Cyberpunk 2077 beeps back to life, may yet boop, whirr

As RPS’s token cyberpunk, required by contract to wear at least two leather jackets and sing Billy Idol while jamming with the console cowboys in cyberspace, it falls to me to tell you today’s big Cyberpunk 2077 news: it beeped.

Today the game’s official Twitter account broke a four-year silence to blast *beep*.

That’s all.

But oh, I’m excited to see signs that it might arrive before we find ourselves actually living in the RPG’s grim dystopian future. A new big game from CD Projekt Red, the folks who made the cracking Witcher games, is most welcome.

The game itself is still largely a mystery. CD Projekt have muttered about it being a “huge single player, open world, story-driven RPG”. It’s set in the future of the Cyberpunk pen & paper RPG series designed by Mike Pondsmith, a setting Jody Macgregor had a good look at. While we do know CD Projekt have received tech research grants for things like large living cities and seamless online multiplayer, we don’t know if those have Cyberpunk in mind, whether the ideas would be used, and what form they would take – so be cautious about speculating too much.

Our Adam chatted with Mike Pondsmith last year. It’s a good read, including bits which make me question why RPS require me to have blue hair styled into a cyber razor cut and quote hackneyed 90s pop culture butcherings of cyberpunk:

“At core, unless you have the meaning behind the black leather and the neon, you lose what cyberpunk is. That’s the problem with getting Cyberpunk made as a videogame; people don’t get it. They think it’s about action heroes quipping as they take down corporations.”

But he thinks CD Projekt, as fans of the RPG, totally get it. Also, bits about how Cyberpunk’s grim future isn’t so far from our own:

“Cyberpunk Red has an entire bunch of sections that say ‘2020 is closer than you think’. I talk about ramifications of what we are doing now. This is my son’s reality and future, and unless we start straightening our shit out, it’s not going to be pretty. There is a strong political undercurrent in Cyberpunk, but the biggest message is simple: if you want a future you have to take it into your own hands and realise that nobody else will build it for you. That may involve political action, hacking, or picking up a gun. But the future doesn’t come out how you want it unless you make that change.”

Also, he has a katana. Obvs.

50 Comments

  1. N'Al says:

    *beep* may very well just be a prelude to *beep* *beep* *beep* *beeeeeeeeeeeeep*

  2. Kefren says:

    Why did you choose a pic of the new Vive as the header image?

  3. nitric22 says:

    Does the RPS rule about preordering games apply to Cyberpunk 2077? Well…does it, punk?

    • Slazer says:

      Probably not because RPS keeps praising CDP all the time, and rightfully so.

      Also I am gonne pre-order all the pre-orders for this game, so there won’t be any left

    • Vandelay says:

      They haven’t said yet, but I’m assuming it will have a digital release. I suppose it is feasible that they run out of keys, but it is a risk you can probably take.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Why wouldn’t it? You may assume with some confidence that the game is going to be awesome, but you can’t absolutely guarantee that it will be, or that it won’t run like a drunk and pregnant warthog on your rig unless you’ve got the best kit.

    • khamul says:

      You need to consult The Rules:
      Rule 1: Style Over Substance
      Rule 2: Image Is Everything
      Rule 3: Break The Rules

      I’ve still got my copy of the rules somewhere. First roleplaying game I ever played… Oh, Alice, I knew there was a reason why I love you! Cyberpunk, and Cyberpunks, are The Best!

  4. Demios says:

    People would be calling for an arm and a leg if this were crowdfunded. It is however, the reality of game developing an non derivative/iterative game from scratch. It’s why I just don’t get people getting up in arms about Star Citizen.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      CDPR isn’t making a bunch of promises we don’t know they’ll keep while selling virtual plots of land and concept art space ships.

      This is a regular AAA game dev cycle. Star Citizen has many of the trappings of a scam and is driven by a guy whose reputation is rather poor in that regard too.

      • Xocrates says:

        I really wish people would stop using “promise” as a catch-all term for “something the developer said they wanted to do”.

        Granted, I’ve not followed Star Citizen at all, so maybe they do go around saying “we’ll do so-and-so, we promise”, but most gaming “promises” are nothing of the sort. They’re a declaration of intent at the current time, and given the volatile nature of game development taking it as anything else is either unreasonably optimistic or just plain ignorant.

        Frankly, the only difference between “Best game of the year” and “Kickstarter scam” is that all the delays and setbacks are public in one of them.

