PAX West is underway and, CD Projekt Red kicked it off with an extended look at Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay during a livestream. The video footage shown during the stream was very similar to what was shown behind-closed-doors at E3 2019 and, more recently, Gamescom. But for those who weren’t at the show and able to access the private demos, it was an exciting look at some of what the game will offer.
The lengthy gameplay video is available to rewatch above and you’ll get to see everything from Pacifica–a small section of Night City, where the game takes place– to the gangs that inhabit it, and character customization. There’s also a brief overview of how you can use futuristic technology to complete missions and a tease of the branching storylines.
Pacifica is one of Night City’s six unique districts and was designed to be a tourist hotspot. However, funding was pulled and what was meant to be a crown jewel of tourism has become an almost post-apocalyptic wasteland, where expectations and reality collide to result in ongoing disappointment. Pacifica is dangerous to those unfamiliar with it, but its local markets are good for finding cyberware.
In terms of gangs, a group called the ‘Animals’ have moved in for reasons unknown. The district is predominantly ruled by the Voodoo Boys, however, which has caused some conflict. The Voodoo Boys are the most skilled at using the net and mainly made up of Haitians, who arrived en masse after the environmental changes resulted in Haiti being completely flooded some time ago. They don’t usually work with outsiders but are making an exception for V, the character the player controls.
In a discussion held after the gameplay demo was shown, senior level designer Miles Tost discussed how CD Projekt Red approached encounters and mission design, saying the team used a simple scenario to engage creative thinking and encourage non-linear design for missions. The scenario was effectively imagining the player has to go through a door and kill a character on the other side, but in going through the door, the player would be stripped of all weapons. With that rule and context established, the team began thinking about what different means could they implement to make the player get over this challenge and complete their mission, which naturally led to non-linear design.
Quest designer Phillip Weber said that Night City is very large and dense, and although there are fast travel options, CD Projekt Red has filled it with interesting things to see and experience, so it’s worth exploring on foot. The developer has city planners working on Cyberpunk 2077 to help make it feel like a real, believable location.
Districts also have a character called a Fixer, who can give you jobs, which can be Street Stories–or sidequest. Following The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red setup a team to work on these side-quests, which no doubt means there will be plenty to do.
Life paths were also a subject of discussion during the stream. These serve as the starting point for a character and, over the course of the game, you develop this through your actions. There are three main ways to go through the story, but a player can mix and match along the way, but your chosen life path will always be represented in conversations and quest branches. It’s important to allow players to role-play their character, explained quest designer Pawel Sasako. Watch the video above to see it all.
GPU manufacturer Nvidia recently dropped a teaser video on Twitter, showcasing the scope of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City. CD Projekt Red gave a private look at some Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay at E3 2019, which was supposed to be made public during PAX West but will now be streamed from Warsaw at an unspecified time. There are no specifics on what will be shown during the livestream, but the developers did confirm that the stream will feature a 15-minute edit of the demo shown privately at Gamescom and interviews “from the studio for additional information.”
In other Cyberpunk 2077 news, the upcoming action-RPG has dropped binary male/female options in favor of inclusivity. “You know, we really want to make a video game that’s really inclusive,” senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers told Metro. “Of course, if you tackle certain subjects then you will expect people to have an opinion about it and we respect that. And it’s good that people give us feedback.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is expected to launch on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 16, 2020. The game is also scheduled to release for Google Stadia in 2020.
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