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Cyberpunk 2077

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Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 box art.jpg
Developer(s)CD Projekt Red[a]
Publisher(s)CD Projekt
Director(s)Adam Badowski
Producer(s)Richard Borzymowski[2]
Designer(s)Konrad Tomaszkiewicz[3]
Artist(s)Katarzyna Redesiuk[4]
Writer(s)
  • Marcin Blacha[5]
  • Jakub Szamałek[6]
  • Stanisław Święcicki[7]
Composer(s)
EngineREDengine 4
Platform(s)
Release17 September 2020
Genre(s)Role-playing[8]
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming role-playing video game developed and published by CD Projekt. It is scheduled to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Xbox One on 17 September 2020. Adapted from the Cyberpunk franchise, it takes place in dystopian Night City, an open world with six distinct regions. Players assume the role of V, a customisable mercenary, in a first-person perspective, acquiring skills in hacking and machinery, an arsenal of ranged weapons, and options for melee combat. Both lethal and non-lethal playthroughs are possible.

Cyberpunk 2077 is being developed using the REDengine 4 by a team of 500, exceeding the number that worked on the studio's previous game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. CD Projekt launched a new division in Wrocław, Poland and partnered with Digital Scapes, Nvidia, and QLOC to assist with production. Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith is a consultant, and actor Keanu Reeves has a starring role. The soundtrack features original music by Refused, Grimes, Run the Jewels, A$AP Rocky, Gazelle Twin, Ilan Rubin, Richard Devine, Nina Kraviz, Deadly Hunta, Rat Boy, and Tina Guo.

Gameplay

Gameplay, as of 2019

Cyberpunk 2077 is played in a first-person perspective as V,[9] a mercenary whose voice,[10] face, hairstyles, body type and modifications, background, and clothing are customisable. Stat categories—Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, Technical, and Cool—are influenced by the character classes that players assume, which are NetRunner (hacking), Techie (machinery), and Solo (combat). The perk tree branches into melee, blades, handguns, shotguns, rifles, sniper rifles, hacking, two-handed combat, assassination, "cold blood", engineering, and athletics. V must consult a "ripperdoc" to upgrade and purchase cyberware implants; black markets offer military-grade abilities.[9][11][12][13][14][15] The rarity of any given equipment is shown by a coloured tier system.[16] V can take cover, aim, run on the ground and walls, jump, double jump, and slide.[17][18] With arm blades, V may climb walls and, like with other close-combat weapons, deal melee strikes.[12][19] There are three types of ranged weapons, all of which can be customised and modified—Power (standard), Tech (which penetrate walls and enemies), and Smart (with homing bullets).[20][21] Ranged weapons are equipped to ricochet bullets in a target's direction and slow them down in bullet time. Four types of damage can be inflicted and resisted—Physical, Thermal, EMP, and Chemical.[11][15][22] Weapon use increases accuracy and reloading speed, which are manifested in character animations.[23] Gunsmiths repair and upgrade weapons.[12] The game can be completed without taking a life,[24] with non-lethal options for weapons and cyberware.[25]

The open world metropolis Night City, California consists of six regions—the corporate City Center, immigrant-inhabited Watson, luxurious Westbrook, suburban Heywood, gang-infested Pacifica, and industrial Santo Domingo. Its surrounding area, the Badlands, can also be explored. V navigates these locations on foot and in vehicles, which are customisable and subject to either a first or third-person view. In autonomous cars, V can more easily engage in gunplay.[9][16][22][26][27][28] Pedestrians are vulnerable to vehicular collisions.[21] Depending on the location, law enforcement may be alerted if V commits a crime.[29][30] Radio stations are available to listen to.[31] The full day-night cycle and dynamic weather affect the way non-player characters (NPCs) behave.[20][32] V owns an apartment—in which to fetch weapons, get dressed, use a computer, bring NPCs for sexual activity—and a garage.[12][33] Night City features non-English-speaking characters, whose languages can be translated with special implants.[34] "Braindance" is a device that allows V to undergo other people's experiences.[35][36] Branching dialogues enable interaction with NPCs and actions in quests.[37] Experience points are obtained from main quests and fuel the stats, while side quests yield "street cred", unlocking skills, vendors, places, and additional quests.[16][20][21][38] Quests are acquired from characters known as Fixers.[21] Throughout the game, V is aided by various companions.[12] Consumables, like soft drinks, are used for healing, and objects can be inspected in V's inventory.[18] Minigames include hacking, boxing, auto racing,[39] martial arts, and shooting ranges.[40] "Game over" messages only appear at the point of death; if a quest is failed, the game moves on all the same.[41] Player choice leads to different endings.[36]

