It's review day for Cyberpunk 2077, and one of the early points of consensus among major outlets is that the game is buggy. Just how much those bugs get in the way of the experience is in the eye of the bug-holder, however.
Our own Cyberpunk 2077 review outlines a dazzling futuristic world interrupted by immersion-busting scripting errors, broken elevators, and audio glitches, issues we continued to see even after CD Projekt provided a 50GB "Day 0 patch." CD Projekt clarified with us today that this update included "some but not all of the patch and fixes people will experience when the game launches," so an unknown amount of additional fixes are seemingly on the way. There's no doubt that CD Projekt will continue to patch the game after release, as reflected in our verdict.
Unfortunately we can't show you our gameplay footage yet, as like the rest of the reviewers we agreed to hold footage until release day later this week, but we are including some screenshots of what we experienced in this article, though they don't convey some of these issues as well as video will.
For those of you wondering whether and when to jump into Cyberpunk 2077, here are some expanded comments on what we've encountered, bugs-wise:
Andy Kelly, section editor
There's no denying it: Cyberpunk 2077 is buggy as hell. In my time with the game I've experienced an abundance of gitchy strangeness, including cars melting into the freeway, characters stuck in T-poses, and so, so many floating cigarettes. Pretty much any time someone lights up, they leave one floating in space behind them. Litterbugs.
It's never been enough to stop me playing the game. I'm still having a great time in Night City, and will continue to. But it is distracting, and it does ruin some dramatic moments. I've had characters' mouths freeze in cutscenes and their animations just completely fail, making them slide around like shop mannequins on wheels. I've seen cars exploding for no reason or hovering slightly above the tarmac. One time V just phased through the ground and died, and I had to redo a pretty long action sequence.
People clip through stuff all the time. Notifications are constantly getting stuck on the UI, forcing me to save and reload to get rid of them. Once I got stuck in a braindance and couldn't exit, meaning I had to do it all over again. There's more, but they've all congealed into one incomprehensible mass in my head now. I like Cyberpunk 2077 a lot, but there's no getting away from the fact that it's currently a bugfest.
James Davenport, features producer (& reviewer)
This list is far from comprehensive, but hits on the most common bugs I ran into over 50 hours of play. The bugs are separated based on whether they were temporary audiovisual aberrations that just annoyed and distracted me throughout, or problems that forced me to reload a save, quit to the main menu, or quit to the desktop to fix. Something went awry in every single side and story mission and at such a regular clip that I can't imagine they'll get stamped entirely stamped out at launch. I hope to be wrong.
Here's a condensed list of the issues I saw that I'd call "game-breaking":
- Various NPC scripting errors, waiting for a character to initiate dialogue, move to a new location, etc. in order for the mission to progress
- UI elements don't disappear without quitting to main menu, eg weapon crosshairs, item pickup notifications, bespoke UI elements from braindance sequences
- Unable sprint or jump without loading last save
- Stuck on geometry mid-mission, can't climb out and forced to reload last save
- Elevator UI not loading
- Elevator door not opening
- Enemies spawning within solid objects and behind impassable surfaces, forcing a reload
- FOV stuck at zoom level after some cutscenes, forcing a reload
- Unable to change weapons in inventory without reloading previous save
- Children spawning in front of a shooting gallery cowering and screaming and also making it impossible to partake in the shooting gallery—V automatically lifts their gun around kids
And the non-critical issues I saw:
- Cars spawning in the path of/space occupied by player and NPC driven vehicles
- Scanner filter stuck on during cutscene
- Characters walking through solid elevator doors
- Characters losing pose - sitting in a chair then snapping to a standing position, often intersecting with chairs and nearby surfaces
- Objects not loading in - invisible guitars, floating streetlights, invisible characters (guy with his arm wrapped around nothing)
- Cars screeching throughout the entire length of a drive as passenger w/NPCs
- Relic error sound effect looping until reloading last save
- Dialogue timing errors - characters talking over each other or repeating lines while prior line still finishing
- Weird physics bugs - being punted 100 yards after brushing up against an NPC.
