That turned out kinda funny, didn’t it? The release of Cyberpunk 2077? That ended up being one of the biggest, hottest dumpster fires of all time. One for the books, truly. Did anyone else have a weird feeling leading up to release? Was it just me? Am I a cynic? I mean, yes, I’m a cynic, but wasn’t there a tinge to the air? Something almost imperceptible, but poisonous and just so. The way I imagine the first invisible breath of carbon monoxide.
Don’t get me wrong. I had high hopes for this one. I’m a sucker for any reasonably well-executed cyberpunk something or other. It honestly doesn’t even need to be that good. Like Blade Runner 2049… Oh, hold on, is that a thing? Science-fiction pop-art title with the year in it? A year that by 2021 is way too soon to fulfill any android fantasy? Why does that feel so fucking cool to me? What I am getting at is that my barrier of entry is markedly low about this flavor of media. I’ll consume anything just above par, just shy of trash. Neon lights, shaved heads, bisexual lighting, suicide door cars, RGB katanas, and so on.
So I really mean it when I say that Cyberpunk 2077 came out like hot garbage. That anyone is defending this mess is beyond me. Actually, I envy you.
You Are (Not) the Father
My father loves food. Food is his favorite. And when something is your favorite, there are two ways you enjoy it: you either can only have the best version of it, or you can have any quality of it and be happy. My father falls under the latter category. Whether you hand him a bar of single-origin 74% dark chocolate from Madagascar or a Vons chocolate chip cookie, he’ll smile just the same. His eyes glimmer the same, his cheeks rise the same, his satisfaction is the same. Forehead relaxed, brows easy and even, pupils dilated, lips wet.
That is how I imagine the people enjoying Cyberpunk 2077. You’re my dad and we are going to have a complicated relationship of pushes and pulls for the rest of our life together. And yet I really do envy you. Me, I want that good good. I have little tolerance for less-than-decent, and I am completely miserable. I cannot freely appreciate simple, mass-produced, underperforming fluff. But you can, Dad. I envy you and I hate you and I love you and I am destined to rebel against you and unseat you as lord. I must kill the father.
How can you like this game? Honestly! It is one of the most incomplete pieces of internationally distributed media I have ever experienced in my entire life. It makes the release of Fallout: New Vegas look like a crystal glass of highly refined bourbon. This game was put out right in the middle of its development cycle, and we are finding out just about as much to be factually true. And it’s not just the bugs. It’s not even the fact that the game cannot run on current gen consoles– and, by the way, what did they expect to happen when they shipped this product? We wouldn’t notice? It’d just blow over? WHOOPS WE SOLD YOU AN UNPLAYABLE HEAP OF SMUDGEY POLYGONS AT FULL RETAIL PRICE HAHA FUNNY. It’s completely unacceptable, Dad. We deserve– you deserve to be treated better. It’s goddamn outrageous.
Octodad Gets a Reference, Too
What we got does not resemble anywhere near what gaming outlets previewed half a year before launch. What they describe, along with the promises we were sold that turned out to be fabrications, all sounded like the makings of a masterpiece. Imagine it, Dad. You choose a backstory template that will already affect your narrative from beginning to end. Over 1,000 NPCs that all have their own daily lives. Every choice you make has repercussions that unfold like a butterfly effect throughout the campaign. Also, water that splashes, textures that are not missing, objects that are not missing, a shadow that is not Octodad. What a dream to have. Remember how low my standards are for this genre? Oh, God, the oily mess I’d be about this game. I’d have sweat in my hair and down my neck. I’d produce milk naturally.
It’s not okay, Dad. It’s downright inexcusable for them to treat us this way. For you to allow them to treat you this way. Cyberpunk 2077 was an act of deceit sold to you by misleading marketing techniques, media manipulations, and outright lies on the part of CD Projekt Red’s upper management. Cyberpunk 2077 is an inevitability in an industry that is growing too quickly and too ambitiously to keep up with rocket-fueled technological advancements and consumer demand for huge, bustling AAA gaming experiences. Cyberpunk 2077 is late-stage capitalism embodied by a meaninglessness wrapped in an ultra-cool glow-stick mohawk submachine-gun cyber-katana facade.
This is no way to be treated as a Human in This Life, Dad. You are treated as a subhuman to shareholders, business suits. Vons cookies aren’t really good, they just pour in the sugar to make up for the lack of substance. What you’ve been sold barely even qualifies as a cookie. The parts which make it a cookie are so poor in quality and barely even there that what you’re left with is something which is more an effigy of a cookie than an actual cookie itself. It’s a corporate imitation of an impression of a remembrance of something much finer: a Real-Life Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Just Go Play Ghostrunner
Am I crazy? It’s awful, isn’t it? The cookie has that weird taste to it. It’s missing something. Sincerity. You really mean to tell me you’re enjoying this as much as Ghostrunner? Ghostrunner tastes so, so good. It’s small batch, single-origin. Yes, it’s a one trick pony. However, I’d say it’s uncomplicated. It has very few ingredients. But those few ingredients are fucking delicious. It doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. It’s just a tight, fun, fast-paced, pulpy bar of cyberpunk chocolate. I don’t see any false claims of ever-evolving experiences directly resulting from my tiny decisions. Ghostrunner says *slashing-dashing-running-jumping-fast-robot-man* and it’s my favorite song. Or bar of chocolate or whatever.
I’m falling apart about it. The promise of Cyberpunk 2077 was set up to be my dream. It only needed to do everything it said it would moderately well. And, well, have finished its development. All I received was a tapestry of lies that was so easily unraveled upon first boot up.
Am I talking really loud? Believe me, I’m trying to wrap it up. CD Projekt Red is Vons. Cyberpunk 2077 is a cheap cookie with a ton of underbaked empty filler. Ghostrunner is good chocolate and better worth your time and money and I’m sorry about the kind of son I’ve been to you. I’m trying hard to make up for lost time. I know you are too, I see that and I appreciate you. I love you, Dad. With my whole heart, with my blood, I love you.