If you've played the award winning The Witcher 3 then surely you'll be well aware of developers CD Projekt RED by now. They received critical acclaim for their work on The Witcher series, and now the studio is going full steam ahead for their newest game, the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 is another action based RPG like The Witcher series, but unlike The Witcher it's not set in a medieval fantasy world of the past but in a hyper-tech focused dystopian future the flavour of Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell.
The staggeringly cinematic trailer (below) has been released, and though we can't really say much about the gameplay mechanics from the trailer it's already looking really very exciting. Cyberpunk 2077 will play on the same game engine (the REDengine 3) as The Witcher 3, so that's one aspect of it that we can already expect to be pretty decent.
Just as The Witcher series was based on the books of the same name, Cyberpunk 2077 will take its basic narrative from the Cyberpunk 2020 series of tabletop playing games.
Cyberpunk 2020 (set in 2020 funnily enough) is set in Night City on the west coast of the USA, near Los Angeles, in a dystopian period of martial law resulting from the city being controlled by mega-corporations who used their money and status to take power from the government following a socio-economical collapse. Rude.
As CD Projekt RED like to play their cards pretty close to their chest, we don't really know a whole lot about the finer details of Cyberpunk 2077.
The first artwork we've seen from it makes it look like we're going to have two protagonists, a female with blades which fold out of her arms and a male with hexagonal, machine-like marks on his skin (pictured above). Likely they're both androids, or at least have some serious machine augmentations on their bodies.
What we do know is that it's going to have a non-linear narrative and, like the tabletop games, will feature different character classes. It will also feature both first-person and third-person perspectives, as well as a multiplayer feature.
It's been a whole three years since the game was first announced and it's been in the works since then, yet we still don't have a solid release date for it yet. The trailer tells us it will release simply "when it's ready". Thanks CD Projekt RED, real helpful. Nothing like bursting the hype balloon.
Say Goodbye To Geralt
Well we've known for a while now that The Witcher 3 was to end Geralt of Rivia's story, and there's still the upcoming Blood and Wine DLC to look forward to for that. As for The Witcher 4, it's not definitely not going to happen but if it does it's certainly not happening for a while.
CPR Writer Jakub Szamałek: "I think good stories must have an ending. You cannot extend them indefinitely, and we felt that Geralt has had such an amazing adventure, and his saga is already so long and complex that [The Witcher 3] seemed like a good point to think about an appropriate finale for the story."
Fair enough. Goodbye Geralt, we'll miss you you stony faced slayer.
And What Of The Witcher 4?
As for whether or not we'll be seeing another Witcher game in the near future CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski said that they hadn't given much thought as to where to take the series from here, or if they're even going to:
"[The Witcher series] deserves some rest. The past 10 years the team has been working on swords and castles and medieval Slavic monsters. So I think it's time for some guns, androids, and some ammo. And a necropolis. So this is what we'll be working on."
This backs up the recent chat we got from Michal Nowakowski, CD Projekt RED's SVP who said that the majority of the studio are now focusing on Cyberpunk 2077 in lieu of other projects.
Honestly I loved The Witcher and would be more than happy to play through another instalment in the franchise, but if putting that on hold for a bit means we'll get Cyberpunk 2077 a release date that bit sooner I'm alright with that too.
We've had a good few medieval flavoured fantasy open world RPGs at this point, and taking those same open world mechanics and applying them to dystopian sci-fi sounds like a great move to make for CD Projekt RED. So whilst we might get to see The Witcher 4 further down the line, right now the developers are focusing on "guns, androids, and some ammo", and I'm absolutely on board with that.