        • Slazer says:

          Listing the features and stretch goals of a game you are paying for at that moment is pretty close to a promise I guess

          • Xocrates says:

            The fact that it isn’t is why you shouldn’t pre-order.

        • aepervius says:

          Indeed there are real scam out there, like it was , i think mansion lord touted even on rps here… Which turned out that the people making it ran with the money (in fact there is no evidence there was any development to begin with). Star citizen may have a big list of feature and who knows how many are left in or if the project fail, but this is not a scam.

      • Werthead says:

        Cyberpunk 2077 was announced in 2012 (four months before Star Citizen), so prototyping and early design work probably began in 2011. If the game launches this year, that’s seven years in development which is unusually long even for modern games development.

        The key difference is that CDPR kept quiet about it during pre-production, have still kept quiet about it during full production (which likely only began in late 2014/early 2015 as teams completed their work on Witcher 3 and cycled over to CP2077) and are only now clearing their throats. And they certainly haven’t been taking money for it up front, let alone $160 million.

        I do get the point that Star Citizen’s development time is not a surprise when you take into account that absolutely everything, including what most games would call pre-production prototyping and testing, was done in the full arena of public scrutiny, plus it’s multiple games rolled into one which are tough to integrate. From that POV the game’s development time is understandable. But they really massively underestimated how much time all that would take and they made extravagant promises and fell afoul of pointless feature creep (which we thought had finished, but then #TANKS). If they said upfront, “This is going to take six to eight years”, people would have been much less annoyed than when they said two, which that was highly implausible even at the time.

        • Turkey says:

          I just read that they collected almost $35 million this past year alone, so it seems like the people who are into it are still very much into it.

          • pookie101 says:

            At this point they have to deliver EXACTLY on what they have promised or people are going to be pissed

          • Werthead says:

            The problem is that EXACTLY what they promised hardcore fans may not make for the best game for the masses.

            I’m still stunned by that Squadron 32 video in which a relatively minor mission takes half an hour of cut scenes and talking to Uncanny Mark Hamill and then ends in a flurry of medicore FPS action at the end. The actual “flying through space and shooting things, also in space” bit, which I thought was the whole point of the game, took up a tiny fraction of the play time. Very strange.

  5. Slazer says:

    Not very familiar with the universe yet, is it basically just Shadowrun without magic?

    • Captain Narol says:

      No, it’s the contrary.

      Shadowrun is basically Cyberpunk + Magic and Fantasy Races (Orcs, Elves, etc…), and was released just after Cyberpunk and hugely influenced by it (1988 for the first Cyberpunk RPG versus 1989 for the first Shadowrun one).

    • Rizlar says:

      The Mike Pondsmith interview linked to in the article is worth a read.

    • pookie101 says:

      Strip away all the fantasy elements, add a very brutal combat system, a very noir vibe and more focus on style and you have Cyberpunk.

      They do have an essence system that deals with your humanity and too much cyber and you go basically crazy and the cops call out the cyber psycho squad with the 20mm rifles to put you down :)

      • khamul says:

        Also the character generation system is brilliant.

        I’ve played a lot of Shadowrun – pen and paper as well as the recent CRPGs – and it’s a really fun setting with decent rules and some lovely ideas.

        But there’s something magical and rather special about Cyberpunk 2020.
        Pookie’s not kidding about the brutal combat system either: characters can die very quickly when things go loud – which prompts a degree of consideration first. All part of the style of the game.

  6. KingFunk says:

    I recently doubled my Witcher 3 dippings (previously did the whole shebang on PS4) when the PC GOTY was on sale and have since spent many hours merrily Geralting away, completing the main quest and Hearts of Stone. Before launching into Blood & Wine (which is frankly better and larger than some AAA games) again, I thought I should play something else for a bit.

    Having recently been enjoying The Expanse, I fancied some sci-fi so decided to dig out my boxed copy of ME2 and spent quite a few hours reinstalling it (multiple times to get the ALOT texture packs and controller mod to work) and then started playing. Now I recall ME2 being great and received wisdom agrees, but the world (galaxy?) felt too polished after the blue-collarness of The Expanse and the game itself just felt a bit, well, underwhelming, especially in contrast with Witcher 3’s superior storytelling and voice acting.

    That’s when I realised that Cyberpunk 2077 is the game I want the most.

