Here’s a game that I’ve been keeping a cursory eye on, but haven’t really gone into too much because I didn’t know exactly how I felt about it. I was not the biggest fan of CD Projekt Red’s last game, The Witcher 3. Not because I thought it was bad. Far from it. I just didn’t have much engagement because it’s connected to a franchise with a TON of lore and story baggage that I had no connection with. So while it objectively was fantastic, I was bored stiff because of that. However, here we have a new game with a connection to a franchise that has more to do with pen-and-paper RPG games than anything else. So it’s basically a blank slate, and CD Projekt Red has promised the lore will be flushed out.
Still, it was something of a distant look until I FINALLY got around to watching their REALLY long game-play reveal. I’m going to be putting the video here so you can follow along, but it’s 48 minutes long. If you don’t have the time, I understand. Instead of going through bit by bit, I’m going to talk about the things that really stick out to me. Let’s get down to it.
We start off with this really cool narrator telling us that we get to customize our character. I am all about this! But looking at the character select screen, can we ditch the pixelization over the fun bits, when it is so obvious they are wearing underwear? I am nine kinds of in love with the aesthetic of this game. It lives up to its namesake. The menus all have that retro-futuristic appearance, and that just tickles me pink. As an hardcore fan of Blade Runner, this warms the cockles of my heart.
It’s also pretty great that we get to set up a ton of stuff in respect to our backstory, and the narrator says that all of this stuff plays a role in how our game plays. For once, I am almost positive this is on the level. After all, it’s CD Projekt Red we’re talking about here. Definitely hoping the customization options are deep. I want to turn my character into someone wholly unique. I also love me some scars and some ink, so hopefully I get a ton of those to play with as well. Kinda hoping we can add more ink as the narrative goes along. Looking at the stats, I am definitely gonna be a tech person, with a focus on infiltrator stuff rather than combat. The narrator says there are no pre-selected class systems, so you can choose how you play. I dig it.
We see our first mission, and get to rescue a woman who is butt-naked from a bathtub filled with ice. Again, CD Projekt Red, and they have a pedigree of not shying away from the swanky stuff. They are European, after all. I say that all devs should be European and Asian. Americans are too pussy to go the distance like this. After the first mission, I see our girl waking up with our comrade. The narrator says that relationships are something you get to make on your own, and I’m glad about that. Don’t get me wrong, Jackie is a badass bro. I could do missions and shit with him all day. But not sure he’s fuckable material. Also don’t know if he is that guy for male and female character. Makes me wonder what the differences will be between them in terms of options for relationships. Is sexuality a set in stone thing, or is that open to character choice? Lots of things to think about.
This apartment makes my inner cyberpunk nerd squeee a little. So much yes! Suddenly wanna hit up Deckard and see if we can find some replicants. I couldn’t help but notice in the armory in her place that there is a slot for a fucking katana! I want my katana! Wanna hack some people up. Or, because I am really favoring the subtle infiltration style, I wanna be able to silently kill people with it. Customize the blade a la Metal Gear Rising.
Heading out of the place, the city looks unbelievable. Some definite inspiration from Dredd, but that is just fine by me too. The inhalers thing clearly came from that as well. So many people tagged. Was really hoping we’d to get see inside the weapon’s shop. Seemed that dude has a quest to offer us too. Getting off at the elevator, I see there are a ton of vendors. Here’s my question – how many of these people can I visit? There is a guy selling music, and that definitely appeals to me. Vinyl records. Love it. Had a person in my life who has vinyl, as well as a player. It’s pretty good stuff. Makes some kinds of music sound more real. Everything is so processed now. The narrator talks about how believable the city is, making the team sound very “humble” in the process. Whatevs. With how beautiful this game looks, they’ve earned some bragging rights. Street cred, as the game has it.
As we meet with the provider of our next mission – Dexter DeShawn, I’m seeing that the game has a broad array of groups that we get to interact with. There are the corporate people, the criminal elite, the smuggling types who are involved with this mission, and since there is a crime scene we walk past, potentially the cops? One of my favorite parts of Fallout: New Vegas was how many different groups there were that you could get involved with. All of which changed how the ending played out. Makes me want to play with the politics of this game and see where that takes me.
We get our job from Dex and go to our ripperdoc to get some cybernetics. Here is where I am so stoked. The trailers for this game have had things like a woman who removed her entire jaw while doing her makeup. How far can I go with this? I saw a post saying that if you over-cyborg yourself, it does affect you over the course of the game. Still, eager to find that fine line. Or at least see what kinda crazy shit I can get. The narrator says we can get illegal cybernetics that let me do all sorts of bananas shit. Hell yeah!
The driving in this game can go from third to first-person. I would probably do third-person, if for no other reason than to take in the gorgeous landscape of this game. Really itching to see the night cycle. Narrator said the day and night cycle are dynamic. Oh how a man can dream. When we’re negotiating with the corpo bitch, I can’t help but notice that the language in this game is so foul. Kinda love it. After all, the word “Punk” is in the name. Foul language goes with that territory. Just watch any of the great films in that class. Not the cyberpunk class, but punk. Lots of foul-mouthed assholes.
Player gets their job, which results in them heading over to the Maelstrom hide-out. The first thing to notice about this guys is all the tech integration. It’s freaky. The narrator tells you that you can choose how you go about missions. I am all about that. I want to be an infiltrator, of sorts, but wouldn’t mind taking the approach of being able to talk my way out of a bad situation. Though, not sure it’s worth it with the creepy borg people who have all the glowing eyes and shit. The head dude looks like he ripped out the front of his face to replace it all with tech. That’s creepy with a capitol C.
We get some stuff showing off cool combat abilities, but that’s just window dressing for me. Especially since this person isn’t into the whole tech angle the way I want to be. They are into the engineer side. Neat, I guess. After blasting your way through, you get out, only to be met by corpo bitch. She tells you that this is how it is, and you head over to Dexter DeShawn’s club to make the drop-off of the creepy spider-drone. Why did we not have the drone assisting us in combat? That’s so weird. We took the time to get it up and moving, but not explore how it can help me out? So weird.
All things considered, this looks awesome. For a long time, I’ve wanted to feel like I live in the world of Blade Runner, and now I get the opportunity. We’ll see what happens next.
Jack in my brain, ripperdoc!