Man, what even is a Cyberpunk? CD Projekt announced that it was making one earlier this year, but tossed us back into the rain-slick, neon-bathed streets starved for details. For the longest time, I assumed it was some kind of cleaning device – perhaps a rival to the Dirt Devil – but eventually came around to the idea that it could also be a videogame. Turns out, the latter is correct, as CDP’s finally seen fit to toss a few chunks of concrete information our way. For one, the decidely un-witchy RPG’s full name is now Cyberpunk 2077, catapulting it forward in time from the pen-and-paper game’s 2020. Also – perhaps most tantalizingly of all – it’s one-upping The Witcher’s non-linear ways with a full-blown cybernetic sandbox.
The news emerged during a recent CDP/GOG news-a-polooza, during which it was also revealed that Cyberpunk’s sandbox will center around Night City – with locations ranging from “a combat zone completely taken over by gangs” to “the legendary Afterlife joint” to “the nostalgic Forlorn Hope.”
Combat, meanwhile, will be based on the pen-and-paper game’s core mechanics, but with an eye toward, well, actual structure. CDP explained in a post on the new Cyberpunk 2077 blog:
“This is why adapting pen & paper rules to video game is not as easy as it can appear at first glance. The flexibility of an in-person RPG has to be replaced with a strict set of rules. Every skill, attribute and game mechanic has to have a clear definition and place in the game.”
“For example, the Cyberpunk 2020 “Wardrobe & Style” skill governs the knowledge about the right clothes to wear, when to wear them and how to look cool even in a spacesuit. As you can see, this skill covers quite a big area of lore and can be interpreted differently, depending on the situation and the players. In Cyberpunk 2077 this skill has to be tied to a specific gameplay mechanic. And all of these mechanics have to be clearly defined so they can work well with other elements of the game and, at the same time, be easy to understand for the player. After all, we don’t have a referee or game master to explain or interpret the rules as you go.”
For now, CDP isn’t talking exact specifics of how it plans to grapple with that issue. However, original creator Mike “my buttery rasp is humanity’s most inspiring moments given voice” Pondsmith is heavily involved in the process, so there’s a definite focus on adhering to his original vision as closely as possible.
By the looks of things (and by “things,” I mean nothings, as we still haven’t seen any screenshots or videos), Cyberpunk’s still very early at this point. If nothing else, though, CDP’s obviously starting to ramp up its efforts, and CEO Marcin Iwinski did tell us during E3 to expect more toward the end of the year. So then, 2077’s a long way off, but hopefully, it’s a little closer than we think.