Setting

Night City is an American megacity in the Free State of California, controlled by corporations and unassailed by the laws of both country and state. It sees conflict from rampant gang wars and its ruling entities contending for dominance. The city is reliant on robotics for everyday aspects like waste collection, maintenance, and public transportation.[42] Its visual identity is derived from the four eras it underwent—austere Entropism, colourful Kitsch, imposing Neo-Militarism, and opulent Neo-Kitsch.[43] The Internet is managed by corporations and the army.[25] Homelessness abounds but does not preclude cybernetic modification for the poor, giving rise to cosmetic addiction and consequent violence. These threats are dealt with by the armed force known as Psycho Squad.[8][44] Trauma Team can be employed for rapid medical services.[45] Because of the constant threat of physical harm, all citizens are allowed to own and openly carry firearms in public.[46]

Development

Cyberpunk 2077 entered pre-production when developer CD Projekt Red had finished The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine,[47] with approximately fifty staff members involved.[48] They later devoted a team larger than that of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,[49] and after it was released, began upgrading their REDengine 3 to complement Cyberpunk 2077.[50] Early on, aspects like stream processing and global illumination were made to function without overwhelming the central processing unit.[51] CD Projekt Red was granted subventions of US$7 million by the Polish government, whose funding application confirmed they were using REDengine 4.[52] In June 2017, preliminary designs were stolen and threatened to be released to the public, but the developer refused to comply.[53][54] The development reportedly reached a milestone in late 2017,[55] and in March 2018, a new studio was opened in Wrocław to aid the production.[56] That July, nearly 350 employees were developing it,[57] and by the following month, the story was fully realised and could facilitate a complete playthrough.[2] In October 2018, CD Projekt Red announced the establishment of a long-term partnership with Canadian studio Digital Scapes to craft additional tools for Cyberpunk 2077.[58] In early 2019, the staff exceeded 400,[59] which was around 450 by June 2019,[60] when CD Projekt Red partnered with Nvidia to achieve ray tracing in real time.[61] The number of developers was estimated at 500 that October.[62] QLOC started doing quality assurance in January 2020.[63]

Originally to launch with multiplayer,[64] this was first assigned to research and development,[65] and later confirmed as a post-release feature.[66] The first-person perspective was selected to immerse players more than a third-person view would allow.[20] Cutscenes and gameplay are both made in first-person to seamlessly blend together, also for the purpose of immersion.[67][68] Cyberpunk 2077 features full nudity, which game director Adam Badowski said encapsulates the theme of transhumanism—"the body is no longer sacrum [sacred]; it's profanum [profane]".[69] The script was written in Polish and then a separate team translated the dialogue into English.[70] The quest designers, who oversee the making of their own ideas, enabled players to decide the order in which quests are undertaken.[71] Side quests are often made from unused parts of the main story.[72] CD Projekt Red invented a technology based on sound analysis from neural networks, producing real-time lip sync for all localisations.[73] Animation systems were remade to better generate muscle movement, motion capture was improved, and environments were created from prefabricated designs.[74] Reused models have altered colours and details.[75] Some things were procedurally generated.[62] Feedback from E3 2018 influenced the developers to allow a non-lethal playthrough and disallow the male-female option in character customisation, instead basing it on voice and body type.[76][77] The world is loaded using vertical streaming to render only the assets that appear on screen.[78] The content was nearly complete in mid-2019, with the rest of development focused largely on polishing.[60] Staff started working from home in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[79] causing a halt in localisation.[80]

Cyberpunk 2077 drew influence from the 1982 film Blade Runner, manga and anime series Ghost in the Shell, and video games System Shock (1994) and Deus Ex (2000).[81] It features a motorbike from the Akira manga and anime film and a car inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road.[82][83] Mike Pondsmith, creator of the Cyberpunk franchise, started consulting on the project in 2012.[74][84] He also appears in it as a character.[85] Pondsmith's follow-up to Cyberpunk 2020, Cyberpunk Red, influenced the lore.[86] The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt composer Marcin Przybyłowicz was chosen to write the score,[87] accompanied by P. T. Adamczyk and Paul Leonard-Morgan.[88] Songs for in-game radio stations were specially made;[31] Refused created music for the group Samurai and Grimes voices the frontwoman of Lizzy Wizzy and the Metadwarves.[89][90] Run the Jewels, A$AP Rocky, Gazelle Twin, Ilan Rubin, Richard Devine, Nina Kraviz, Deadly Hunta, Rat Boy, and Tina Guo also contributed.[91] In July 2018, actor Keanu Reeves was approached for the role of Johnny Silverhand,[92] who was codenamed Mr Fusion to maintain secrecy.[93] He would lend his likeness to, voice, and do motion capture for the character.[94][95] Reeves' dialogue amount is second only to the main character.[96] Having first spent fifteen days recording his lines,[97] Reeves was later granted his request that Silverhand's screen presence be doubled.[98] Sebastian Stępień served as head writer and creative director before leaving for Blizzard Entertainment in early 2019.[99][100]

