William Gibson be goin’ “damn, son”.
After that bombastic last-minute reveal of CD Projekt Red’s sci-fi techno opus during the Microsoft Xbox press conference, we were all ready to proclaim Cyberpunk 2077 as “Witcher 3 but sci-fi, fast cars, and androids”.
We might have been premature with our claims, but we were half-right: it’s an RPG where you control a mercenary named V who takes odd jobs for criminals, businessmen, and other folks for story-specific reasons we can’t get into. But instead of a 3rd person viewpoint, you now play this game from a first-person perspective.
Bring in the Deus Ex Human Revolution comparisons then!
Obviously CD Projekt Red are masters of the RPG craft if you remember their Witcher games. Everything in Cyberpunk 2077 still revolves around numbers despite the brand-new setting. You shoot your guns and deal numerical damage based on the combination of your own stats and the gun’s buffs and advantages. There is no class system that determines your role; instead, you have to rely on your stats, abilities, and augments to help you deal with combat and conversation.
So yes, you can put in as many augments as you want on your character, turn him or her into a cyber ninja with blade arms that can finish enemies off when prompted to. Or you can be that one mercenary who can summon spider bots to spy or gun down unsuspecting victims. Or you can be a hacker who can fire bullets that ricochet across hallways and enclosed spaces thanks to a targeting augment.
Hope the devs can get the depth perception right for this, otherwise blade melee attacks -and other forms as such- will be a hot mess.
Unlike other first-person RPG shooters like Fallout 3 and 4 however, there’s nothing to help you stop time and perform your actions. You’ll have to use FPS reflexes to get by and hope that your equipment is up to date with the numbers-crunching. You’ll come across situations where you can talk your way out of trouble, but combat is usually resolved with your gun of choice and how adept you are at taking cover and pulling the trigger ala the first Mass Effect. Except in a cool neo retro futuristic fashion.
Clothes Make The Cyber Man
Speaking of which, there’s a stat for cool which according to PC Gamer might be Cyberpunk 2077’s version of the charisma stat. Since talking and conversations are key in the game, you’ll need a modifier that helps up your chances to be a smooth talker or haggler. This stat ties into the Street Cred stat which is on the main character’s jacket.
Street Cred is an experience point system that gives you access to certain areas and secret conversation options. Whatever you do earns you street cred, and boosting street cred may also mean wearing cool clothes from a Cyberpunk 2077 clothes vendor. It’s not really a new way to open up the game, but it’s nice to have given the context of the universe and its emphasis over style and dressing.
Anything Else We Should Know?
Yes! The game is huge, or rather it will be. CD Projekt Red boasts that Cyberpunk 2077 will be bigger than The Witcher 3.
It will also have multiplayer features. Put that pitchfork down; what the devs meant is that it will have features for multiplayer that will ensure Cyberpunk’s “long-term success” and assured that the game will still be a single-player story-driven RPG with a first-person perspective and none of the bulls***.
Of course, with a 2019 launch date, it’ll be a while until this project sees the light of day. But hey, I’m all for a first-person take on a brighter Shadowrun title. Cyberpunk games are still few and far between; the last one I played involved anime tropes, corgis, and drinks-mixing.
All I can say is that the genre needs that triple-A in-depth touch. So thanks for bringing this game close to release as soon as humanly possible. Just make sure the music is just as neo-retro-tastic as the trailer you showed us.