Cyberpunk 2077: From Pen and Paper to Immersive Sim
You’ll have a hard time finding someone not excited about CD Projekt Red’s upcoming open world game Cyberpunk 2077. We here at Culture of Gaming are beyond excited. So in preparation for the game this fall, it’s time to dive into the roots of Cyberpunk and expand our knowledge before release.
A Gritty Futuristic Tabletop
Cyberpunk 2013, originally created by Mike Pondsmith and released by R. Talsorian Games in 1988, is a tabletop role-playing game akin to Dungeons and Dragons. The structure of the world is based heavily on the works of authors William Gibson and Walter Jon Williams.
Cyberpunk put a unique spin on the Dungeons and Dragons formula. The game allows you to play as one of several new and creative classes. Rather than playing paladins, warlocks, or rogues, you took on the role of a rockerboy, a solo, a techie or a nomad. Among a few others, these new class types added a stylish new flavor to role-playing games. For those like me that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, few things were cooler than a gritty futuristic setting.
Cyberpunk would see a few updates and new additions over the years and though it may not hit the same popularity as D&D it has a strong and devoted cult fan base. The second edition, Cyberpunk 2020, released in 1990 and moved the timeline forward 7 years. Mike Pondsmith is currently working on Cyberpunk Red. The game will bridge the lore gap from 2013/2020 to 2077. The game is a prequel to 2077 and is slated to release in June 2020. The story will take an alternate course of events from the original series but will remain true to what fans know and love.
Returning to Night City
Cyberpunk primarily takes place in the northern California fictional Night City, a dystopian future city run by mega corporations fighting for supremacy. In the lore of Cyberpunk Night City is the only city built completely by contributing corporations rather than traditional government run cities around the world. You will likely see familiar corporation names in Cyberpunk 2077 such as Arasaka, Militech, Orbital Air, Petrochem, and EBM. The entire world of Cyberpunk is filled with rich lore you should check out over at their fan wiki.
Richard Night was the visionary behind the development of Night City. Produced as an effort to create the ideal city, like one Andrew Ryan of Rapture. The city was created to be a utopia where poverty and crime did not exist. Moreover, a city where government laws preventing progress were removed. This attracted investors from other major corporations and soon gave birth to Night City, named for Richard Night following his death in 1998.
Cyberpunk 2077 will have Unique and Diverse Characters
First off, we need to mention Johnny Silverhand who is a major character in the Cyberpunk world will be played by Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077. Gamers everywhere collectively cheered in excitement when Keanu Reeves took the stage as Johnny Silverhand at E3 2019. Johnny Silverhand is a revolutionary in the Cyberpunk world. As the lead singer of the band Samurai he uses his popularity to push an anti-government and anti-corporation message. We cannot wait to see how events around his character play out in Cyberpunk 2077.
Morgan Blackhand is another interesting character in this universe. He was Mike Ponsmith’s own playable character. Morgan Blackhand is the top solo (assassins in Cyberpunk) in the world. Blackhand played a key part in some major lore events. He is likely to make an appearance in the main game in some capacity.
Hanako Arasaka is a futuristic princess of sorts that we may see some interesting character development with. She is the youngest child for Saburo Arasaka, the head of the Arasaka corporation. She grew up sheltered within their family compound. Saburo originally intended to arrange her marriage to form a corporate alliance, but with Cyberpunk 2077 being an alternate version of events we may see an interesting new direction for the character.
There are many other creative and diverse characters in the lore. We cannot wait to see how their stories play out and what implications they will have on the larger Cyberpunk universe.
From Cyberpunk 2020 to Cyberpunk 2077
Thanks to CD Projekt Red we are transitioning from a pen and paper RPG to a first-person immersive sim. The timeline of the game is leaping forward 57 and years promising a deep, rewarding experience for long time fans and newcomers. The developers have taken every precaution possible to maintain the immersive RPG elements of the original tabletop games. Character customization and stat allocation seem to offer limitless possibilities for play styles, but we won’t truly know until we get our hands on the final product.
The world design of Cyberpunk 2077 has always been heavily rooted in the source material designs and descriptions of Night City. Long time players will feel right at home exploring the different sectors and zones of Night City. All players can enjoy a world literally oozing with character and atmosphere around every corner. If you were not already excited about Cyberpunk 2077, take a look at some of the game play videos. There’s going to be an insanely deep and interesting world waiting to be explored.
Cyberpunk 2077 releases in September and we could not be more excited. Until then, we await the release of Cyberpunk Red to bridge the lore gaps. Check back with Culture of Gaming for more Cyberpunk content leading to the games release.