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Following video games in the media is fun. You can watch the dialogue change around every announcement and trailer. Opinions and dreams rise out of different releases and events. Publishers make outlandish claims – sometimes they follow through. It’s great.
You can be swept away by all the noise. Personally, I try to keep an eye on my favorites. I visit the upcoming game’s official webpage. Like a dedicated fan, I check every week for new details – often for a franchise I haven’t ever played. So I think you can understand why I might get a little anxious when I haven’t heard anything in a long time.
Week after week, I find nothing new. I re-watch a teaser, peruse the same press releases and concept art, and ultimately find my anticipation wanting. Currently this is the case with Cyberpunk 2077.
(I’m compelled to say, “Yes. I know the developers are busy with The Witcher 3.” I can’t wait to play as Geralt again. I’m not frustrated with CD Projekt Red. If anything, I just can’t get enough. Now we’ve covered that…)
The RPG grabbed my attention a year ago. On January 10 of last year, CD Projekt Red released a stunning teaser. The premise: a gruesome, twisted scene in a futuristic city, where people drive themselves mad in pursuit of artificial perfection. I was hooked.
Now it’s a year later and CDPR hasn’t released much information or media – concept art or otherwise. Since CDPR won’t give me an excuse to venture into the world, I’ve decided to make it the subject of this blog. I began pulling together any interesting information that I, or maybe you, have missed about Cyberpunk 2077.
Here’s some candy. Watch the teaser above.
I don’t know how I missed this feature. In March 2013, managing director Adam Badowski said, “[Cyberpunk 2077] will be a story-based RPG experience with amazing single-player playthroughs, but we're going to add multiplayer features.”
I’m interested to see how CDPR approaches multiplayer. Traditionally they haven’t done it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try something very unique right out of the gate. Maybe it will have a strong influence on gameplay in the form of co-op. Maybe it will take a more subtle approach like Dark Souls has done in the past.
What I knew of the city was what I saw in the teaser. The corporations and towering buildings remind me of Blade Runner. In video game IPs, I thought of Shadowrun and Deus Ex. I had missed what CDPR had to say about the city and its newest, booming industry.
Night city isn’t the same as the pen and paper’s city. According to project lead Mateusz Kanik, “the fourth corporate war in Cyberpunk 2020 ended with the detonation of a nuke on top of the Arasaka Tower, resulting in the entire corporate district being annihilated.” Night city as players see in the teaser is a reconstructed city. It is built closer to the coast, away from the nuclear detonation site.
A booming part of the industry in Cyberpunk 2077 (as opposed to the tabletop RPG) is braindance. It’s a new version of entertainment, where you can “live” the experiences of another person. “Soft braindances are just watching a recording,” explains Kanik, “with no additional feelings, something very similar to today’s cinema. Hard braindances allow you to feel exactly like the person who recorded it. If someone dies in a braindance so will you. Your brain processes a direct copy of someone’s life.”
Hard braindances might offer an important gameplay and story aspect of the RPG. I can imagine some of the story will revolve around a sort-of-snuff-film braindance that is circulating high society. Maybe the player will be forced to live the experience – or save someone from the final act.
CDPR often takes the video game motif of meaningful decisions to another level. The Witcher 2 presented vastly different chapters depending on actions in the story. Cyberpunk 2077 looks to continue the trend.
In an interview with IGN, Kanik explains that, “your appearance and your dress will change the behavior of NPCs, and also the story in some parts.” The point is the world’s attention to detail. Changing the world and story can be more than simply choosing the right or the left path. What CDPR is aiming for is an organic experience with consequences.
Dig long enough and you’re bound to learn something new about a video game. As I was researching, I began to wonder how this much information flew under the radar. I know I had been paying attention, but I was looking in the wrong place. While I had been visiting Cyberpunk.net for a year and following development on twitter and Facebook, news about the game was elsewhere.
I’ll save you the work of digging yourself. If you’re interested in checking out the interviews and announcements for yourself, be sure to click on the links below. I owe a lot of the links to a post I found on the official Cyberpunk 2077 forums. (Thanks Sardkhar!)
For the Pursuit of Knowledge
On another note…
The objective of Back To The Spotlight is to address something that hasn’t been covered by the gaming media in sometime, whether that be an opinion or a video game. Ideally, it would bring some important aspect of the industry back into discussion.
Since I’m unsure whether this was helpful or interesting for anybody, any kind of feedback would be appreciated. Thank you, and I look forward to any comments below.