After the huge announcement that Keanu Reeves would be starring in the massively hyped upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077, news of what he’ll be getting up to has started to trickle through. After attending a behind closed doors session for the title today, I can tell you that his role certainly isn’t a small one.
The demo I was shown went for roughly an hour and took place over the course of a single mission line. During the playthrough – which was actually played live, it wasn’t a video – we were shown things like character customisation, dialogue choices, and a variety of ways to take down enemies.
As the player was customised with different outfits, facial wiring and other features, Keanu’s character Johnny was leaning against a wall in the background. Once all the choices were confirmed, old mate asks you, “you think anyone gives a rat’s dick how you look?” Unreal.
It turns out Keanu is like a digital ghost only you can see, but he behaves like a sassy Cortana or Alexa with a robotic arm. There were various points in the demo where he’d show up just to be a smartass, which is absolutely fine if you ask me. He almost plays an advisory role, chiming in with his two cents or providing help during tense conversations.
Set in a slightly seedier location of the game’s Night City, the task was to get close to a particular gang by doing them a favour, which was clearing out a rival gang known as the Animals in a nearby abandoned shopping mall. Visiting a number of locations on the way, I really got a sense of how lived in the world of Cyberpunk 2077 feels, something a lot of games struggle with. It’s authentic and it looks fucking incredible.
Thanks to what the presenter referred to as developer magic, we got to see a few different ways of playing through the same scenario. If they went in stealthy the first time, the second time would be a Rambo-esque all guns blazing alternative, and both feel just as powerful as each other.
Given the Animals are a tribe of insanely buff bodybuilders, the latter felt like a very appropriate option, but hacking into their internal systems was also a devastating way to lay waste to these gym junkies. At one point, we saw the ability to hack enemy minds, making them hold onto a grenade for too long or simply turn their gun on themselves.
Along with hacking, which plays an enormous role in the game, you’ll be able to install modifications to your own body for extra abilities. One we saw was an incredibly jacked female who could rip a turret out of the ground and use it as her own weapon.
Outside of traditional weapons and fucking with people’s techy implants, there was also a wild piece of wire which could be whipped around to take off limbs, which is pretty gnarly. Developer, CD Projekt Red, is also keen to let you play the non-lethal option, telling the room that you can make it all the way through the game without killing a single person if you want.
Like the studio’s popular series, The Witcher, the missions in Cyberpunk 2077 are expertly written, with twists and turns popping up all over the place, forcing you to make choices which can affect the entire game. When the mission was over, we got a glimpse of gameplay which takes place entirely within Cyberpunk’s version of the internet, and it looks insane, at least from what I saw.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Cyberpunk takes out the best game for E3 again this year, because I haven’t been able to fault a single thing about it so far, nor have I heard anyone else say a bad word towards it.
I can’t wait to be verbally shit on by Keanu Reeves when this drops on April 16, 2020.Image: CD Projekt Red