One of the things that’s setting Cyberpunk 2077 apart from CD Projekt RED’s previous efforts with the Witcher trilogy is how much freedom it offers to the players not just in terms of the story and narrative progression, but also in terms of gameplay. As early as last year, the developers told us about how, in spite of its primary focus being story and storytelling, Cyberpunk 2077 would still allow players to “goof around” in its open world.
Of late, we’ve gotten a clearer picture of what that means. For instance, driving around Night City and massacring NPCs for no good reason is something you’re definitely going to be able to do (though there will still be limits to that)- but when you do do that, how is the police or the law in Night City going to react? How does the game’s “wanted system” – so to speak – even function?
Speaking with Wccftech, CDPR UI coordinator Alvin Liu spoke about that in detail, explaining that the police in the world of Cyberpunk 2077 are basically guns for hire. Corporations are the ones who run things behind the scenes, and the government and its wings are not to be trusted. These corporations bribe and coerce the government into making decisions big and small- and so, if you mess with a corporation and its functioning too much, they might put a hit out on you and bribe the law to track you down and put a stop to your activities.
“The way that works is that they are basically up for hire,” said Liu. “Basically, the laws exist to take bribes from corporations. So a corporation might pass a law that you can’t sell medicine anymore, and they’re going to enforce it. The only reason they got that law passed was that they bribed the government and they’re only using it as a proxy. So it’s not a place where you want to trust the government necessarily. There probably are some good people out there also, but it’s a city of people trying to constantly get one up on each other.”
Liu went on to clarify that though there is a law system in place – one that the development team is still iterating on – it’s not something that’ll be the point of the experience, and will, somewhat like The Witcher 3, be quite contextual.
“We have a system that we’re still iterating upon,” said Liu. “People will, you know, not be nice to you if you start killing many people. There are some people you can’t kill because that might have blocked a quest and that’s just by design, but it’s not what our game is based upon. So I would compare it to The Witcher 3 where if you chopped off the head of a villager in the middle of nowhere the guards wouldn’t show up out of nowhere. But if you’re in a big town and someone from the guard sees you and the people nearby run away screaming for help, people will come and try to stop you and they’re going to be usually pretty powerful.”
When asked if it’s possible to kill enough people that the law arrests you and throws you in jail, Liu cagily said, “Sorry, I can’t spoil anything about that.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is out on April 16th, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.