When it emerged during E3 that CD Projekt Red’s upcoming sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, would feature a first-person perspective; many fans were surprised. The Witcher series was always third-person. While several representatives of the studio have since explained why the shift makes sense; plenty of fans are still uncertain about a Cyberpunk 2077 first-person shift. Similarly, some fans have voiced concerns over the shift from a pre-determined protagonist to a player-made one. Recently, a lead quest designer from the studio addressed these concerns during an interview.
The Cyberpunk 2077 First-Person Perspective: An Unexpected Shift
Patrick Mills, a quest designer for Cyberpunk 2077, recently sat down with DualShockers for an extended interview. During the interview, fan concerns over changes arose, and Mills explained why fans shouldn’t be so concerned. “Well, we wanted to bring in people who were familiar with that so we have people at the studio who have worked on shooters before.” he explained; “We really want to make sure to get that right. Honestly, at the point now, and I know this wasn’t a hands-on demonstration and it’s still a work-in-progress, but even when I’m working on it and I’m playing with the developer tools shooting already feels pretty good. As long as we keep iterating on that and polishing it up, I don’t think we’re going to have a problem. It is very difficult but I think we can handle it.”
“In terms of what first-person brings,” the developer continued; “I just think it’s totally worth that risk. This is a world where I want to be able to look up and see the skyscrapers above me and third-person can’t afford that. It almost seems like a tiny, trivial reason but that’s actually really important.”
Several other developers or people affiliated with CD Projekt Red have made similar statements already. Mike Pondsmith, for example, the creator of Cyberpunk 2020, recently voiced support for the shift.
“V”: The Undefined Protagonist of Cyberpunk 2077
On the subject of individual player characters, Mills was similarly optimistic. “Well, this is going to sound a little bit self-promote-y,” he stated; “but I used to work at Obsidian and I worked on Alpha Protocol. With Alpha Protocol, you had a main character that was kind of similar to V and I’m really hoping that we can do a similar thing where everyone who played Alpha Protocol and liked it said that their character felt very alive and very distinct. There was a lot of variety and by the end of the game, everybody had their own character.”
“We want to do the same thing with V in this case so that you’re creating the character along with us throughout the game and by the end, your character feels distinct with their own unique history much like Geralt did. Of course, Geralt brings that with him but in this case, you’re going to build it along with us.”
Certainly, Cyberpunk 2077 may have a different feel of storytelling to The Witcher; at this stage, fans really don’t know if it will or not. However, the number of role-playing games around which feature a wholly pre-defined character like Geralt are far in the minority. Customizable characters, as appear in highly successful RPGs like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Dragon Age: Inquisition, are generally the norm. As such, fans probably shouldn’t be too worried. CD Projekt Red is coming to Cyberpunk 2077 with their writing experience from The Witcher series, after all.