This article was originally sent to Eurogamer supporters as part of the Eurogamer Essentials newsletter sent to all members every Friday. If you want to know how to become a Eurogamer fan, you can learn more here.
If there’s anything this fascinating it’s the incubation of a triple-A game, something exposed in spectacular fashion last weekend by the GTA 6 drama, with leaks that took the shine off and exposed the wheels and gears (as well as the ignorance of how exactly video games are made—something we could all do a better job of educating one another on—is the afterlife of a modern blockbuster. Even better when it’s one as ridiculed as Cyberpunk 2077 was upon its release.
Why exactly was CD Projekt’s sci-fi spectacular the subject of so much anger when it was released in late 2020? there was some righteous anger at the lousy working conditions in which Cyberpunk 2077 was made at times, an overblown cycle that even the most successful games would bend over, a more than messy launch as it uncomfortably straddled two generations of hardware and, ultimately, a good old-fashioned heap that obscured everything else. There is seldom room for nuance in internet discourse, and the noise surrounding the release of Cyberpunk 2077 is perfect proof of that.
Apologies for blowing our own trumpet, but I was and still am immensely proud of Chris Tapsell’s review for us, which managed to draw a line between all that chaos, drawing a great deal of anger for putting a Recommended badge on a game considered to be a an affront to so many Games are vast and complex things, powered by moving parts that most of us would have a hard time understanding; the results are often spotty, but it’s also possible for a game to be broken and brilliant at the same time. Maybe that’s why my hipster loves them so much.
I remember playing Cyberpunk 2077 at launch, on an Xbox Series X I should say, so I had one of the best experiences possible at the time, other than having a hyper PC platform, and almost felt guilty for enjoying it so much. . The game that was being furiously discussed on the Twitter feed I was checking when I got bored of a cutscene (I’m not very good at cutscenes, I’m afraid) was a far cry from the dense, richly drawn dystopia it was. succumbed to Even through the stutters and missing textures, it was clear that CD Projekt had created an exceptional world.
It has its issues, and even now, after the Edgerunners update has fixed things further, many of them remain; this is a story-based game rather than a system-based one, and as a result, the systems are often confusing. As an open world game, a sandbox that you can push and pull to discover the delicious consequences, Cyberpunk 2077 fails. His story isn’t particularly coherent either, but that hardly matters when it’s told with careful tone and exquisite excess. It may not work as an open world game, but as a world to inhabit it is an absolute triumph.
What a thrill, then, to return to Night City, something that remains an imposing achievement despite all the noise that once surrounded it. Cyberpunk 2077 is now being enjoyed by millions, and I kind of envy those who are taking their first steps into this austere and amazing sci-fi world now that it doesn’t fall apart so often. I envy them all the more for being able to enjoy this brilliant game away from the discourse that once threatened to define it.