  7. Umama says:

    I currently have a serviceable GPU (lets me play most games on high or medium settings), and my only excuse to upgrade will be Cyberpunk 2077. At least it’s keeping me from upgrading too early!

    • nitric22 says:

      Oh yes I am right there with you. I will continue to ride out this ol’ 750 ti on medium settings. I will have patience with the extra long spinny spin hard drive load times. But come Cyberpunk, I’m grabbing that 1080, plugging in that shiny new SSD, and stapling something oh so Cyberpunk onto the side of my case. Some fancy neon lights or some such!

      • Umama says:

        Oh I didn’t even think of an ssd! I played about 150 hours of the Witcher 3 and I’m assuming at least a few hours of that were loading screens. Cyberpunk will be a very expensive game for us indeed!

  8. MrUnimport says:

    I wonder if maybe cyberpunk feels less relevant today because we live in a more locked-down world. Harder to believe that you can be some nobody living out of a dumpster and still have the access and know-how to interact with the gears and levers of the world.

    • pookie101 says:

      Honestly if anything it’s even more relevant today. It’s more of a case of someone doing lots of nasty things while living completely off the public grid in the darkest places of the dark web who has amassed a small warehouse of the latest cutting edge gear and does the odd jobs corporations don’t want to get publicly caught doing.

      • Rizlar says:

        The cyberpunk genre was always about a world and it’s population locked down though, right? (don’t know much about Cyberpunk, capital ‘C’, 2020/2070) Norms and corporate types live an existence as a cog in a machine, mind in a bubble. The corps are monolithic and unavoidable and terrible.

        Making an extreme contrast with the protagonists of these stories, those that go off the grid.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      If cyberpunk feels less relevant today, it’s because we’re living in it. Reality has caught up to fiction.

  9. Marclev says:

    Huge open world single player cyberpunk rpg by the makers of The Witcher series …

    Omg, who do I give my money to??? Why won’t they take it already!

    Ahem… Looking forward to this a bit…

  10. zaldar1978 says:

    Goodie so it is going to be full of ridiculously overblown politics and people are going to make ridiculous comparisons to the modern world and it may lead to more crazy instability. Sigh. Given the makers of the Witcher series are able to make such great games at such low cost they don’t need to worry about piracy because of the capitalist country they operate in – one would think they would be above this. Ah well game will likely be good so that is what matters most. After people making WAY more out of the slight and rather ridiculous “political” points of Wolfenstein though….

    Anyway someone tweeted back and them boop right?

    • Thants says:

      Good to see the people terrified of video games having any deeper meanings than “explosions” are already coming out, before we know basically anything about the game. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of “politics” to complain about, which video games unique among all art forms aren’t allowed to have apparently.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      “crazy instability” in what domain exactly?

      Is CP2077 going to bring down a government?

    • montfalcon says:

      You seem to have missed the entire point of cyberpunk as a concept, my friend.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I really wouldn’t worry. If it’s anything like the Witcher 3 it’ll be unapologetically sexy and a great game and the usual suspects (hi, Polygon) will just be bleating to their base while the rest of us ensure it’s a massive first week seller regardless.

  11. Robomonk says:

    I’m curious as to what the general gameplay systems will be like (I haven’t read anything about it). It could very well be like Witcher 3 or a heavy modification of it. Though, imagine if it’s something like Divinity Original Sin 2.

    • Corwin71 says:

      We already got that (essentially) with Harebrained’s Shadowrun series. I’m 99.9% sure this game will be real time combat, at least at its core.

    • Werthead says:

      It’s using the Witcher 2/3 engine (but an upgraded iteration), and is building on the Witcher 3’s success design-wise, so I suspect it will be that kind of set-up, at least as far as quest and story depth goes.

      The big unanswered question is about how you solve puzzles and mysteries (at least the ones that won’t be ending in autocannons and grenades). Witcher 3 had the “witcher senses” mechanic. I can see there being multiple mechanics to replace that in CP2077 reflecting the different characters you can build, including some kind of hacking system, a stealth system and heavy combat approaches.

  12. gorte says:

    As a huge William Gibson fan I’m always annoyed when people blindly copy the cyberpunk aesthetic without any of the meaning, but that interview quote makes me very hopeful for this game.

  13. mundanesoul says:

    There’ll now be a *beep* tweet every three years until the game is released in 2033.

  14. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Will I be able to create a rebar katana-wielding pizza delivery guy who spends his free time in MMOs? This is very important.

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