In 1998, a role-playing tabletop game called Cyberpunk 2020 captured the imagination of young enthusiasts. Polish video game developer and publisher CD Projekt adopted elements of the game and incorporated them in Cyberpunk 2077, a role-playing video game set to release for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The yet-to-be-released game has already received several awards for the most anticipated game of 2018. Off late, CD Projekt released a 50 minutes long demo of the game on YouTube – which reached over 10 million views.
So, why is this game receiving universal appreciation even before its release? To answer the question, let’s delve into the storyline of the game. The game is set in a dystopian future, in a fictional megacity in California called Night City. The city is divided into six distinct regions: the luxurious Westbrook, suburban Heywood, a corporate City Center, industrial Santo Domingo, immigrant-inhabited Watson, and gang-infested Pacifica. The game is played from a first-person perspective – a mercenary called V – who can assume different character classes. The characters help V become an expert hacker, mechanic, and duller. The open world environment allows V to navigate the city on foot and on vehicles – such as motorcycle and autonomous cars.
While V’s sex, hairstyles, face, body type are customizable, his clothing alters how he interacts with non-player characters (NPCs). Assuming a character class will modify his stat categories – strength, constitution, intelligence, reflex, tech, and cool – which he can use to gain advantages in a specific situation. He can upgrade and purchase cyberware implants and military-grade abilities from the white and black market in the city. He can also use any one of the three types of ranged weapons available in the game and can perform numerous ground-based maneuvers while dueling. He can be affected by four kinds of damage – physical, thermal, EMP, and chemical – all of which will affect his abilities in a special character class.
The game environment is heavily inspired by past cyberpunk worlds – including Blade Runner and Akira – while the gameplay is reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto. The best part of the game – one that’s enticing to fans of the genre – is the ability to discover new punk themes based in a futuristic world. The technology of the future plays an important part in the game – as robot waste collectors, maintenance officers roam around the city completely automated. V also comes across several pieces of futuristic gadget, including a “Braindance” that allows him to experience the emotions, brain processes, and muscle movements of another person as though they were their own.
In the game, V indulges in multiple quests depending on the choice he takes. The open-ended world is large, and the player has the option to explore many aspects of it. CD Projekt used the REDengine 4 game engine to design the game, as the earlier version was used for its previous games. The game will also feature full nudity and the option to have sex with NPCs, as game director Adam Badowski explains that these elements encapsulate the theme of transhumanism—”the body is no longer sacred; it’s profane”.