Starring Keanu Reeves and hyped to the heavens, Projekt Red’s dystopian but glitchy romp has been pulled from sale. What went wrong?
Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most-anticipated video games of the year was released last week. A dystopian romp around a Blade Runner-inspired city, it had all the ingredients for a perfect storm of hype: it’s been nearly a decade in the making; its creator, Warsaw’s CD Projekt Red, was behind one of the greatest games of the last decade (The Witcher 3 – think Game of Thrones but grimier); it stars Keanu Reeves, who is as popular with gamers as he is with everybody else. Eight million people had pre-ordered and paid for the game before it came out. But since 10 December, it’s all gone horribly wrong.
On launch day, the reviews were good – great, even. Many critics praised the fictional Night City’s realism, its striking skyscraping architecture and grubby alleys; they loved the invigorating gunplay, ballsy characters and neon swagger. Some expressed reservations about the game’s rather adolescent tone and its eagerness to objectify women’s bodies – neither of which were a surprise to anyone who’d been keeping an eye on the game’s marketing.