A week ago, we wrote about how we are backing The Last of Us Part II for the 2020 Game of the Year.
While TLoU 2 is a strong contender for this award, there is another videogame that will offer stiff competition this year.
With stellar history behind the developer, a fascinating setting, and a Hollywood celebrity as a major feature, Cyberpunk 2077 has a lot going for it.
Here’s a few of the reasons why we believe it’ll be one of the best RPGs we’ve ever seen.
Old franchise, new developer
Not many will know this, but Cyberpunk’s history goes back a long way. The first game was released in 1990 and set in the year 2020, which makes 2077’s release date very fitting.
Cyberpunk’s developer CD Projekt Red aren’t exactly a household name but the Polish company have produced one of the most critically acclaimed RPG series ever, The Witcher.
While this is CD Projekt’s first release that isn’t a part of the Witcher franchise, nobody can doubt that the developers know what they’re doing. The level of detail and immersion in The Witcher 3 (their most recent major RPG release) is spectacular. If Projekt Red apply the same philosophy to Cyberpunk, we’ll have a modern classic on our hands.
If you haven’t heard of The Witcher games you’ll probably have heard the buzz around the recent Netflix series which also takes inspiration from the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski.
If you want to get a flavour of what Cyberpunk 2077 could feel like, I’d highly recommend playing The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. Even though The Witcher 3 came out in 2015, it holds up magnificently today as aspects such as a great story don’t age.
Fascinating setting and unique gameplay
Games set in the world we know today or one in the past are interesting, but there’s something about a game set in the future that piques interest even more.
A future world is an alien one, one that none of us in the present know but could one day be introduced to if events go a certain way.
Night City is Cyberpunk’s home and will become your playground in 2077. The city is very Bladerunner-esque, with technology beyond what we have in our time but issues that make it not a pleasant place to be. Crime has run rife and rival gangs rule the streets, the rule of law has well and truly broken down.
The gameplay and combat that we’ve seen so far remind me of Fallout 4 but has some notable differences. What makes the gameplay unique is partly down to “bullet time” which allows you to slow time and see the bullets fly past.
You play as V in 2077 and what abilities will be available to them is unknown but given what’s on offer in The Witcher, it likely won’t disappoint.
Projekt Red did say that they were going to try and eliminate loading screens in Cyberpunk 2077, something both Sony and Microsoft have also promised in their next-gen consoles. If they manage it, it’ll make the videogame one of the most fluid experiences out there.
Like any good RPG, everything is customisable, no two people will have the exact same experience playing Cyberpunk 2077. The decisions you make throughout your story will also shape how Night City is shaping up upon 2077’s conclusion.
Some may regard this as a gimmick, a cheap move to sell copies of the game to those that are fans of John Wick or The Matrix. Not in this case though.
For a start, this won’t have been cheap, Reeves wouldn’t have given him time for a bottom-dollar price. Plus, who wouldn’t want an actor of Reeves’ calibre in a game?
Reeves plays Johnny Silverhand, one of the most iconic and important characters in Cyberpunk’s tabletop game. There is a different spin on Silverhand in 2077, though, as he only lives on in V’s mind.
READ MORE: Cyberpunk 2077 delayed until September
How Silverhand will interact with V is anybody’s guess but he could well be the archetypical “Devil on your shoulder” character. Reeves has to be happy with the final product, though, as it was recently revealed that he wants a bigger role in the upcoming title.
Any foray into a new franchise is a risk for developers, regardless of their size. I wouldn’t be concerned for Projekt Red, though, if there’s one thing they know how to do it’s how to make a great RPG. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is the best RPG since The Witcher 3.
It’s little wonder why there’s so much hype around this release, the first major one of this year and the decade. For gamers around the world the delay will be a disappointment, but it will be worth the wait. September can’t come quickly enough.