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Cyberpunk 2077 Game revisiting

Revisiting 14 December 2021, 17:13

author: Kristian Smoszna

Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 is Still Busted After a Year

After less than a year, I decided to revisit the last-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 to see if anything has changed. The conclusion was painful: not much or almost nothing.

The review is based on the PS4 version. It's also relevant to XONE version(s).

If I had to describe my relationship with Cyberpunk 2077 in a few words, I would have to say "it's complicated." Overall, I really like the game, as it's pretty successful in many ways. On the other hand, I still remember the enormous disappointment I felt when I first launched it on PlayStation 4. I've been waiting for years for this day, endured the delays, and cruel excitement, and after launching it, I saw a block of raw wood that no respectful developer would bee willing to show to people. You can guess that I did not really care about the devs' apologies and usual promises of making it better. Fortunately I also own a good PC, so I could take my mind off the horrible console version quickly. This erased the first impression, but there was no question of forgiveness – the distaste remained. I could not let it slip.

For a moment I considered a refund on the PS4, but eventually I decided to keep it as... A specimen. Simple curiosity won, because a year ago at this time, I was ready to bet dollars to donuts that the game was impossible to repair. Today I can say I was right, because Cyberpunk 2077 still has the consistency of guano on PlayStation 4 Pro. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. And you can trust me, too. I invested 75 hours of my life into getting platinum in the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 after a year – port collapsed – illustration # 1
There will be doors here someday.

Is it possible to repair such a disastrous port in twelve months? I can't really tell you, because I didn't develop the game, so I don't know the true scale of disaster. However, assessing the year-long efforts of CDPR to bring the PlayStation 4 version to playable condition, we can conclude that they have simply failed so far. Sure, some mistakes were solved, and it's definitely nice to see Jenkins at the beginning of the Corpo path actually holding the stack of cash in his hand without the money levitating around him. But simple glitches are nothing compared to the game's performance on th last-gen console.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 Pro stutters like hell and little has changed in this respect since 2020. Switching the camera while driving a car is a major challenge for every little bit of PS4's computing power. Only sometimes it works flawlessly, and more often switching the camera doesn't even work. Fortunately, the game saves the view we prefer and sets it as default after switching to another car. If it weren't for this simple solution, this glitch would be driving me crazy.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 after a year – port collapsed – illustration # 2
Trapped in a shapeless block.

Various lags can also be observed during other activities, e.g. when trying to change the radio station in the car. The list can pop up several seconds after input, and its appearance does not guarantee hearing any music. Believe it or not, during the entire 75 hours of gameplay, I decided to switch the radio station only once. It helped again that the game remembers our choice and sets it by default in the car that we recall all the time. Thanks to this, Royal Blue Radio, the best radio station in this production, was always playing in my car.

Both of these examples are not really new – it was the same on December 10, 2020, when the game was launched, and nothing has changed during that time either. All kinds of delays in executing various commands are most likely related to the slow disc inside the console, which – in my opinion – is the biggest problem of the PlayStation 4 port. It will be easier to explain it with examples, so I will use them again.

Imagine this situation. You select a side mission in the journal and you have to drive to the marker in another district. You get into the car and hurl at breakneck speed to save some travel time. After driving for a while, you might be very surprised to crash into an invisible car, whose textures hadn't been loaded in time. But that's nothing. Really bizarre stuff starts happening when you get out of the car and try to activate the quest. You can see the yellow marker on the building in front of you, but you cannot go inside because you are standing in front of a flat, textureless wall. You wait patiently for the console to load all the details, and after a dozen or so seconds, you can open the door.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 after a year – port collapsed – illustration # 3
Sometimes, when the building is not loaded, but we are quick enough, we can touch the Void.

Another example. I wanted to change the CPU at ripperdoc because I like hacking and I wanted to expand my possibilities. So I collected the right amount of money, used the fast travel point to land at the Kabuki market, and ran to the clinic. I know the door is always open, but again – a flat texture in front of me – so I have to wait for the game to catch up. I go to the counter, and the doc appears in front of me, trapped inside a shapeless block of low-res textures. Well, I keep waiting for the game to load the doc, allowing me to observe all the stages of this process, and when he eventually becomes himself, I can finally make the desired purchase.

And it was like that. 75 hours of torment, as PlayStation 4 Pro struggled to realize the game into a coherent picture. Overall, it varied – at times, it was pretty much playable, other times (very often, I will add) it happened as described above. I mean, we usually remember stuff that sucks better than stuff that works properly. Cars can shoot up into the air just like that, people walk around half drowned in the floor, and all the other glitch that flooded YouTube after the premiere of Cyberpunk 2077 are still there, just the same. Add frame drops, clipping textures, and occasional critical errors of the entire program, shutting it down without warning. It's not like shrugging things like that off allows for a fair assessment of thee condition of a product. And now let's consider that games should generally perform in a much more stable way on consoles, where there's a uniform system architecture, contrary to the highly-modular PC. After a year, I do not see any improvement and can only assume that the current-gen version works better, as it finally returned to PlayStation Store after a very long absence. That's theory; practice shows, however, that not much has changed here either.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 after a year – port collapsed – illustration # 4
A man with a deep throat.

You may argue that this whole article has no point, because I can play on PS5, where it's a lot better, or the PC, where it's a completely different game. I hear this argument a lot and to be honest I don't understand it at all. CDPR committed to delivering a multi-platfrom Cyberpunk 2077 long before the current-gen consoles were officially announced, and one hoped the game would perform without any problems on a PS4 or XOne, especially since the target audience there is huge even today. Everyone knew that the game would look worse than on the most powerful platforms, but graphical downgrade is the least of our problems. The thing is that it just does not work properly. Sure, you can complete the story, but it's like driving a car without tires. It was bad and bad it remains – after a year of patching efforts, I have little doubt that nothing will change with the next-gen release. No one should pity this junk, though it would be nice if I was wrong.

All in all, I still do not recommend playing it. Of course, I am aware that many players (like me) finished the game, maybe even maxed it out, and some of them maintain they had no problems at all (I don't buy it). I heard this argument recently from a good buddy of mine, who exhibited even more perseverance and actually completed the platinum achievement on PS4. Possible? Sure, I remember playing FPS games in 15 frames per second as a kid. Whatever floats your boat.

Kristian Smoszna | Gamepressure.com

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