Explaining Cyberpunk 2077
Have you played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Of course you have. Wait — you didn’t?! Well listen up! Skyrim is an open world game featuring a snow-laden and war torn place in a world called Tamriel. In Skyrim you play as a chosen one destined to battle the returning evil of the dragons. As the Dragonborn your adventure takes you from lowly traveler wrongfully imprisoned to the savior of an entire land. It’s epic and there is no reason why you shouldn’t play it. Seriously, it’s one of the best games of this generation, just give it a shot.
Have you played The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings? No, you skipped over it? Ugh, I don’t know how much more I can take here. Alright, look: The Witcher is based off a series of novels written by a Polish man, specifically Andrzej Sapkowski. Over there these books are extremely popular and the hero, Geralt, is very beloved. For good reason, too, because the books are really great and Geralt is an extreme badass. Geralt is a professional monster slayer, or a Witcher as the folks in the books call them. Witchers are a rare breed but they are extremely deadly and potent with Alchemy. As Geralt you travel the land slaying monsters and taking back the pride that the Witchers used to have. While the first game was very good, the second was amazingly better in all aspects.
Have you played Deus Ex? How about Human Revolution, the most recent addition to the series? You know what, don’t even answer. Let me quickly explain. Deus Ex is a game all about corporate espionage and morality in a world where being completely human is becoming very rare. Cybernetics, robotics, and other forms of highly advanced technology have become everything from a fashion statement to the way of war. Humans get themselves fitted with these pieces of technology and lo-and-behold the world changes. Let’s take Human Revolution for instance, that game is a prequel to the first game and following Adam Jensen who was in a terrible explosion and was fitted with a bunch of biotechnical enhancements without his consent, just to save his life. This poses a complete change in your life and as Adam you are tasked with living with this technology and being a part of a side of the world you never asked for while you’re smack dab right in the middle of a civil war between the largest corporations on the planet. It’s quite a ride.
Now what I want you to do is take the open world nature of Skyrim and mix in the third-person gameplay of The Witcher series while keeping around the first-person view option from Skyrim. Take that and throw in a Deus Ex theme but add in a metric ton of options, customization, larger world, more megacorporations, and more morality choices than you can shake your fist at. There you go, you have what we can expect will be Cyberpunk 2077.
Living With Technology
The main attraction of Cyberpunk 2020 and its sequels, the pen and paper RPG that this game is based off of, is character customization. Unlike many other pen and papers, Cyberpunk (and a very similar game called Shadowrun) allow you to complete mess up your character from head to toe.
Would you like your arms to produce sharp blades like the woman had in the 2077 reveal trailer? Oh yeah, that’s there. Would you instead like your fingers to be able to produce mini EMP blasts? Alright. How about turning one of your eyeballs into a computer that can scan objects and show you information that is vital in a split second? Sounds good. You can as far as make your hair change color or light up like a neon sign if you really want.
All of this is possible within the work of Cyberpunk. To see a list of what was available for characters to take, check this link out and prepared to start thinking of some crazy, crazy character configurations.
The whole thing here is not to overdo yourself else you run the risk of becoming more machine than man and well, at that point, bad things happen. You need to strike a balance with your humanity and the technology you are polluting yourself with. This is vital in Cyberpunk.
You’ll run into many NPCs who will despise you because you have just one enhancement. You’ll run into more that may hunt you if you cross that threshold I just talked about.
Remember, you are human and in order to exist in society, use its resources, exploit the system, and, most importantly, do your job, you need to remain human.
Choose wisely because until we know what kind of limitations Cyberpunk 2077 will put on characters, you may not be able to look at that list, come up with your ultimate Cyberpunk character, and then use it in the game.
Defining Your Role
Cyberpunk’s “class” system was effectively called Roles. Every character first chose a role and then chose their enhancements. Roles define what kind of character you are trying to play but it does not limit you to a straight and narrow path. The world of Cyberpunk is open to how you want your character to be, a role is just a way to get a job and become something in your character’s life.
The roles you could pick in Cyberpunk 2020 were:
- Cop – lawmen on the streets.
- Corporate – business raiders and millionaires.
- Fixer – smugglers and brokers.
- Media – newsmen and truth-getters.
- Netrunner – cybernetic hackers.
- Nomad – road warriors and gang bangers.
- Rockerboy – system fighters and magic users.
- Solo – assassins and killers.
- Techie – repairmen and doctors.
