Cyberpunk 2077

Plenty of massive open world RPG games have procedurally generated quests: Skyrim and Fallout 4 are most notable, thanks to Bethesda Softworks' Radiant AI tech. But it's fairly common for loot-oriented games like Diablo and The Division to have them too. Cyberpunk 2077, on the other hand, definitely will not have them.

That's according to quest design coordinator Philipp Weber, who recently answered a bunch of questions in the CD Projekt Red forums. "Every quest in the game is handcrafted," he wrote. "For us, quality is always more important than quantity, and we just couldn’t deliver this quality with modules we assemble in different ways to create these random quests. We don’t just want to keep people busy, but actually give them something to do that’s worth their while."

Weber also assured readers that despite everything being handcrafted, the game would still be big. "But we’re making a big Open World RPG of course, so that also means that despite our quests being handcrafted, we tried to make a whole lot of them, so players can have fun in the game for many hours," he said.

The interview has some other interesting tidbits as well. Side quests will vary in size, and it sounds like some will be longer and more complex than story missions, which won't come as a surprise to players of The Witcher 3. But it's the game's other tier of mission, called Street Stories, that sounds especially interesting. According to Weber, these will most closely resemble Geralt's monster hunting missions in The Witcher 3.

"These are the jobs that V gets from fixers like Dexter DeShawn, and doing these jobs gives V more street cred, so she gets a reputation around the city," Weber said. "These jobs can be very varied and of course also benefit a lot from our different playstyles, so there’s often many creative ways to solve them. 

"Street Stories are designed and implemented by our Open World Team, so as a quest designer I’m actually really looking forward towards playing them myself, because I don’t know them as well as other quests in the game and I’ll be able to play them almost as any other player."

You can check out the full interview here. Cheers, PCGamesN, for the heads up.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 promises plenty of action and adventure, but in between all the gunfire and fistfights and hacking and high-speed getaways, there will be time for some tender moments of romance, too. CD Projekt has previously said that romance—or just sex—will be "heavily present in Cyberpunk," but as we noted in our rundown of everything we know about the game, it hasn't answered the most pressing question of all: Will you be able to get busy with Keanu?

"One of the things we’ve done to make sure the game addresses things a certain way is a lot of the time NPCs are just going to refer to you as ‘V’, because you won’t be able to choose your name," Level designer Max Pears told VGC at the Tokyo Game Show. "That way it helps people know that it’s their character that’s being spoken to and also however you’ve envisioned your V, that’s still your V. That’s been our focus: your version of V is your version as the player and that’s how you will be addressed in the game."

CD Projekt recently announced that it would forgo conventional male and female gender options in favor of enabling players to select a body type and voice, and Pears said that genitals will be based on that selection—which will be relevant, because the game will not shy away from nudity, including in sex scenes.

Which brings us back to the matter at hand: CD Projekt has previously said players will have the ability to pursue a far more diverse range of romances than they could in The Witcher games, with gay, straight, and bi NPCs. But what about Keanu? 

"Keanu plays a crucial role in the game, but as for the option to romance him, I don’t believe you can," Pears said. Sorry, everyone.

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled for release on April 16, 2020.

Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt has released a new "behind the scenes" trailer showcasing some of the work that went into making the big Keanu Reeves-revealing Cyberpunk 2077 cinematic that debuted at E3.

It's not a detailed look into the creative process: The video is really just a fast cut of the cinematic set to cyber-music, with assets in various states of completion that illustrate things like textures being layered onto objects. But there's also a closeup look at Dexter DeShawn's facial animations that's very impressive, and a few clips of motion capture that play out beside the cinematic counterpart, including Jackie's death scene and V's fight with DeShawn's goon.

The video only hints at the amount of work that goes into making a game (and a trailer) of this scope, but it's fun to see how all the pieces come together—like the way a mo-cap actor slipping off the edge of a table becomes a frantic slide across the hood of a getaway car as bullets go whizzing by. And maybe it's best not to go too deep on it just yet—don't want to spoil the magic before the game is even out.

