City, you’ll also see the graves of all the characters who died by the end of the show (as well as the messages left there by anyone who survived them).
Update 2.0 and Phantom Liberty DLC
With Edgerunners managing to drive up interest in the game again, many fans were suddenly drawn into the world of Night City. With all the improvements and patches, it did look like CDPR could finally brush up Cyberpunk 2077 to the game promised back in 2020.
Enter the newest DLC for Cyberpunk, dubbed Phantom Liberty. The story essentially adds a new district to Night City called Dog Town, and the story is that the President of the New United States of America has somehow found themselves crash landing into Dog Town, and it would be up to V to extract them.
Though Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand may have been the mascot of the base game, the Phantom Liberty DLC had Idris Elba’s character Solomon Reed. Though Silverhand may be a figment stuck in V’s mind, Reed is a completely different character in that he’s a soldier-turned-mercenary, and he’ll be your main guide when it comes to the expansion of Dog Town.
Though the world of Night City itself is pretty fleshed out in the base game, Dog Town is considered almost comically apocalyptical—as if the world of Mad Max was fused with the future and tech of Cyberpunk. The districts are wilder, and the cars and weapons are more dangerous regarding Dog Town—a perfect backdrop for a whole new Cyberpunk story.
The launch of the DLC also came with an all-new update that should put all the finishing touches to whatever else Cyberpunk 2077 was lacking. Though the first iteration of the game was kind of limited in that it still had to compensate for the computing power of the old-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, the latest update is said to go all-in with the capabilities of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Some of the most noticeable upgrades in the latest patch include an option for vehicular combat, meaning that V can now pull out their gun and engage enemies while they’re behind the wheel. The cops in the game have also been given an enhanced AI, so they are just as dangerous as all the other criminals that roam the game.
You can check out the official site here for a detailed look at all the other enhancements that have been added with the 2.0 patch.
Is Cyberpunk 2077 Finally Fixed?
After a disastrous launch in 2020, CD Projekt Red has spent the last few years attempting the impossible—salvaging a broken game and growing it to become one of the most popular titles a few years later.
After fending off a class action lawsuit, terrible reviews, and a lot of bad press, critics and audiences can agree that CDPR has finally managed to deliver the game they promised and then some. All it took was a hit anime series adaptation and years of constant patches and improvements.
It also helps that enough time has passed that more people could get their hands on more powerful consoles that can run the game better than their old-gen rigs.
If you were originally weary of Cyberpunk 2077 because of all the bad reviews that were coming out at launch, many critics have been saying that now is the perfect time to get into Night City. Not only does it have a thoroughly extensive open world, but it also has a lot of solid world-building and lore that should keep anyone immersed for hundreds of hours.
It’s also worth noting that in October 2022, CDPR announced they were already working on a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 titled Project Orion. We don’t have many details about what’s coming to that game yet, but many fans hope they finally add that much-needed third-person view. Otherwise, what would have been the point of all the cosmetic upgrades?
As Idris Elba puts it in the All In trailer for Cyberpunk 2077, “The game is fixed.”