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First Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay details revealed

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First Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay details revealed

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 13 June 2018, 01:07:41

Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077

Two days after its re-announcement, CD Projekt have decided to reveal the first gameplay details about Cyberpunk 2077. Several media outlets got to see a behind closed doors demo of the game today, and have been allowed to report their impressions. The most important takeaway is that Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person RPG, something which has caused a certain degree of consternation among Witcher fans who were expecting a similar experience. Unlike what some people may have assumed, it appears that the game is in an advanced state of development, and all the attendees came away from the demo very impressed. IGN seem to be the first site to have published a full preview. I quote:

Six years after its first reveal, I have seen a live demo of Cyberpunk 2077, and it looks like everything I was hoping it would be. A beautiful and sprawling RPG set in an alternate future that sits somewhere between Dredd, Blade Runner, and The Fifth Element.

The biggest surprise is that the gameplay is almost entirely first-person. With a helluva lot of guns to fire and damage values popping up as your bullets hit enemies, the combat plays out more like Borderlands or Deus Ex than it does The Witcher 3. There are tons of abilities to use during combat, including bullet ricocheting and a bullet time slow down that came in handy quite a bit during the 45-minute demo I saw.

The shooting looks solid as well, though it’s always hard to tell without going hands on. Shotguns, pistols, and an enemy-seeking rifle all had kick and feedback to them that I maybe wasn’t expecting from the studio behind The Witcher. It seems slower than something like Borderlands, but definitely faster than Deus Ex, and using abilities in conjunction with your guns clearly seemed important.

And while we saw a bit of stealth, and I’m sure using the Mantis arm blades and a late game wall run ability will help facilitate that, our demo was mostly guns-blazing. One cool moment was when the player took out an enemy stealthily, then jacked directly into him to get a schematic of the base they were fighting through, hacking various systems to cause havoc.

Outside of the heat of battle, however, Cyberpunk’s RPG core shines bright and clear. You take quests, talk to NPCs with branching dialogue options, and explore an open world only limited by your “Street Cred” value -- which can be increased by doing jobs, or even by putting on sweet looking clothes, like a leather jacket that had a 5% increase to Street Cred in addition to other stats.

You play as a mercenary cyberpunk named V, a bespoke character that you can customize to be male or female and deck out with tats, electronics, and all sorts of other outfits befitting the game’s name. You also assign points to six stats (most of which are from the original Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game): Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Reflexes, Tech, and (my favorite) Cool.

But Cyberpunk also pulls away from other typical RPG molds. Instead of picking a class archetype, you get to customize and specialize as you see fit during the game, making your own class of sorts. You get to customize V’s backstory as well, and instead of more typical options you might expect, there are questions like picking your “Childhood Hero.”

But while your character is your own, this is clearly as much of an open-world RPG as The Witcher 3. We saw V, a woman in the demo I watched, walking around the dense and winding Night City to talk to allies, get quests from shady criminal sources, and upgrade her abilities and body parts.

At one point she went to her Ripperdoc to install an optical scanner and a hand upgrade called Subdermal Grip. The increased grip strength upped the damage of her guns, as well as brought up a previously-missing ammo counter. The eye (which you see installed in her head from its perspective and is one of the all-time creepiest and coolest pieces of equipment I’ve seen in a game) gives V the ability to zoom and scan enemies and vehicles.

That scanning is important, because there appear to be four different types of damage in Cyberpunk 2077: Physical, Thermal, EMP, and Chemical. Scanning shows you what damage the enemy uses, as well as what they are weak or strong against.

There were also equipment and chip slots, and one chip we saw towards the end of the demo gave V a robot spider about the size of a dog that would follow and fight for her. It rocked. Player choice seems incredibly important to Cyberpunk, and I feel like we only scratched the surface of its customization options

And did I mention vehicles? Because, yes, you can drive in this game. It’s not totally clear how big Night City is, but its streets were at least sprawling enough to hop in what looked like a futuristic Lambo and get in a mobile gun fight. The AI companion took the wheel as V leaned out the window and shot people out of a van in front of them. It was tense, though the map doesn’t look nearly as open or free for driving like it is in GTA 5 from what I saw.

That said, Night City seems to have a lot of depth and height to it if you’re walking around. It’s got huge sky-rises full of things to do, sodas to buy (which can be used later like most RPG food), and V used elevators to get between floors. Like I said, it comes out as a dense city with lots of side paths to explore.

And Cyberpunk has more AI civilians just bustling around on ground level than I’ve seen in most games. Walking around in first-person made the city streets feel alive with action, not like a game. It was truly remarkable.

Cyberpunk 2077’s writing and voice acting seemed superb as well from what I could tell. It was clever and well-written -- at one point a dialogue choice had V chastise her Ripperdoc for narrating what he was doing, poking fun at another game trope.

The dialogue options also seemed like they had real weight to them. At one point, a deal gone south made V end up getting hacked by her enemy, a line plugged into her that acting as a digital lie detector. The player could lie still, but when she said that she didn’t have back-up (she did) it caused them to search for her partner. All the while, the option to just grab the gun and start a fight persisted, but the player was able to talk their way through without conflict.

Those dialogue options don’t feel as stationary as The Witcher 3, either. Occasionally more casual dialogue choices would pop up while walking around with V’s NPC partner. That, coupled with the first-person camera, makes Cyberpunk 2077 seems significantly more immersive than having more structured conversations as Geralt.

CD Projekt also explicitly called Cyberpunk 2077 "a mature experience intended for mature audiences" and that players would "not only have a chance to engage with the game world but also with its people.” They happened to say that right after V carried a naked woman she had rescued for a job out of a building, and during a cutscene where we then see V waking up in the morning in nothing but her underwear. You can read between the lines for yourself, but it sounds like… let’s call it “romance” options will be in Cyberpunk too.

A handful of cutscenes were the only times Cyperpunk left first-person -- apart from driving which gives you the option to swap, though first-person has a sweet MPH UI on your windshield. It’s nice to know that you’ll be able to see your custom V during the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 is definitely not just “Cyberpunk Witcher,” it’s something a whole lot more than that. The core of what I loved about The Witcher is clearly there, but in a wild and exciting new shell that stands as something wholly its own. Questions about how free its open world feels, the quality of its stories, and if the guns are actually good to shoot when they are in our own hands persists, but having finally seen Cyberpunk 2077 in action, I’m more excited for it than ever.
IGN also put together a bullet point list of Cyberpunk 2077's notable features, and at Game Informer there's an even more detailed preview that describes the demo footage moment-by-moment. When will we get to see this footage, you ask? Two of the game's developers were interviewed on the GameSpot and IGN live E3 broadcasts today, but there was no sign of any footage there. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long.

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