The Critical and Sales Reception of Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 Female

Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most highly-anticipated games of the year. To the point where the delay of the game, unfortunately, resulted in people sending death threats to the development team. Since the game has been released, a flurry of reviews and sales figures have come out about this action RPG from CD Projekt.

The Incredible Sales Pre- and Post-Release

Boasting some amazing numbers, the Management Board of CD Projekt sent a report to investors prior to the game’s launch, saying that even before its release, thanks to pre-order sales across platforms and estimated licensing royalties, the game made back its development and marketing costs.

Business Insider’s Ben Gilbert gives us more exact numbers. He said that before launch, Cyberpunk sold over eight million copies, which for $60 per game means almost $500 million in pre-order sales. The numbers keep adding up, Gilbert says, with “over 1 million concurrent viewers on Twitch on Wednesday evening, and over 1 million concurrent players on Steam on Thursday morning.” The Steam numbers are particularly incredible, Miller notes, because Cyberpunk 2077 is the first”the first single-player game to take the number one spot on the [Steam] charts in years.”

But while all these viewers and players may add up in dollar signs, how much have they been enjoying the experience?

The Critical Reception

Cyberpunk 2077 Male Character and Keanu Reeves

There have been mixed reviews for Cybperbunk 2077. On Metacritic, the game currently has a 90 based on 53 critic reviews. However, the same site lists a user score of 6.5 based on 8136 ratings. David Thier on Forbes calls this “‘review-bombing” and says despite the impressive Metacritic score for PC before launch, “After launch, the narrative has shifted: not only does the game have issues on lower-spec PCs, it’s an absolute disaster on consoles, particularly on the Xbox One and PS4.” Let’s break down a few critic and user reviews.

Some Critic Reviews

The critic reviews appear to be largely positive, especially in comparison to user reviews, but a general running theme is pointing out the detrimental effect of the bugs in the game. According to Jordan Oloman on TechRadar, “Cyberpunk 2077 is an ambitious and deeply enjoyable RPG that evokes comforting comparisons to the good old days of Fallout and Deus Ex.” Some cons are noted, however, including “Some half-baked mechanics,” “Lots of unfortunate glitches,” and that “The narrative feels compromised.”

IGN, who picked this game as an “Editor’s Choice,” rated the game as a 9, but Tom Marks did not hesitate to point out the bugs in the game as well. Playing the game on PC with a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, he says “the issues I’ve encountered were extremely frequent and distracting” and that “I’ve had important or emotional conversations undermined by the characters I was talking to glitching between incorrect poses, or the objects they were holding and referencing not load in at all.” However, despite the bugs, Marks still praises the game as “a truly remarkable RPG.”

Some User Reviews

Turning to some of the user reviews on Metacritic in particular, there are some users giving the game a perfect score. Kraigmelson says “The characters are life-like, the story is mind-blowing, and I really enjoy the driving!” Sergeymilan adds that this is game of the year, a “Masterpiece storyline and gameplay.” ORIFLEN takes a different approach, addressing the negative reviews: “to all the people who are trashing the game you realize if this was a Bethesda game you would be loving [it] right now and laughing about the bugs….”

What about the negative user reviews? There are plenty of users on MetaCritic upset with the game. decano calls Cyberpunk 2077 “an unfinished game and a scam for consumers.” Thedude94 adds: “It’s not just incredibly underwhelming, its straight up bad. The game world is lifeless, NPCs have ps2 era AI, combat is clunky and honestly not even fun. The game is wide as an ocean and deep as a puddle.”

Do you think as more time passes the Metacritic score or user reviews will get higher or lower? What do you think about the content of the current reviews and what has been your experience so far with Cyberpunk 2077? Was it worth the wait or do more bugs need to be squashed before you can enjoy this long-awaited experience?

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By Nicole D'Andria

Nicole D'Andria works as a freelance writer/editor specializing in comics. She adapted Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir to comics and writes her own ongoing comic book series, Road Trip to Hell. She works as a freelance comic editor on Tapas Media. Nicole's freelance clients include Action Lab (2015-2020, Submissions Editor/Marketing Director) and scholarly journals such as Clio's Psyche and JASPER. She writes a series of interviews showcasing Kickstarter creators for Comic Frontline and pop culture lists for CBR.