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled for release on April 16, 2020. CD Projekt recently committed to adding multiplayer sometime after that.

Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red has officially confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will have a multiplayer component, but only once the studio has finished delivering all planned single-player content for the game. The Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account announced confirmation this morning.

CDPR included a link to its careers page in the tweet, and is currently hiring for eight multiplayer-focused jobs at its Wrocław studio. These include a 3D character artist, design director, network programmer, senior gameplay programmer, and more.

The company also provided a rough post-launch roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077.

"The plan for now is to deliver Cyberpunk 2077 in April, then follow up with DLCs (free!) and single player content, and—once we're done—invite you for some multiplayer action," CDPR tweeted in a follow-up.

It's not any massive surprise that multiplayer will eventually arrive in Cyberpunk 2077, as CD Projekt has been hinting at it for years. Last year, the company brought multiplayer specialists Digital Scapes on board in a "long-term strategic cooperation" on the game. Digital Scapes previously worked on Dying Light's multiplayer component, "Be the Zombie."

Fans have expressed concern over the potential for microtransactions in a multiplayer game, particularly after CD Projekt's CEO suggested online elements will be crucial to Cyberpunk 2077's long-term success. But the company says not to worry, going so far as to put an FAQ as background text into Cyberpunk's 2018 E3 trailer that read, on the question of microtransactions, "In a single-player role-playing game? Are you nuts?"

Cyberpunk 2077

We got a good eyeful of The Animals and the Voodoo Boys in Cyberpunk 2077's latest trailer, but even for veterans of the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG, CD Projekt Red's demo raised questions. The company has enlisted the help of Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith to help explain some of the differences fans of his universe may have noticed, specifically relating to the two gangs.

"When I created [the Voodoo Boys] many, many years ago, I was looking at an interesting idea which is what we would now call cultural appropriation," he explains in the video below. "What happens when somebody comes in and tried to adopt a culture that they know little or nothing about, and does it really, really badly." 

In Pondsmith's original vision of Cyberpunk's world, the Voodoo Boys were "average white boys" who adopted Creole and Haitian cultural icons and symbols because they thought they were cool. With the setting shifted 57 years into the future, the Voodoo Boys is a different gang: one that's been reappropriated by people from the Caribbean, practitioners of Voudon, as he explained after E3.

"One of the great things about having a few years is that you get the chance to do some re-dos, and one of the best ones is what we have with the Voodoo Boys now," Pondsmith says. "The Voodoo Boys in 2077 are really Voodoo Boys. They inherited the name, but it was sort of a natural fit: They were coming from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and they were the real thing."

Pondsmith said this new vision of the Voodoo Boys is something that takes the "Cyberpunk vibe" and injects it into an old culture that's not usually visible to most people.

"So they're a gang, but they're not really—they're more of a cultural phenomenon," he said.

The Animals, on the other hand, are based at least in part on guys Pondsmith says he used to see at the gym back in his days of lifting weights, which were "way back in my dark, dank past."

"The Animals are like those guys," he said. "They're in it to basically build themselves up and become the tigers of their particular urban jungle. They want to be big, they want to be bad, and they want you to fear them just because they exist. And you know, it's really easy to fear a guy who blots out the sun when he walks by you."

Part of what Pondsmith enjoys about Cyberpunk 2077 is the contrast between these two groups.

"The Animals are very simple. They have an ethos: Get big, lift. Get strong, lift," he says. "Unlike the Voodoo Boys, who have a culture, the Animals have a thing."

Cyberpunk 2077 is due out in April next year.

Cyberpunk 2077

Update: Marcin Momot, CD Projekt Red's global community lead, has commented on the apparent shift to first-person cutscenes. As he wrote on Twitter, "the decision made by the team to go 100% first person in @CyberpunkGame is something that will benefit it greatly from gameplay and story-telling perspectives. That said, players will still be able to see their characters in the inventory screen, during driving sequences, in mirrors and, very occasionally, in some of the cut-scenes."

