During CD Projekt’s time at E3, they not only showed off an all new – and astounding – cinematic trailer of Cyberpunk 2077 at the very end of Microsoft’s floor event, they also presented high-ranking showgoers (ranging from Gamespot reporters to popular YouTube content creators) over 45 minutes of raw gameplay footage.
Unfortunately, this demo was a closed-doors only deal, so it’s unlikely that the content shown will see the daylight anytime soon. And once we start to look at what was said about the demo, bring with you a single grain of salt. This is a vertical slice of the game; while technically “gameplay”, the portion to be “demoed” was chosen prior to the showcase, and the person playing “practiced” the segment multiple times before the demo. This means that while press reactions of this gameplay demo are the best glimpse the community currently has into the nature of Cyberpunk 2077, this isn’t the completed product. And while some vertical slices have proved very similar to the final release, others don’t look nearly as good.
Youtube content creator YongYea, known for his harsh critiques of anti-consumer microtransactions in modern gaming, was one of the few who witnessed the hour-long gameplay slice shown off by CD Projekt. And his responses were nothing but positive.
“This game blew my f***ing mind to pieces”, says YongYea in a recent video appropriately titled Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Blew My Mind. “I had very high expectations coming to this, I mean very high, and somehow they managed to blow my expectations out of the water. (…) The scale, the seamlessness, the way everything comes together, the combat, the first-person combat is incredible.”
Yea goes into some light descriptions of what he saw in the demo. He spoke of some sort of “reflex boosters” available during combat that slowed down time, weapons using homing bullets, and a massive array of other tools.
Yea recorded this video just after exiting the closed-doors gameplay demo, rushing to give some quick thoughts on the gameplay and promising a more in-depth analysis later.
“If they can deliver on what they showed, it’s… it’s game over. This is the cyberpunk dream come to life.”
Eurogamer reporter Wesley Yin-Poole also wrote an article documenting his impressions of the gameplay demo. He says the demo showed off Cyberpunk’s fluid class system, saying that a play could “…become a Solo, Techie, or Netrunner – or a mix of all of them.” While Yin-Poole didn’t go into detail about what a “Solo” or “Techie” does, we looked to Cyberpunk 2020, the classic Tabletop RPG that 2077 is based off of, for answers. According to the handbook, Solos receive a “combat initiative” bonus that makes them the quickest to react in combat, and are generally the best in a firefight. Techies are mechanics or engineers, skilled at fashioning gear and repairing items. And netrunners delve into the software end of the tech world, with hacking skills allowing them to retrieve key information and even turn enemy gear against them.
The corebook lists nine of these subsets to Yin-Poole’s three, but it’s possible that some have been dropped because they wouldn’t mesh well with what 2077 is going for. Cop, Media, and Corporate, for example, mostly pertain to working within the law, and other sources have already revealed that we won’t be playing as a cop, a news reporter, or a corporate businessman. There’s also the “Rockerboy”, the game’s charismatic charmer who stays likable through high rankings in Cyberpunk 2020’s “cool” stat. While it’s unlikely that this class will receive a full skill tree, others have stated that the “cool” stat returns in Cyberpunk 2077, and helps determine how your character fares in social situations.
Yin-Poole shares some information on how the game is more of an RPG than a First-Person Shooter, despite the shooting mechanics and first person perspective – something CD Projekt Red has been quick to clarify.
“The first-person shooting includes a slow motion “bullet time” effect and a slide move. You can combine the two for dramatic effect. Damage numbers pop out of enemies as you shoot them (the enemies have life bars).”
Yin also emphasizes the maturity of the game. During the demo, the protagonist was sent to find a missing person, and they find the person – a naked woman in an iced bathtub. The game wasn’t afraid to curse either, with dialogues containing their usual fair share of f-bombs but also a few of the lesser-used c-bombs thrown into the mix.
Yin-Poole also describes an upgrade shop in the form of a cyber-doctor. After interacting with a digital ad and picking up a soda, the player enters a cyber-doctor’s shop and purchases an optical enhancement upgrade, lies down on the operating table, and pulls their own eyeball out (what?). After being put under anesthetic, the upgraded eye offers the player a zoom function to get a better look at their surroundings.
Driving has also be confirmed. In the trailer, the player drives the same car pictured in the end of the cinematic trailer through a city, and encounters some cyber-thugs attempting to take them down. The player hands over car control to an AI assistant, leaning out of the window to open fire on the assailants.
If nothing more, this trailer gives players a taste of the many choices and options available in CD Projekt’s upcoming RPG blockbuster. Players can look forward to seeing this slice of gameplay for themselves at some point in the coming months.