Acclaimed video game developer and publisher CD Projekt Red unveiled Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay more than six years after they first announced the title. The studio known for developing The Witcher video game series originally revealed Cyberpunk 2077 in May 2012, almost a year before The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was announced in early 2013. But, the thing is, The Witcher 3 ended up releasing first, in May 2015, while Cyberpunk 2077 hadn't received a single bit of official news in almost five years.
Thankfully, that's all going to change. CD Projekt Red developers have repeatedly stated that they wanted to give their fans The Witcher 3 first (and conclude The Witcher trilogy) before diving deep into a new video game franchise. They only started working on Cyberpunk 2077 again after they had released the Blood and Wine expansion just a few years ago. And they are showing off the first footage of the game now because it is finally in a state that is truly impressive and evident of what the final product will look and feel like - which is an important factor in marketing a game.
In true CD Projekt Red fashion, the studio held a 50-minute, behind-closed-doors gameplay demo of Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018, and Screen Rant got the chance to check it out in full. While there is certainly a lot that remains secret (such as a released date), the demo was beyond impressive and it showed that this game might set a precedent for future open world titles. Here's everything we learned from Cyberpunk 2077's hands-off gameplay presentation:
- Cyberpunk 2077 uses REDEngine 4 - an engine created by developers at CD Projekt Red Wrocław (a new studio) specifically for this game.
- It takes place in an alternate timeline in the Free State of Northern California in a metropolis called Night City.
- There are 6 districts in Night City, each with their own sets of dangers - and each district is fully populated: there are "hundreds of buildings and thousands rooms to enter."
- The city is filled with countless cyberspace access terminals which allows players to tap into the Net.
- Cyberpunk is described as a "mature, visceral experience," which means there are lots of f-bombs, nudity, blood, gore, etc. This is definitely not a children's game. Just one nude female was on-screen for at least three minutes in the demo.
- Super rich customization - you can customize pretty much anything and everything about the character, including personal background information. Unfortunately, we were only given a brief look at the customization screen at the start of the game.
- NO loading screens.
- Cyberpunk 2077 plays in first-person perspective (for "deep narrative immersion"), but cars can be driven in third-person.
- Skills and ability upgrades (reflex booster, which slows down time kind of like Max Payne but not to such a great extent) are meant to “adapt to the challenges of the game”
- Main character is an "urban mercenary" named V, a hired gun who just landed her first major contract.
- Cyberpunk 2077 has "interactive dialogue control." It takes dialogue choices to the next level by giving players the option to control a conversation, even ending it abruptly by killing the person they are talking to.
- Hyper-interactive world: practically everything can be interacted with, including advertisements and such.
- The entire world of Cyberpunk 2077 is fluid - with no loading screens, which means going from leaving one building, getting into a car, driving across the entire city, entering another building, and then starting a new quest without a single "cut," so to speak. That also means walking into the closet inside your apartment and selecting whatever you want to wear off the rack and then wearing it; same thing applies to weapons on your weapon table. The character just... picks it up.
- Cyberware are upgrades that come from River Docs (legal and illegal vendors who equip you with various types of upgrades, from weapons to abilities, such as the Kiroshi Scanner).
- Upgrades can be applied to weapons, such as a pistol having the option to ricochet bullets off the wall. Some weapons can also track & follow enemies when firing.
- Other weapons like Mantis Blades are available.
- Obtain items that can allow V to scan and hack targets.
- V can also wall run, though it’s unclear if it was an obtained ability.
- The entire world is filled with choices and real consequences, all of which affect the narrative. Actions can also cause random events to happen, such as killing a group of enemies who may have friends that will ambush you on the road later in the game.
- Cyberpunk 2077's world is massive - and players can explore it at their leisure. Nothing is held back.
It was quite a surprise to see just how far in development Cyberpunk 2077 has come in such a short amount of time, disregarding the fact that the game was initially announced over six years ago. One thing in particular that should be noted about the game is its scope. It's not only about size - there are plenty of massive open world games out there - but the fact that players can traverse that entire open world and interact with practically anything and everything without encountering a loading screen is a technological achievement that cannot be understated.
Of course, there were some drawbacks. CD Projekt Red is a studio known for their third-person RPGs and expansive open worlds. While they've hit and arguably set the benchmark for the latter feature, it's their first-person shooter aspect that needs some refining, especially the combat which appears uninspired compared to most modern RPGs. But regardless of that fact, there are far too many jaw-dropping features about Cyberpunk 2077 that will likely overshadow anything bad about the open in most gamers' eyes.
Cyberpunk 2077 does not yet have a release date.