Going from The Witcher 3’s fantasy setting to Cyberpunk 2077’s sci-fi cyberpunk aesthetic proved to be a bit of a challenge for the Polish developer.
Cyberpunk 2077 is radically different from CD Projekt RED’s Witcher trilogy in so many ways, and while things such as its first person perspective and the more freedom it affords to the player in terms of gameplay come to mind, the most obvious way it differs from the Polish studio’s previous works is its setting. Moving away from The Witcher 3’s dark fantasy, Cyberpunk 2077 is, as the name suggests, a sci-fi cyberpunk game.
Of course, with that also comes a change in art direction and style. Going from the art direction of The Witcher 3 to that of Cyberpunk 2077 must surely have been a difficult process, simply because of how massively different both settings are and how different aesthetics they both demand, if nothing else. And according to the game’s Quest Director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, it really was a long process- one that took multiple years, in fact, and plenty of collaboration between the writers, the artists, the concept artists, and more.
“It took us multiple years to figure out how we wanted to approach the game,” said Tomaszkiewicz while speaking with GamingBolt. “At first, we started somewhere by the time The Witcher 3 was already in development. We created a smaller team that started working on the setting itself. How does it relate to the original [Cyberpunk] 2020; how the architecture and art style should be, and so on. It was a long process that took multiple years between the writers, between the concept artists, between the artists from The Witcher 3 project, and so on. It was a lot of work and a huge challenge since it was a new setting for us. But I think we’ve reached something very special and something truly interesting.”
From all that we’ve seen of Cyberpunk 2077 so far, it certainly feels like they’re getting the grim and brutal tone of a cyberpunk setting just right, while the visual aesthetic of the game also looks excellent. It remains to be seen just how consistently the game achieves that vision, but for now, things certainly look good.
Cyberpunk 2077 is out on April 16, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Our full interview with Tomaszkiewicz goes live soon, so stay tuned for the whole thing.