Omnified Cyberpunk 2077 Has Been Beaten
Omnified Cyberpunk 2077 has been beaten on stream; when one beats an Omnified game, that game has been beaten dead. Therefore, herein lies Cyberpunk 2077, struck down while Omnified with fervent tenacity.
As always, important statistics for the run are provided here, along with the official series playlist. In addition to this, for the first time ever, I’ll also be sharing my general thoughts on the game as well as the experience I had hacking it.
This is something that I plan to make into a recurring feature with all future tombstones.
- Date Completed: August 31st, 2021
- Number of Deaths: 434
- Number of Streams: 20
Relive the vicious and traumatic beatdowns visited upon both the game and Omni (mainly Omni) with the official playthrough series playlist.
My Thoughts on the Game
Cyberpunk 2077, due to the perfect combination of an insane level of hype coupled with an incredibly buggy and disappointing release, remains a controversial fixture in gaming circles. Even though I started streaming my own take on the game many months after its release, the most frequently made comment made in my stream by random visitors was: “Hey are you fixing all the bugs?!”
This was, of course, in reference to my hacking of the game, something advertised in the title of my stream. The public at large seemed to still strongly believe that the game was incredibly buggy. However, from my own playing of the game, I encountered almost no obvious bugs. Very stable.
Now, perhaps I just lucked out by having the perfect hardware and operating environment. But, that aside, for all those out there still wondering if the game is playable, I tell you this: it is. I almost had no crashes (not caused by myself) while playing it.
As far as what I thought about the game itself, I had two major takeaways from my playthrough. First of all, the game is a gorgeous visual affair; I’m sure much has been written about this point already, so I’ll refrain from adding any of my own redundant noise to that conversation. I enjoyed myself playing the game, and found the whole experience to be highly stylized, unique, and engaging.
My second major observation, however, has to do with the gameplay. I played the game on Very Hard (the hardest), and of course the game was Omnified, which means the game was made to be incredibly more difficult than the vanilla experience ever could be.
Despite this, I barely investigated or made use of any of the various gameplay systems purposed for the customization and empowering of your character. I bought almost no cyberware (a major gameplay system that offers 12 different points of customization and enhancement), I barely ever changed or upgraded my weapons, and I assigned all my character points from leveling up almost randomly and haphazardly (with the idea that I’d respec it all later when attempting a more serious build, which I never did).
The fact I wasn’t driven by the insane difficulty to even look at ways to boost my character’s powers is symptomatic of the design behind all of these systems gravely missing the mark. It betrays a feeling of a very hollow RPG experience.
It also is clear proof to me, given that I make no claims to being a super professional eSports video game player (though I am pretty good), that the game is actually too easy. Of course, while the point can be made that because Omnified enemies have the ability to one shot my character with a single bullet that character customization is pointless, I view that argument as a distraction, as (optimistically and simplistically) only 12% of enemy hits result in automatic death.
But this feeling I just described pretty much sums up my overall feeling of the game: it had many cool features and gameplay elements, with lots of potential and effort invested behind each one, but without any real purpose to their existence.
That’s my two cents on the game itself, for other impressions, check out my streams and the playlist linked above. Overall, I had lots of fun, however I believe that a lot of that had to do with the fact that the game was Omnified.
My Thoughts on Hacking the Game
Overall, the Omnification of Cyberpunk 2077 was both straightforward as well as an experience riddled with inconvenient annoyances. The game is very demanding that it be the topmost window during execution, so it made things a bit of pain whenever a breakpoint was hit, as it would cover all of my debugging windows. This is despite the fact that the game was supposed to not be running in exclusive full screen mode.
The game also had an annoying tendency to crash whenever I spent too long looking at things after a breakpoint was hit. From what I could gather, there seemed to be some kind of watchdog thread that would be monitoring other threads, and if one was stopped for too long: game over. This led to some rather stressful debugging sessions where I had to set up conditions and figure out stuff before “time ran out”.
I also observed a number of strange design decisions while hacking the game. Now, since we’re talking about very low-level assembly code, who can say whether these decisions were made by a human or a machine. So, don’t read (all) of these observations as criticisms being leveled at the game’s developers.
To start off, however, let’s talk about something that most certainly was decided on by a human: the game’s use of percentages for player/NPC active vital stat values (such as health and stamina). In 99% of the games that I’ve hacked, active vital stats are stored as discrete values, making this game’s use of percentages a glaring exception.
There are many arguments for this approach; however, those arguments aside, the percentages are stored as values ranging between 0 and 100. Not 0 and 1. This is very strange since, as some of you may know, the value 55 is not an actual percentage, whereas 0.55 is. Try to make use of a 55% value mathematically without first converting it to 0.55.
The game also clearly had much time spent on what I termed simply as “fancy systems”. For example, NPCs, and even the player, actually do not have any structure for an active stat allocated in memory until that stat gets used somehow (I’ve never seen this in a game before). For example, NPCs on the street do not have (from what I could tell) their health loaded in memory until something happens that would cause the health to be affected.
This could be described as “smart design”, but it is also incredibly unorthodox from what I’ve seen with the games I’ve hacked. While it may save memory or some CPU cycles to not have to deal with entity HP before it actually needs to be dealt with, you absolutely open yourself up to a plethora of potential problems when dealing with large amounts of lazily (as opposed to eagerly) loaded data.
There’s no doubt in my mind that one of these fancy systems was very much the cause of some early bug reports I read where cars were randomly exploding when appearing on the player’s screen. Of course, I’m just assuming.
Fancy systems are great, provided enough time and care is spent to make sure they are solid and stable. Given that time mismanagement seemed to plague this game’s development, perhaps simpler approaches should have been used.
There also needs to be a purpose for having a fancy system in the first place. I work with lazily loaded data all the time. I will design data to be loaded lazily if the act of loading said data is an expensive process that might not need to occur. Loading all the vital stats for NPCs into memory is, I’m sorry, not an expensive process. We’re talking about a couple hundred bytes here.
That’s my two cents on hacking the game, for other impressions, check out my streams and the playlist linked above.
Articles where I show you how I Omnified and hacked Cyberpunk 2077 in a detailed fashion can be found here.
Hack Source Code (Tested Against Version 1.3)
Source code can be found on the Bad Echo technologies source repository here.
Hack Binary Executable (Tested Against Version 1.3)
This will allow you to easily apply the Omnified experience to your own Cyberpunk 2077 session.
Please consult the main tombstones page for instructions on how to use the hacks.
See ya next game.