20 years of CDPR: former problem child Cyberpunk 2077 in the post-test with 40 CPU and 22 GPU benchmarks

20 years of CDPR: former problem child Cyberpunk 2077 in the post-test with 40 CPU and 22 GPU benchmarks

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the best open-world RPGs, but it just didn’t live up to the hype. From great hope and hearts of players filled with optimism to a warning to buy the PS4 version, the development of the new game from the creators of the Witcher was an unparalleled roller coaster ride. Nevertheless, the title received numerous awards and prizes, including the special prize for graphics and innovation, best role-playing game and Best of Gamescom. CD Projekt Red is still working continuously on extensions and updates. We recall the development, try to get to the bottom of the background to deception and the crunch of CD Projekt Red together and deliver 37 graphics card and 40 CPU benchmarks including ray tracing benchmarks of the current version 1.52 most extensive technology analysis that has ever existed at PCGH.

Cyberpunk 2077: The Evolution

What a hell of a ride – that’s how you could summarize the story of Cyberpunk 2077. It all started so well. Fast forward to 2012: CD Projekt Red had just finished developing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine and was able to focus on a new project: Cyberpunk 2077. After the success of The Witcher 3, confidence in the own skills more than available and even the Polish government initially funded CD Projekt Red with seven million US dollars, which the Poles used to create the Red Engine 4. The game was announced in May 2012, apparently in order to generate as much hype as possible until the release. It doesn’t sound bad at first when the “makers of Witcher 3” announce a new, big action role-playing game. The first teaser trailer of Cyberpunk 2077 was released in January 2013. The scenes don’t have much in common with the finished game, but you can already see at this early stage where the journey is going. Initially, one thing was clear: Cyberpunk 2077 should appear with a multiplayer mode, but the further development progressed, the more features had to be deleted. These include options for customizing vehicles, buying different apartments, the robot “Flathead” as a companion for the character or wall running. At least some content was subsequently submitted via update.

Cyberpunk 2077 | One year after release – we draw a new conclusion

Real scenes from the game were then seen at E3 in 2018. This trailer went down in history and has over 22 million views as of today. It shows the main characters, in-game graphics and the soundtrack. At the same time, CD Projekt Red opened a new development studio in Wrocław. Until recently, 530 developers have worked on Cyberpunk 2077 – it is the largest and, at $263 million in development costs, the most expensive project the studio has ever produced. At E3 2019, the Poles then fueled the hype again. A cinematic trailer for the game saw Johnny Silverhand, played by Keanu Reeves, for the first time. Shortly thereafter, he personally took the stage, introduced the game and presented the release date. One fan’s phrase “you’re breathtaking” and Reeves’ response to it enjoys cult status today.

The shifts and the crunch

Cyberpunk 2077 has been postponed several times, first to September 2020, then November, and finally December 10, 2020. The last postponement was met with such a violent response from fans that the developers have received death threats. By this point at the latest, even the most loyal fan should have realized that things are brewing at CD Projekt, and violently at that. This culminated in the catastrophic performance of the PS4 and Xbox One versions, especially because CDPR’s CEO spoke of “surprisingly good performance” beforehand. Reports around the world then focused on the “chaos behind the scenes”. The New York Times put it well in an article about it: “Office rumors spreading on Discord servers, misleading deadlines set by managers, disputes among company executives, and incompetence and poor planning leading to unnecessary ‘crunch’. […] Long-term employees left the company as a result of the overload. Owners treat the company as a money-making machine and see employees not as people but rather as data on a spreadsheet,” a former employee wrote on the site.

Cyberpunk 2077: Tech test after next-gen update in the video

That is significant and unfortunately one has to say that it is not unusual in the industry. Sales of the PS4 digital version were halted shortly after launch in response to the poor quality, numerous bugs and the state of the game. It was technically better on the PC, but a lot seemed unfinished; the performance was sometimes good, sometimes not, and in general you got the impression that the developers would have been better off working on the title for another year before releasing it to the general public.

Only patch 1.5 brought noticeable improvement

And how does it look today, around 1.5 years after the launch? Steam says “mostly positive,” which means 76 percent approval from around 430,000 reviews. The biggest patch for the game, version 1.5, is the next-gen update for current consoles and adds ray tracing options for those. In addition, numerous bugs have been eliminated. CDPR has added another hotfix, but there are probably still bugs and problems with certain quests. Of course, due to time constraints, we can’t play through the entire game again, but we can report that we found few or no bugs in the current version. The game is so big that everyone experiences Night City differently, so it’s difficult to draw a general conclusion. We refer to performance in the coming pages.