Cyberpunk 2077 has been shown behind closed doors at this year's E3, but it seems like CD Projekt Red was confident enough to show some additional areas of the game to the creator of the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG, Mike Pondsmith.
Speaking with Polygon at this year's Gen Con, Mike Pondsmith described neighborhood areas filled with NPCs and how they influence gameplay.
I got to wander through a lot more than was shown at E3, The sequences where you’re going down to the Ripperdoc and all that. There’s entire neighborhood areas in there where you can walk around and you can listen to people’s gossip.
Because it’s in first-person, what I love is you get that stuff peripherally. You could be crossing to go down the street to get something and hear somebody say something [behind you], and you have to turn and figure out who said it in a crowd and where. You don’t have complete situational awareness, which makes it a far more powerful experience.
Pondmith also commented on combat, reiterating some concept he already talked about in another interview last month.
You stop doing your gameplay on a strategic level. You have to do it on a tactical, immediate level, because you don’t know everything. When you’re in third-person, you can look and see the entire battlefield, so to speak. When I’m in [first-person], I’m in it. Stuff that happens around me is coming to me at the speed it would naturally
Mike Pondsmith also welcomes the discussion of political themes in Cyberpunk 2077, highlighting how morality is cyberpunk as a whole and how technology brings rebellion and change.
Technology enables rebellion. It enables change. It enables people who are on the bottom of the heap to actually go up against the people on the top of the heap. [...] Since the time of the Egyptians there were guys on top and guys on the bottom, and that is always the story. It’s just what people do. There’s always new people fighting, and it usually ends in a bloody revolution about every 40 years.
Morality is cyberpunk. I bring it down to the same guidance that I’ve given about how you write a good Cyberpunk 2020 adventure, which is, ‘It’s personal.’ Everybody has an internal morality where they will or will not [go against] what they believe. [...] Every really good cyberpunk story is about the personal morality of the people involved. Sometimes it isn’t saving the world — it’s about saving yourself and the things and people you care about, which makes it both intensely political and intensely personal.
Cyberpunk 2077 is in development for PC and consoles.