It was bound to happen. Cyberpunk 2077 launched to somewhat mixed reviews the other day, but still managed to rack up an excellent Metacritic score: 90, at last count. That’s for PC, however, where every reviewer played the game 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. And with little to no official reviews representing those versions of the games, user reviews are beginning to fill the void.
This isn’t quite a Warcraft: Reforged situation, which I believe still holds the record for lowest user score ever. It is, however, pretty bad: on Xbox One, the user score at the time of this writing sits at 2.3. On PS4, it’s 1.9. Even on PC, where plenty of people have likely had the experience the developer intended, the score is way down at 6.0, a far cry from the 9.0 of the critic score. There’s definitely some bleed from console anger affecting the PC score, as well.
It leaves me with an interesting problem. I think that you can definitely call this “review bombing”, a practice that can be highly problematic when people do it because they don’t like the representation or politics of a given game. And yet, in this specific instance, it seems more than reasonable, particularly considering there are no critic reviews for the PS4, and only 2 for the Xbox One—not enough to make a score by Metacritic’s standards. Without that, user reviews are the only voices on that site that are talking about just how busted the game is on last-gen consoles.
Metacritic recently changed its system so that users couldn’t write reviews until 24 hours after a game is released, preventing the sorts of pre-release review bombing that we saw with The Last of Us Part 2. And, theoretically, we see that system actually working pretty well here: user reviews are reacting to the state of the game on the platforms listed, and the state of the game on platforms listed is pretty bad.
I’m interested to watch this develop. Will the score get lower? higher? My guess is lower, but there are likely enough CD Projekt Red fanatics out there to keep it from dipping below 1. Hopefully, some sites can start putting review scores out to fill out the critic side of the equation too.
It’s been a rough launch for this game, which has been disappointing to see. I’ve been genuinely loving it on my high-spec PC, which is clearly how it was meant to be played. But if you’re going to charge $60 for a game on a platform, it should work on that platform.