PREVIEW – Night City. Four hours of concentrated gameplay. ’No Future’ feeling.
The lucky journalists were almost shocked by the plethora of almost endless possibilities in the game, the sheer ambition of the project. It is no question: CD Project RED wants to reform the RPG genre once again. The city, Night City, is full of unprecedented amounts of life, which makes the game look more like the heir to Grand Theft Auto and Witcher III, though it doesn’t really resemble either: it has much of the Deus Ex gene in it too. The result speaks for itself. After what the gaming world has just seen, no one is surprised by the constant delays. The world and characters are alive, the gameplay is even deeper and more complex than in any of the titles listed, so it’s likely to be some incredibly great experience. Of course, only if they pay close attention to detail and don’t rush it. As soon as it happens though, the industry’s biggest house of cards may collapse, burying the developers under it.
I honestly admit that I was already starting to doubt the game, simply because in this generation everything that the developers had dreamed of simply seemed unachievable, but now that the reactions are coming that its complexity has impressed everyone, I trust it again.
Entering the city, the senses are overflowing with a wealth of information. 3DJuegos was led through Night City by Colin Walder, chief programmer for language localization and audio. The man tried to draw the journalist’s attention to the plethora of things going on around him, and in vain, it was simply impossible to have so much information at once.
While trying out the game, the chosen ones were faced with a big choice: either they carry on with the main quest, or they focus on side missions, OR they are immersed in the rich world, experiencing its many random and scripted events. The clock was ticking. They were given four hours to try out everything. Let’s see what they’ve found:
The game world is a messed up place. This is exactly the future that most civilians dreaded in the ’70s & ’80s. Punk has become the driving force of the world, people are obsessively looking for the style that suits them best, chasing “coolness”, everyone wants to be cool and unique, in which they don’t shy away from distorting their bodies. The Deus Ex gene is reinforced by the fact that everyone is obsessed with their implants, man wants to fight nature. In the world of Cyberpunk 2077, natural is just an extinct word. Here everything is artificial, a plastic existence, as technology has consumed man.
The missions are BETTER than in Witcher III, especially the main missions. I know this seemed unbelievable to me at first too, yet, it seems to be the case. Although the writing in Witcher III was strong, the scenes built around the dialogues were relatively simple. Well, that’s the point where Cyberpunk 2077 takes it to the next level. We feel like a character in a great movie. The scenes are much more elaborate and go much further than just telling us what we’re going to have to do.
Okay, that it looks cinematic, but how does it feel as an RPG? Although 4 hours is not enough to draw far-reaching conclusions, one would think, but it is enough to take a look at the skill tree, and we can already see that the boys and girls were not joking here. Our five main attributes are Reflex, Constitution, Technical Skill, Intelligence and Charisma. For example, if we progress on the Constitution line, we will find 22 athletic abilities, one of which, for example, is to regenerate faster during combat. And it was just one tab out of many. As an athletic, we have 3 more options for development, with additional upgrade opportunities within each. The intelligence side has the ability to hack tools and people (!). With Reflex we can improve our melee and firearms knowledge. These capabilities all get multipliers for our attributes associated with them. Wicked, huh? And then we didn’t even talk about the cybernetic implants menu, which allows us to change our bodies beyond its limits. Arms, feet, palms… Yeah, and the stats of different types of weapons will also change based on the above.
Welcome to the neon jungle
The game’s prologue strongly resembles Dragon Age: Origins. We can start in three factions as Nomad, Street Kid or Corpo.
-Nomad: a group organized into clans who live in the outer districts of the city. They would die for freedom.
-Street Kid: Ghetto dwellers who live under the law of the fittest.
-Corpo: information brokers who trade market and company secrets on the highest levels.
Each “origin story” is unique and the protagonists are mixed into our lives in different ways. So, at least the beginning of the game is greatly influenced by what character we start with, and it is expected to have further consequences throughout the game. Our origins influence our dialogues and abilities. Remember that action here and action there, it’s still an RPG. Instead of headshots, our stats will decide combat.
Since the journalists played from a stream, it may all because of that, but the gunplay, though it would have been good for the most part, didn’t seem responsive enough with the cover system.
During hacking, we can trick enemies in many different ways, like luring them to grenades waiting to explode, or messing with their implants. There are a lot of tricks that all non-warrior characters will be forced to use. Fortunately, these game mechanics has been deepened as expected from a game called Cyberpunk. The gunplay, however, is a bit worrying, but we hope that by launch it will all be solved.
The city that never sleeps
CD Project RED wants immersion. Here, it is not the facial animation that will impress players, but the astonishingly well-thought-out characters. Each has a unique style. Implants, tattoos, hairstyles all tell the story of the character.
The interface has been integrated into the gameplay. Our brain implants actively translate the foreign dialogue, indicating the number of rounds left in our weapon etc. The whole thing is damn stylish. Our hero, V is completely customizable. His elaboration is shown by the fact that when we look more closely around, we can see our legs and arms in our inner view, and we can look at the clothes we are wearing.
In the character editor you can change the tone of V’s voice, your hair, insert eyes with a cybernetic implant, and put on or remove genitals (!) And even increase the size of your pee-pee if you want. Funny.
For the time being, it is questionable whether our car will have the same detailed customizability, but when switched to a cockpit view while driving, it was already clear how much attention was paid to the uniqueness of each vehicle.
Bugs… Damn bugs
Unfortunately, based on the experience of journalists, it can be said that the game is full of bugs. Stuck in HUD, characters who don’t pull a gun when they should, or the fact that parking our car can disrupt the game, NPCs start behaving strangely from an obstacle in their pre-programmed path. Other times, the car got stuck in-world objects. These occur in a game of this size, of course, but we hope that they will be improved by launch.
In the end, the 4 hours seemed like ten minutes, and only the surface could be scraped by the press. We learn a little more with each quest, and the world is huge even compared to open-world games. There are many questions at the same time, however. For example, the differences between the current generation version and the next-gen version will only be known after release. One thing is for sure, however: Night City is now alive. You can walk in it, its inhabitants are unique, the whole place has become a reality. Cyberpunk 2077 really does exist and is coming. And just as the inhabitants of this world find solace in virtual places (such as interactive 3D porn), soon we will be immersed in the virtual world of Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 is expected on November 19 this year for PC, Xbox One, PS4, and also around the end of the year for Stadia.
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