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Cyberpunk 2077 is probably going to be the biggest game release of the first half of 2020. It's the big dog, the gorilla with a shotgun, the Classy Freddie Blassie in a room full of pencil-neck geeks, and nobody's going to mess with it. Or so it seemed, until earlier this month, when Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx—an actual new Half-Life game—and set it to come out in March, just a month (and possibly less) ahead of Cyberpunk.
The insertion of Alyx definitely makes the upcoming spring more crowded, but CD Projekt said in a recent earnings call (via Yahoo! Finance) that it's not worried about the competition. In response to a question about the possible impact of a new Half-Life on Cyberpunk 2077, vice president of business development Michal Nowakowski said that VR is "an extremely nichey niche [part] of the market," and he doesn't think Valve is really looking to make Alyx a big hit anyway.
"The only reason I can think of why has Valve has decided to actually put this title in the market is because they actually have a corporation on the hardware side of the things," he said. "This is probably a big effort for them to sort of try to expand that. That niche is very, very, very—and I could add a few 'verys' here—small."
"So from the market perspective, are we afraid? No, because it's a very different niche. It's—this is an endeavor to sort of try to push the hardware while we are really targeting the mass markets where it is, which is major consoles and the PCs without the need to have the VR gear."
Nowakowski added that even if Half-Life: Alyx lives up to its billing, no other developers have committed to VR to a comparable extent, so the likelihood of a sudden rush to it in the immediate future is very slim.
"Perhaps Half-Life will be this first stone that is going to turn into something larger as we go, but that's definitely not going to be the case come first half of the next year. I daresay it's probably not going to be next year," he said. "Even—I don't actually know even further because things may change. And at some point, VR may be a mass-market entertainment that will validate the business model behind it, but it is not the case, at least not for us right now."
As for the possibility of CD Projekt's previous games getting the VR treatment, president and joint CEO Adam Kiciński suggested that it's not likely to happen: VR games need to be designed as such from the start in order to be any good, he said—The Witcher games obviously are not—and besides, "we are rather for delivering new games than working on old titles."
CD Projekt said during a recent community event in Warsaw that its upcoming RPG Cyberpunk 2077 won't be quite as long as The Witcher 3, but will make up for it with a greater degree of replayability. It also revealed a little bit more about the game's sex scenes, which are apparently being given plenty of attention to ensure that they, uh, satisfy everyone.
The playtime comparison is based solely on the main story and major sidequests, according to the report, and players will be able to squeeze more out of it by taking on smaller sidequests and encounters they'll run into throughout the game. The studio also said that Cyberpunk's sidequests will be more branching and intertwined than they were in The Witcher 3, and that choices players make will have a much greater impact on plot progression and outcomes—which is presumably where the increased replayability comes from.
Some of the information contained in the summary was already known, but other bits are (I think) new. The day/night cycle will impact gameplay, for instance—darkness reduces visibility and crowds, which can make it easier to get into places you're not supposed to be—but dynamic weather will not, although NPCs will react to it.
As for those sex scenes, CD Projekt has previously said that they'll be seen from the first-person perspective, as will all other cutscenes in the game, in order to avoid breaking immersion. During the Q&A, the studio said that it's also done "a lot of mocap" for the sex scenes, which should be interesting. I'm really not sure how the developers are going to combine motion-captured FPS—that's First Person Sex, by the way—without setting off AO alarms at the ESRB, but if nothing else it emphasizes that CD Projekt isn't going to dodge the naughty bits with tasteful, strategic fadeouts.
The information comes from a redditor named Shavod who said they attended the event and were present for the Q&A. I can't confirm that they were actually there (and some leeway should be allowed for misunderstandings and misinterpretation regardless), but CD Projekt global community lead Marcin Momot commented on the post to congratulate Shavod for finishing third in a quiz at the event and thank them for coming. That seems pretty legit to me, but I've reached out to CD Projekt for confirmation just in case.
Cyberpunk 2077 comes out on April 16. CD Projekt recently clarified that it is still in the early stages of figuring out how it will handle multiplayer monetization.
