The famous Cyberpunk 2077 footage from E3 2018 has finally been released to the public, and people everywhere are buzzing about what they just witnessed. We knew that the next game from CD Projekt Red (The Witcher 3) was going to take the internet by storm, but the hype for Cyberpunk 2077 reached a new level when developer CD Projekt Red showcased a rough draft gameplay demo of what they are working on.
Normally, a 48-minute long demo would be enough to satisfy us, but in the case of Cyberpunk 2077, it just made us want more. So we watched it again, and again, and again. Somewhere along the way, we noticed a few things about that demo that you might have overlooked but absolutely must know about.
To help tide you over during what figures to be a long wait until the release of Cyberpunk 2077, here are a few things that you might have missed from the recent gameplay demo:
Jackie: Optional Companion?
An old Cyberpunk 2077 job listing hinted at the possibility of optional in-game companions, and we got our first look at one in the gameplay footage with the introduction of Jackie. If you take the Cyberpunk 2077 footage at face value, then it’s easy to assume that Jackie is a major character in the game. However, certain details hint that he might be an optional companion.
For instance, Cyberpunk 2077 is supposed to feature player-controlled sexuality. As such, it would be odd if the player were forced to sleep with a particular character like the gameplay footage suggests when V sleeps with Jackie. Our guess is that Jackie will be an optional companion in the main game who just so happened to play a starring role in this demo.
Various Types of Player Controlled Vehicles
While V is driving Jackie’s car, the gameplay demo narrator refers to cars, bikes, and “other types of vehicles” the player will be able to control at various points in the game. So far, we’ve only really seen footage of one car (which has now been identified as belonging to Jackie).
The revelation we’ll be able to access multiple vehicles isn’t too shocking, but that reference to “other vehicles” that aren’t cars and bikes is much more interesting. Can we take that statement to mean that there might be combat specific vehicles in Cyberpunk 2077 as well as player-controlled flying vehicles?
Awesome Wrist Sword Mods
Shortly after V gets her scanner implanted, she shows off the device’s zoom functionality by focusing on a poster in the Ripper’s office. It’s a quick, seemingly insignificant moment that so happens to showcase what seems to be an awesome future character mod.
Yes, players will be able to equip wrist-mounted swords at some point in the game. Actually, “wrist-mounted” doesn’t quite describe it. The sword seems to be buried in the player’s arms and emerges on command. In other words, we will be roleplaying as Cyberpunk 2077 Wolverine.
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V’s Ripper explains that her new weapon grip mod includes an ammo counter and other useful heads-up display options. What he doesn’t elaborate on is the other ability implied by the mod’s text description.
According to that description, the grip mod allows the user to utilize “locked” weapons with a 50% damage reduction penalty. This seems to suggest that there are weapons in the game which the player cannot use at the start due to them being locked by some unidentified system.
Whether that means they’re somehow locked by a user-recognition system or through old-fashioned level/skill caps remains up for debate. We’d probably bet on the latter.
Hints at a Crafting System
To be honest, we’d be more surprised to hear that a major modern game doesn’t feature a crafting system., Still, it was interesting to see that the Cyberpunk 2077 footage seemed to hint at a crafting system despite the fact that one hasn’t been confirmed for the game.
By “hinting,” we’re referring to the scenes which feature V hacking certain pieces of hardware. After those sequences, the weapons/items section on the bottom left indicates that V has acquired parts. These parts could be used for other purposes (or even as currency) but the smart money is on Cyberpunk 2077 featuring some crafting mechanics designed around our protagonist’s scrounging abilities.
During that early demo scene in which V tries to rescue a kidnapped girl, we see our protagonist “hack” the girl’s mind in order to get her help/acquire more information. That same sequence also features an on-screen prompt that indicates that the victim’s – or V’s – debit card is being verified.
From a story standpoint, this seems to be a piece of social commentary regarding how the medical team needed to charge someone before they would help. However, the implication that people’s bank information is stored in their cybernetic implants does suggest we’ll be able to perform some digital pickpocketing at some point in the game.
Bullets, Poison, Fire, and Electricity
Here’s a detail that was also briefly referenced in the footage but not elaborated on. You may have noticed that scanning an enemy gives you some information on what their weaknesses are, but did you notice the various weaknesses characters have? Just from this demo, we see that characters have resistances – and weaknesses – against bullets, electricity, fire, and what appears to be poison.
Bullets and fire seem obvious enough, but electricity and poison are much more interesting. Presumably, those weaknesses are at least partially determined by a person’s organic/mechanical composition. In other words, people who have gone overboard with their enhancements will probably be less susceptible to poison and more susceptible to electricity.
The Childhood Hero Effect
At the beginning of the Cyberpunk gameplay reveal, we get a brief look at the character creation process. While the few screens we saw are probably just a taste of what is to come, there was one aspect of the process that may have come into play later in the footage.
Early on, players are able to determine certain elements of their character’s backstory. That process includes choosing who your character’s childhood hero was. The character created for the demo seems to have a “Corporate God” listed as their hero.
Is this the reason why we see a corporate character later in the game tease our character with the promise of one day being a high-ranking member in a corporation?
Scaling Enemy Levels?
Look closely at the Cyberpunk 2077 footage, and you’ll notice that major allies, enemies, and other important characters have numbers next to their names. These numbers seem to indicate character levels. It’s a concept that seems simple enough at first glance.
Where it gets much more interesting is when you start to compare the numbers across various characters. We see similar enemies in general areas have slightly different numbers that are within the range of V’s level. However, we also see that the medical team V calls at the beginning of the demo are all ranked at level 10 (which is significantly higher than V’s level at the time). Furthermore, other characters have an “X” by their names, which hints at no level or an unknown level.
What does all of this mean? It makes sense that enemies scale with your character’s level, but are there some characters who remain at a static level and other characters who have no combat-related level at all?
A Hidden Message From The Developers
Some eagle-eyed fans have spotted a single frame message from CD Projekt Red at the end of the Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay demo. The message thanks fans for tuning in, hypes up the game a bit, and then it goes on to explain why the team was hesitant to release this footage to the public.
Basically, they reiterate that the gameplay footage is from a very early build of the game. As such, they were worried that fans would think that every detail from the demo would be in the final version of the game. However, the developers state that the excellent feedback they received from the first people outside of the studio to see this footage encouraged them to share it with everyone.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.