One of the most notable aspects of the very notable The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was how significantly the choices that players made as Geralt affected the way the narrative played out over the course of the game. According to a recent interview with tabletop RPG legend Mike Pondsmith, developer CD Projekt Red is pushing these consequences even further in Cyberpunk 2077.
Pondsmith, who created the original tabletop game that Cyberpunk 2077 is based on, recently revealed in an interview with LastKnownMeal (via GamingBolt) that Cyberpunk 2077 will introduce a more complex consequence-based system than CD Projekt Red has previously implemented.
Specifically, as opposed to The Witcher 3, where consequences were mostly results of narrative decisions, it sounds like Cyberpunk 2077‘s choice-and-consequence system will play out in the actual gameplay.
“One of the binding philosophies of the game is that your actions have consequences,” Pondsmith said, going onto to specify that the video game will take inspiration from the tabletop game in how “if you blow away some guy in a gang, his gang’s going to remember, and they’re going to find you. That is realistic, that is the way things really go.”
It’s unclear if and how, exactly, these gameplay decisions will play into Cyberpunk 2077‘s overall narrative, but it at least sounds like these consequences will replace more binary, good-and-evil karma systems as found in other RPGs like Fallout and Mass Effect.
“Sometimes karma isn’t really meted out in a nice, neat dark side/light side way,” Pondsmith said. “Sometimes it comes and bites you in the butt in ways you never expected. We were kidding the other day in the office about that moment when you’re driving on the freeway, and somebody cuts you off, and you flip them off, and then you go into the bank, and there’s the guy you flipped off behind the counter. This sort of stuff happens.”
As far as the overall narrative goes, it sounds like Cyberpunk 2077 will be a little more grounded than The Witcher 3, at least in terms of scope.
“I spent a lot of time with story team [at CD Projekt Red],” Pondsmith explained, “and it took me a while to get it across to them that… you don’t save the world in Cyberpunk, you save yourself. If you happen to save the world along the way, you go, ‘Yeah, okay, cool.’ But you’re dealing with your world, your issues, the people you care about. It’s very, very personal.”
Following the release of its first actual trailer at E3 2018, more details have come out about Cyberpunk 2077, like the fact that there won’t be any loading screens and that you can date whomever you want, and it’s sounding pretty fantastic. The only downside is that it’s still earlier in development than we previously thought, so don’t expect it to come to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One anytime soon.