Posted by wastelander75 in The Wasteland Refuge, 02 April 2013 - · 64 views
Growing up, I often envisioned the future as.....something greater than what we have in the today. That one day we would leave behind all these petty differences that have divided us as a species. War. Hunger. Poverty. Disease. All of these notions and states of being eventually swept away in the name of the greater good. But, as I got older and the world showed me different, as the cynical adult within me rose up, I knew that despite the efforts of the few, the many would mar us in the past. The rich would only get richer, the poor would only get poorer. Diseases would still try entire nations. And constant wars would separate us even more.
And although the science fictions of the past have become the new sciences of today, it is a worrisome trend. This notion that one day I will awaken to the idea, and the dawn, of a future imperfect. A dystopia. A place where humanity has only learned new ways to addict themselves to old vices. A place where the escalation of war only seems to eclipse the previous one in terms of death and atrocity. A place that has no middle ground. Only the rich. And only the very poor.
It is a bleak picture, I know. But I cannot help but see the signs that we are at this tipping point. A crucial moment when we awaken to the reality that the once proud and noble tomorrow is simply a very dark today. A future that, sadly enough.......
..........has no future.
The Future is Red
“A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his dreams, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void... The Sprawl was a long, strange way home now over the Pacific, and he was no Console Man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, hands clawed into the bedslab, temper foam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there.” - William Gibson, Neuromancer
Based on the popular pen and paper table top game by Mike Pondsmith, upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will be several firsts for Polish video game developer (and publisher) CD Projekt Red. For one, not only will this be the developer's first new game outing outside of their wildly popular Witcher franchise (which itself is based on the wildly popular book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski), the other is that Cyberpunk 2077 will be CD Projekt's first try at a multiplayer element. Though as to what kind of experience it will be, CD has said that it is still "experimenting" on it.
In a recent interview with Eurogamer CD Projekt Red's Managing Director Adam Badowski confirmed that "[Cyberpunk 2077] will be a story-based RPG experience with amazing single-player playthroughs, but we're going to add multiplayer features." Beyond that, considering the game is still in a very early pre-production phase, nothing else is known (or was said) on the matter. What is known is that CDPR is looking to keep their appeal to both console and PC players alike, bringing them both the same experiences regardless of how they game, so long as they keep gaming. "I don't think that the gaming world is split between PC and consoles," Badowski said. "I'm a console player and I was a PC player and ... I don't want to be treated as stupid or less smart than a PC player. It's not like that. We definitely want to bring mature and ambitious gaming experience to the wider audience."
As far as the game goes, don't expect Cyberpunk to set you down as a predetermined hero. Rather, Cyberpunk will allow you to create your own, and define him (or her) however you want. "Cyberpunk will have different character classes," Badowski said. But again, as to what those will be, and just how extensive the game's character creation engine will be, it's still too early to say. What we do know is that Cyberpunk will be a very open world experience, leading one to believe that an easy 50-hours-or-so long tour of duty will be required to get the full experience out of the game. "The first and most important environment for Cyberpunk is the city, obviously," Badowski said. "But not only the city: you can expect some more environments in the Cyberpunk game. We want to start in the Night City, which is cool. And yes it will be an open world game as well."
Speaking in Tongues
Probably one of the most creative aspects of the game will be its unique use of how it will attempt to deal with the regional language barriers that most games seem to face upon release. For example, having to translate the entire game's rather extensive spoken language track from Polish to English when it makes its way over to U.S. distributors. Or having to translate that into Japanese when it hits Japanese markets. Rather, CD Projekt’s Sebastian Stepien revealed that they plan to record all NPCs in their original, intended language with a translator implant acting as your in-game Babelfish.
“As of yet no decisions have been made, but we’re thinking about a system that could tell the world’s story. The idea is to record everything in original languages, i.e. if we’ll meet Mexicans in the game, they’ll be talking [in Spanish] - portrayed by [real] Mexican actors. The player would be able to buy a translator implant, and depending on how advanced it is, he’ll get a better or worse translation.” Stephien says that, not only will this be a unique feature, it will also add to the authenticity of the game. “You can’t reliably recreate street slang of Los Angeles or some other American city, you can’t simply dub it and reproduce those emotions, rhythms of speech, mannerisms." he said. "Everything has to be cohesive. Otherwise we’d simply hear that Polish actors are trying to imitate Americans. That won’t work.”
Speaking of implants, the game will offer your character the ability to augment their bodies with a rather extensive array of bio-mechanical devices, ranging from the previously stated translator implant to more extensive devices that can impact the way your character interacts wit the world around them in any number of ways. But use caution. The more you implant and augment your character, the more you run the risk of losing your empathy towards your fellow man. Too many augments and your character becomes abrasive, inhuman, and eventually loses all self-restraint until they turn into a “psycho.” And when that happens, CD Projekt says, expect to have a very lethal intervention with the Psycho Squad, the game's equivalent to police's S.W.A.T. team.
"These guys are exceptional, these guys are crack troops," said Badowski. "The fact that they're proud of that name tells you a bit about their mindset. They wear a badge with their official emblem on their right sleeve, but their left is reserved for their unofficial Psycho Squad emblem. It's primitively made and the image itself is on the crude side of things. It's not unlike a badge special force operators might make and wear to distinguish themselves from the ranks of grunts in any theater of war."
Beyond that, and the announcement that the tale of Geralt will continue with their upcoming Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (more on that in a later article), CD Projeckt is keeping some ideas on the close backburner. "We have some prototypes and we'll see if we can deliver something cool to the players....every studio should have good R&D, especially independent studios. It's good to know what you may do in the future."
But, Badowski adds, "We have two leading projects, and they are the two hearts of our company. It's [a] crucial moment for Cyberpunk," he explained, "because we have tonnes of ideas and we need to have the perfect direction and we have to be in-line with the global vision of the game. We don't want to grow too big on the prototyping stage because it's much easier to manage We need to have precise, good, well-organized strike teams for that. The guys are working together brainstorming a lot, so a smaller team is better. And then we will go out to full production speed."
Cyberpunk 2077 is slated to be released - in CD's own words - "When it's ready." Honestly, if it delivers on all the promises it intends to make before release, I'm willing to wait for as long as it takes.