A few weeks ago, we were given an extensive sneak peek into CD Projekt Red’s upcoming sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. Ever since watching the 48-minute gameplay demo, I’ve been chomping at the bit to embark on my adventure through the gritty, crime-infested streets of Night City. Not only does the environment look beautiful and ripe for exploration, it also seems that Cyberpunk 2077 will put strong emphasis on choices and the consequences that result from them, creating a more dynamic and immersive experience for the player.
I was already excited for Cyberpunk 2077 since its E3 reveal, but after watching this 48-minute demo, I’m all in. However, while I am extremely impressed with and excited for this project, it’s not perfect; no game is. With that being said, here is what I found to be good and bad about the Cyberpunk 2077 demo:
Deep Character Creation
Right out of the gate, the demo grabbed my attention by showing off one of the deepest character creation experiences I’ve ever seen. In addition to altering your physical appearance – from your gender and physique to tattoos and hairstyle – you’re also asked to choose a backstory for your character. There are three categories: “Childhood Hero”, “Key Life Event”, and “Why Night City?”, and each category has three different choices. While this backstory builder is limited, I’ve never seen this in a game before. I’m intrigued to see how this affects the storyline and the progression of your character.
First Person Immersion
Seeing how the Witcher series was entirely third person, I was shocked to see Cyberpunk 2077 being played in first person. While I wasn’t expecting this direction, I welcome it because it makes the experience more immersive. Some critiques I’ve read feel this defeats the purpose of the deep character creation tools, but I disagree because you still see your character in every cutscene. Also, when it comes to shooters, I always prefer the first-person perspective. It just lends itself to more precise gunplay.
A Living, Breathing World
You only see a fraction of Night City in the demo, but I’m thoroughly impressed with what’s shown. Skyscrapers tower over you, buildings are lit up by neon signs and digital screens, and pedestrians flood the streets going about their days. It’s hard to tell how big the map will be, but I imagine it will be considerably large because there are six districts and you have the option to drive cars. Also, I’m hoping Night City will be filled with interesting characters to interact with, compelling side missions and activities, and a bevy of buildings to explore. As we all know, there’s nothing fun about a big beautiful world with nothing to do in it.
Throughout the 48 minutes of footage, the narrator stresses multiple times that your decisions will have consequences that affect the course of the campaign. Nearly every character interaction comes with a set of dialogue choices that provoke different responses. You also have the free will to approach missions however you’d like. Specifically, there is an instance in the demo where the player can either attack a group of highly ranked guards or go about the conversation peacefully. Shortly after, a decision needs to be made about whether you infiltrate a gang hideout guns blazing or choose a more diplomatic route. It’s evident that choice will be a major emphasis in Cyberpunk 2077, and I’m thrilled about that.
Smooth and Solid Combat
Shooting mechanics in Cyberpunk 2077 seem fluid and fleshed out. From the looks of it, movement will play a huge role in combat, as you’ll need to evade a barrage of enemy bullets while simultaneously firing back. It was encouraging to see V seamlessly aim from enemy to enemy, especially considering how fast-paced the combat is. Sneaking will also be an option, as there are a few instances in the demo where V silently takes out enemies from behind. Another nice touch is the destructible environments. I love seeing pieces of dry wall explode as bullets plunge into them, and I love the fact that you can shoot enemies through walls even more.
A Variety of Weapons and Abilities
There will be a variety of ways to dispose of your enemies in Cyberpunk 2077, and the demo makes that clear. One of my favorite abilities shown is the bullet ricochet module that allows you to bounce bullets off surfaces and hit your enemies. There is also an ability that makes it possible for you to run on walls, one that gives you razor-sharp blades on your arms, one that allows you to jam enemy weapons, one that slows time, and one that lets you hack into the brains of your enemies for critical information. As for weapons, you get to see a pistol, shotgun, SMG, and rifle in action. I have a feeling CD Projekt Red only gave us a small taste of all the weapons and abilities that Cyberpunk 2077 will have to offer in this demo, so I’m excited to see what the rest will look like.
Fluid Class System
As with most RPGs, you will have a set of skills that you will need to build up in Cyberpunk 2077. However, instead of choosing a class that favors a particular set of skills, you can swap between three archetypes (Netrunner, Techie, and Solo) and distribute points to any skills you prefer. Best of all, if you’re unhappy with the skills you chose to sink points into, you can easily respec at any time. This will allow you to precisely tailor the game to your exact style of play, which will make the game more personalized and enjoyable for the player.
Man, there is some cringe-inducing dialogue in Cyberpunk 2077. In just under an hour of gameplay, I shook my head at several lines that sounded as if they were written by a 12-year-old boy. Within the first few minutes, V absurdly says she’s “cleaner than a cunt in a convent” after Jackie, her right-hand man, jokingly predicts she’ll blow her job earnings on booze. Shortly after, Jackie utters the equally ridiculous line “I got news as big as my balls.” Real comedians over there at CD Projekt Red… I’m hoping the entire game isn’t full of this bullshit.
From “badass chicks” to macho men, the characters in Cyberpunk 2077 look cliché and unoriginal. My least favorite has to be Jackie because CD Projekt Red made him a walking, talking Hispanic stereotype. Seriously, from his accent to the awful lines of dialogue he spits out, he is one of the most offensive characters I’ve seen in a game. Dexter DeShawn, the cigar-smoking kingpin who assigns the job to retrieve the Flathead, isn’t much better. He’s African American, covered in gold jewelry and cybernetic enhancements, and rides in the backseat of a “pimped-out” Cadillac. He’s essentially your generic urban crime lord with a futuristic spin. I hope I’m wrong and these characters end up having more depth to them, and I hope the other characters of Night City are more interesting and original.
So there you have it; a good-to-bad ratio of 7-2. I clearly found much more to like about Cyberpunk 2077’s 48-minute gameplay demo than dislike. Now that I’m all aboard the hype train, as I’m sure many other gamers are, I hope that the finished product will fully execute on all of the great things the demo showed off. Until it releases, I’ll just watch the video on repeat to keep feeding my hype.
What did you think of the Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay demo? Did you find as much to like about it as I did? Do you agree with me on these opinions? Is there anything important that you think I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments!