At E3 we got the chance to go through the full demo of Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red was kind enough to give us a release date and now the hype train will move forward in full force for the next 9 months. We have seen the bright lights and Keanu Reeves massive impact this year, however, the demo itself took a different turn, here is how it stacks up.
Before we start, this is all the same game. So the demo from E3 2018 was extremely in depth with Cyberpunk. It showed character creation, deep story, and some really tricky features within the mechanics such as robot views and variation on guns. It was truly mind blowing.
At E3 2019, the demo started already within a story arc. Sadly, it skimmed the surface a bit compared to last year. Now, please do not get me wrong, the game looks incredible and the story points that were shown give a much broader scope on the overall theme within the game. It is a testament into what the future might look like for humanity.
You begin coming off of a successful heist which you saw in the trailer. Keanu Reeves, sorry I mean digital ghost Johnny Mneumonic, sorry, I mean Johnny Silverhand, is haunting your thoughts and helping you move through the story. You hook up with a hacking group known as the Voodoo Boys who are looking to play foul against their rivals the Animals (a jacked up steroid gang who look like the WWE). Your mission takes you into the once paradise part of the city which is now completely a mess. Driving through the ruins you sneak through the Animals’ hide out to figure out and hack parts of this chip. The Voodoo Boys help you along, as does Keanu making for some great banter during the mission.
Combat mechanics were shown in within the first-person viewpoint. You use both guns and this awesome melee whip weapon which tears people in half. Stealth played a part of it as the big gang members are walking all around and alerting them would bring the atomic elbow on you much faster. The Animals are a melee heavy gang due to their size, so do not let them get close. The demo in 2018 showed off some tricky camera angles and bullets that shot around corners. This demo held back on those highlights and just played straight through the story.
We cannot emphasize the sheer depth of this game though. In working with the Voodoo Boys, you ultimately find yourself in cyberspace which opens a whole new realm of possibilities. Now, before you start learning new coding languages to play, the game keeps things easy to get into. The rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it too but trust us it is almost endless with possibility.
Driving was shown as well, something we did not see the first time. You zip through the city with your motorcycle which was amazing. If there are vehicle combat parts to the game, they have not been shown yet, but that is something we can all hope for.
Cyberpunk looks stunning. Everyone will play this game and talk about which story arcs they follow. For us knowing you can earn faction reputation through corporate pay offs or just sheer street credit is a cool part of the integrated social systems in the game. Despite dealing with some unsavory folks, you can win them over in the end. We loved the demo, but last years showed a lot more in terms of tricky game play, this one was more story based. That does not mean it was bad, just a different piece of the puzzle. When you combine both, I see endless nights of exploring the dark reaches of the future.