With Cyberpunk’s release yesterday, I decided to visit the subreddit for it and saw a lot of the same comments that I’d see on any game-specific sub when it comes out. Tons of comments about bugs and glitches, lots of comments saying they’d been lied to about mechanics/systems, and at least half a dozen threads saying “am I the only person actually having fun?” People defending the game are seen as spineless fanboys, and people criticizing it are seen as heartless haters. I’ve seen myself in both camps before, though obviously most people fall anywhere in between. Now I’m going to navigate the nuances of this as best I can, but forgive me if I miss a few things.
I think, in general, a lot of gaming criticism has legitimacy to it, but the way people go about it is usually quite toxic or outright malicious. Many AAA games coming out cost $60, but are usually unfinished in places and need a few weeks/months to get to the level of quality that fits expectations for such a price. This should be unacceptable. If you went to play with unfinished set pieces and costumes, or actors didn’t have their lines memorized and needed it to be shouted to them off stage, asking for your money back wouldn’t be unreasonable. I still remember in 2014 when Destiny, AC: Unity, and Halo MCC were practically unplayable on launch. Unfortunately that’s been the norm for the last 6 years, and while I would love to see that change, I feel like people are still shocked that the game they preordered is a buggy mess that’s lacking content on day one. It’s sad to say, but anyone who expects a game to work on day 1 is setting themselves up for disappointment.
I see people putting all the blame on developers, making demands and threats. My guess is the developers know it’s buggy and unfinished, but were pushed by the publisher to get out, and now they’re being pressured by both publisher and fans to fix everything right this second. I really feel bad for the guys who are getting shit on the second the product that they spent weeks (if not months) of crunch time on. I think most gamers who act this way don’t know how coding works. They don’t see what was left on the cutting room floor because it didn’t fit with the rest of the game, there wasn’t time to properly implement it, or it broke the game in some unforeseen way. I don’t think people realize how complicated making a good game is, and how easily making one little change could completely break something else. I see so many comments saying “just fix XYZ”, as if it doesn’t take hours of troubleshooting to make those changes.
I’m going to stop here before this gets any longer, but am I crazy for thinking people should lower their expectations when it comes to modern games? I understand that buying a $60 game can be a major purchase for some people, and don’t want to belittle people when they feel like they wasted 1/4 of their paycheck. How can we get the industry to release working games, cus clearly we haven’t in the last 5 years.
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