Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most-anticipated upcoming games of E3 2018, and so far developer CD Projekt Red (of Witcher fame), has been tight lipped about what the game will actually be like. However, at Microsoft’s E3’s press conference, the studio officially changed that by showing off the game and revealing some details about it.
The press conference was about to end before being “hacked” to show the first full trailer. It opened with a narrator saying poverty and other social issues had made his city the worst place to live, and yet, everyone wants to be there. It then showed a train emerging into a dazzling city of dreams, a metropolis of giant buildings adorned with dazzling screens, where organic skin is meshed with futuristic tech. The narrator describes himself as a “dreamer” before opening a case with a rifle in it. Viewers were then treated to montage of violence, with punk-stylised figures brutally attacking each other.
To understand Cyberpunk 2077, you first have to know Cyberpunk 2020. The latter was a beloved role-playing game from the late 1980s and early 1990s that incorporated many of the cyberpunk tropes. There’s cybernetic enhancement, nefarious corporations, devious punk rock hackers, neo-noir aesthetics, freaky future drugs and trench coats. So many trench coats.
In the world of 2020, the US sits at the mercy of megacorporations after the world basically goes to hell. These megacorps become fiefdoms with their own areas of interest and secret plots to gain dominion over the others. Within that combative environment rests California’s Night City, where players would play out their adventures as corporate raiders, rebel rock-and-roll stars, street doctors or cyborg plain-old assassins.
Though Cyberpunk itself has fallen in popularity, its influence can be seen in everything from the most recent Blade Runner to the (soon-to-be-defunct) Android: Netrunner card game. Cyberpunk 2077 would pick up the series 50-plus years later, with the trailer hinting at robotics far advanced beyond what was seen in the original pen-and-paper RPG. And beyond things looking appropriately cyberpunk-y, the state of the world and the many megacorps is pretty much unknown.