That "very occasionally" could be interpreted in different ways. In the early demos there were the third-person scenes like the one in which V rode an elevator, get out of bed, and took a phonecall, but new footage seen in the most recent deep dive only leaves first-person during driving and menus, like the character creation screen in which Johnny Silverhand comments, "Come on. Really think they give a rat's dick how you look?"

Original story: After The Witcher games let us see Geralt in third-person, whether riding horses or relaxing in the tub, many were surprised by Cyberpunk 2077's first-person perspective. Early footage showed cutscenes in third-person though, with personalized versions of V in various cool jackets. That's apparently changed, however.

After a German interview with Night City Life was picked over on the CD Projekt Red forums (with some interesting details about how rooms in The Witcher 3 had to be designed with extra space so Geralt didn't bump into a table before the camera had time to follow him in), a user approached the official Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account to ask whether cutscenes would be in first-person. "In Cyberpunk 2077, immersion is very important to us," came the reply, "so yes, cutscenes are fpp".

"And what about sex scenes?" asked the persistent fan. "Same".

In the footage released so far we've seen a third-person option for driving, as well as moments when V is seen through a security camera, cyberoptics, and mirrors, but it seems like we won't be able to see our customized V elsewhere.

Cyberpunk 2077

Earlier today, CD Projekt streamed about 15 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay, showing off two ways to play: the sneaky hacker and the guns-blazing fighter. After the demonstration, a few developers got together to chat about Cyberpunk's world design, character customization, playstyles, and guns.

Nothing huge was revealed in the roundtable—we already know a lot about Cyberpunk 2077—but we did hear a few small details and get glimpses at the character and inventory screens. You can watch the gameplay video and full discussion above, and I've snipped out a few interesting details below.

  • There's a hacking minigame in which players select hexidecimal sequences to unlock computers and their contents, such as "Camera Log" and "Officer Tracing."
  • There are "surprise" vehicles, aside from cars and motorcycles, that we haven't seen.
  • You can fast travel, but you can also walk or drive anywhere you need to go.
  • Your character background unlocks unique dialogue options.
  • Attributes, skills, and the perks you assign to skills affect what your character can do—the example given was a perk for the Athletics skill which allows the player to run while carrying a body.
  • CD Projekt is "looking into" how to divorce style from stats when it comes to clothing.
  • "Street cred" is your reputation score, and gaining it increases access to vendors, services, and cyberware.
  • A few weapons were discussed: nanowire, which can be used to hack or as a whip, an eight-barreled shotgun, a weapon that heats up bullets to "shoot off cyborgs' arms," and a handgun that shoots faster the longer you sustain fire.
  • You can play as a "cyberninja" who specializes in katanas.
  • Slow-motion cyberware isn't just for the player—some enemies may "zip around" while using it as well.
  • There are gun skins and attachments, such as scopes and silencers. Guns also have stats that can be improved.
  • As you get better at shooting a certain gun, your crosshair can become smaller, and your reload speed can increase, changing the animation.

For a more comprehensive overview, we've collected everything we've learned about Cyberpunk 2077 so far. Below, I've grabbed screenshots of the character creator, skill tree, and inventory.

Cyberpunk 2077 releases April 16, 2020.

The Cyberpunk 2077 character creation screen.

The Cyberpunk 2077 character screen.

The Cyberpunk 2077 inventory screen.

Cyberpunk 2077

For all the positive responses that CD Projekt's upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 has enjoyed, one area where it hasn't gone over particularly well is in its portrayal of gender. It was initially designed to be playable as male or female but some critics noted that binary gender delineation falls well short of themes expressed in actual cyberpunk—a shortcoming highlighted by the presence of in-game ads seen by some as transphobic.

In an interview with Metro, senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers said the studio is striving to make a game "that's really inclusive," and based on feedback it received after the initial reveal it's made changes to how character creation will work.

"You don’t choose your gender anymore. You don’t choose, ‘I want to be a female or male character’ you now choose a body type. Because we want you to feel free to create any character you want," Jonkers explained.

