After the Witcher trilogy, the direction CD Projekt RED is headed in next with the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 is remarkably different from what’s come before. And while its first person perspective is one of the first things one thinks of when thinking of such differences, its cyberpunk setting and tone also come to mind.
Recently, while speaking with COG Connected, the game’s Senior Quest Designer Philipp Weber spoke about this shift, mentioning that on top of the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game on which the upcoming RPG is based, films such as Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, which use a similar aesthetic, also served as inspirations for the development team.
“The core of the inspiration: the entire studio likes Cyberpunk 2020, the pen and paper, and just, generally, cyberpunk as a genre, movies like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, books like Neuromancer,” said Weber. “So this is the same reason why we also made The Witcher, because we really, really love it and want to make a good video game with that in mind, that we want to play ourselves.”
He then went on to talk about how the team transitioned from a fantasy setting to a cyberpunk one, and how they set certain films and books and the like almost as required reading for themselves for the purposes of Cyberpunk 2077’s development. “In a way because, if you want to tell really, really good stories, you have to really know this world,” he said. “So, story teams—the writers, the quest designers, cinematic designers—we had to assemble a list, you know. ‘These are the books you have to read,’ ‘these are the rulebooks of Cyberpunk 2020 you have to read,’ ‘these are the movies.’ We had to get really immersed in it.”
“Of course, many of us who were fans of Cyberpunk knew those things already,” he continued. “It really was, ‘we have to know Cyberpunk just as well as we knew everything around The Witcher.’ On the other hand, we make mature games. We want to tell interesting stories with interesting themes. That hasn’t changed. Telling interesting stories is the same thing we did before, so in that way, it feels like something we know.”
In what we’ve seen of Cyberpunk 2077 so far, its aesthetic and atmosphere have been quite impressive- it remains to be seen how well it works across the entire game, but it’s certainly looking good so far. As for when the game might release, recently speculation has suggested a late 2019 release– but CD Projekt RED insists simply that it’ll be out “when it’s ready”.