'Do the Ratings Make a Game?' ~ by AJ Forrisi
How long would you be willing to wait for a good game? Would you be willing to wait years for a quality game to come out from a company that has already proved themselves at being able to release high quality games? Seldom does a game get pushed back so often, and when it does, it’s never to just leave you hanging on the ropes. They’re improving every aspect of it. You’ve probably figured out that I’m talking about CD Projekt Red’s most recent release in Cyberpunk 2077.
The game was originally supposed to be released back in April, but was then pushed back to September, then again to November, and then finally to December 10th. CDPR consistently had press releases about their pushbacks, claiming that they knew the game simply wasn’t ready. There were many glitches and bugs that needed to be patched. They wanted to make sure that they were releasing a game as vast and as impressive as their 2015 success in The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. With all of the marketing and hype around the game, even employing Hollywood icon Keanu Reeves, this game was prepped to be the greatest game to be released since Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption II. And now that it’s finally been released, is it living up to what it was marketed to be?
The answer has been a resounding no.
While players are lining up angry to tweet and voice their distaste in the game, video game reviewers are giving the game high praise. GamesRadar+ even went as far giving it a perfect 100. Other reviewers have followed suite to give the game high praise and honors. Cyberpunk has received reviews in the high 80s, mid 90s, and even as stated 100. And this has angered a good handful in the gaming community. It’s even brought some older games back into the conversation. And this is what caught my attention. Days Gone has entered the chat.
In my bio, it lists my favorite games, one of them being the 2018 Bend Studio release of Days Gone. Given the current state of the world, Days Gone was the perfect game to play while in quarantine lockdown. The game follows outlaw biker Deacon St. John and his best friend Boozer as they navigate the world in a post-apocalyptic virus inflicted world. The virus caused mutations that looked and acting similar to the Rabies virus and was claimed to have a 100% infection rating and ravaged the world. Deacon, to me, became one of my favorite characters, the one who acted as if he didn’t care about anyone and only to survive, but secretly cared about everyone he came in contact with. His only mission was to save his wife, protect Boozer, and survive. He had all the snark, sass, and charisma to make him such a loveable character for me. He’s the perfect blend of Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy and Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. Maybe that’s why I love him so much.
Sam Witwer’s voice acting definitely added extra life to his character was well. But what brought this game back into the conversation? It’s original ratings.
GamesRadar+ originally rated this game at a 70. This, for a game from a studio that really hasn’t released any AAA games in years, seemed really harsh. Other companies rated it around the same, and for mostly the same reasons. What was even worse was that in their description GamesRadar+ made it their point to say that the bugs and glitches made the game almost “unplayable” as twitter user Persona pointed out. The reviewers from GamesRadar say that the framerate drops, odd AI glitches and animation bugs “almost ruined the experience for me.” It’s understandable but to rate it so low? It’s a bit much.
But what hurt gamers was the same interpretations GamesRadar+ used for Cyberpunk. They talked about how the only glitches were “visual.” Isn’t that the same case for Days Gone? They talk about how cars were missing, weapons would float, and random menu bars would be stuck on the screen. This sounds like an almost a biased opinion favoring CDPR and Cyberpunk no? Did these glitches and bugs ruin any experience for the players? Clearly not enough. For Days Gone they referenced how bikes would go silent, or the animation would glitch out. Is that the reason to give it such a harsh rating? Absolutely not.
Days Gone is far from a perfect game. It’s a typical apocalypse game with really likable characters. As one YouTube video claimed, “Days Gone is the jack of all trades and the master of none.” Though I disagree, I can see where this review is coming from. The game is littered with different quests and only has a handful of each of them. During my playthrough, which was more of a watching, but I digress, we experienced the game crashing as we launched our bike off a cliff and into a lake, or the games animation dropping to almost PS1 quality before the game dropped off.
Do the ratings make a game? Absolutely not. It’s every user’s experience that really makes the game. Days Gone has gotten such praise from its fans that the reviews don’t make sense. The Witcher 3 started out having just as many bugs and from early player reviews it was also almost unplayable at the beginning and now its regarded as one of the best open-world hack and slash RPG video games that a lot try to base their game off of. Cyberpunk is filled with revolutionary changes, like its complete customization (and no, I’m not talking about THAT customization). According to gamers who praise the game, the game is 100% customizable. My gameplay will be completely different from yours. You can kill off any non-playable character, completely ending that storyline if you see the need to. It’s a revolutionary game for sure, it’s just struggling with release issues. What will Cyberpunk 2077 look like after several updates? Hopefully much better. For anyone on an older system.
That is one thing a lot of the gamers complaining about how “awful the game plays” how poor it looks are leaving out. They’re playing it on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro. The game is meant to be played on the new generations. The Xbox series X, PlayStation 5, and PC. These systems are made to handle the gaming power that Cyberpunk has brought forth. But as with any game that has early bug issues, they’ll be repaired. Just give the game a little time to update. Then come back with your reviews.
Cyberpunk 2077 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, and PC.
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