There it is. Cyberpunk 2077, the upcoming guns ‘n’ conversation RPG from the Witcher 3 developers, was unveiled yesterday with a 48 minute demo of man-shooting, drug-huffing, and robot-haggling. This is the same demo that was shown behind closed doors to press at both E3 and Gamescom (I wrote about it back in June). Developers CD Projekt Red are showing it with one giant proviso: this is a work-in-progress. But they’ve decided to show it anyway. Probably because it’s very swish. Come see.
It’s an unfinished thing. This is a point they’ve felt so important to make, they repeat it multiple times in the video, saying that the final game will not totally resemble this. They hesitated to show the demo publicly, they say, out of a fear of hype and expectation.
“Everything’s pretty much still in the playtest phase,” said Game Director Adam Badowski, “and we felt uneasy about publicly committing to any particular design. Animation glitches, work-in-progress character facial expressions, early versions of locations — all this made us hesitant to release what you’re about to see.”
They elaborate on those concerns in a message hidden in the last second of the video:
“…(for most people), when a game dev shows gameplay footage from their game, it means that this is how the game is going to look or play like. It’s not the case here. Cyberpunk 2077 is deep in development. We have a lot of design ideas, a lot of mechanics being playtested, but we don’t know what we’ll end up with at launch. This makes publishing videos like what you just saw risky –we don’t want gamers saying ‘but in that previous video that gun was shooting differently’, or ‘why did you change the interface?’. Change is inherent to game development and there’s a ton of things being modified each day. Our fear was (and kind of still is) that you’ll think what you just saw is how Cyberpunk 2077 will look like 1:1.”
But they decided to show it anyway, reasoning that it was worth the risk. So now you’ve got the whole episode to pore over yourself. Which means a chance to point out how rubbish I am at taking notes during a one-off demonstration of overwhelming cyberstuff, leading to some details being wrong. For example, in our preview I wrote that V’s leather jacket gets her better prices at the shops. BRRZZT. It really increases your levelling speed by 5%. Most of the other stuff was correct though. Promise.
If you want all the knowledge we have on the game, Dave has written up everything we know about Cyberpunk 2077 so far.