The Monday Inbox recommends buying Horace on Switch for just £1, as one reader demands more Star Wars games.
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So I admit I’m guilty, I’m one of those that fell for the hype and pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077 months ago. It’s my fault, I accept that, but after The Witcher 3 I really did think CD Projekt were one of the good guys and that they wouldn’t steer me wrong. Or at least not to this degree anyway.
It’s probably just stubbornness but I haven’t tried to get a refund and have been playing the game regardless on my ordinary PlayStation 4. I did stop for a while after launch, as it was just unplayable, but I gave it a go again with the new patch and it’s… okay.
I wouldn’t have bought it if I knew it was going to be like this but at the level it is now it is playable and even impressive at times, in terms of the graphics. It’s obvious to me now that the game simply wasn’t finished and that it needed three months or so of bug-fixing and optimisation (based on when the final patch in February is due).
Like many I struggle to understand how CD Projekt thought this was going to work out for them but it is what it is and the game, when it works, is good. I just wonder how many people are going to give it a chance now.
Games within games
I know CD Projekt are going through a rough patch at the moment but can I just say how wonderful their card game is… Gwent. First came across it while watching my husband play The Witcher 3. Was instantly hooked.
Found out it was a standalone game and downloaded it on the Xbox. Now playing it on my iPad. It’s helped me through the COVID months, what with my kids driving me up the wall. Any free time I get I’m on my iPad playing Gwent. Even been known to push my husband away! Currently running a Schirru Gord deck which gets me to pro rank.
PS: Has GC ever done a Hot Topic of everyone’s favourite game within a game?
GC: We’re not sure there’s really enough for that.
I don’t get why they didn’t delay Cyberpunk 2077. I know what people are going to say, it will cost them money – well it’s cost them a $1 billion so far, delaying it surely wouldn’t of cost that much. What were they thinking? Was it know one will notice all the problems? It seems to me they’re the perfect developer to buy right now, with all this happening. You could buy it cheap, rebuild the brand with a patch so the game works perfect and offer free DLC and then start selling it again.
But who would buy it? Sony? Microsoft? Only time will tell and as you know, as soon as a gamer hears free content their ears ping up and their heads turn.
I find it great how gaming is continuously evolving as a medium. This is always due to the technology improving but I do like the fact that this can be used in different ways. There are a lot of games which really push and move forward what we can expect in terms of graphics and sound, some have deep storylines, some don’t because they are not necessary for the game.
I also like the fact that there are plenty of new games out there that are unashamedly aiming to capture the spirit of 80s to 90s pixel art games but with the additional oomph that 2020 devices can provide, Horace is a prime example, it’s marvellous.
I think gaming is in a great place, there will always be duff games out there but they are avoidable with a minimal amount of research and I honestly think there is something out there for everyone.
Quick note, that Horace is a quid… a quid! – on the eShop right now. Absolute bargain. Merry Christmas to all at GC, the quality of journalism and coverage this year has been excellent, as always.
Between the Switch Christmas sale and my gold points I just got Horace for 85p! That’s less than I used to pay for Spectrum games from the local market back in the day. Bargain! I almost feel guilty for paying so little but I figure as it’s only made by two people it’s all profit to them? I hope so.
GC: Wow, that is incredibly good value; it’s a really great game.
To better times
I would just like to wish all of GameCentral and everybody else who read and contribute to these very pages a very, very merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all! I, like most people, will just hope and pray it will be a lot better next year in 2021 than this one has been. (And no, I don’t mean just the scalpers or Cyberpunk 2077 either.)
I will be watching my all-time favourite Christmas movie tonight, like I always do this time of the year to get me into the festive spirit: Home Alone (1990). Then after that probably on Boxing Day, The Magnificent Seven (1960). Take care everyone, happy gaming. Stay safe and enjoy yourselves! ‘This is the way.’
Maybe next year
I’ve been playing Cyberpunk 2077 on my PlayStation 5 and while it is the upscaled PlayStation 4 version it doesn’t look too shabby.
The only thing is I left Lizzie’s Bar one time and decided to go for a spin on a motorbike which I, ahem… borrowed.
As I travelled around the roads I noticed the streets were virtually empty of other vehicles and people. I pulled over near a market area and, yes, there were at least 10 people on screen but there was a sound of masses of people chatting, as if loads of people in conversation.
Sadly it was at this point I decided to wait until the true PlayStation 5 version becomes available before I delve into Night City again.
Sony and CD Projekt should have kept the console versions back until they were in a much more agreeable state. Oh well, see you in 2021 Night City.
This whole situation around Cyberpunk 2077 has got me thinking that maybe the silver lining in all this could be that from now on games will no longer be rushed and developers given the amount of time needed to ensure the game is fit for purpose so to speak.
Similar to the loot box situation before gamers said enough is enough.
Could we start to see a decline in bug ridden games with massive day one patches?
PS: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is ridiculously cheap on the PlayStation Store and a very worthy substitute if you can’t play Cyberpunk 2077.
GC: Another reader suggested something similar at the weekend, we can only hope.
Although Cyberpunk 2077 is a demanding, ambitious, badly optimised, graphically intense, CPU heavy open world game, that’s a complete illegitimate child on your hardware, it’s still the game that’s made me accept I need to upgrade my hardware.
I’ve a PS4 Pro and an almost four-years-old mid-range for the time PC (i7 770K, GTX 1070, 16MB). I’ve refunded my PS4 Pro copy of Cyberpunk and picked it up on PC on GOG via CD Keys for £34.99. Now the experience even on my aging PC is vastly superior to what I had on the PS4 Pro but it’s still missing new gen features like ray-tracing, higher than 1080p resolutions, and I can’t acceptably hit 60fps.
On high settings I get 40 to 45fps at 1080p, medium settings is 50fps. I can get 60fps on low settings but the game looks very basic. For comparison, with Doom Eternal at 1080p on ultra settings I get 100+ fps. Not a fair comparison but it highlights just how demanding this game is. I opted to go with 1080p, locked 30fps on high. The graphics look extremely good on high, often breathtaking. Free of framerate drops or performance issues it feels smooth.
My SSD means load times are much, much better than the Pro’s. Also, my PC allows for crowd density to be set to high so Night City at least has the veneer of being a bustling metropolis. There’s less bugs on PC and it’s been a smooth, really enjoyable game so far. Not quite the impressive game CD Projekt were talking up but an excellent game that’s easy to get wrapped up in.
But to get the full experience it’s a game built for modern CPUs and graphics cards, of which I will be looking to upgrade to next year in either a new PC or PlayStation 5. I don’t envy the task CD Projekt have getting it to perform on base last gen consoles, surely they will have to sacrifice a lot, like having no characters roaming Night City at all. It’s the task they gave themselves though so they will just have to get it done.
In Night City, what makes you a criminal? Selling a broken game to over 150 million potential customers and then promising refunds you have no power to give.
GC: 150 million? That’s a bit optimistic even if it had worked.
So the season finale to The Mandalorian was amazing, although I don’t think there were any new video game references. Considering the gajillion TV shows they’ve announced though I wish they’d get on and do the same with the games too.
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