Go ahead punk, make my day! Well, if any punk is going to make your day, it’s likely to be Cyberpunk 2077, arguably the year’s most anticipated game. Arriving on PC and all Sony and Microsoft consoles this November, it’s likely to be one of the biggest-selling titles of 2020. So what makes it so anticipated?
Toss a coin to your Witcher! Or maybe toss it in the arcade machine, in tribute to video games instead. CD Project Red are the creators of The Witcher video game series, which not only sold millions of copies across multiple platforms, but also heavily inspired the aesthetic of the TV series, even more so than the books.
More than that, CD Project Red are considered the last ‘benevolent’ large game publisher, refusing to include micro-transactions in their games and always putting the consumer first.
One certainty about Cyberpunk 2077 is that it will be full of choices. We already know the game is set in a magnificent world (see below), but the entire gameplay system is built around role-playing a specific character.
From the very beginning, you chose a ‘background’ story for your playthrough, and the choices only build from there. If you want to be a corporate loyalist, hacking technology and smooth talking your way to victory, then you can. If you want to be an angry streetrat, building guns into your body and taking no prisoners, you can.
The term cyberpunk was made famous by William Gibson, the author of the Neuromancer series of books, but it was actually coined by Bruce Bethke for a short story written in 1983. Since then, it has been appropriated by the tabletop gaming world in Cyberpunk 2077 – which is basically dungeons and dragons meets Blade Runner.
The result is that CD Project Red have a huge world to draw from, an encyclopaedia of characters and items and culture, waiting to be brought to life and explored.
We don’t know much about Silverhand as a character, because we refuse to Google and spoil overselves. But we do know he is being played by Keanu Reeves, which is more than enough to sell Cyberpunk alone.
Not only is Reeves arguably the most beloved movie star of the current generation, but he plays more than a bit part role in Cyberpunk and will have a huge part to play in the story. What we do know about Silverhand is that he is a revolutionary and kickass. Sign us up!
One of the pleasures of gaming is the ability to drive around a huge, teeming city, while sitting on your couch. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to do that often, due to the sheer investment required to create a world like that.
Aside from Grand Theft Auto and Watchdogs, there aren’t many open world cities to make your own. Well, you can add Cyberpunk 2077 to that list, with plenty of vehicles to hi-jack, and a large metropolis to burn rubber in.
Speaking of mega-corporations in the future, let’s talk Microsoft. The Redmond giant has just made one of the biggest ever moves in gaming, buying Zenimax Media for $7.5 billion.
‘So what!’, you might say. Well, let’s dig a little deeper. Zenimax Media owns Bethesda Softworks, who own ID software, along with Arkane Developments. Still not ringing any bells?
Then let’s put this in real terms. Microsoft have just bought the rights to the Elder Scrolls (Skyrim series), Doom, Fallout, Dishonoured and every property under the Zenimax banner.
As a coup, this is unrivalled in the history of gaming buyouts, and comes right before pre-orders open for the Xbox Series X and S. This places huge doubt on the future of those gaming franchises across Sony platforms.
In fact, we can pretty much guarantee that future Fallout, Elder Scrolls and Doom games will all be exclusive to Microsoft platforms, or certainly timed exclusives, depending on how Microsoft wants to play it.
In addition, expect to see all Zenimax games come to Xbox Game Pass, the service that costs €12,99 per month and give access to over 100 existing first-party Microsoft games. In one fell swoop, Xbox has levelled the playing field against PlayStation in the next-gen race.