Highly-anticipated game from CD Projekt Red, developers of best-selling game The Witcher 3, made their presence known in this year’s E3. When fans previously saw any Cyberpunk 2077 content, they were hyped up at the end. This year was no exception. After Keanu Reeves made a surprise appearance in this year’s E3 trailer, there was praise all around from critics and fans alike. There was nothing else that CD Projekt Red could show until its release date of April 16, 2020, right?
Wrong! The developers made a strong push in E3 showing off more footage for E3 attendees. For people who had luck in their advantage — they battled through the capped line and hour wait. Their result was a demo of new gameplay for Cyberpunk 2077.
In this presentation, it was a real-time demo from the developers themselves. The demo starts when you met with Dexter DeShawn, the man that V met up with the chip. In this scenario, however, Dexter forces V to implant the chip and infiltrate a mall to gather information on a rival gang. They showed off numerous features that were not in previous videos: dialog, branching paths, and combat to name a few.
The dialog was the first thing that was pointed out by the developers. The dialog from NPCs was not English; however, the chip implant allows the player to translate the language in real time. The game is unclear whether the implants are interchangeable, but if they are, the implants would allow for passive abilities.
Another feature with the dialog system was when the V was talking with various NPCs, there were dialogue trees like Fallout or Skyrim — if V had a certain amount of ability points towards certain abilities, it would unlock new dialogue choices. Like The Witcher 3, V had no time limit to make a choice. However, the developers did not stray off the path and did not show off other dialogue choices. The outcomes of those choices might not be implemented in the game, but it would have added more depth into the game that fans can be excited about.
Instead of rehashing The Witcher 3’s dialogue system, an evolution of that system would be a huge addition to the game.
Different Ways for Different Folks
Another feature that was pointed out was non-linear paths in the presented mission. The mission took place at a shopping mall surrounding a deserted area with numerous enemies inside. The developers had a choice to raid the front door where V’s presence was known to the enemies. Or a second choice to infiltrate the facility from the backdoor — the developers chose the latter.
During the middle of the presentation, the developers pointed out different playstyles that players can choose. They paused the game to show two different playstyles — stealth or assault styles. Also highlighted was five attributes that players can distribute ability points to like Bethesda games: Body, intelligence, reflex, technical ability, and cool.
None of the attributes were explained but fans can assume that one attribute is for health, “magic” strength, physical strength, hacking, and speech demeanor. Depending on how points are attributed, players can explore different playstyles aside from the two mentioned.
Having non-linear paths whether it is strategizing how to confront missions or playstyle is good to have, especially in this game; however, it is nothing different from what has been done before.
Speaking of playstyles, combat was emphasized during the brief playthrough. Other than the two playstyles, the developers showed off ways to battle enemies. First was melee with V’s neon-lighted wire which can take one-hit enemies. Another way is to hack nearby objects like turrets or various machines.
What was shown in the demo during the stealth run was one of the enemies was sparring a robot that V could hack into. Of course, the developers showed off what could happen if V hacked into the robot; thus, killing the enemy and creating a distraction for V to get through the area.
Otherwise, there are typical guns like shotguns and assault rifles that can aid V through a mission. What can tailor guns to the player's personality is customizing guns with skins, paint jobs, etc. Other things to consider is implementing passive abilities to each gun or various types of bullets depending on specific situations.
The Future is Near
Fans are looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077’s release. From its immersive environment to its engaging characters, Cyberpunk 2077 may be the next Witcher 3. From the gameplay demo, the developers would need to address issues. For one, the environment that the demo was played was not the futuristic landscape from previous trailers. The developers did not go into detail about the environment in the demo — if the location was away from the main city — but it is concerning if the surrounding areas outside the main city are a wasteland or nothing that can be considered “futuristic”. The demo could have been an addition to the 48-minute walkthrough which many fans kept talking about. Second, dialog and combat need to be an evolution instead of a rehash of previous action RPGs.
Without a doubt, CD Projekt Red has a game that can further push the evolution of action RPGs. Fans need to stay optimistic about Cyberpunk 2077, especially with Keanu Reeves’ appearance in the game. More info can be found in Cyberpunk 2077’s official site.
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