CD Projekt RED’s upcoming RPG was the talk of the town at E3 once again this year.
There’s been a lot of hype and excitement surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 for a looong time, but over the past year or so, the intensity of that hype has reached a fever pitch. After showing off gameplay behind closed doors last year, CD Projekt RED returned to E3 this year with a new trailer, a release date announcement, and yet another behind-closed-doors demo. As such, we’ve learned plenty of new things about the game, and it’s all quite exciting. In this feature, we’ll be taking a loot at thirteen such new pieces of information- so let’s jump right in.
You knew we’d be kicking things off with this. Keanu Reeves taking the stage at E3 2019 and confirming that he’s playing a character in Cyberpunk 2077 was an awesome moment- but what character is this, exactly? His name is Johny Silverhand (named so because of his cybernetic arm), who was once a musician, but has now turned into an anarchist warrior who wants to see Night City burn. Reeves not only lent his voice and likeness for this role, he also performed full motion capture.
Other new details about the story of Cyberpunk 2077 have emerged as well. V, the main character of the game, is equipped with a biochip that’s actually been damaged and lodged into their skull. Somehow, that damaged chip is also the key to immortality. We don’t have a lot of background info on this, but we know that the lodging of the chip wasn’t something V volunteered into, and we also know that Johnny Silverhand’s character is attached to this in… some way. In fact, Silverhand’s digital ghost is also haunting V’s brain (quite literally), and he’s always there with you as a result, as a constant presence.
Cyberpunk 2077 is also going to take players into cyberspace, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s all very Matrix (or Tron, take your pick). This, as you might imagine, seems like it’s going to figure into the narrative quite heavily (though there’s no way to be sure right now). One character from the established Cyberpunk universe, Alt Cunningham, is also going to have a role to play- Cunningham, interestingly enough, is the first person to fully to completely digitize himself- essentially transferring his entire consciousness into cyberspace.
We got out first good look at Night City at E3 last year, and this year, CD Projekt RED have showed more of the city. The focus this time was on the Pacifica district, and it’s got a lot going on. The crowds and density that impressed so many people last year is still on full display- meanwhile, we also get some other interesting story-related stuff. Like Pacifica being having originally intended to be a fancy part of town, but going to the dumps after its investors pulled out. It’s dirty and rundown, and has got some interesting turf wars going on between gangs.
Dialogue and dialogue choices are a crucial part of any game made by CD Projekt RED, so curiosity surrounding those things in Cyberpunk 2077 is understandably high. Thankfully, we’ve received some new details on that as well. For instance, while you’re creating your character, you’ll choose one of several options as your character’s background (street kid, corporate, etc), and what option you choose will present you with new and different dialogue options as well. How you use your perks to upgrade your character will also have an impact on dialogue choices. Additionally, while characters are waiting around for you to pick a dialogue option, they will chip in with a line or two of their own, making conversation feel less stilted and keeping their flow going.
Melee combat will be available to you as a central option if that is how you wish to play Cyberpunk 2077, and we got some interesting demonstrations of that at E3. Using metallic arm enhancements, V can absolutely rip into enemies while getting up close and personal. You can use them as shields against gunfire, you can cut enemies’ throats with broken bottles, you can throw knives into their faces, you name it.
Hacking is another crucial element in Cyberpunk 2077, not just in terms of story (which is sort of obvious), but also the gameplay (also quite obvious). We know new details about that as well. You can hack turrets and other things in the environment (like laser-like wires) to turn them against enemies, you can hack into enemies’ brains to make them turn their guns on each other, you can hack into robots being used as sparring partners during training and make them kill whoever they’re training with, you can hack doors, terminals- hell, even soda machines. Basically, if something’s got a wire or two in it, you can hack it.
Cyberpunk 2077’s going to have some very interesting immersive sim-like things going on, by allowing you to choose however you want to play. The “fluid class system” and the options presented to you between combat and hacking is plenty of evidence of that, but stealth is another very important aspect. In fact, as CDPR have now confirmed, Cyberpunk 2077 will allow you to complete the entire game without killing a single enemy. Non-lethal run fans, rejoice.
Destructibility of the environment in Cyberpunk 2077 is something that’s been up in the air since last year. CDPR have said they want to take it as far as possible, but due to several considerations, aren’t quite sure how much of it will be feasible. We still don’t quite know the exact extent to which environments in the game will be destructible, but we do know now that there’s definitely some level of destructibility in there.
Cyberpunk 2077 will have no loading screens during exploration. All of Night City will be open to you completely, and you can explore the entire city seamlessly, going from one place to another without a hitch or a break. That doesn’t mean there will be no loading screens at all whatsoever though. Obviously, when you’re fast travelling, you will get into a loading screen.
Let’s get into the basics- what’s progression like in Cyberpunk 2077? The game will reward you with perks points, which is what you’ll be spending to upgrade and level up your character across twelve different categories. These are hacking, melee, athletics, assassination, cold blood, two-handed combat, rifles, handguns, shotguns, sniper rifles, blades, and engineering.
If you’re looking to pony up some extra cash and purchase the Collector’s Edition of Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll actually be in for a pretty neat package. It will come with the game, of course, on top of which you’ll get a map of Night City, a World Compendium, a postcard, some stickers, patches, pins, an artbook, a steelbook case, a “Quadra” keychain for the car we’ve seen in the trailers, a survival guide, and a crazy 10 inch statuette of V.
This is a game we’ve been waiting for for years, but now, we finally know just when we’ll be getting our hands on it- in less than a year from now. At E3 2019, courtesy of Keanu Reeves, CDPR confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will launch for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16 of next year.