The first concrete detail we heard about Cyberpunk 2077 is that it would be played from the first-person perspective. It’s a major change from CD Projekt Red’s previous titles, and one that hasn’t set well with a number of fans, both because of the perspective change itself and the fear that it indicates the new title will be more of a first-person shooter.
CD Projekt has made clear through numerous interviews that this is an RPG with shooter elements rather than the other way round, and today the studio’s explained the reasoning behind the perspective shift in a bit more detail. In The Witcher games, you’re playing Geralt – a pre-written character who has his own story outside of what the player sees. In Cyberpunk, you’re meant to inhabit the role of whoever you play.
First-person isn’t all bad, of course – just look at the best FPS games on PC.
“In this game we wanted to put you in the shoes and in the body of the character you’re controlling,” quest designer Patrick Mills tells Eurogamer, “so you feel like this is your character. First-person was one way to do that.” You will of course build your own avatar through a character creator.
Mills says that first-person also adds a sense of immersion not possible in third-person, particularly thanks to Night City’s towering skyscrapers. “If nothing else,” Mills says, “I think it’s going to be really cool when you’re walking around the city and you look up, which is something that in third-person doesn’t really feel right. To really experience that verticality you need a first-person perspective.”
However, Mills tactfully leaves out the most important reason for going first-person: the opportunity to see all that full-frontal nudity in stunning, up-close detail.
It’s a long road to the Cyberpunk 2077 release date (and CD Projekt is only making it more agonizing with those private demos), but we’ll keep you up to date on every new detail as it becomes available.