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«Cyberpunk 2077»: I don’t remember the last time a demo had me feeling so pumped

I’m one of the select few who got to try out «Cyberpunk 2077». The downside of my luck: The experience has left me bursting with impatience – I can’t wait for the game to be released. But misery loves company, so please allow me to get you hooked.

I’ve rarely been as excited as I was during the 40-minute wait for the «Cyberpunk 2077» demo. Press events usually start on time, but the boys and girls from CD Projekt Red must have been struggling with technical issues. The wait was made bearable thanks to the futuristically designed waiting room at Gamescom and its open bar. When level designer Miles Tost did eventually open the doors, my gamer heart was beating like a drum.

The cyberpunk-style bar and drinks sweetened the wait.

One hour later, I leave the demo with a buzzing head and a broad grin. «Cyberpunk 2077» is going to be ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Why am I so pumped? I’ll tell you why:

The world of Night City

The E3 trailer already gave us a rough idea of what «Cyberpunk 2077» would look like. But seeing actual gameplay in first-person perspective on the big screen was way more impressive. The Polish studio already proved that it is very capable of creating fascinating worlds with «The Witcher 3». «Cyberpunk 2077» has taken things even further. Each and every scene is jam-packed with details. The graphics might not boast the pixel masterpiece that is «Star Citizen», but the overall look is still absolutely breathtaking and, in my opinion, outshines the epic space simulator game.

The game has a love for detail.

During the demo, we’re playing with character V – a petty crook who’s trying to make it in the gangster world (unlike at the E3 demo, we got to be a man). To advance his criminal career, V does jobs for shady characters who lead him and his partners through different districts of Night City. It’s a raw, pulsating city ruled by a handful of megacorporations just like the rest of the world.

During the game, V approaches an intersection and the demo audience gasps. Personally, I’ve never seen anything quite as vibrant. Countless people, none of them alike, bustling about, each doing their own thing. Brightly lit neon lights advertising questionable implants or virtual sexcapades. The most impressive part is how coherent this world feels. It reminded me of «GTA» with the difference that «Cyberpunk 2077» hasn’t simply copied an existing metropolis but has created its very own world that follows its own rules. Although the tabletop game «Cyberpunk 2020» provided the backdrop for the game, this wouldn't have had much influence on the design.

Night City is a rough place.

After crossing the intersection, V turns off into a side street to get a new upgrade from a ripper doc. The scene is like something out of «Blade Runner» or «Altered Carbon». Depending on your upgrade, V’s interface registers many interaction opportunities with people. I would love to have further explored them.

The day-night-cycle makes for impressive light effects. By day, this place looks relatively friendly, sober and a bit colourless. At night, however, you’re blinded by neon lights under which the city comes to life – it beats any drugs. Speaking of which, drugs are definitely part of the game. Combine this aspect with an HDR monitor and there’s no guarantee you won’t feel a bit high in real life.

The characters

Our encounter left gang leader Royce a bit headless.

This game comes to life not only because of the setting but mainly because of its characters. Relatively little is known about the main character V. However, CD Projekt Red did reveal that you will be free to select your appearance and sex and be able to influence the background story. To this end, we get to know V’s friends and foes a little better.

Take Jackie, for example. He wants to join the big league of gangsterdom. This takes us to Dexter Deshwan, a fixer who has his fingers in every criminal pie imaginable. Think Marsellus Wallace from «Pulp Fiction» with a golden arm. Then there’s Meredith Stout, an agent for a megacorporation who never seems to clock off work. Towards the end of the demo, we meet street gang boss Royce. He’s etched in my mind because of his impressive face and glowing eyes but mainly because of his behaviour. All the people we encounter feel like they play a key role in the story, but they're probably just minor characters. If their impressive depth of character is anything to go by, I can’t wait to discover who else I’ll meet.

Jackie's your quick-witted buddy.

To be honest, even if these characters had the personality of a glass of water, I’d still enjoy interacting with them. This is thanks to the design. Every person I met was totally unique. Naturally, the cyberpunk universe does come with a lot of handy accessories. Your average citizen of Night City is made up of more metal and electronics than you’d find at a Swiss recycling point.

The gameplay

My anticipation continued to grow throughout the demo. CD Projekt Red knows how to put on a good show. «Cyberpunk 2077» is an action RPG. As «The Witcher 3» proved, you can expect incredibly versatile gameplay. One aspect is the dialogues. The characters don’t just stand there rooted to the spot and reel off their dialogue. They move, make faces and occasionally bang their fists on the table. You can generally choose between two or three answers. Like in «Mass Effect», some situations allow you to actively intervene and steal somebody’s weapon, for example. I’m pretty sure that won’t always go well.

One mission is to get your hands on this robot. How you do it is up to you.

I was also impressed by the many decisions you can take. On several occasions, the journalists at the demo get to vote on what they want V to do next: Make a deal with the arrogant megacorporation agent Meredith Stout, try to bump her off or just back out of the situation altogether? The studio already proved in the «The Witcher 3» that decisions can have far-reaching consequences. This also appears to be the case for «Cyberpunk 2077». The game leads us to a gang. Our options are to negotiate (peacefully or at gunpoint) or to rat out Stout. The latter would cause her story to end unexpectedly.

The doc will give you upgrades for hard cash.

The more active parts of the game bring out the best in «Cyberpunk 2077». You can shoot yourself through most of the missions if that’s your style. But maybe you prefer subtle moves and are relying on your hacking skills. At the demo, we’re shown a bit of everything. This involved wacky weapons such as a smartgun that can shoot around corners. Close combat fighters can opt for the katana and chop their enemies' legs off («Cyberpunk 2077» does not hold back with violence). It can also create a shield. You can hack gun turrets and human beings and thereby reveal their weaknesses. A further collective «whoaaa» echoed through the demo when V revealed two metal claws and started clambering along a wall. If you’ve seen the very first trailer, you know what I’m talking about. This verticality adds another layer to your flexibility.

