Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt RED has found itself embroiled in a controversy after confirming that the game's cutscenes will be in first-person, like much of the rest of the game. Immersion is important to the studio, it told a fan in Twitter direct messages, so much so that the game's sex scenes will be in first person too.
While the suggestion of first person loving may be titillating to some, a good section of the Cyberpunk 2077 fan community seems to be upset by the idea. Going first person in most parts of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay will "something that will benefit it greatly from gameplay and story-telling perspectives," explained Marcin Momot, CD Projekt RED's global community lead.
Momot also said that players will be able to see their characters in the game's inventory screen, in mirrors, in occasional cutscenes, and in driving sequences. Cyberpunk 2077's world is large and there will be many road trips across Night City, potentially offering a look at the player character, but Momot's explanation hasn't done enough to placate everyone.
2/2 That said, players will still be able to see their characters in the inventory screen, during driving sequences, in mirrors and, very occasionally, in some of the cut-scenes.— Marcin Momot (@Marcin360) September 2, 2019
seeing a character I've built out in the world makes me more likely to connect with them and removing that almost entirely means my V might as well be a mannequin. I'm sure the game will be good, just not as great as it could've been 2/2— Shane Firth (@PlayPositive) September 2, 2019
So just to be clear: the game will be in first person (apart from driving), and you might see your character in first person cutscenes (like in the Ripperdoc one), but there are no more dedicated third-person cutscenes anymore (like the ones shown last year), correct?— Nibel (@Nibellion) September 2, 2019
The response to Momot's tweets vary. One Twitter user doesn't understand why CD Projekt RED would "waste resources" on a character creator if most of the occasions in which you'd expect the player character to be visible are going to be in first person. Popular industry update account Nibellion asked why CD Projekt RED has changed things from last year, when a Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay video showed player character V in their apartment in the third person.
The issue isn't really about the ballooning costs of video game development or a documented change to a game that's in development, but about the player's vision. The underlying feeling is that by making cutscenes first person, CD Projekt RED is chipping away at the fantasy. By removing gender from the character creator and having a huge number of skills and variations for players to choose from, the Cyberpunk 2077 character can feel like the player's own.
The character's cosmetics, from their body to the clothes that they are wearing make players feel as though it's really them who is best buddies with Keanu Reeves and his ageless self, and not a generic mannequin. Cutscenes would have been a way for players to look at their characters, acting as a reminder that the way things play out are as much their design as CD Projekt RED's. So while the developer claims to have done this to make the game more immersive, in practice, it may be anything but.
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on April 16, 2020 for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.