Cyberpunk 2077: The colossal RPG in the first person of CD Projekt RED

January 2013. It was still two years before CD Projekt RED conquered the genre of RPGs with The Witcher III. Geralt de Rivia had not been crowned as one of the maximum references in a matter of fantasy and swords and the study was already beginning to make shade by showing his next project. A trailer, a word and four figures: Cyberpunk 2077.

Why start talking your next game so soon? We want to think that the ad itself was too mind-boggling to not feel excited and share. Enough to blow our heads off, but leaving us with our feet on the ground with a warning: it will come out when it is finished. Well, Cyberpunk 2077 is quite likely to be the Sistine Chapel of the Polish studio.

A project simmered, of course, but we must also bear in mind that Cyberpunk 2077 is postulated as the most ambitious videogame of the current generation. Older words, especially coming from a CD Projekt RED that unleashes his inexhaustible talent when something is his passion. As for example, the original Cyberpunk.    

The playable adaptation of Mike Pondsmith’s work was a dream combination: it is no secret that Polish studio is passionate about role-playing games, and that future ruled by mega-corporations had stimulated the imagination of half the world, including Ghost in the Shell of Masamune Shirow, the film Blade Runner or the acclaimed game saga Deux Ex. The expectations were (and still are) outside the orbit.

And no wonder, CD Projekt RED has set itself the goal of being the definitive adaptation of Pondsmith’s work, and that means moving through swampy waters: we will change the papers full of numbers and crossed out as well as the whim of some dice by controls, mice and keyboards, but the real challenge of these digital rolemasters is to create the perfect game.

One that, as in the classic experience, is capable of filling the imagination and the thirst for adventures of the players of all the life, the passionate ones by the RPGs of consoles and desks and all that one that is arranged to play the gaznate putting the noses in the city of Night City.

From paper and dice to ray tracing: A RPG in the first person

Coincidence or not, Cyberpunk 2077 will go on sale in 2020, the year in which the events of the dystopian future imagined by Pondsmith take place. In fact, there is a continuity between the two and we are ahead of us will appear characters from Cyberpunk 2020 lore despite the fact that, in this case, the action takes place 57 years later. How is it possible? Well, let’s say that cybernetic implants have become an obsession … and the implant that grants immortality will be ours in this adventure.

Mike Pondsmith himself is fully involved in the project, an unbeatable endorsement for the fidelity of this adaptation, but also a challenge for development …

  • The game will put at our disposal all kinds of RPG (Crag, mercenary, netrunner, executive, nomadic …), which not only affect our attributes and abilities, but also essential in the face of experience offering lines dialogue and exclusive situations.
  • However, unlike other RPGs, we will not have the option to choose class / profession at the beginning of the game. According to Kyle Rowley of CD Projekt RED, the class system is fluid and will depend on our choices: there will be three main classes: Netrunner, Techie and Solo and we can combine them to access optional classes that we can add to our class.

The feeling of freedom and free will is the basis on which the idea and experience itself is sustained. Cyberpunk 2077 takes us to a megapolis obsessed with power, glamor and body modification, yes, and although we will be exposed to all kinds of threats and interests, CD Projekt RED ensures that the story will depend on our own decisions. What’s more, annihilating other enemies will be totally optional.

In fact, the level of freedom is so advanced that even if we fail a mission we will not lose the game: the world will follow its course and we will only leave it when we finish the game session or we are eliminated. CD Projekt RED completely leaves aside the failed mission screens of other open worlds and welcomes the authentic role. To that in which we will have to give everything at all times and in which not only our decisions count, but also our actions and failures.

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On the other hand, the visual section of Cyberpunk 2077 will be absolutely transgressive. Beyond the ambition and the details, the Polish studio will take advantage of the ray tracing for its next project, confirming a very suggestive alliance with GeForce that, being optimistic, we can even enjoy in the next generation of consoles thanks to the retrocompatibility.

“Ray tracking allows us to recreate, in a very realistic way, the behavior of light in crowded urban environments,” said Adam Badowski, director of the CD studio PROJEKT RED. “Thanks to this technology, we can add another layer of light. Depth and verticality to the already impressive magacity in which the game takes place.”

With that in front, how to play Cyberpunk 2077? In essence, we will discover the best and the worst of the city of Night City in the first person, emphasizing at all times that -though there will be shots and projectiles- it is not a shooter.

The reason why you have opted for the view in the first person is twofold …

  • On the one hand, we want to offer the player a total immersion in the experience. Do not live from outside, but from within and appreciate the small details that make the difference in this world. Something that would not be achieved through other perspectives.
  • On the other, to give more burden to the corporal modifications. Through this view we can see how effects and consequences of implant use manifest, access information or allow us to take advantage of the unique possibilities of the game.

Something very convenient, if we consider that V, our protagonist and alter-ego in the game, will be who we want and how we want. We can define its appearance and modifications, but also its character. And yes, you will have a voice and a predisposition of your own that will be established during the creation of the character. After all,   Cyberpunk 2077 is a pure role.   

Welcome to Night City: The new capital of sin

As important as the playable proposal of Cyberpunk 2077 is the open world that we will have at our disposal. CD Projekt RED anticipates that Night City will be a city that will establish a new reference in visual quality, complexity and depth. And the first gameplays of the game give us an idea of the magnitude of what is being talked about.

The priority of the more than 400 workers involved in the development of the game was the creation of Night City itself, a totally fictitious city that would be located between San Francisco and Los Angeles with a layer of noir cut in terms of setting and that, in design issue, combines the style of both cities.

Our open world, which will have complete cycles of day and night, always radiates color thanks to the enormous presence of futuristic neons, offering a very distinctive atmosphere. To which we must add a second essential element: While The Witcher III and other maps are horizontally huge, Cyberpunk 2077 will be vertically huge.

In terms of volume, we still do not have clear the dimensions of the mapping, but we can expect six large districts with their respective sub districts and the Badlands, the huge area that makes up the surroundings of the city. Of course, to deal with it we will have all kinds of vehicles ranging from motorcycles, cars, taxis and even Kyle Rowley has come to suggest the possibility of controlling flying cars.

However, the third element that the experience will drink will be its inhabitants. Although our games will be conditioned to our decisions and actions, CD Projekt RED has not saved in means to fill Night City with identity through the souls that swarm through it: while the mega-corporates quench their thirst for power, the bands of each district disputes control of the underworld.

And in the middle of that spiral of ambitions, we, a mercenary pursuing a unique implant that allows us to achieve immortality. Fortunately, we will not be alone: the character played by Keanu Reeves will be the second most dialogue will have in the game. And his cover letter already tells us that he has big plans for Night City.

And beware, there is an internal roadmap to expand content. Although, at the moment the priority of CD Projekt RED is -logically- to launch the game.  

Cyberpunk 2077: Date, Availability and Editions

Six years and six months after showing its first trailer, Cyberpunk 2077 already has an official release date and platforms: the next big CD Projekt RED will hit Xbox One, PS4, GOG, Steam and the Epic Games Store on April 16 from 2020.

In a matter of editions all reservations are open. At the time of writing these lines fata the Epic Games Store, although we have reason to believe that it will appear in it as soon as the promotion of digital sales is fulfilled.

On the other hand,   the physical copies of the game on PC and consoles include interesting extras.

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Roger Walker

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