Overall, the gameplay with all its skills felt extremely fluid. We didn’t get to experience much creeping or hacking but hopefully they feel just as convincing.

«CD Projekt Red, please don’t let me down»

Night City is teeming with strange characters.

I’m trying hard to remember the last time a demo left me so buzzed. I really can’t think of one. Being a massive fan of cyberpunk worlds such as «Blade Runner», I’m biased. However, what CD Projekt Red has done here is create a lively, fascinating world that blew my mind. The countless possibilities to interact with your surroundings, the futuristic weapons, cleverly integrated upgrades that are far more than a mere skill tree, great freedom of choice, countless oddball characters and not to mention Night City… heavens above, that city really got me.

I’ve rarely experienced such a complete demo. Sure, the game is still under development and one wrong turn could have caused a crash. Nonetheless, judging by what we saw, there’s a chance this game is coming out this year. But it’s more likely to be early 2020 or even later. Maybe it was «Deus Ex» that last had me this excited about a game. I remember marvelling at that yellow and black screenshot. And the first «Deus Ex» is what «Cyberpunk 2077» regularly reminded me of. The former also offered players countless possibilities. I can’t wait for «Cyberpunk 2077» to reach gold status and for me to get lost in Night City.

  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox One, DE, FR, IT, EN)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox One, DE, FR, IT, EN)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox One, DE, FR, IT, EN)
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Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox One, DE, FR, IT, EN)

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Philipp Rüegg, Zurich

  • Teamleader Odin
Being the game and gadget geek that I am, working at digitec and Galaxus makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – but it does take its toll on my wallet. I enjoy tinkering with my PC in Tim Taylor fashion and talking about games on my podcast . To satisfy my need for speed, I get on my full suspension mountain bike and set out to find some nice trails. My thirst for culture is quenched by deep conversations over a couple of cold ones at the mostly frustrating games of FC Winterthur.

20 comments

3000 / 3000 characters

User raffaeleda

Geht mir genau gleich. Kein Plan wann ich mich das letzte mal auf ein Game so derartig gefreut hab. FPS-RPG im Blade Runner Setting von CD kann nur gut werden.

23.08.2018
User L1f374k3r

Freu mich auch riesig!

23.08.2018
Answer
User nilanthan.chrishon

Mit welchem Spiel würdest du die Grafik vergleichen?

23.08.2018
User Philipp Rüegg

Phuu gute Frage. Ist ja die gleiche Engine wie in The Witcher. Ansonsten vielleicht eine Mischung aus Deus Ex Mankind Divided und Uncharted 4? Aber eigentlich spiegelt der Trailer die Grafik wirklich sehr gut wieder. Da haben sie einfach alle Details auf Uberhypermax geschraubt, aber es sah wirklich praktisch genauso gut aus.

24.08.2018
Answer
User Anonymous

Normalerweise kaufe ich keine Spiele direkt beim Release, sondern warte auf einen Sale. Cyberpunk wird die erste Ausnahme seit einer gefühlten Dekade werden (Ok, da war noch BotW, aber das zählt nicht, weil Nintygames eh nie günstiger werden)

24.08.2018
User Luca Fontana

Der E3-Trailer sieht wie ein Film aus, den ich unbedingt im Kino sehen will o.O. Wurden die Filmrechte schon verkauft :-D?

24.08.2018
User GrischuG

Da überlege ich mir doch noch meine GPU aufzurüsten...

23.08.2018
User Raizo

Als ein grosser Fan des Cyberpunk Genres, kann ich es kaum erwarten das Spiel selber zu spielen.
Ich kann mich nicht erinnern, dass ein anderes Spiel in den letzten Jahren mit einer Demo so überzeugt hat wie CP77.

23.08.2018
User gigu9090

Danke für den Beitrag. Ich denke nicht dass CD Projekt Red enttäuscht. An der Witcher Reihe sah man, dass ihnen Qualität wichtig ist. Zudem super, wie Witcher 3 ein Paradebeispiel war, dass gute Spiele eben gekauft werden mit aber auch ohne DRM (Kopierschutz).

23.08.2018
User Anonymous

Was für ein Kracher!!!

24.08.2018
User Indahouse86

2077 ist übrigens das release Jahr ;)

24.08.2018
User Negan636

Hoffen wir mal das CD Projekt Red nicht so lange braucht :>

24.08.2018
Answer
User cenzor

Why do you offer it as a full game when it's not even half-finished? They haven´t even published a release date :P

27.08.2018
User SwissSven

So u can already add it to you'r wishlist.

24.09.2018
Answer
User Manu_Z

Ich freue mich enorm auf dieses Spiel aber ich sehe auch die extremen Paralellen zu Shadowrun.

06.09.2018
User CGiBiNx64

Hab mal vor ca. 2 oder 3 oder mehr Jahren ein Trailer davon gesehen und war dort schon: "Whaaaat?" :D
Wenn das alles stimmt, wird das Game der absolute Wahnsinn! :D
Freu mich auch darauf :)

23.08.2018
User TAI_P

Bin genau deiner Meinung, freu mich rissig auf das Spiel. Fand schon The Witcher allgemein und den 3 Teil eines der besten wen nicht das beste Spiel der letzten 10 Jahre. Kann ich jedem nur empfehlen.

23.08.2018
User bkeleanor

Ich hoffe sehr, dass RDR 2 die Wartezeit bis zu Cyberpunk ausfüllen kann.

24.08.2018
User Yuppie

Sogar als absoluter Nicht-Gamer, absolute high von dem Zeugs

24.08.2018