CD Projekt RED is no stranger to hyping up RPG fans with excitement and thrill for a brand new adventure! After the incredible success The Witcher franchise had, players around the world are anxious to get their hands on their latest project: Cyberpunk 2077. Unfortunately that excitement was dimmed a little bit when it was revealed that the expansive new game would be in First Person, though both the studio and the Tabletop creator himself, Mike Pondsmith, have both reiterated why this was a necessary move. Now they're back to talk about it once more, this time saying it was definitely "worth the risk."
In a recent interview with Dualshockers, Quest Designer Patrick Mills recently defended the decision to go First Person saying, "Well, this is going to sound a little bit self-promote-y but I used to work at Obsidian and I worked on Alpha Protocol. With Alpha Protocol, you had a main character that was kind of similar to V (main character of Cyberpunk 2077) and I’m really hoping that we can do a similar thing where everyone who played Alpha Protocol and liked it said that their character felt very alive and very distinct. There was a lot of variety and by the end of the game, everybody had their own character.
We want to do the same thing with V in this case so that you’re creating the character along with us throughout the game and by the end, your character feels distinct with their own unique history much like Geralt did. Of course, Geralt brings that with him but in this case, you’re going to build it along with us."
He then went on to describe how the transition worked for the team as a whole and how they felt about the abrupt pivot. This is where he discusses it being 'worth the risk':
"Well, we wanted to bring in people who were familiar with that so we have people at the studio who have worked on shooters before. We really want to make sure to get that right. Honestly, at the point now, and I know this wasn’t a hands-on demonstration and it’s still a work-in-progress, but even when I’m working on it and I’m playing with the developer tools shooting already feels pretty good. As long as we keep iterating on that and polishing it up, I don’t think we’re going to have a problem. It is very difficult but I think we can handle it.
In terms of what first-person brings, I just think it’s totally worth that risk. This is a world where I want to be able to look up and see the skyscrapers above me and third-person can’t afford that. It almost seems like a tiny, trivial reason but that’s actually really important."
This constant comparison to The Witcher series a huge reason why there was such a negative reaction to the game being primarily in the First Person. Vi isn't slaying wyvvern, they're slaying thugs. Working from the bottom up in the criminal underground is no easy task. Players will need to have an incredible arsenal of cybernetics and weaponry at their disposal, which is why the First Person perspective fits perfectly. Essentially, this is a First Person Shooter, and the gameplay design really was meant for just that.
With my own impressions of the game, I feel like if they had made it in the Third Person vantage point, the immersion would have been broken. Especially with the opening sequence I witnessed during my time with the game. It was gritty and just would not have had the same intended reaction had it not been up close and personal.
Many were concerned about the vantage selection because how incredible the character customization is. The hair color, face, eyes, scars, tattoos - everything. If you're like me and can easily be lost in hours of character customization, it's understandable that you'd want to see that same character in action. But don't fear, hopeful fans. With no loading screens yet fluid cutscenes, you will have plenty of time to see that pretty face of yours. That careful selection process won't go to waste, I promise.
There is one bright side, however. There is a lot of driving in the game, and that can be toggled from Third Person to First Person, and vice versa. Which is good, because I absolutely suck at driving in games.
We still don't have a release date yet for Cyberpunk 2077 but I honestly feel it will be a few years off before it hits shelves.