Last night, Sunday June 10th, we got our first proper look at CD Projekt RED’s new title: Cyberpunk 2077.
The good guys of games publishing, who gave us countless free DLCs for 2015’s Game of the Year, The Witcher 3, as well as affordable large-scale expansions, have been working on this project for quite some time. Way back when, when asked about whether or not CP2077 would include microtransactions and pay-to-play features, CDProjekt had this to say:
Fans were delighted to be told that the Polish publishers planned to stay true to their promise of “honest gaming”. Since then, we have patiently waited for a look into the game that was to follow up what a huge amount of gamers consider to be the best ever – The Witcher 3. Announced over six years ago, last night CP2077 took centre-stage, after the press conference was “hacked” – as it turns out, the “hacking” code actually contained codes to free copies of The Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition. (Unfortunately, these codes were snapped up pretty quickly, and are all gone now).
CP2077’s trailer takes us to Night City, renowned as the most dangerous and violent place in America. The aesthetic amalgamates the grit of Blade Runner 2049 with the vibrance of Ready Player One, two titles which saw huge success on the big screen in the last year. The result is a world which seems to juxtapose the violence of its murky underworld with a hyper-tech setting, featuring everything from hovercars to neon skylines.
The script featured in the trailer is pretty minimal, but the general gist seems to be as follows: Night City is a terrible place, but anybody interested in becoming a somebody lives there. The narrator of the trailer even refers to himself as a “dreamer”; everybody in Night City has a personal agenda.
The game will be at least loosely based on the table-top RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, created by Mike Pondsmith. This fact allows us to gain some insight into the kinds of the things the game may feature. What seems certain is that Night City is owned mostly by bureaucratic corporations, with the remaining territory being contested by gangsters and mercs.
The people in CP2077’s trailer are emphatically stylised to resemble what one would imagine to be “Cyberpunk”. There are pink mohawks, facial implants, and there seems to be a tendency to replace organic flesh with robotic implants, to the extent that one of the featured thugs in a gang fight seems to wear a bulletproof face. If the tech is there, why not?
The trailer features all-out dogfights, as well as futuristic forms of individual assassination. One businessman on a plane (which happens to be orbiting Earth) is subjected to remote immolation, whereas another person sitting in a boardroom has his head fried via a wire connection, afterwards seen to be originating from a different location. These forms of assassination constitute a substantial amount of the trailer, suggesting that they may not be the only kind of brutal murder held by the future.
As for the player-character, we can’t be sure of anything just yet. Pondsmith’s table-top RPG features a variety of classes, so it’s unlikely the player will be forced to play as the trailer’s narrator. Perhaps this narrator resembles a relatively balanced mercenary class, or perhaps he will be an NPC – all we can be sure of is that Night City is “a city of dreams”, and to survive and thrive, you’ve got to be a “big dreamer”.