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To Wit(cher): Cyberpunk's Plot-Altering Customization

This may come as something of a surprise to you, but Cyberpunk looks to be decidedly less witchy than The Witcher. I'm not complaining, either. Geralt's tale marches in line behind the player's decisions, but it still definitely belongs to, well, Geralt. CD Projekt's take on Cyberpunk, then, sounds like a refreshing (and extremely intriguing) change of pace. This time around, you're shaping your own destiny. With hologram glasses.

CD Projekt community manager Marcin Momot divulged a few details about the still shrouded-in-shadows project in a Q&A blog post:

“We want to keep the role system from the pen and paper version of Cyberpunk. As opposed to the regular fantasy set-up with mages, warriors and archers, we’re going for something different. In Cyberpunk, each character role will offer a set of special skills that will impact your stats in many different ways. That’s where the challenge kicks in, we want to create a game where character customization will be strongly tied with the plot. Now going from that, we believe that we can make a game where, with many different role choices, you will get a very strong, engaging story, just like it was with The Witcher.”

“We definitely want to give players way more freedom with customization of the main protagonist then they had with Geralt in The Witcher series. We are planning on letting them change their statistics, equipment, implants and much more.”

Momot also reiterated influences CEO Marcin Iwinski listed when I chatted with him during E3 – for instance, William Gibson, Blade Runner, and Deus Ex. Further, Momot noted that Cyberpunk will do plenty of globetrotting through an “open, living world,” but with Night City as an anchor.

So, all-told, Cyberpunk continues to sound like a much, much more player-driven experience than Witcher. Of course, it's all still (admittedly promising) talk until we get a real glimpse of CD Projekt's cybernetically enhanced vision of the future. As for when that'll happen, CDP's still simply saying "soon." Granted, in a studio where it could very well be considered productive use of worktime to devour cyberpunk literature and obsessively watch/read Game of Thrones, that might be a while.

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