Cyberpunk is back and it’s 2077!
I remember hearing something about someone announcing a Cyberpunk game (as in based on THE Cyberpunk PnP game) back in 2012. This was cause for a moment’s excitement, but with the predictable cynicism of one who has been burnt time and again by the promise of an authentic game conversion of favoured titles from various genres and mediums I filed it away under “check out later”. The name popped up again just today via a seemingly unrelated link which led to one of the most stunning, disturbing and exciting game teasers I’ve ever seen.
The almost 2 and a half minute promo features a gorgeously rendered woman, who is not as she first appears to be, amid an equally beautiful (gritty beautiful) setting full of Cyberpunk 2020 references and typical genre tropes. Had I not known I was watching a Cyberpunk 20xx teaser I would still have known I was watching a Cyberpunk 20xx teaser. Of course, this is to let us CP fan know that everything is all right – they know the lay of Night City, and they aren’t going to screw it up. Not like gamers have been tricked by a pretty teaser/promo before, right?
So, while I’m not going to take a brilliant game as a given, I am certainly a lot less sceptical than I was when I first heard rumour (maybe even optimistic). Also putting weight behind my renewed faith is the discovery that it is CD Projekt RED (based in Warsaw Poland), which is responsible for a little game called The Witcher. The animation is presented as a dramatic slow-motion sequence depicting… well you’ll have to watch it for yourself.
There is a short behind the scenes look at some of the work that went into the trailer. Unfortunately it is a little light on detail in terms of hardware, software and process (you know all the stuff that went into making it), but it contains some set and character sketches, and will likely still contain something of interest.
Game details? What’s Cyberpunk 2077 All about?
Most of the goods are tightly under wraps, but what we do know is that the game is being developed for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One on their own in house REDengine3, which apparently offers many graphical features that have been offered to date only on FPS engines. Reportedly the engine also allows for the creation of vast environments without load times between areas (even when changing between indoor and outdoor environments). Unfortunately a full feature list is either not publicly available, or requires more Googling, but if we are about to be given an RPG with visuals to rival AAA first person shooters, then this news can only be all the more exciting. Could REDengine3 to RPGs what UnrealEngine is to FPSs? If so we could be sitting on the verge of a revolution for more visually immersive open world RPGs.
We are being promised an experience that is modelled as closely as possible to the rules and law of the original PnP series, so lots of heavy RPG elements. It will be presented as a story driven, non-linear and open world format – who doesn’t want to wonder about Night City at will? More details can be found in an unofficial “Known Features” thread on the game’s forums. While it might be an unofficial thread it does reference material attached to the game’s producers, so should contain accurate information, vague as it might be. The promise is huge, the ambition matches – can CDP Red deliver? Well, they seem to have the full support and collaboration of CP creator, Mike Pondsmith – see him here discussing the Cyberpunk world and some thoughts on 2077
If you’ve become nostalgic for the old days you might be looking for your old 2020 rulebook. Or maybe you’re ruing the day you pawned it for that upgrade? I’m not here to judge. Maybe you’ve never played Cyberpunk and just want to get a taste for it. Also suggested is William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the novel which arguably spawned the genre.