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access_time June 19, 2019 at 6:07 PM in Previews by David Poole

E3 2019 Preview | Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red has created quite the name for themselves. The Polish developer is mainly known for The Witcher series, but lately, they’ve been looking to branch out. Originally announced back in 2013, CD Projekt Red proposed their ambitious Cyberpunk 2077 title. It wouldn’t have been until 2018 that we would really see the game in action. Now, during E3 2019, Cyberpunk 2077 not only gave us more details, but it also gave us one of the biggest surprises of the show: Keanu Reeves. The One aside, CD Projekt Red had a new gameplay demo to show at this year’s E3, and we have to say, it still looks awesome.

The easiest way to describe Cyberpunk 2077 is like a more open world Deus Ex. Taking place in the futuristic Night City, cybernetic enhancements and hacking have become the norm. The game mostly plays from a first-person perspective, but there will be times that players will have a third-person view, usually when using vehicles. Like Deus Ex, the game gives options as to how to tackle each situation based on the way the player modifies their skill set. The protagonist, V, is fully customizable, right down to gender, body modifications and background. If players choose to spec V to be a hacker, they can hack terminals and machines to progress. If they spec out their body modifications for strength, they can strong-arm their way through.

Watching the demo, V was given a mission by the Voodoo Boys, a gang that didn’t seem quite that trustworthy. It was here that we had a glimpse at the quick reactionary choices, as V’s hand was taken to link to a network, the player is given a choice to quickly withdraw their hand. Choices are important to Cyberpunk 2077, and sometimes, we have to make the tough decisions. Allowing the network link, V is now on the same network as Placide, a high ranking member of the gang. He assigns V to help defeat a rival gang, the Animals, and recover a special chip. It’s when V establishes this link that we also see Johnny Silverhand, Keanu Reeves’ character, in V’s system. Johnny is a constant communication, with 15 days worth of dialogue recorded for the game.

V takes a motorcycle, making his way to the Grand Imperial Mall where Placide instructed him to go. Upon reaching the mall, we meet up with a couple Voodoo Boys. It’s worth mentioning that this entire time, there are no load times, and it remains that way for the entirety of the demo. The Voodoo Boys instruct V to go in from the back, as it’s the safest way. Our presenter checks out the front, seeing it’s heavily guarded, so he takes the advice to go through the back. Working into the hideout, it shows that Cyberpunk 2077 has plenty of stealth options, just like Deus Ex. Hiding behind various objects, sneaking past fields of vision, even taking advantage of enemy actions, it’s all part of the system. A couple guards leave to check out the Voodoo Boys in front and V continues to sneak inside.

Getting to a hallway, V hacked a security camera and made his way past more guards. Shortly after, V reached an atrium where he could see the Animals planning something. It was here that our demo reached a brief interruption, the presenters loading up a different take on the scene. Taking a female version of V into the mission, this V had a focus on strength. Instead of hacking into the system, she forced open a door and went a different route. This route was much shorter and even got us to the atrium faster. It shows that based on player decisions, they may see completely different parts of Cyberpunk 2077.

Getting into the combat, it seemed that the strength specs gives a few advantages. Moving up to an automated turret, V can remove the gun and use it to deliver a barrage of bullets. Now on the other hand, a hacking specialist V can take control of the turret, making it shoot enemies for you. Two very different options based on the choices of the player. The Nanowire is another cool weapon that players can use in multiple situations. Players can use it as a powerful whip, slicing through enemies like butter. A V with hacking capabilities may even use the Nanowire to hack from a distance.

After seeing the combat, with guns blazing and lots of enemies, it seems the target is very aware of V’s presence. Trying to make a run for it, V gives chase and ends up catching up to him, only for the demo to end. This was just a taste of what Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer, and it was very impressive. The world is full of incredible detail, looking like a game from a future generation. The colorful details and gritty atmosphere blend so perfectly that it’s truly an incredible work of art. CD Projekt Red may have grown used to The Witcher series, but it’s clear they have an understanding of the Cyberpunk world.

Cyberpunk 2077 was nominated as one of GotGame’s Best of E3 2019, and even became one of our runner-ups. Had it been playable, it may have taken home the win, but we’ll likely have to wait till its release in April next year. We can’t wait to become immersed in this world, and we’re sure many others can’t wait either. Cyberpunk 2077 will be releasing on April 20th, 2020, for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.


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