Cy­ber­punk 2077

De­cep­tion, tough choices, and over­priced spi­der bots await you in Night City

Games Master - - Contents - Mike Stubbs

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.

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