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What not to do when a game is disappointingly bad

Cyberpunk 2077 1
Courtesy of Ebaum’s World Gaming

It is fair to say that Cyberpunk 2077 did not live up to anyone’s expectations. However, for some hackers to go and reveal some of the developers’ personal information while they work diligently to fix a game they knew to be bugged is not the way to go. 

Before we get into it, a bit of context is needed. As many people know, CD Projekt Red (CDPR) released one of the most hyped games of all time: the aforementioned Cyberpunk 2077. 

Instead of being one of the best games of all time, Cyberpunk 2077 was a bug-infested, glitch-ridden mess almost impossible to play on base consoles. It was clear the game was not ready to be released when it did, but the higher-ups at CDPR forced the release anyway. 

When it released, it was bombarded with horrible reviews – which it rightly deserved – and was pulled from Sony’s marketplace because of how poorly the game ran. Microsoft did something similar, offering refunds for any unhappy customers, for which there were many. CDPR themselves offered refunds out of their own pockets because of how badly Cyberpunk 2077’s launch went.

Very long story short, because of all the failures of CDPR’s higher-ups, Cyberpunk 2077 is a disappointingly bad game. 

(Quick note: I wrote a piece on why I am frustrated with Cyberpunk 2077.)

Now that it has been a few months, news broke that the developers had been targeted in a ransomware attack, with files pertaining, but not limited to, The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, accounting, administration, and legal being hacked. This has forced CDPR to stop work as they try to grapple with the situation. 

It is understandable for fans to be upset that the game they were promised did not come close to being anything they expected. But to hack their systems and put their livelihoods in jeopardy? That is a bit too much. 

Here are things that people should not do when a highly-anticipated game is disappointingly bad and conversely, what they should do instead.

DO: Write critical, but fair reviews of the game

Cyberpunk 2077 2
Courtesy of Metacritic

With the internet, anyone can be a quasi-game reviewer. By using that power, it is important to know how to use it for good instead of bad. 

That is why it is important to write down what is good about the game while also highlighting its issues in a way that is not demeaning but rather critical and constructive. Doing so allows other players to see the pros and cons of the game more clearly, as opposed to a diatribe condemning the game outright. 

By using words carefully and concisely, developers can see where the gamer is coming from and, hopefully, be receptive to those changes.

DO NOT: Hack a developer

As frustrating as it may be to be sold a faulty product, there should never be a time when a person’s livelihood is jeopardized. This is especially true for the actual developers of the game, who worked hard to produce a product that they feel is good enough to be released to the public. 

That said, it is not the developers’ fault that the higher-ups of said company forced them to release a game they know is not ready. If anything, the higher-ups themselves should face consequences instead of the developers, but that is neither here nor there.

DO: Play another game

Cyberpunk 2077 3
Courtesy of Square Enix

Whether you are a fan of first-person shooter games, RPGs, or everything in between, there are a bevy of games out there to satiate all sorts of tastes. The Syft staff even compiled a pretty hefty list of games to look out for in the coming months. 

It never hurts to diversify the gaming portfolio. When games like Cyberpunk are incredibly disappointing and disheartening to play, maybe a quick game of NBA 2K21 or a longer game like Animal Crossing: New Horizons might be better. 

Regardless, there are options instead of sticking to a buggy mess.

DO NOT: Overhype another game

Cyberpunk 2077 4
Courtesy of CD Projekt Red

This is definitely easier said than done and somewhat controversial. Thinking logically, if a game is not overhyped then the percentage of disappointment drastically goes down. See, if a game is overhyped to the levels that Cyberpunk was, there is absolutely no way it can live up to the hype and, therefore, can only spell disaster. 

Instead, think logically about the game and focus on what the game offers and promises and how realistic the developer can deliver on those promises. As was the case with Cyberpunk, CDPR promised a game which was supposed to be something, but instead, players got something almost entirely different.

By tempering expectations, should a game be worse than expected, not much is lost. Being able to reign in the hype and understand what may or may not be offered is a way to avoid disappointment. Who knows, by having lowered expectations, the next game might even be better than expected. 

In all, it is important to remember that games are just that: games. They are meant to be enjoyed and not taken extremely seriously. Was Cyberpunk incredibly overhyped? Absolutely. 

But does that mean people should go and destroy developers’ livelihoods? No. Instead, perhaps these tips could lead to more productive discussions and make the video game industry less toxic as a whole.

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