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First look: Cyberpunk 2077 is the best game at E3 2018

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The open world role-playing game dazzles in its first gameplay footage.

A screenshot from Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)

Having been one of the most anticipated games ahead of E3, dystopian open-world action title Cyberpunk 2077 has lived up to its billing with an early preview of what its universe will entail.

Behind closed doors away from the show floor, developer CD Projekt Red has been taking a select few on an early tour of Night City, the Californian city of the future where the game is based.

The world itself is based on the old tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, released in the 1990s and set in a futuristic world of mega-corporations, invasive technology, crime and opportunity.

As the new game’s title suggests, this imaging is set a further 57 years into the future.

During the preview, CD Projekt took us on a tour of Night City, which is made up of six vastly different districts – ranging from the neon bustle and fervour of the City Center, out to industrial and poverty-stricken outskirts.

One of the most striking aspects of Cyberpunk is not just how stunning the world is – it is detailed on a level unlike anything else at E3 this year.

The streets and buildings are loaded with non-playable characters (NPCs) that can be interacted with in order to develop relationships but also uncover secrets and a wide array of hidden quests.

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Because CD Projekt says Cyberpunk is also a role-playing game, the main character V is also highly customisable, at the beginning of the game in terms of gender, character traits skills and other aspects, but also in the cyberware which can be added to your character’s body during the game – upgrading their abilities in the process.

(Screenshot/ CD Projekt Red)
(Screenshot/CD Projekt Red)

In terms of further customisation, dialogue and decisions are also open to multiple strands and routes, sending the game’s narrative branching outwards.

Quickly there is a sense that this game is huge, and CD Projekt say they hope to complete it without any loading screens present, which would be quite a technical feat for a game of this apparent size.

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The scale of the city centre area was stunning in itself, with our tour taking in several detailed stores and alleyways before jumping into a car and driving across Night City – taking in a gunfight in the process – just to further emphasise the game’s scale.

It would be enough to be just an open-world RPG, but Cyberpunk also shows great potential as a shooter. The combat glimpsed in the preview included a wide range of futuristic weapons and ways to approach firefights – whether it be calm and considered or to burst in all guns blazing.

(Screenshot/CD Projekt Red)
(Screenshot/CD Projekt Red)

The bad guys add to this fun atmosphere too, with the Maelstrom gang a sinister mix of human and cyborg thanks to their obsession with upgrading themselves.

The language was overly crude at times and though it some cases was used to make a point, at other moments it felt unnecessarily provocative.

In general, though, the diversity of character, environment and experiences on offer in Night City make Cyberpunk the most exciting title shown at E3 this year.

Now all we need is a release date.

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