As the Microsoft E3 press conference drew to a close, Phil Spencer's final statements were cut off by a burst of static, as though the Microsoft stage had been hacked by outside forces. Sure enough, it was the long-awaited reveal of Cyberpunk 2077. In January 2013, the game was first promoted with a provocative teaser trailer. Five years later, we finally have a new look at the highly-anticipated RPG from the developers of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. Unlike that initial teaser, which was entirely pre-rendered, this new trailer consists entirely of in-engine footage.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a follow-up to the legendary pen-and-paper RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, and puts players in Night City, California, a science-fiction world of corporate espionage, wealth disparity, cybernetic modifications, and bright neon lights. While no actual gameplay was shown, the imagery on display points towards a number of prospective gameplay mechanics. The video begins on a subway, suggesting a vast city and public transportation system for players to explore. The protagonist is seen driving a retro-future 1980s car, so maybe vehicles will be a central component of the game, a 21st century counterpart to Roach, the horse from The Witcher III.
The trailer offers fleeting glimpses of underground fight clubs, people who are augmented to the point where they're more machine than human, children playing virtual reality video games, and even a basketball player using booster jets attached to his boots to gain an extra edge. More than any gameplay revelations, the trailer offers a look at a city on the brink of collapse, wallowing in a mix of despair, glamour, violence, and rollicking freedom. As the unnamed protagonist of the clip says, "It's a city of dreams, and I'm a big dreamer."
While Cyberpunk 2077 is arguably still as mysterious as ever, we now have a solid look at the setting of the title, and the appropriately punk rock tone Polish developer CD Projekt Red is attempting to capture. Cyberpunk 2077 looks to be shaping up to capture the spirit of the Cyberpunk movement, the tech-based optimism of its 1980s inspiration, and the role-playing mastery of its developers.
Cyberpunk 2077 will release "when it's ready."