One of the mostly anticipated games coming out of E3 is absolutely Cyberpunk 2077 – the sci-fi action RPG from the brains behind The Witcher III, which basically everyone agrees is one of the best games of the past few years. We got a cinematic trailer during the Xbox conference which established the game’s sun-drenched cyberpunk aesthetic, but fans are still stinging to learn what the game actually plays like.
News about the gameplay itself is filtering out through a number of outlets who were invited to a closed-door playthrough of part of Cyberpunk. PEDESTRIAN.TV was not – our gaming editor Matt is on the ground, but he’s probably getting pissed somewhere and not doing his job. You’re on thin ice, Matt!
But these first impressions are circulating hard among fans, who are doing their best to extrapolate as much as they can from the scant details provided by the demo playthrough.
According to IGN, the game plays from a first-person perspective, which might be a surprise to those who were expecting a third-person RPG experience akin to The Witcher III. They say it’s still rich in the kind of RPG experiences we’d expect from a CD Projekt game: including complex branching dialogue options and customisable characters. But it’s definitely a shooter, which IGN says feels more akin to “Borderlands or Deus Ex” than The Witcher.
After there was some initial unease about the choice to go first-person, CD Projekt’s Kyle Rowley stepped in to clarify the thinking:
We’re spending a lot of time on this very detailed cyberpunk world set in Night City. It’s all handcrafted, there’s a lot of atmosphere. We really want players to feel this depression and the fact that these mega-corporations are kind of stamping down on people’s lives. To really showcase that and immerse the player in that world we decided the first-person perspective was the best way to do it.
Though a number of outlets have highlighted that the shooting feels tight and fast-paced, Rowley clarified that the developers don’t consider it a first-person shooter per se – a genre which comes with its own set of expectations and conventions.
“It’s a role-playing game with some shooter elements, rather than a shooter with role-playing laid on top of it,” he told PC Gamer.
So we can expect a lot of RPG character stuff, which was teased in the demo through the main character V having access to a number of interesting gear upgrades, skills and stats.
And yes: there is driving. To some extent, you’ll be able to drive around Night City, though it’s not entirely clear how much you’ll be doing that, or how accessible the city is to cars overall. It was described as “impressive and smooth” with some very slick driving and shooting mechanics.
So there’s definitely still a lot of open questions – but what we’re hearing sounds pretty damn good to us.Image: Cyberpunk 2077