Release and marketing

Cyberpunk 2077 was announced in May 2012.[48] In January 2013, a teaser trailer was released,[101] reaching 12 million views by June 2018.[102] The game was confirmed for Microsoft Windows the same year,[103] and for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at E3 2018,[104] where they revealed a second trailer and a media-exclusive, pre-alpha gameplay demonstration,[102][105][106] released to the public in August of that year, following its appearance at Gamescom.[107] At E3 2019, a third trailer revealed the release date of 16 April 2020.[108] However, this was delayed until 17 September 2020,[109] thus pushing the multiplayer to launch later than 2021.[110] It received more pre-orders than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt;[96] one third of PC sales were done through GOG.com, a subsidiary of CD Projekt.[111] The PC version will be free of digital rights management.[112] Owners of the Xbox One version will be able to freely download the game on Xbox Series X upon release.[113] A second gameplay demonstration was shown to E3 attendees,[114][115] and a 15-minute version appeared online in late August,[116] after it was announced for Stadia.[117] At the Tokyo Game Show, a full-scale replica of the Yaiba Kusanagi motorcycle was displayed.[118] The game will be distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.[119] Bilkom is publishing it in Turkey.[120] Bandai Namco Entertainment will act as publisher for twenty-four European countries and distributor for Australia and New Zealand.[121][122]

The standard edition provides the base game, while the collector's edition comes with a custom box, steelbook, figurine depicting a male V, hardcover artbook, metal pin set and keychain, A Visitor's Guide to Night City, embroidered patches, world compendium, Night City postcards and map, and stickers; digital items include the soundtrack, art booklet, Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook, and wallpapers. If pre-ordered, the standard edition also contains the compendium, postcards, map, and stickers, alongside the digital soundtrack, booklet, sourcebook, and wallpapers.[123] Funko Pops were available starting 16 April 2020.[124] The World of Cyberpunk 2077, a 192-page art book, will be published by Dark Horse Books on 17 June 2020.[125] A standalone card game created alongside publisher CMON Limited, Cyberpunk 2077 – Afterlife: The Card Game, is slated to come out the same year.[126] CD Projekt Red launched a cosplay competition that ends in 2020.[127] McFarlane Toys signed a three-year agreement to manufacture action figures.[128] The Cyberpunk 2077-themed Xbox One X is the final limited edition of that console.[129] A video card was designed with the game's aesthetic in mind.[130] It will receive downloadable content after release.[66]

Reception

Cyberpunk 2077 won over one hundred awards at E3 2018,[61] including Best Game, Best Xbox One Game, Best PC Game,[131] Best RPG,[132] and People's Choice at IGN,[133] Best Role-Playing Game and Game of the Show at Game Informer,[134] Best of E3 at PC Gamer,[135] and Game of the Show at GamesRadar+.[136] The second trailer was broadly considered one of the best at the expo,[137][138][139][140] although writer William Gibson, credited with pioneering the cyberpunk subgenre, said "the trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 strikes me as GTA skinned-over with a generic 80s retro-future".[141] The first-person perspective, in contrast with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's third-person, was also subject to criticism.[142][143] Cyberpunk 2077 was widely the most discussed game of E3 2019,[144] where it was presented awards for Best of E3 at GamesRadar+, PC Gamer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and Ars Technica,[145][146][147][148] and Best Game, People's Choice, Best PS4 Game, Best Xbox One Game, Best PC Game, and Best RPG at IGN.[149] The third trailer was lauded with emphasis on the Keanu Reeves reveal.[150][151]

Awards

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2013 FITC Awards Best Animation (People's Choice) Won [152]
Golden Trailer Awards Best Video Game Trailer Nominated [153]
2018 Game Critics Awards Special Commendation for Graphics Won [154]
Special Commendation for Innovation Won
2018 Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Game Won [155]
Gamers' Choice Awards Most Anticipated Game Nominated [156]
2019 Game Critics Awards Special Commendation for Graphics Won [157]
2019 Golden Joystick Awards Most Anticipated Game Won [158]
Titanium Awards Won [159]
2020 18th Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial (Dex) Won [160]

Notes

  1. ^ CD Projekt Red Warsaw and Kraków develop the main game, while the Wrocław office devoted about 40 people to research and development.[1] Additional work was done by Digital Scapes and QLOC.

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