Is it possible to have too much hype surrounding a game? The answer is slightly more complicated than one would think. While there are many negative connotations that come with the non-stop marketing of a title, the discourse can often be broken down to whether a game is deserving of the hype, or if it can exceed it. Cyberpunk 2077 was originally announced in 2012 and first shown in 2013 with a cybernetically enhanced female seemingly being executed—or escaping from execution. Not much was required from its first showing, only that it was CD Projekt Red’s next full project to be tackled after the massively successful (and forever relevant, apparently) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The flash logo of its developer was all that was needed to jump-start the hype train surrounding Cyberpunk 2077.
In order to explore why Cyberpunk 2077 is one of OnlySP’s most anticipated games of 2020, we would like to delve into why the title is deserving of the hype it has received, even though some of it may be approaching meme territory at this point. As previously mentioned, much of Cyberpunk 2077’s hype can be attributed to its developer, CD Projekt Red, and its legacy within the gaming industry. What may seem surprising to many recent fans is that CD Projekt was not always the respected, highly influential developer that it is today. Until the release of The Witcher 3 in 2015, CD Projekt was known only to those who were devout followers of its previous titles. Although in 2020, the developer shares the stage with other powerhouses such as Naughty Dog and Rockstar, this was not always the case. Mostly due to the infinite success of The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red is now seen as one of the industry-leading developers for expansive RPG titles.
The Witcher 3’s influence on the gaming industry is astronomical. There are few games in history that are continuously used as a threshold for development standards. For a title to be released five years ago and still surpass many titles released today in quality and delivery is astounding. CD Projekt has established a precedent for itself as a developer to continuously deliver experiences that are either on the same level of The Witcher 3 or surpass it entirely. That is how and why Cyberpunk 2077 is receiving the amount of hype seen thus far. The Witcher 3 is a crowning achievement within the RPG genre, setting a standard for the level of quality a title must aim for if success is to be desired.
All this talk about the developer and nothing about the actual game! Cyberpunk 2077 is priming itself to be the next threshold for RPG standards. By taking the ideology surrounding a pen and paper tabletop RPG and turning it into a visually interactive experience, CD Projekt Red has accomplished a near-impossible task. More often than not, developers who attempt similar experiences always feel limited in either scope or delivery. Although we do not have Cyberpunk 2077 in our hands just yet, the possibilities genuinely feel endless. Given what is already shown at conventions and experienced firsthand by a select few, Cyberpunk 2077 looks to be the RPG to rule them all; as if Sauron had personally gifted his prize possession to the developers citing his own unworthiness.
At its core, the RPG experience should empower the player by granting them near-infinite freedom to express themselves in a fictional world without restrictions. From customizing every detail of the character’s background, appearance, and persona, to making them feel like a physical presence within the world they inhabit, RPGs offer an experience that is unmatched by other genres. There is a reason why D&D has withstood the test of time and is now more popular than ever before. In 2020, freedom of expression is on everyone’s mind—and CD Projekt Red hears that loud and clear. The possibilities in Cyberpunk 2077 truly feel endless.
Every now and then, a title comes around that seeks to reinvent the wheel, not by rebuilding it from scratch, but by creating a skyscraper out of the foundation already established. Cyberpunk 2077 has not shown any doubt in its intention to be that title that defines a generation—despite many already existing: Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, and, of course, The Witcher 3, to name a few. There is a possibility that Cyberpunk 2077 could surpass those titles and become one of the greatest games ever made, but that is a statement that should be reserved for after it is experienced.
CD Projekt Red has embarked on its greatest challenge to date in crafting an experience that is worthy of being a true RPG. The buzz surrounding the game has become one of the most fascinating things to witness in recent memory, and if there is one developer that has proved its willingness to tackle such a feat, it is CD Projekt Red. Is the industry generating too much hype for Cyberpunk 2077? Possibly. However, none can deny the promise of possibility.