The games that make the biggest splash at E3 are the ones that debut a big, bombastic trailer to the public. What was remarkable about CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 was that it didn’t do any of that, and still became the talk of the show. The game didn’t even have a trailer that was publicly available, only the hurried impressions of journalists who’d seen the demo in person. Until this morning. That very gameplay walkthrough, or something very close to it, is now available for the world to see. And what a walkthrough it is.
The walkthrough, embedded above, introduces two of the game’s protagonists V and Jackie. V is a customised female avatar in the game, the player given the choice of male or female during creation. We see her move through a number of situations — a smash-and-grab rescue op, a highway gunfight, a deal with crazed splicers that goes south, even getting some of her cybernetic modifications upgraded. There are references to the original Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop role playing game both subtle and overt, from your character’s initial stat array to fan-favourite mantis arms.
Described as a game in “deep development,” the current state of Cyberpunk 2070 shows a game that many other studios would be prepping for launch. CD Projekt Red, however, are from the Blizzard school of game design, preferring to keep their heads down, tinker quietly for long periods and only release a title “when it’s done” rather than race to meet a pre-determined release date. This is echoed in an accompanying statement from Cyberpunk 2070 game director and CDPR studio head Adam Badowski. In it, Badowski outlines the developer’s rationale for unveiling such a huge chunk of the game in a single video, and wears his insecurities about doing so on his sleeve.