Cyberpunk 2077 video game successfully debuts despite bugs

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Warsaw (AFP)

Cyberpunk 2077, a video game reported to be one of the most expensive ever to be made, launched worldwide on Thursday after a Hollywood movie-like publicity blitz.

The preparation for the debut was anything but fluid.

The release has been delayed twice this year, and developers have been forced to add warnings after a reviewer complained about causing an epileptic seizure.

But entertainment rating website Metacritic gave the game a rating of 91 out of 100 based on 47 reviews, saying it had received “universal recognition.”

Critics said the game was deeply immersive and praised its portrayal of a futuristic cyber city, as well as the freedom given to gamers.

But plenty of reviewers have also reported bugs in the game, reigniting a debate about developers selling an unfinished product at a high price.

Marcin Iwinski, director and co-founder of Polish game developers CD Projekt RED, told AFP players can expect a “new quality” of experience when they step into his dystopian world.

Iwinski said the studio has created a “huge” online world. The English version has 450 hours of dialogue voiced by 125 actors.

The main character of Cyberpunk 2077 is the “V,” which weaves its way through Night City – a strife-ridden American megalopolis.

The game also features the face and voice of Hollywood star Keanu Reeves, best known for the “Matrix” and “John Wick” trilogy.

– ‘An imaginable reality’ –

The game’s budget is estimated at 1.2 billion zloty ($ 328 million), according to analysts at Polish bank BOS, which would make Cyberpunk 2077 one of the most expensive video games ever made.

CD Projekt RED’s “The Witcher: Wild Hunt” was a dark fantasy whose monster-slaying hero with superhuman powers was the product of the imagination of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski.

It was launched in 2015 and is still highly regarded by gamers for its storyline, dialogues, graphics and humor, as well as openness to its world.

“The Witcher” propelled CD Projekt RED’s market value to 42.7 billion zloty ($ 11.6 billion), which allowed it to compete with French Ubisoft for the top spot among European game developers .

CD Projekt RED is betting that the punk fantasy world of Cyberpunk – the famous pen-and-paper role-playing game written by Mike Pondsmith – will be even more popular.

The marketing campaign with yellow posters with “V” reached 55 countries and the media estimated its budget to be tens of millions of euros.

“We are an innovative company and it’s not in our DNA to take shortcuts,” said Iwinski.

He particularly highlighted the widespread use of futuristic cyberwares in the game, calling it “an imaginable reality” before adding: “We’ll see if it turns out like that”.

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