As Gamer World counts down to the release of CyberPunk 2077 on December 10, hoping that we don’t get yet another last minute delay, CD Projekt Red has released their final bit of promotional material.
They’ve released a final trailer, which is incredible.
They’ve also released a final documentary featurette, featuring an interview with the game’s star Keanu Reeves, as well as behind the scenes footage of the process.
Keanu, who plays an NPC rather than the player character, said that the most interesting thing about playing the role was recording multiple reactions to player choices, which he said effectively amounted to playing every potential outcome.
It looks as though the game will indeed have a whole lot of potential decision paths. As a serious fan of RPGs, I’ve always been critical of the term “action RPG,” given that it is virtually impossible for such a thing to actually exist. This becomes especially complicated when it’s a first person shooter. Thus far, the only game that really accomplished this was Fallout: New Vegas. The overwhelming majority of games that are labeled “action RPG” are just action games with a superficial RPG veneer – basically, leveling up to gain hitpoints and damage capacity to fight stronger enemies, with a few options for increased dialog choices.
Basically, the complexity of an RPG is difficult to translate into a fast-paced game. The basic fact is that real time combat cannot be anywhere near as complex as turn-based, especially for the average person, who is not going to have the reflexes for speedy gaming. The development of a character in a traditional RPG has the primary purpose of developing a combat style, and you do not have the differences between a wizard, rogue and fighter in a shooter game – you’re effectively just moving around and clicking the button to shoot or slash, whatever class of character you are. (Yes, there is also ducking, jumping, and reloading – I’m not claiming that FPS lacks all complexity – but these are also going to be the same regardless of class.)
But the bigger issue is that the story and character development of an RPG creates pacing issues for an action game. It would be very jarring to have hours’ worth of dialog in-between super-fast FPS shooting action (it’s not necessarily just the type of player but also the type of experience a person is looking for – generally, at any given time, someone is looking for one thing or the other). This has tended to mean that FPS games have a relatively constrained story, as the average player of an FPS tends to get bored when large amounts of exposition are dumped on them (the exception would be the Japanese, but the Japanese games that switch between action and heavy story tend to do poorly in the West).
However, I will say that CyberPunk 2077 looks like it is going to pull off implementing enough serious RPG features to legitimately be called an “action RPG.”
From everything I’ve seen, they’ve really focused on developing a new type of combat that means that there will be several distinct styles of fighting, along with skillset options that allow you to avoid combat altogether in certain situations.
More importantly, they’ve built an action-oriented storytelling method that will allow for high-intensity exposition dumps that don’t lose the attention of LCD ADD gamers.
Try to Just Enjoy the Game
None of the promotional material thus far has featured anything I find especially morally reprehensible, beyond the fact that you are allowed to choose a female main character, and I find the idea of a “female warrior” to be absurd. However, that has been a mainstay in video games forever. I’ve heard that there is gay stuff in it, but what the developers said is that the game doesn’t recognize gender because the character is fully customizable, which means that the NPCs don’t know if you’re male or female. All of the “romance” options, they explained, are voluntary, which means that you would only get into a gay encounter if you wanted to.
The developers are Polish and have been accused of racism/homophobia/et al forever, so I imagine they did include whatever kind of diversity in this game. But they’re also smart enough to know that the politics of gaming are very conservative, and no one wants anything shoved down their throat.
My advice to you, gamer, is this: just enjoy the game. Don’t go trying to dig through it to find stuff to hate. If they’re not shoving gay stuff in your face, then they’re respecting you, which is more than we can say about virtually every AAA game that’s been released in the last five years.
We all have enough going on in our lives that we deserve to enjoy something. There’s a good chance this will be the last good AAA game. Don’t let weird pseudo-religious puritanism ruin your experience.
The Daily Stormer’s Leo Fong has informed me that he’s already pre-ordered the game, and will be streaming it either on launch day, or the day after, and likely with some regularity for a couple weeks. He told me, with hatred in his slanted eyes: “Fong Leo amuse big boss black man, mountebank humanoid primate, burning a village furiously, dark biological importance.” I think that means he will make a Black Lives Matter character.