Microsoft concluded their E3 2018 briefing with a game that has been on nearly everyone’s radar for a few years now: Cyberpunk 2077. While CD PROJEKT RED’s trailer is essentially a cinematic introduction to the world, without any gameplay or details, it does at least gives us a few clues about what the game might have in store for us. Here are some of the details from the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer that stand out to us.
Confirmation On Our Setting
Looks like Cyberpunk 2077 will, in fact, be set in the fictional Night City, California. This is something that appears to have been speculated (possibly even known) by some as it’s been commonly discussed on Reddit and is the topic of many YouTube videos from as early as mid 2017. The trailer starts out by telling us “In 2077 they voted my city (in reference to presumably the player character) the worst place to live in America. Main issues: sky-high rate of violence and more people living below the poverty line than anywhere else.” Even with that being said, we’re told there is still an allure to Night City that keeps people coming back for more. Here’s what the official Cyberpunk website (Which updated right after the E3 2018 reveal) tells us: “The world is broken. MegaCorps manage every aspect of life from the top floors of their sky-scraping fortresses. Down below, the streets are run by drug-pushing gangs, tech hustlers, and illegal braindance slingers. The in-between is where decadence, sex and pop culture mix with violent crime, extreme poverty and the unattainable promise of the American Dream.” Sounds like this should scratch our cyber-punk itch!
The Tone of CD PROJEKT RED’s Cyberpunk 2077:
While the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer looks much more colorful than a lot of other cyberpunk and dystopian media, the tone seems to be as dark as you would expect. It’s almost as if the more colorful pallet of The Witcher 3‘s Blood and Wine expansion was an experiment to see how they might pull this off, while also keeping the sinister tone – something Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher will definitely have in common. Oppressive upper-class have subdued so much of the population that law enforcement seems to struggle to keep up with all of the violence — the standard dystopian shtick. This causes the ghettos to be ruled by whoever has the biggest guns and the best cyber-enhancements. It seems that these criminal syndicates use violence and urban terrorism to maintain territorial control, as a lot of the later half of this trailer focuses on altercations between rival people/groups in these less savory areas.
Players will take on the role of ‘V’ (possible short for whatever his name might actually be) who is a “cyberpunk.” This will likely put you right in the middle of the urban violence that is so prevalent in that trailer. To me, the title of “cyberpunk” seems to imply that you are a street-level thug in one of these gangs, or even a resistance movement against one of these groups. I think the first is more likely, given just how much focus is given to dominance-oriented violence (the gentleman having his cybernetic eye pulled out, for example). Cyberpunk 2077‘s website also notes that “today is your first step to becoming an urban legend” potentially meaning that “cyberpunk” is just the initiate-level rank of whatever V is taking part in. One of the titles of an official screenshot calls him a “mercenary”, just food for your thought. There are also several instances in the trailer such as the cyborg who is frying while seated on the space craft, and the councilman who appears to have been sabotaged that indicate how commonly this violence happens in high-profile settings, not just urban areas. Could we see our character V being the mastermind behind plotting some of these acts, or the one trying to prevent them?
E3 2018 Gameplay Speculations:
As I mentioned above, it’s hard to speculate gameplay from the cinematic Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, but using the setting and tone we can try to infer a few things.
It appears that guns play a very major part in the gritty, violence-stricken Night City and it is a very safe bet that gameplay might have a heavy emphasis on them as well. If this is the case, we won’t know until much later if this will be in the first-person perspective, third-person, or a mix of the two similar to how Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided play. Hopefully they will allow for gun mods and customization, which would pair perfectly with a cybernetically enhanced world. If Cyberpunk 2077 does involve guns, it will be CD PROJEKT RED’s first attempt at doing so, which could lead to some cool innovations.
Since it’s a CD PROJECT RED title, we can be certain that there will be a ton of RPG elements. It says it right on the title of their homepage; “CD PROJECKT RED – The industry leader in creating role-playing games.” With creating RPG systems being one of, if not their single largest, strength I think that a cyberpunk world where you can simply upgrade yourself by installing some new hardware or software will create a perfect RPG leveling and progressing system. New levels will unlock abilities to improve existing cybernetic while in-game milestones will unlock more slots to install new enhancements (again, just speculation). Perhaps we will see a system really similar to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s mutagens in future reveal events of the game.
Driving takes the spotlight in the final 20 seconds of the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer. Whether or not this is a central game mechanic or part of an action set piece is impossible to tell based on this footage. However, there is a listing on CD PROJEKT RED’s Job board for both a Vehicle Gameplay Programmer and Senior Vehicle Artist, which all-but confirms to me that there will be vehicles in the game and they will be drive-able. What’s interesting is that the job description also notes that the Vehicle Gameplay Programmer will also be creating flying vehicles. This seems to hint at vehicles being used in an expansive open-world setting such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Watch Dogs 2 instead of just having vehicles contained to specific linear levels.
I would love to see options for customization come to these vehicles, since cybernetically augmented rides haven’t really been explored in this sort of unique setting before. Sure, we’ve seen guns attached to vehicles and cars that can drive up buildings, but what about additions that can hack automobiles in front of you and make them merge out of the way? Since we only see V driving the one slick, black car in the trailer perhaps that’s what we will drive exclusively. If that’s the case, the vehicle could have an RPG upgrade tree sort of system to incorporate this customization. There are a ton of customization possibilities within this setting, and I hope that CD PROJEKT RED takes the opportunity to explore them. To quote my fellow writer and friend Michael Pyre: “Let’s just hope they will act bit better than Roach.”
Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer Closing Thoughts:
It’s tough to pull much information from CD PROJEKT RED’s E3 2018 trailer that’s less than two minutes and shows no gameplay. Though it does give us at least enough to start formulating wants and expectations for that game that follows-up one of the best in recent memory. With so many game events coming in the near future, there is no doubt that we will see more info about Cyberpunk 2077.
I would love to hear your thoughts! Did you see anything in the trailer that caught your eye when CD PROJEKT RED took over the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing? What tiny details have you speculating? Let me know in the comments below!