When The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt Red first announced CyberPunk 2077 over five years ago with a cinematic trailer, fans were understandably intrigued by what the fan-favorite studio might have in store with the sci-fi world. After the announcement, fans didn't hear much else - that is, until the game made a surprise appearance at the Microsoft E3 2018 press conference, wowing both fans and critics alike. Since then information has been slowly coming out of the development team, this time concerning the so-called "Cool" stat.
Today, Tom Marks of IGN sat down with Mike Pondsmith, creator of CyberPunk 2020, a tabletop RPG that serves as the basis for CyberPunk 2077. Pondsmith has been working closely with CD Projekt Red on the development of their new game, consulting on everything from story, which is set 57 years after the tabletop game, to gameplay. The aforementioned "Cool" stat is a feature taken directly from Pondsmith's original game and isn't simply the CyberPunk equivalent of classic RPG stat charisma, but something more.
Of course, this leaves us with the question of what the "Cool" stat actually does. From what can be seen, the stat is about how the characters of the CyberPunk 2077 world perceive and, in turn, interact with the player. "Everything you have is a statement," Pondsmith explained. “You’re wearing your big-ass armored jacket and you’re carrying your big-ass weapons, but it’s not just that. It’s that you looked badass doing it, and that people give you some respect on the street.”
It would make sense for CyberPunk 2077 to use a stat for this purpose. It's already well established that CD Projekt Red is a studio that does everything for a reason, so after it was revealed that, unlike The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the game would feature character creation and customization, many wondered to what depths the studio would use the system. As Pondsmith establishes, those depths can go quite far, influencing dialogue trees and essentially deciding if you will be gunned down walking into a building, describing customizable features as "all things that basically and subtly influence how people will see and perceive your character."
While we may still be years away from the finished product, fans will undoubtedly be excited and impressed by what has already been revealed regarding CyberPunk 2077. The level of depth CD Projekt Red are putting into the game world and characters, not to mention the size of the map, means CyberPunk 2077 is going to be unlike anything many players will have ever seen before. Now, all we can do is wait.
Cyberpunk 2077 is currently in development for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but lacks an official release date.