CD Projekt Red are among the elite of videogame studios reknowned for deep roleplaying experiences.
I must admit when they first announced this was their next game I was probably more excited than most, remember The Witcher 3 hadn’t even been released yet.
The behind closed doors gameplay demo of Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most talked about things to come out of E3 2018.
For weeks after the e3 closed doors demo we had to soak up the experience second hand from youtubers and game journalists regurgitating their impressions into our eager mouths like hungry birds waiting to be fed.
Now about 2 months later we actually get to see the same gameplay demo they did.
Returning to the Sourcebooks
Now my unique perspective is I actually played the original pen and paper role playing game back in the 90’s, not trying to claim hipster street cred but there were details all the way through I could appreciate after having immersed myself for so many afternoons pouring over every detail of the Cyberpunk 2020 and NightCity role-playing sourcebooks. I know my boostergangs, street surgeons, Fixers and dirtgirls thank you. To me this was 48 minutes of pure fanservice.
Blood, Chrome and Neon
The Cyberpunk 2020 the pen and paper game as it was then was combining popular cyberpunk authors like William Gibson and Neal Stephenson with the worlds of Bladerunner and Miami Vice.
The colourful 90’s vision of the cyberpunk future is almost a bit naive now, no flying cars or cyborg limbs and we are 16 months away from 2020 which is why pushing it out to 2077 makes a lot of sense but credit to CD Projekt Red how much of that almost flamboyant retro future they have brought to life.
And what a nice change it is, I couldn’t be any more sick of drab grey and brown dystopias, peoples reactions to the first trailer ranged from “Why is everyone wearing mohawks lol” to “CYBERPUNK SHOULD BE AT NIGHT!!!111!!11” although I can’t fully tell if trolling or just dumb.
Evolving Emergent Gameplay
The biggest takeaway I had from watching the Gameplay walk through was just how much like running a Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop campaign it was. The story would twist and turn as you took your players through an adventure, the idea was never to make it impossible but never to make it easy on the players either. They should always feel like they scraped through by the skin of their teeth. The other concept from the RPG was gutterpunk you start out with very little and have to skrimp save and steal for every augmentation and advantage. Save the world? More like saving for an upgrade.
Also evident is the multiple paths to complete the objective and all the variations within, and how the story just unfolds out of all the choices you made, yeah you could just walk in and out but then you would probably miss out on all that cool gear they certainly don’t want you going home with. Risk Vs Reward. But it’s the way its all seamlessly integrated into gameplay in a logical way, the immersion in this game looks fantastic, I can see why they went with first person to showcase it in glorious detail.
This is going to be a game that forces every other developer to lift their game.
The future is now old man.