Cyberpunk 2077 launched this week, but if you’re stuck playing the game on the original Xbox or PS4, what you’ve seen in trailers doesn’t exactly reflect the game you’ll get if you pull the trigger.
It’s a given that games sometimes have to adjust their visuals as they near release, in order to hit performance targets. Sometimes this can have a modest impact on final image quality, but the difference is rarely huge. In this case, the difference is enormous. As the clip below shows, playing the game on Xbox One or PS4 doesn’t just lower detail levels or simplify lighting — it looks like an entirely different, vastly uglier game.
Welcome… to #Cyberpunk2077 on PS4 fat / XBO ! pic.twitter.com/77BSmEuw6y
— Legolas (@Legolas) December 9, 2020
The heavy blurring and general lack of that you see isn’t just an artifact of a poor-quality video encode. Kotaku posted some comparison shots between the Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
The first thing you notice is how overwhelmingly blurry everything is. The game runs at 720p or 900p on PS4 according to DF, but you can’t tell that based on these screenshots or the uploaded video. Texture pop-in is an annoying reality of certain titles, but users are reporting it can take as long as 20 seconds for textures to load.
Cyberpunk 2077 is, supposedly, a last-gen console game. The shading and models are so primitive in the video above, it looks like a rejected video for FFVII’s intro (minus the intermittent Sad Harmonica).
According to various online sources, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions are also far buggier than the more recent code, with PS4 characters often stuck T-posing. You can talk to them, according to Eurogamer, but their mouths won’t move. At least this doesn’t crash the game — Polygon reports a number of crashes, freezes, and frame rates regularly falling to 20 on the PS4.
Imagine defending this. Cyberpunk 2077 is a terrible game. Base PS4 footage. pic.twitter.com/uHTmMACi3R
— Michael Does Life (@MichaelDoesLife) December 9, 2020
This isn’t just some fanboys whining that a game looks bad on the console generation it was supposed to launch for. In places, Cyberpunk 2077 could charitably be said to look like an OG Xbox or PS2 game. The truly shocking thing is that the game’s launch was held back by three weeks so that CD Projekt Red could finish “polishing” the game for last-gen consoles. Whatever they had last month, it was apparently much worse than this.
The gap between the visuals people are getting on the Xbox/PS4 and the game as it was sold to people are big enough for this to potentially qualify as false advertising. Combined with the extremely rough state of the title, it’s obvious CD Projekt Red had no business launching this game on last-gen platforms yet.
This makes no sense. Cyberpunk 2077 was announced in 2012. The PS4 and Xbox One versions ought to be well-suited to the title. They were supposed to be a key platform for the game, and CDPR would have theoretically been testing their builds on both consoles as well as PC. Given how few people own Xbox Series Xs or PS5s right now, the overwhelming majority of console players who buy CP2077 are going to be playing it on what is now last-gen hardware, and the last-gen hardware experience is so abysmally bad, it’s going to overhang impressions of the game.
The state of the title raises questions about what the heck CDPR has been doing with its time, and why it would ever believe this was an acceptable launch vehicle for a game. Kotaku notes that the current state of the game is enough to recommend against trying to play it on either of these two consoles. The game is buggy enough to be unplayable and there seems to be some sort of vaseline permanently applied to the camera.
Oh — and your character’s genitalia, if you choose to equip them with such, will occasionally clip through their clothing. This has no impact on how the game plays out, but it brings a new meaning to the term “data breach.”
There have been reports of bugs and issues on PC as well, but nothing like the console versions.