If there's one game which can be held as the standout of 2015 then surely it would be The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Picking up the prestigious Game of the Year 2015 accolade as well as a myriad of other awards, the CD Projekt RED helmed The Witcher 3 made it's mark on the gaming landscape even more so than its predecessors did.
And now the studio is full steam ahead for their newest game, the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. And it looks like it's going to be one hell of a ride.
Cyberpunk 2077 is another action based RPG like The Witcher series, but unlike Wild Hunt it's not set in an antiquated medieval fantasy world but in a hyper-tech focused dystopian future the flavour of Blade Runner, Rx and Ghost in the Shell. Check out the trailer below if you haven't seen it already!
Though we can't really say much about the gameplay mechanics from the staggeringly beautiful trailer Cyberpunk 2077 is already looking really very exciting. But we do know that it'll 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.
And like The Witcher, which was based on the books of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, Cyberpunk 2077 will take its basic narrative from the Cyberpunk 2020 series of tabletop playing games.
Cyberpunk 2020, which funnily enough takes place in the year 2020, is set in the fictional Night City on the west coast of the USA near Los Angeles. The setting is 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 (kinda like Dredd). So likely we'll see the same kind of themes in Cyberpunk 2077.
But 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 upcoming game was first announced way back in 2012, and a recent Tweet from CD Projekt RED Community Lead and Website Coordinator Marcin Momot confirmed that the game is still in development but does not yet have a release date set.
The first artwork we've seen from the game suggests that we may have two protagonists; a female with blades which fold out of her arms and a male with a shaved head and hexagonal, machine-like marks on his skin. 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 included various different character classes to play. It will also feature both first-person and third-person perspectives, as well as a multiplayer feature.
The Cyberpunk 2077 trailer tells us it will release simply "when it's ready", echoing Momot's comments on Twitter.
And what of The Witcher 4? Well we know that it's very likely that we will in fact see another instalment in the popular fantasy game series coming our way from CD Projekt RED, even though the final expansion of Wild Hunt DLC (Blood and Wine) will be the last piece of Geralt of Rivia's story.
But though The Witcher 4 probably will happen - as CD Projekt Red co-founder Michał Kiciński says that to not do another Witcher game "wouldn’t be fair towards the fans" - it's also not going to happen for a good while yet. Not just because the studio is focusing its efforts on Cyberpunk 2077, but also because CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwiński says The Witcher series "deserves some rest."
Iwiński: "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 news 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.
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, especially if the visuals and aesthestics look anything like what we've seen in the trailer so far.
So whilst we will see The Witcher 4 further down the line, right now the developers are focusing on "guns, androids, and some ammo", and we are absolutely on board with that.