Close-Up Commentary On The Cyberpunk 2077 E3 Trailer

By Sam Quirke,
Chances are high that you're well aware of Cyberpunk 2077, the next game from the studio behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — it made waves at this year's E3 with a last-minute trailer closing out the Xbox press event, followed by a closed-door event that impressed the majority of journalists. Unfortunately the rest of us haven't been able to see anything else from the game, which the developers have previously claimed is not even in the alpha stage. Instead we'll have to make do with the studio's deep dive on some of the key frames from that show-stopping trailer, taking the opportunity to explore the environments of Night City as well as the themes of the narrative.

In a series of blog posts starting here, the Cyberpunk team give us a flavour of what to expect. Night City is described as a "free city" located in the future "Free State of North California" — outside of US state and national jurisdiction, corporations make all of the rules. Founded by tech industry magnate Richard Night, it was supposed to be a "perfect city" serving as a monument to progress, but it has fallen to gang wars, corporate conflicts and corruption.

This is a cyberpunk universe, so naturally there is a heavy reliance on drone and robotic technology — whether that's maintenance robots sweeping the streets or humanoid machines tailored to be a perfect sparring partner in the gym. Even the public transportation systems are robotic, with enough self-awareness to communicate with each other and learn to be more efficient.

In Night City, each megabuilding is a city in its own right — self-contained monoliths offering housing, food, armaments, medicine and learning. Consumerism is king in Night City, with products and aspirations for a certain way of life projected on every surface imaginable — selling an ideal life that the majority of citizens could never afford.

Showbiz and celebrity keep the masses entertained despite their hardships, especially controversial figures like Lizzy Wizzy (fourth image above), the only human member of a popular band. Advancements in technology have allowed for people to share recordings of their memories in a "braindance", so other people can essentially relive the same moment as though they were there. This has led to an entirely new entertainment industry where actors will stage a memory much like a movie, allowing consumers to fully immerse into the role of an action hero. Many of these braindances are simply recordings of celebrities living their lives, leading to the less fortunate becoming addicted to false memories of wealth and influence.

Technology continues to proliferate society, but the best models are still too expensive for the poor to purchase or repair. As such, children from these families learn to improvise with scrap metals and electronics to make their own bootleg devices or repair those that have broken. Naturally, improvised weapons began to appear.

While the rich and the poor are separated by circumstance in Night City, it's a diverse place by any other measure. This can be seen in the nightlife, with each establishment appealing to some subset of the culture with its aesthetic and its offerings. In the second screenshot above you can see that smoky pool bars still have a dedicated following, albeit with a few technological enhancements on the pool table itself.

One of the most arresting images from the trailer can be seen below, where a woman appears to have removed the cybernetic bottom half of her face in order to make modifications to it. "Cyberware" has become as common as jewellery in 2077, and can range from cosmetic statement pieces to combat augmentations. RealSkinn technology can mask even the most outlandish personal enhancements with realistic synthetic skin.

Unfortunately that breakdown of the existing trailer appears to be all we're getting from Cyberpunk 2077 for the time being. There is no release date and in fact we're not entirely certain whether it'll be a next-generation game or not, but it'll almost certainly be coming to PlayStation 4 or its successor at some point in the future.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016 and is now the Editor for both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He remains a stubborn Assassin's Creed and Pokémon fan.
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