Don’t pay attention to the descriptions because they are not strict. If you want to pick a Cop who serves rough justice on street trash, hackers, and hates Corporates, you could. How well this translates into the game remains to be seen. I suspect we’ll see a bit more stricter roles in terms of what enhancements you can get and use, what abilities you have, and what jobs you can take or actually complete.
The purpose of a role in Cyberpunk is give you an outline, not a destiny. You fill in the blanks with your actions and choices. Let’s hope CD Projekt RED can translate that well enough in a game.
All-Out War Between The Megacorporations
In the world of Cyberpunk, corporations have become the iconic powers of the world, not the governments. Only the strongest and most influential survive and those become known as megacorporations.
In Cyberpunk, you either picked a side or you were hated by them all. It was never smart to get on a megacorporation’s bad side unless you had the backing of another. Going against them all is just about guaranteed suicide.
Instead, you picked on and you fought for them. You perform jobs or runs that entail anything from a simple recon, retrieval, espionage, security, terrorism, assassination, and much more. Whatever the boss wants, he gets or you die.
The world of Cyberpunk can either look really cool to someone who just lives their lives unknowing of what these megacorporations actually do or it can look very scary to someone like our players who view this constant civil war as the most threatening force in history.
I doubt we’re going to get a chance to either ignore or fight against all of the megacorporations. Instead we’ll probably have to pick one. Here’s a quick list of the megacorporations found in Cyberpunk 2020 thanks to the Wikipedia page:
- Arasaka, a huge Japanese zaibatsu headed by a megalomaniacal CEO obsessed with making Japan into a superpower. Likely nod to World War II arms manufacturer Arisaka.
- Biotechnica, an Italian biotechnology, pharmacology, and cybernetics firm.
- Euro Business Machines (EBM), an information technology corporation (an obvious nod towards IBM).
- Infocomp, a commercial think-tank and information repository.
- International Electric Corporation (IEC), a European conglomerate involved in multiple and diverse industries ranging from consumer products to heavy construction through to corporate finance and insurance (an obvious nod towards General Electric).
- Kendachi, a Japanese armament company.
- Lazarus, American mercenary/private security contractor with close ties to Militech.
- Merril, Asukaga & Finch, financial analysts. (An allusion to Merrill Lynch).
- Microtech, a computer and electronics manufacturer.
- Militech, American arms manufacturer and mercenary contractor with strong ties to the US Government and its military. Its CEO desires to make the US into a superpower again and often competes with Arisaka for influence.
- Mitsubishi-Sugo, a major transportation manufacturer.
- Network News 54, an American broadcasting company.
- Orbital Air, an African corporation with a monopoly on space transportation.
- Petrochem, an energy company.
- Raven Microcybernetics, leading cybernetics company.
- SovOil, a neo-Soviet oil giant, controlling a vast percentage of the petrochemicals market.
- Trauma Team International, a private medical firm also dealing in medical insurance, prepaid disaster relief, prepaid CSAR, etc. Teams extract their patients from hostile Landing Zones and then evacuate them to an emergency care facility.
- World News Service, a worldwide news conglomerate, similar to the Associated Press or Fox News Corporation.
- World Satellite Communications Network (WorldSatCom), a satellite communications giant.
- Zetatech, a computer, cyberdeck, robotics, and cybernetics manufacturing company.
As you can see, there are a lot of choices and depending on how many 2077 will include, you’ll have your pick from evil #1, evil #2, and so on and so forth. Such is the way of the world.
This is what the story of Cyberpunk 2077 will likely revolve around. You will join a megacorp and play out your part until you not needed anymore. After that? You try to survive while planning your vengeance. It will be you against the world and you pegged as a terrorist or some other horrible thing society fears. Either way, it won’t be easy for you. In the world of Cyberpunk you pick and choose your friends wisely and your words even more so. Everyone is watching you. No where is safe.
Ambitious Doesn’t Even Begin To Describe It
This is a huge project and I’m sure you’ve heard other people call Cyberpunk 2077 an ambitious game. That doesn’t cut it. 2077 has the chance to become the biggest, most content filled game in history.
There is certainly plenty of content to use or manipulate to put in the game. Also, if the devs approach this game like pen and paper players, then they can come up with a near infinite number of missions and runs.
After all, imagination is key in the world of Cyberpunk.
Now that you have the knowledge, what’s your imagination coming up with for your first steps in 2077?