As a next-generation RPG slated to release no sooner than 2015, Cyberpunk 2077’s possibilities — the dimensions of its story, gameplay and ultramodern universe — appear endless.
CD Projekt RED introduced us to the decadence and decay present in its mature sci-fi epic with a moving cinematic trailer this January, but it was a small window into a world where narrative vision, character customization features and a true-to-its-genre atmosphere are still being crafted.
Fortunately, however, the developer divulged a few more details and intriguing insights regarding the game in a recent interview with IGN.
Like many RPG’s, Cyberpunk 2077 will organize players into customizable classes where they can outfit their appearance. Far from simply guiding skill distribution or mohawk length, however, creative director Sebastian Stepien says that aesthetic choice — not just reputation, or a Mass Effectian appraisal of paragon/renegade moral standing — is fundamental to the world’s unfolding:
“We will have several features that allow you to create your [visual] style, and your style will affect gameplay, storyline and relationships between characters.”
Continuing, Stepien explains how this concept of “creating the story” applies equally to effects of player personality:
“First of all it will be an RPG, so that means you create the story. In Syndicate and other shooters you can do no such thing. The other thing is that you will have the chance to create your character’s personality. This is very, very important. The style and mood and atmosphere of this world, what you do at the bar, what do you drink, how you react with other people, what dialogue you choose —all these things let us keep the Cyberpunk atmosphere all the time.”
But Cyberpunk’s customization is simply a result of its story: an epic of individualistic proportions. It’s not about a player changing the world and its problems; according to Stepien it’s about each player changing their world and their problems:
“The psycho squad is just one of many cool elements in this world. We had several ideas for this short teaser and had to focus on one of them. Augmentations and cyberware is a big subject in the world, and that’s why it’s in the teaser. But it won’t be a game about police hunting cyber-psychos. That’s a sub-plot… The story will be low-level. We are not going to save the world, or even save a city. We are focused on the main character and his problems, or her problems.”
It’s a focus that runs in stark contrast to, say, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the shooter/RPG that many have been comparing Cyberpunk to since its announcement last year. We praised Human Revolution mightily when it released in 2011, but as elevating as Adam Jensen’s journey was to the cyberpunk genre it was also demonstrably lurid and dark. Mateusz Kanik, the director of Cyberpunk 2077, might say that it was missing an important ingredient:
“There are lots of cyber games around, but there’s not a lot of punk in those games. We want to put more punk into ours. We do not want to make a dark and hopeless world. We are not doing Blade Runner. It will be full of rock and roll.”
Or as Stepien concluded: “It’s more like a Tarantino approach.”
Ranters, we’ve seen how 2014’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is beginning to crystallize at CD Projekt RED. Using its REDEngine 3 technology, how would you like to see the studio realize the vision it has for Cyberpunk 2077?
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Cyberpunk 2077 is slated for release in 2015 on next-generation platforms and the PC.