Let’s get this out of the way: CD Projekt Red really haven’t confirmed much regarding Cyberpunk 2077‘s multiplayer. They know it’s happening (eventually) but what that looks like, or when it’ll happen? Not even Keanu knows. Last week it was reported that CDPR may know one thing for certain – CP2077 multiplayer would be monetised, and include “well thought-out” microtransactions. However, it looks like the language barrier has done a real doozy, and reports of monetised multiplayer may have been greatly exaggerated.
Cyberpunk 2077 will have multiplayer, but CD Projekt Red has been keeping the feature pretty close to its chest. In a recent investor call, however, president Adam Kiciński did briefly touch on the subject of monetisation, though without giving very much away.
"As far as the monetisation on the multiplayer for Cyberpunk is concerned, we believe right now it's definitely too early to share any details on that," he told investors. "The project is in a relatively early stage. We keep experimenting—this is our first multiplayer game, and we check different options and possibilities, and it's definitely not the time to point you to a certain specific direction on that."
"Monetisation" is pretty broad. CD Projekt Red previously swore off microtransactions, but that still leaves the door open to multiplayer DLC and other methods of parting players from their cash. Investors were assured that the developer wouldn't change its policy on deals with players, and that the monetisation would be "wise" and good value for money.
While Kiciński said Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer was a first for the studio, that honour actually goes to Gwent, which seems to have been forgotten. It does contain microtransactions, but unlike Cyberpunk 2077 it's a free-to-play game, so the monetisation model is likely to be very different.
Cyberpunk 2077 is now in the final stretch, according to its financial results, shared in a video above. It's set to release on April 16, 2020, but the multiplayer won't appear until all of the free DLC has already launched, giving CD Projekt Red more time to figure out its approach.
Elon Musk wheeled out the latest vehicular innovation from Omni Consumer Products yesterday. The Cybertruck is perfect if you care about the environment but also want to pretend you're driving through an '80s sci-fi dystopia. We might be seeing more of it next year, not on real roads, but on the digital streets of Cyberpunk 2077's Night City.
Earlier today, Musk tweeted a picture from the reveal, which drew a response from the official Cyberpunk 2077 account.
The exchange was then coyly posted by CD Projekt Red's lead PR manager, suggesting that perhaps there was more to this than just Twitter banter. Musk has had cameos in several movies and TV shows, including Iron Man 2, while Star Trek: Discovery bizarrely mentioned him alongside the Wright Brothers in a list of important historical figures. Tesla's vehicles, meanwhile, have had even more.
I reached out to CD Projekt Red to confirm the collaboration, but it had no comment. We already know that Cyberpunk 2077 will let us drive several vehicles, however, and if there's anywhere that the Cybertruck wouldn't look completely ridiculous, it's Night City.
Hopefully the "bulletproof" windows will be fixed by then.
Johnny Silverhand, Keanu Reeves' character in Cyberpunk 2077, shows up a lot more than was originally planned thanks to the John Wick actor. Johnny actually lives inside protagonist V's head, on a chip, so he can turn up anywhere, but it turns out that Reeves pushed for him to have a larger role.
At Lucca Comics and Games festival, Italian voice actor Luca Ward told journalist Gian Luca Rocco that his recording time had been doubled thanks to his Canadian counterpart. Reeves was apparently enjoying himself so much he talked CD Projekt Red into giving the virtual rock star a bigger presence.
Reeves is not exactly starved for work these days, but the extra work might still be appreciated by the other voice actors playing Johnny Silverhand. In July, story director Marcin Blacha said that Reeves was also responsible for making the character more relatable and complex.
CD Projekt Red wasn't aiming for a well known celebrity, but Reeves connected with the character while also putting his own spin on it. "A good actor, and Keanu is a great actor, will always infuse their character with a bit of their own special thing," Blacha said.
Despite all the time you'll be able to spend with him, you'll just be pals. Tragically, he's not one of Cyberpunk 2077's romance options.
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."
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.
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.