E3 2018 is the place where games are revealed in quick and non-gameplay trailers during public press conferences and then are showcased in full gameplay demos behind closed doors, hyping fans (or disappointing them, depending on the cases) anyway. Whether we like it or not, this is exactly what happened with CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077.
The Polish developer has shown reveal trailer during the Xbox media briefing, that was yes in the engine but didn’t put any gameplay feature on display. It kind of set up the mood and tone for the game gave us an idea of what it is going to be like once it releases, but that was it – six years after the original teaser trailer was dropped.
A bit of a sparse presentation, you’d say, but don’t worry: there was a 50-minute long demo for the press to put their teeth on behind the scenes, and that was said to be rather impressive. So impressive that more than one outlet has put into question the fact itself that the game was really coming for the current generation machines!
Anyway, it was a bit rough at the edges, like unoptimized (it was running on a 32GB RAM rig, just to name one) and coming with couple bugs (missing characters’ heads, view lifting up or left during the dialogue, etc.), and this is the main reason why CDPR didn’t want the general public to watch it during the event. They could’ve got the wrong impression out of it.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 5 things – good or bad, it’s up to you to judge – we learned about Cyberpunk 2077 at the E3 2018.
Has A First Person View
To many fans, it was a huge disappointment, at the point that a lot of them have discussed the topic on the official forums and in general on the Internet, launching petitions and surveys to ask CD Projekt RED to change their mind and implement at least an optional third-person perspective more similar to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Anyway, the Polish developer has already stated that things won’t be changing and from what we hear it’s because of the design of the maps; most places we’ll explore will feature very small internal places and will also feature a big verticality component, so change the perspective would require a huge additional time to completely change the structure of the maps. So that’s out of the question.
Said that the studio has the right to do whatever it thinks more suitable for its games and has already shown in the past that it likes to hugely change and mix things up from a title to another (just look at how The Witcher has evolved between the three titles that have been launched across multiple years), it was perhaps one of the issues resulting from the long development cycle and the years passed since the announcement in 2012. I understand the disappointment among the fans, so, as a better communication of what the developer has been doing along the past few years would’ve helped a lot to let people comprehend whether they were really into the game or were just waiting for something that didn’t exist at all. But also, hey, the team has proved it deserves your trust; don’t be discouraged by a simple change of perspective.
Plays As Deus Ex, Crysis
In a videocast, Digital Foundry guys provided a further look into the private demo and described the vibe of the gameplay, offering an interesting insight about it by comparing what they’ve seen with the title which we’ve already played in the past. Simply because we basically know nothing about Cyberpunk 2077, so it’s useful at this stage do comparisons.
What the video said is that the game plays as a Deux Ex title in terms of details and density, but on “a massive scale,” which means you can expect some very huge environments where to move in. This is an important piece of the puzzle as the recent Deus Ex kind of failed to make you feel like you’re moving in a real and living city, providing some sort of fake scale to the lot that in my opinion killed the immersion.
On top of that, talking about gunplay, DF mentioned that the title kind of resembles what Crytek tried to achieve with Crysis in terms of the realism of the character handling the weapon and all the linked animation. The animation is said to be impressive though, so expect something even bigger than that.
We’re also told that the demo they witnessed reminded them of Starbreeze titles such as the remake of Syndicate and Mirror’s Edge, mainly the first because of the animation and the second because of the variety of approaches you can take while choosing how to go into a task in your missions. There’s a lot of verticalities, too, so that looks a good example.
For a lot of reasons, Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be your regular sci-fi game, by the way. One of those is said to be the combat system, which will offer few ways to slash enemies such as fire weapons and melee weapons that can cause cuts and actually dismember enemies. It’s a gore component that personally I don’t remember seeing in this kind of titles.
You Can’t Drive Flying Cars, But Regular Cars And Bikes Are In
In yet another disappointing news, CDPR revealed that flying cars will be in the game, as seen in the reveal trailer from the Xbox media briefing at the E3 2018, but that we won’t be provided with the ability to drive them in our gameplay. That’s quite a weird think for a, err, cyberpunk game to do, but apparently, it’s due to the gameplay itself and the design of the areas.
Anyway, we’re told we’ll be able to drive regular cars, which was quite a given, to be honest, and bikes, which wasn’t a given instead, and that when we ride them our character will be shown in third person view. So it’s not like Far Cry, for example, where you drive in the first person as you play through the regular game.
That’s a good thing at least for people who were questioning about the relevance of having an editor to build and customize your character where you’re never seeing it across your regular gameplay (read above if you’re wondering who would do that). Also, something I hope for is this view gives a good sense of speed and scale to the world around you.
It’s also worth remembering that flying cars will be a part of the game and also an important one, as it seems we’ll have them around in missions that will require their involvement. It’s a bit too early to have the complete picture of them but it seems like we could be passengers and shoot our way out of them in some kind of chase.
Features Six Districts, No Loading Screens
Ok, you might not be able to fly your way through it, but Cyberpunk 2077 is still set to be the huge open world, sci-fi game you’ve always dreamed of. This open world features six districts, which will be filled with unique and memorable locations inspired to the original pen-and-paper role-playing game that sets the licensed base for the entire project.
The districts themselves which build the foundation of Night City, in a near future California, are: The biggest of those districts is the City Centre, dominated by corporations and “the quintessence of luxury.” There’s also Watson, a district dominated by a mixture of Asian cultures “now populated by immigrants, hiding various bazaars and markets in a tangle of narrow alleyways.”
Another district, Westbrook is a playground for the richest, while Heywood is a suburban housing district that is an access level both for those who have worked their way up to the social ladder and those seeking a less dangerous entry level to organized crime. Pacifica is said to be the most dangerous as it is an abandoned district overrun by gang activity.
Last but not least, the district of Santo Domingo is the city’s industrial powerhouse, coming with the plants and factories that power the entire city. Interestingly, all these places will feature no loading screens, as everything will be explorable seamlessly both in terms of where you go on the outside, and how and when you go in and out of the buildings.
Has Romance, Of Course
Until the very last moment, I was undecided whether I should put romance in this feature or not, not because they are not relevant of course, but because with this being a CD Projekt RED title it was quite a given that they would be an important part of the game. As for the other stuff, it seems like the Polish developer has raised the bar on this topic, too, and all will be powered by a renewed dialogue system.
From what we’re told, Cyberpunk 2077 is offering both one night stands and longer relationships that continue over the course of the game, which we don’t know precisely what they could turn into but appear to be a bit different in comparison with the “simple” limited in time and space side quests you could find in the majestic The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Also, and this is quite important, romance options will change depending on the sex of your character. They will be more varied and diverse, implying homosexual relations if we want to join them, and will include nudity. Actually, we’re said that full frontal nudity will be delivered in certain situations in the story, which is a hint about investigations as explained in an interview with Polygon but expect it in the romance stuff, too.
This will be very different, as you can see, from what Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is trying and achieving with the introduction of romance in a more BioWare-like direction. Over there you won’t have nudity and you’ll be able to have relationships with whoever you like, no matter who your character is among the two you can select.