Everything You Need To Know About Cyberpunk 2077 - Now Starring Keanu Reeves
While this year's E3 gaming convention has so far promised the advent of more fantastic looking games and consoles than has possibly ever been seen before, it was Cyberpunk 2077, an entirely original new futuristic RPG that seemed to fuse everything we loved about dystopian movies into one game, that stole the show, unveiling none other than man of the moment Keanu Reeves as one of the game's main stars.
This isn't the first time Cyberpunk has established itself as perhaps the most anticipated title in gaming right now. At last year's E3, it won awards for Best Game, Best Xbox One Game, Best PC Game, Best RPG, and People's Choice at IGN, Best Role-Playing Game and Game of the Show at Game Informer, Best of E3 at PC Gamer, and Game of the Show at GamesRadar+.
Promising an original story developed from tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020, the original reveal of the game boasted a title that had all the futuristic style of Blade Runner crossed with the depth and quality of gaming that the game's developers, CD Projekt Red, garnered critical acclaim for when they released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Last year, we got our first proper look at how the game will play, courtesy of a 48 minute gameplay video recorded in a work-in-progress version of the game. And yes, it looks like everything we could have ever asked for from a futuristic, role-playing, shoot 'em up game.
For those still a little confused about what the game is actually about, Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in a fictional US Megacity called Night City. According to a blurb released by the developers, "Night City is an independent megacity in the Free State of California, run by corporations. While geographically still in the territory of United States of America, it falls completely outside of California and US law. Over the years, it’s been fractured by corporation conflicts and gang wars. Those caught in-between, desperately try to survive, as riots and violence take over the city.
"The city itself is a monument of humanity. It was supposed to be the best city in the world, built from the ground up. The technology didn’t truly solve problems despite its heavy development. Instead, it created more.
"In 2077, society is vastly dependent on drones and robotics. From simple camera drones, able to both record and transmit live feed, to big clunky creatures, warehouse machinery and training bots," says the dev of that. "It’s not unusual for people to see huge automated trash collectors or robots sweeping the streets. Either mass produced by corporations or put together from stolen trashed pieces of tech, robotics serve a huge role in both economics sectors and are an everyday addition to the life of people in Night City.
"Most of the public transportation services are handled by automated vehicles, whether it’s trains, subways or buses. These vehicles are entities in their own right, able to communicate with each other to make adjustments and correct their behavior accordingly."
In keeping with the game's origins in tabletop RPG gaming, Cyberpunk 2077, while set sometime later than the Dungeons & Dragons-style game it's based upon, will have a very similar class system. "You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality, reads an official description from CD Projekt Red. "You can customise your character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you."
"Unlike with the original 2020 where you're locked into one of those [classes] and then could pick and choose a bit, in ours we want you to be able to pick and choose very fluidly and freely to play the way you want to play."
The game will be an entirely open-world first person shooter, similar to Destiny, with an evolving class system that, instead of many role playing games where you choose the kind of character you play from the outset, lets you not only not only have a say in the backstory of the character you play with, but change and customise their traits as the story progresses. This is a tactic that CD Projekt Red used in The Witcher series to great effect, with players heralding the developer's knack for creating deep, immersive stories in worlds that don't necessarily have the size and scale of something like Skyrim or Mass Effect.
As for Reeves' specific role, it's thought that he's going to be playing a character known as Silverhand, noted for his, well, metal hand. According to those aversed in the lore of the Cyberpunk world (a reminder that it's been around in RPG form for a long time), Silverhand is a Rockerboy, described by the game's original text as a class of "treet poets, social consciences and rebels of the 2000’s. With the advent of digital porta-studios and garage laser disk mastering, every Rocker with a message can take it to the street; put it in the record stores, bounce it off the comsats."
And as you can imagine, the preview of the game has already been very, very well received online, with one going so far as to call it "the future of games".
I scrubbed briefly through the Cyberpunk 2077 demo, because I have zero interest in spoiling the game for myself. But it looks great.
What's most impressive is CD Projekt's range as a developer. To go from third person action-RPG to an FPS RPG isn't intuitive. But they did it.— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) 27 August 2018
Watching the Cyberpunk 2077 demo, what I'm seeing is an impressive mix of "Immersive Sim" (Deus Ex, Prey, etc.) and open-world RPG. I remain enthralled.
And man, those visuals. Pretty damn impressive.— Mike Laidlaw @ PAX West (@Mike_Laidlaw) 27 August 2018
THIS is how imagined open world games would look like in the future. #CDProjektRED are the Upper echolons in the gaming industry. #Cyberpunk2077 pic.twitter.com/spfh9fEOw4— Snoopy (@SnoopyG7) 28 August 2018
Honestly Cyberpunk 2077 makes me worry for every other development studio in general. This game is the future of what games should be. Instead of worrying about 4k and super visuals it's expanding on what a living, breathing gamescape can actually be. This IS the future of games.— Jay (@MorninAfterKill) 28 August 2018
The latest insight into the game, released on YouTube by CD Projekt Red, has taken players even furhter into just what the game's world will look like, depending on what type of character you choose to embody. Players will be able to complete the same mission in completely different ways depending on their chosen class, and will also be subject to consquences deriving from the in-game choices they make throughout the story.
Cyberpunk 2077 has been in development since early 2013, and now, after so long, we finally have an official release date. The game will drop on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on April 16th, 2020.