While The Witcher trilogy gave players incredible freedom over how the story would progress and what events would unfold, it was still very much Geralt’s story, who was a pre-defined character that we were stepping into the shoes of, rather than shaping him the way we saw fit. With Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt RED are going for something a little different. The protagonist, named V, is more about letting players decide who they want to be, which is evidenced by something as simple as the fact that you can choose their gender at the beginning of the game.
Recently, we sent across some of our questions about Cyberpunk 2077 to CD Projekt RED’s level designer Miles Tost, and one of the things we asked him about was how much control players can have over V’s personality. How are they planning on reconciling that with the fact that Cyberpunk 2077 is a very narrative-focused game, and that V, in spite of being more malleable in terms of player choice, isn’t exactly a blank slate?
“There isn’t anything to reconcile,” Tost responded. “You will determine how your character looks like and what kind of abilities they specialize in. Yes, V exists in a world we’ve set up for him/her. They’re a character who, growing up in our version of a cyberpunk world, was inevitably shaped by it. They are not a blank piece of paper — but in a story-driven game, which character ever is? Despite that, ultimately, it is up to you, the player, to gauge where your character’s moral compass leads and what decisions they make. The outcomes are very much in your hands — you can (and will) shape the story you experience.”
It sounds to me like a Commander Shepard-like situation, where you’re very much in charge of the kind of character the protagonist will be, but they will still have defined characteristics of their own that will make them an actual character.
In the same interview, Tost also talked to us about things such as how Night City, the game’s setting, is designed, how much dynamism we can expect to see in its environments, and the possibility of seeing emergent gameplay systems in Cyberpunk 2077. Stay tuned to GamingBolt for our full interview with Tost.