When Cyberpunk 2077 came out in December 2020, it was a tragic disappointment. The rushed holiday release was a gamble from high level executives who would never accept the chance to miss on the last Christmas where the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. To say this completely blew up in CD Projekt Red’s face, would be an understatement. Now the game is on next-gen consoles alongside a huge update, so we did a Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen port report.
CD Projekt Red’s consumer-friendly image tarnished and coping with the global hysteria of 2021, the Polish developer still promised to address the issues that plagued the experience. Even after Cyberpunk 2077 was removed from digital storefronts and refunds were given, there were still class action lawsuits levied at the publisher.
Fixes would range big and small, but there was always no hope for cut features like wall-running or the multiplayer mode. Since its release, gamers expect the current gen version to fix the issues. Can the much higher specs and extra development time save Cybperpunk 2077? Find out in the Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen port report for PlayStation 5!
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: CD Projekt Red
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (reviewed), Xbox One, Google Stadia, Xbox Series X|S
Release Date: December 10, 2020 (Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia), February 15, 2022 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S)
Cyberpunk 2077 was unquestionably a very ambitious project. It targeted console specs from 2012 and it aimed to realize a highly detailed, densely populated city and promised vast customization options, drivable vehicles, as well as tons of side content.
Cyberpunk 2077 promised all this and more and it tried to achieve it while also delivering the most cutting edge graphics technology. Night City was and still is one of the most densely designed settings ever realized. The amount of granular detail packed into the environment is still unmatched.
Everywhere the player can look, there is always something to see. It was not perfect; it was not too hard to eventually come across the inevitable recycled asset or copy-pasted area. Yet the illusion rarely broke and the gaud and often bleak depiction of 2077 always felt palpable.
Our initial Cyberpunk 2077 review had misgivings over the numerous technical issues and broken features, but the art and attention to detail was no among them. For a PlayStation 4 game, Cyberpunk 2077 looked exceptional- for a PlayStation 5 game; it won’t impress. It is certainly not an ugly game, just do not expect anything like Returnal or the Demon Souls remake.
Surfaces of materials are finer and reflective lighting appears so much more naturally. When things explode; slick or wet surfaces catch reflections of the glowing flames beautifully. Depth of field effects are more subtle and don’t have any unsightly banding around edges.
Sadly the ray tracing mode is not as full featured as one might hoped on PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series machines. V or other characters won’t appear on reflective surfaces and the effect seems to only be applied to shadows. This does help make characters feel much more grounded into their environment than on last gen machines.
The visuals are improved, but they are not a huge leap. The real reason why anyone would want to play Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, is for the improved stability. The overall presentation and polish is much more refined than it was when it released in its initial buggy state.
There are much fewer instances of bizarre glitches or soft locks through out the experience. V’s hair wont vanish and his genitalia won’t vanish. NPCs don’t clip into each other or get stuck in crucial doorways preventing progress and thankfully; crafting items won’t corrupt save data.
Cyberpunk 2077 went from being nigh unplayable to merely an average urban sandbox action game. It finally is functional and does not throw up all over itself… for the most part. While it is the most polished it has ever been, it still needs work.
Regretfully, even on PlayStation 5; Cyberpunk 2077 is still prone to crashes and freezing. On average, during the Cyberpunk 2077 port report process; there was a crash or lock-up every two and a half hours. This occurrence happened almost every session and there was no discernable reason.
Lock-ups happened while driving at high speeds through dense traffic or while slowly walking around in an enclosed corridor. Thankfully, the generous autosaving prevented large chunks of progress loss, but the tedious act of having to restart the application never failed to disappoint.
One of the saving graces of the PlayStation 5 port of Cyberpunk 2077 is the SSD and the fast load times. Data streams much faster and when the game crashes, the load times to get back into Night City is much faster; clocking in at around ten seconds.
Other instances of quick data streaming can be seen in comparing how low resolution textures or low level detailed models never pop up while playing. There may be a blink and you’ll miss instance of V’s hair loading when quickly going to the inventory screen, but generally it almost never happens like it did at launch.
The crowds of NPCs were utterly anemic and sparse in the initial release in 2020 and the few NPCs that did load resembled haggard clay effigies molded by a handicapped child. With version 1.5 and running the PlayStation 5 build, Night City citizens are plentiful and fully modeled as they were intended to be seen.
Crowd behavior has also been modified in this latest build. NPCs are capable of more than crouching and cowering when players start getting violent and sometimes will join in the brawl. Disappointingly, the NCPD still defies laws of space and time and can still unrealistically spawn way too close and suddenly after committing a few stealthy crimes.
Combat still feels like it was from the seventh console generation. Controls have a slight stiffness to them, but the 60 frames per second helps alleviate some of the weightiness. The high frame rate on PlayStation 5’s performance mode is not perfect; it can drop in some moments, but will stay steady for the most of the time.
The most refined aspect of Cyberpunk 2077‘s controls is the driving. It is not quite as deep as Grand Theft Auto IV or V‘s, but the overall responsiveness and control is much tighter. Pulling off drifts or gaining ridiculous air-time like in The Blues Brothers is not going to happen.
Cyberpunk 2077 has come a long way and is a much better experience than it was when it was first reviewed. It no longer throws up all over itself, but it still has ways to go if it can hope to match the sleek and dazzling polish seen in Dying Light 2: Stay Human. Cyberpunk 2077 still may not be at the standard gamers hoped, but it is finally in a state where it can be recommended.