Given their pedigree and track record as master storytellers, we’re all expecting great things from Cyberpunk 2077, its story, its world building, its characters, its choice and consequence mechanics. This is a studio that has been improving in those areas with each of its games, and if that trajectory and what we’ve seen of Cyberpunk 2077 are any indication, their upcoming open world RPG is going to be no different in that regard.
But, of course, the reason this game has been so highly anticipated for so long, the reason it’s perhaps CDPR’s biggest release ever, is because Cyberpunk 2077 is looking impressive in other areas as well- for a while, it’s been looking like this will finally be the CDPR game that will offer just as much choice and player agency in gameplay and role playing as it will in storytelling, and that’s a fact that’s got our curiosity more than a little piqued.
So here, in this feature, we’re going to talk about a few ways Cyberpunk 2077 is emphasizing the expansiveness of its gameplay just as much as it is emphasizing storytelling.
As in any good RPG, this is a perfect marriage of gameplay and storytelling. The idea of choosing one of these three life paths and ending up with completely different experiences, from where your story starts out to what characters you meet and befriend even to how NPCs in the world react to you, is one of Cyberpunk 2077’s most alluring features. It encourages tons of replayability, of course, which is always a good thing, especially given how different each Life Path promises to be from the others. On top of that, it also gives players an excellent opportunity to learn more about the game’s world and its story through a lens and perspective of their own choosing.
CHARACTER CREATION AND CUSTOMIZATION
This is far more customary than Life Paths, but we’re still excited about the character creation and customization options in Cyberpunk 2077. From the protagonist’s voice and gender and, of course their Life Paths, to their clothing, accessories, their personality, and so much more, you can make leave your own mark on V’s character in so, so many ways. Having a more defined personality as the protagonist even in choice driven games can often work out excellently – as we’ve seen over the years with games (such as Mass Effect) – but it’s hard to deny the appeal of an RPG where your character is completely your own.
And here’s where we really start to get into the impressive degree of control and number of options Cyberpunk 2077 affords its players. There are several ways that your V will be progressing and growing throughout the experience. One of these will see you upgrading your own body through cyberware implants. Found at any of the various ripperdoc clinics across Night City, these implants can be applied to various parts of your body, from your arms and leg to your eyes or your nervous system.
There’s a lot of these in the game, supposedly, each divided across tiers of rarity- which, of course, means that Cyberpunk 2077 has a loot game going on as well. Cyberware implants will include everything from short blades that V will be able to pop out of their arms called Mantis Blades; a fiber optic whip that V will be able to slash out from a slot in their arm called Monowire; a nervous system ability that will slow down time when you drop below a certain level of health, called Reflex Tuner; a stamina regeneration modification called Stynlungs; and many, many more.
Other than what cyberware you’re installing, you’ll be able to control and guide V’s progress on more fundamental, character-level things as well. There are three character classes in Cyberpunk 2077 – NetRunner, Solo, and Techie, which focus on hacking, combat, and machinery respectively – but what’s exciting about the class system in this game is the fluidity it’s promising. No matter which class you, you aren’t going to be locked into it, and players will always have the freedom to progress their character however they see fit.
V will also have five core stats- Body for physical capabilities, Intelligence for hacking and observation skills, Technical for how capable you are in terms of fixing and manipulating hardware, Reflexes for your dexterity and agility, and Cool to determine how well your character can keep their calm in tense situations. There are also various perk trees divided across various attributes, including athletics, assassinations, “cold blood”, shotguns, handguns, rifles, sniper rifles, blades, two-handed combat, hacking, and engineering.
Clearly, Cyberpunk 2077 is offering control over progression to players in a lot of ways.
All of this, as you might imagine, will mean that there will be plenty of build variety and build possibilities in Cyberpunk 2077. This means that, if you want, you can turn your V into a completely stealth-focused character if you want. CD Projekt RED have said that you can go the entire game without killing anyone if you want. It’s looking like using the right cyberware, weapons, abilities, and investing in the right attributes and skill progressions, you can essentially turn into a cyberpunk ninja- and we’re all for that, obviously.
Of course, if you want to turn yourself into a massive tank that takes on all threats had-on, you can do that as well. You can go full medieval and turn your V into a completely melee-focused character. There’s melee weapons in the game, such as katanas, while attribute trees such as two-handed combat and blades, and the physical capability core stat, not to mention the fact that attaching melee options to your characters with cyberware additions is always going to be an option (such as the Mantis Blades and Monowire, which me mentioned earlier).
As far as pure and immediate combat is concerned, Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a first person shooter- and it’s looking like the game doesn’t want to be lagging behind in this area either. For starters, it goes without saying that all the build variety and various possible weapons and abilities you can use, combat already promises to be a dynamic affair. Add to that the fact that you can run, jump, double jump, slide, bend bullets around cover, take cover yourself, and more, and combat promises to be an even more kinetic and fast-paced experience.
Weapons are another reason Cyberpunk 2077’s combat is looking promising- because there’s quite a bit of variety here, and even more room for adding to your play style and character builds. Across handguns, shotguns, rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, melee, and more categories, the weapons you will equip will be spread across various classes, deal different types of damages, and come with unique specializations, from being able to penetrate cover to, as mentioned earlier, being able to shoot around cover. Weapons will, of course, be fully customizable, while on top of that, the more you use a weapon or weapon type, the more proficient you will become with it, manifesting in the gameplay through animation tweaks and changes as increased accuracy, faster reload speed, and more.
Cyberpunk 2077 is, of course, an open world, and Night City is promising to be a very large open world with lots of opportunities to mess about with its content and its systems. If you’re feeling like it, you can just go on a GTA-style rampage and run and drive across Night City killing anyone you see, though that might have consequences, and you will, of course, come up against law enforcement. You can go collecting cars and vehicles, you can look for collectibles like Shards, you can go to underground fighting rings, learn martial arts, go to shooting ranges, take part in races, and much more.
Cyberpunk 2077 is promising to be a game full of content, with a meaty story and quite an expansive open world, both of which we’ve spoken about. But there’s going to be plenty more to engage with beyond that as well. You can take on contracts, take part in gang conflicts and activities, take on one of 75 Street Stories, get to know more about your companion characters, and more.
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