- Physics objects behaving erratically - a cart three times the size of a child hooked on their leg as they walk around dragging it behind them, floating NPCs, cars
- Odd object duplication - A cigarette floating in front of my face while Johnny Silverhand smokes another during a cutscene
- NPC vehicle pathing errors - Cars following a route perpetually leading them through a solid surface
- Distant surfaces flickering, most often large ads and skyscrapers
- Vehicles getting stuck on flat surfaces, like their wheels are clipping inches below the ground
- Long pauses and hitching while loading next scene in quests
- Buggy cloth physics on NPC in cutscene, a robe intersecting with body and billowing upward
- After failing an action sequence and reloading, I spawned in the drivers seat where Panam was sitting and stared at the back of her eyeballs and tongue through the trip
- Sometimes while driving V enters a T-pose and clips through the vehicle's roof, flickering between fully dressed and nude (no arms)
What other reviewers have said so far about bugs:
GameSpot, by Kallie Plagge: "The technical problems not only took me out of the game literally but also led me to question whether certain things throughout the game were intentional. It often took me a moment or two to determine whether a visual glitch was supposed to be happening due to V's cyberware, which is a major part of the story, or if I needed to reload the game … I also found some exploration sequences frustrating because it was incredibly hard to tell if I was just missing the clue I was supposed to find or if it hadn't popped up at all, and I ended up leaving areas and coming back later on multiple occasions out of confusion and frustration. At least once, I didn't get a dialogue hint indicating what to do until I left the area and came back. I was playing on a gaming laptop well above the minimum specs announced for Cyberpunk 2077, while another GameSpot player experienced the same severity and frequency of bugs."
Eurogamer, by Chris Tapsell (unfinalized review): "...bugs: unfortunately there are a lot of them, at the time of writing. Most egregious is this animation bug that's plagued my time with the game, undermining some weighty scenes, but there are plenty more. There's a launch day patch coming so hopefully they're ironed out."
Game Informer, by Andrew Reiner: "Not since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have I played a game that is riddled with so many graphical bugs at launch. The danger of entering a seedy bar loses its bite when one of its patrons stands motionless in a T-pose. A high-speed motorcycle chase down a highway is far less intense than it should be when an NPC biker shakes so much he looks like a blur. Little visual hitches in the environment and characters occur frequently, and they’re jarring, but I rarely ran into anything that affected gameplay. The only major issues I experienced were I could no longer look down the sight of my guns during one mission – reloading my save fixed the issue. I also had a digitized visual effect remain after a cutscene. Again, I had to reload and replay a sequence to get the proper outcome. Regardless, the frequency of the odd visual moments hurts immersion, and can outright ruin a suspenseful moment."
Ars Technica, by Kyle Orland: "I've run into plenty of glitches that break the immersion of Night City, too. Non-hostile characters will stand motionless in midair, stuck in a ridiculous T-pose, or pace back and forth in tight corridors for no reason. People phase in and out of existence before my eyes. A crowded table at a club will feature one drink hovering in the hands of an invisible patron. The problems go beyond animation and AI errors. Sometimes I'd get an in-game phone call in the middle of an in-person conversation, and I'd end up watching as V tried to carry on both conversations at the same time. Other times I'd be in the middle of combat when I managed to trip the trigger for the next story element, leading my AI partner to calmly talk to me about next steps while we were still under heavy fire."
VICE Games, by Rob Zacny: "Supposedly many of these technical issues I encountered on PC—I cannot speak to console performance—will be solved with a 'day one' patch, but the build I played was in a shocking state, and when you consider that the developer admitted back in January of 2020 that they would need to start extending workers' hours, the ubiquity of bugs and glitches testify to Cyberpunk 2077's troubled and ongoing development. After five years in development, almost a decade since the project was announced, and multiple delays (including a last minute retreat from its original fall release date), Cyberpunk 2077 still arrives as a game that feels like it is being held together with duct tape."
GamesRadar, by Sam Loveridge: "The only bugs I've encountered to date have mostly been visual - like missing vehicles, floating weapons, or random stuck menu bars - and have been easily fixed with a quick save and reload. Plus, all of which have been promised to be patched out with the Day One patch that's yet to drop."
Gamesbeat, by Jeff Grubb: "But the game is also undeniably buggy. I have a high tolerance for occasional funny glitches. I have high expectations, but getting a simulation of a world to behave is too high even for me. But in my time with Cyberpunk, I saw objects float, vehicles disappear, and characters drive while standing up. Also, sorting items doesn’t work properly, and I couldn’t get the context-sensitive stealth takedown to activate after dropping behind a certain enemy. The problem when a game has so many bugs is that it begins to compromise your belief in the world. If I expect something to happen and it doesn’t, was it because I was wrong about how the world would react or did a bug prevent it from happening? That’s where Cyberpunk 2077 is at as it launches."
IGN, by Tom Marks: "...the issues I’ve encountered were extremely frequent and distracting … it was the routinely messed up animations, missing models, and glitchy dialogue that really got to me. 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. I’d frequently get phone calls in the middle of other conversations, causing two simultaneous discussions to overlap. I’ve had to sit through drives with my camera distractingly bobbing like I was in a run animation, and seen enemies (or even my own shadow on a wall) stuck in T-poses. And in the few important story moments you do get to see your own character model, I rarely had hair for some reason. Again, none of this stopped me from completing any significant quest (though I did have to reload saves in smaller missions a couple times due to bugs hindering progress) or from loving the stories being told, but it was still ridiculous and distracting, dampening a few moments that would otherwise have been powerful."