Deception, tough choices, and overpriced spider bots await you in Night City
We’ve survived another trip to the mean streets of Night City – and found time to chat more with the devs.
Night City. Just the name is exciting. And long after you’ve watched the latest gameplay footage, there’s something about Cyberpunk 2077’s setting that sticks with you. There’s always a feeling that you might’ve just missed something incredibly cool, perhaps down an alleyway you passed by, or behind a door that remains locked… and you know it’s going to be some time before you can go and find it. It’s this feeling of more to discover that really makes Cyberpunk 2077 tempting. If the team can pull off an open world that’s packed with interesting things to see and do round every corner, and give you multiple ways of handling almost every situation you find yourself in, then it really does have the potential to be something incredible.
Take the main mission in the latest footage. After being tasked with acquiring a spider-like bot, V (your heavily customisable lead character) and partner Jackie speak to military corporation Militech, which wants to locate the people selling the bot. They acquire a chip containing 50,000 Eddies, the currency of Night City, to buy the bot with. This chip is laced with a virus that will cause havoc for the sellers if they put it into their systems. Dystopian corporations never change…
One way of playing this is simply to hand over the dodgy chip, but you’ll end up in a shootout when the sellers realise you have just infected their systems. However, in another behind-closed-doors demo we see an alternate option, where we tell the sellers about the virus, and they unload it onto a closed system before taking the money.
We could walk out there and then, having given them the 50K and received the bot we needed, screwing over Militech,
“You’re never trying to save the world, it’s always about saving yourself”
which gave us the money. And who’s to say Militech doesn’t deserve it? But as we stand at the door all ready to leave, which is a totally legitimate and possible option, Jackie suggests that we could buy a mighty fine jacket with 50,000 Eddies, and that’s enough to convince us to pull out our weapons and fight the sellers to get the money back. The fight is basically the same as in the online gameplay video, but the option to walk away with no bloodshed is there, and it is our decision to make.
“We’re putting all of our narrative firepower into allowing gamers to experience their story, one in which their decisions will shape who their character really is,” says Stanisław Święcicki, writer on Cyberpunk 2077. “It goes without question, though, that the dystopian future we’re putting you in is a dark and violent place. Being in control of who you are and having it stay that way is what matters most. You’re never trying to save the world, it’s always about saving yourself.”
This kind of choice in every area of Cyberpunk 2077 stems from the pen-and-paper RPG the game is based on. Like in all good tabletop role-playing games, imagination is king – you’re free to do whatever you and your friends want to. CD Projekt Red is hoping to bring that spirit to its game, packing it with player-driven drama.
The tabletops have turned
“It’s not a company requirement to be a pen-and-paper gamer, but many of us have either been or are die-hard tabletop RPG fans, myself included,” says Święcicki. “Every Friday one of our meeting rooms transforms into a den for pen-and-paper geeks, eager to continue an adventure, or begin a fresh one altogether. And yes, we’ve hosted quite a bit of Cyberpunk 2020 sessions, even before we started working on Cyberpunk 2077, which I think is a testament to just how timeless the system is.”
If the entire game features this many ways to play different missions and situations then it’ll surely take multiple playthroughs to discover all the different options. It’s something a lot of games have promised, but very few have actually delivered on. Still not convinced you want this? Well, there’s a giant bullet-deflecting katana that can slice through enemies instantly. GOTY confirmed.
Jackie really doesn’t make the best decisions sometimes. 50K Eddies is great, but losing our lives? Not so much.
Spider bot, spider bot, does whatever a spider bot does. Runs up walls, costs a fortune, gets you shot… You get the idea. Night City is a mesmerising place, especially after dark when the streets are mostly lit by neon signs. Even by day, those signs are pretty stunning. We just hope our apartment isn’t behind one, or V will never sleep.