Cyberpunk 2077 is a blend of action RPG with an open world and a first-person-shooter. It was created by the Polish studio CD Projekt RED, which gained international fame thanks to the bestselling The Witcher series. The title is based on Cyberpunk 2020 - a pen-and-paper system created in 1990 by Mike Pondsmith.
The action of Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in the title year 2077, but it is not a vision of the future based on contemporary ideas, but rather a dystopian retrofuturism straight from the 1980s. While the world is ruled by greedy megacorporations that control every aspect of citizens' lives, the underworld is the kingdom of various gangs. Moreover, thanks to technological progress, people can benefit from special implants and body modifications that increase their psychophysical abilities. This, however, comes at a price.
The game takes us to Night City, an American metropolis on the coast of California that boasts the highest crime rate in the United States. Although the rich citizens living at the centre of this multicultural melting pot enjoy a life of luxury, they are only a fraction of the population; the rest are doomed to poverty and illegal activities.
We play the role of V, a rookie mercenary fighting for survival in a brutal reality. The source of inspiration for the story told here was film noir, and the direction in which the plot will go depends on our decisions and actions.
Before we start playing in Cyberpunk 2077, we create our avatar by selecting gender, defining appearance (such as changing the hairstyle and modifying individual body parts and decorating them with tattoos), as well as selecting the back story. The latter is important in that it affects the character and certain aspects of the adventure. In addition, the character editor allows you to assign points to individual characteristics that are taken from the original paper: strength, endurance, reflection, technical skills, intelligence, and the ability to behave in crisis situations, referred to as "cool".
During the game, we observe the action from the first person perspective (FPP). The title puts at our disposal a vast, open world, in which we move both on foot and behind the wheel of a car or on a motorcycle (while controlling the vehicle we can switch to the TPP camera). Night City consists of six neighborhoods: City Center (where the megacorporation is located), Westbrook (inhabited by the rich), Pacifica (gang-controlled), Heywood (Latino center), Watson (where immigrants found their new home) and Santo Domingo (energy supply to the metropolis). On the other hand, there are also the "cities inside cities" –huge, self-sufficient "megabuildings".
In addition to exploration, the primary element of the game is to perform tasks ordered by NPCs. Many missions have a non-linear structure, and how we carry them out depends on our individual preferences. We can therefore engage in open conflicts with our opponents (like in true FPS), eliminate them from surprise and look for alternative ways to reach our goal (which can be helped by the ability to hack the safety nets) or even try to make risky arrangements so that we do not reach for forceful solutions. Conducting talks also plays an important role. The big moments for the plot are presented in cutscenes, where we can see the protagonist in their full glory.
In exchange for the activities we gain two types of experience points - realization of story missions results in obtaining Core XP (after collecting the appropriate number of them, we will be promoted to the next level), but performing side missions provides us with the Street Cred, guaranteeing us access to new sellers, craftsmen and clients. As we progress, we develop our character by purchasing better skills and installing special implants to increase combat potential.
Although the game includes a classless hero development system, the available abilities (which can be freely mixed and combined) come from three specialties taken from the table-top original (Solo, Netrunner and Techie). The potential of V is also increased by the equipment acquired. The authors provide us with an extensive arsenal of melee weapons and firearms; the latter is divided into three categories, i.e. power weapons, tech weapons and smart weapons.
Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the RED Engine graphics engine, which has undergone numerous improvements compared to the version that powers the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The technology allowed the authors to create a detailed world with a 24-hour cycle and high traffic intensity on the streets.