"So you choose your body type and we have two voices, one that’s male sounding, one is female sounding. You can mix and match. You can just connect them any way you want. And then we have a lot of extra skin tones and tattoos and hairstyles. So we really want to give people the freedom to make their own character and play the way they want to play."

Jonkers said that the CD Projekt team is "very international and very diverse," and that it's sought "a lot of feedback" on challenging issues like trans representation. "We just wanna know what we can improve on because we want to make a really good game and we really wanna make a game that everybody is comfortable playing," they said. "But at the same time we’ll tackle difficult issues. It is a cyberpunk world after all."

Avoiding spoilers means that details on how exactly the updated system will be implemented, and how Cyberpunk 2077 will approach its broader themes of humanity and technology, weren't shared. But Jonkers emphasized that CD Projekt is "really putting effort into the character creation" system and "fluid class system" so that players can immerse themselves into the world as deeply as possible. 

"Usually you pick one class and you play as that type of person, but in our game you can combine everything," they said.

CD Projekt will share 15 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay from Gamescom during a livestream set to begin at 11 am PT/2 pm ET on August 30. The full game comes out on April 16, 2020.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077's world looks vast—but it won't be quite as vast as The Witcher 3's in terms of pure square footage. The RPG's map is a "little bit smaller" than CD Projekt's fantasy epic, but it will be far denser, according to producer Richard Borzymowski.

"If you look at pure surface square kilometers, then Cyberpunk 2077 might even be a little bit smaller than The Witcher 3, but it’s the density of the content, taking the world of The Witcher and squeezing it right in, deleting the wilderness between," he told GamesRadar.

It's no real surprise, given that Cyberpunk 2077 is set largely in a city and The Witcher 3 was mostly stretches of countryside, but it's good to know roughly what to expect. 

"Obviously...in The Witcher we were an open world with vast lanes and forests in between smaller cities and larger cities like Novigrad, but in Cyberpunk 2077 we’re set in Night City," Borzymowski said. "It’s an integral part of the setting; it’s essentially a protagonist if you want to call it that, so it has to be denser. It wouldn't give us the end effect we wanted to achieve if the city wouldn't be believable...so we packed it full of life."

We already know that Night City is split into six districts with no loading screens between them. Players will also be able to explore the city's outskirts, called the Badlands. We'll know more about those districts when the dev team show off 15 minutes of gameplay in a livestream next week.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith says he's still very involved in the development of CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077, and a big part of that has been to make sure this new vision of his near-future setting idea maintains a continuity with the original tabletop game.

Speaking with us at Gamescom this week, Pondsmith said it's been a collaborative process between himself and CD Projekt when it comes to generating new ideas for the 2077 setting.

"We have to basically negotiate," he said. "A large part of what we do is to make sure that there is a seamless flow between the times [2020 and 2077]. We really want people to feel like if they went back and pulled out [Cyberpunk] 2020, they would find stuff out about our socket that was germane to stuff for 77."

Pondsmith says there's been a lot of work done to create the kind of connective tissue needed to bridge that gap in time, and some of that has been accomplished through social media. J Gray, who runs PR and community events for Cyberpunk publisher R. Talsorian Games, has been posting a series called 365 Days of Cyberpunk, or #countdowntothedarkfuture, which has helped fill out the lore.

These are factoids about Cyberpunk that range from in-universe character descriptions to the history of the game's development. An example, #49 from February 18, describes the kinds of rental services available in Night City—it turns out these AI-controlled vehicles work a lot like those Lyft and Bird scooters you can find in present-day cities.

"At first, people on a 77 board went, 'whuh?' But then they started going, 'Oh, that's cool,'" Pondsmith said. "They just started riffing on it. Players want to know what's going on in the world, and there's no way we can possibly generate all that in a reasonable amount of time."

The Cyberpunk world is expanding in other ways as well: R. Talsorian has a new "Cyberpunk Red" tabletop game out that's set in 2045, and a Cyberpunk card game is due out next year.

Cyberpunk 2077 is due out April 16, 2020.

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