Many initially raised their eyebrows at the idea of Witcher developer CD Projekt RED being hard at work making a first-person shooter based on the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game. Given The Witcher series and its familiar third-person RPG mechanics, it seemed a few degrees of separation away that CD Projekt RED would venture into the FPS genre, though Cyberpunk 2077 level designer Max Pears contends that a first-person view was the best choice from both a narrative and gameplay perspective.
Pears discussed the topic in an interview at Tokyo Game Show, at which there was a life-sized Cyberpunk 2077 motorcycle. He stated that "there is logic to our process" and that "there is a lot of thought that's gone into it."
"In last year's demo you saw the interactive dialogue system, where somebody pulled a gun on your face," Pears said. "I don't think you would necessarily get that same impact in third-person."
He added that there are "moments like that which make it feel like it's your story and your character." Ultimately, he said it was the correct choice for Cyberpunk 2077 and that, in the best scenario, those hesitant about the first-person mechanic will "understand why we’ve gone in that direction."
CD Projekt RED has spoken about why it wanted a first-person perspective for Cyberpunk 2077 in the past. Quest Designer Patrick Mills stated a bit over a year ago that Cyberpunk 2077 uses a first-person perspective to create a more engaging and immersive experience, similar to the comments made by level designer Max Pears.
It seems as though a lot of the hesitation toward Cyberpunk 2077's first-person perspective has subsided. CD Projekt RED has been insisting that the game will have an incredibly immersive narrative with elements never seen before in games, doubling down on its customization options. Furthermore, the reveal that The Matrix star Keanu Reeves would portray supporting character Johnny Silverhand was a huge but very pleasant surprise to many. At this point, onlookers have just over half a year to go before they can experience CD Projekt RED's next ambitious title for themselves.
Cyberpunk 2077 will launch April 16, 2020 on PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.