Developer and publisher CD Projekt RED set their bar high with The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt before calling the series a day and moving on to their next big project — Cyberpunk 2077, an action-RPG based on the pen-and-paper RPG of the same name. We’ve been excited about the game since their initial announcement, when it was little more than a logo and a bit of concept art. But now we’ve finally got something to follow that (eventual) E3 trailer — 48 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay.
48 minutes of gameplay which, the devs were at pains to stress, is very early work. Though to look at it you would think that a release date is just around the corner. There’s an overview of nearly everything to come from this first-person RPG. The game itself looks like a crossover between the Deus Ex series and Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines, resulting in a heavily cyberpunk-flavoured RPG that looks like it has some serious gunplay chops.
Players are going to be dropped into this future dystopia, where they’ll have to contend with other people with guns. And robotic parts. Happily there are several ways that players can account for masses of flying lead, including temporarily slowing time enough to dodge bullets. Or place a few precisely on target, if you’re feeling nasty.
We also get a broader look at the game’s world in motion, where there are hints of the exploration potential seen. CD Projekt claims there will be no loading screens in the final game. We’ve played The Witcher III. We believe them. Night City, the area players will be roaming, looks big, gorgeous, and well-populated. At the same time we’re exposed to the in-game mission updates which absolutely suit the cyberpunk aesthetic that permeates the entire presentation. Mission structure, how they’re presented and how they can deviate, are explored as well. Also: vehicular combat.
But it’s early on in the video that we see the Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines influence (a flawed masterpiece that is also based on a pen-and-paper RPG). Players will be able to pick a male or female character and customise more than just their looks — though the options there do look extensive. Stat choices are in evidence, as with most RPGs, but there’s also an option to choose character background. How this plays out in the game itself remains to be seen.
There’s a lot of unpack but what we’re looking at here likely isn’t going to be in the final game in exactly this state — regardless of how complete it looks. CD Projekt usually prefers to keep matters under wraps until they’re almost final, but in this case it seems that a lot of folks were eager to see what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like ahead of time. And the company has obliged, albeit reluctantly.
CD Projekt Head Adam Badowski said “Since many of the assets and mechanics in the current version of Cyberpunk 2077 are most likely to be modified, we initially decided to show this gameplay only to media. Elements like gunplay (both in terms of visuals and how RPG stats influence it), netrunning, car physics, or the game’s UI — everything’s pretty much still in the playtest phase and we felt uneasy about publicly committing to any particular design. Animation glitches, work-in-progress character facial expressions, early versions of locations — all this made us hesitant to release what you’re about to see.”
But see it you shall, even if there are changes afoot. If this is what Cyberpunk looks like in a very unfinished state, we’ve got high hopes for the final game when it releases… whenever that might be. There’s no word on a release date yet. The moment we hear one, we’ll let you know. Once we’ve finished placing our pre-orders, that is.