It’s finally time to take in the wonders of Night City this month in Cyberpunk 2077. We hacked into developer CD Projekt Red and nabbed some data from the game’s quest director, Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz.

As a first-person game, is it harder to immerse the player in V’s story using only voice acting?
On the contrary! I believe that going the first-person perspective route is what allowed us to really take the immersion factor to another level in Cyberpunk 2077. The very fact you’re experiencing the horizontally and vertically dense, sprawling megalopolis that is Night City looking through V’s eyes is something that puts you in the heart of the action and really ratchets up the sense of scale within your surroundings. When looking through the eyes of V you not only see what surrounds you, but also yourself — you’re not just a floating camera, you’re a character in this world. Then there’s our dynamic scene system which allows for seamless transitions between exploration, combat, and story elements. Even if you’re a passenger in a car you can freely look around, you make choices — you’re always in control, because you are V.

While Night City has its distinct districts, will we be able to explore outside its environs?
A huge area surrounds Night City called Badlands. It’s an extremely threatening place, a vast desert wasteland devastated by countless wars and cataclysms. Rules of the city don’t apply here and you won’t find the regular gangs roaming about. Instead, you’re bound to come across Nomads, clans of which hold dominion over this place. It’s an area that has an entirely different feeling and density to the other districts and, despite the dangers it houses, it’s definitely a place you should check out.

“…we always aim to push the limits of what can be done on every platform we work on”

Do the cars in Night City have similar self-driving abilities when heading to a quest destination as Roach did in The Witcher 3?To be legally approved for road traffic in Cyberpunk’s reality of 2077, all vehicles must feature an autonomous mode that’ll allow owners to call their car or bike to their location. There will also be several instances of you riding shotgun, both on the ground, as well as via AV (which stands for air vehicle) which you’ll often see cruising above you in Night City. That said, driving cars, bikes, as well as trucks and others will mostly be up to you throughout the game. Which is actually a cool thing, because four or two-wheelers alike, there’s quite a few of them for you to check out and collect. There’s plenty of models to choose from which not only look and sound different, but also feel and behave differently, and suit different needs. Our vehicle artists and designers, as well as the audio team, have really outdone themselves and thanks to them you’ll definitely find something that you’ll thoroughly enjoy driving from A to B, and beyond!

Cyberpunk 2077

As one of the first cross-gen games, what challenges did you face in making Cyberpunk 2077 look and play great on every console, including the seven-year-old PS4 and Xbox One?
Our approach to making games never changed – we always aim to push the limits of what can be done on every platform we work on. This, of course, comes with a plethora of challenges both artistic and technical alike. That said, I believe that with Cyberpunk 2077 we’ve managed to deliver something truly remarkable that gamers of all platforms the game will release on can immerse themselves in and enjoy.

It’s rare for a first-person game with shooter mechanics to also proudly boast RPG features – how difficult was it to embrace both within a single game, without compromising either?
While it does feature shooting mechanics and melee combat, Cyberpunk 2077 from the beginning was designed to be a true to-the-bone RPG. Marrying all this was a challenge, one which involved a lot of trial and error. In the end, though, we managed to arrive at an approach that we believe works, and does so in a very cool and immersive way. It’s a solution that utilizes stat-based combat, but at the same time we address things that would feel unnatural in a purely stat-driven solution. For example, shooting most enemies with a powerful sniper rifle to their head will deliver huge critical damage and will most likely result with an on-the-spot kill. When you start off the game you will find it crucial to find cover when enemies shoot at you, but by installing specific cyberware and by developing your character in one of many possible ways will start yielding results soon enough. Invest in a strong Solo and you’ll gain enough resilience to be able to rush into combat with a melee weapon and survive the onslaught of bullets coming your way. Go the route of a nimble Netrunner, however, and you’ll be able to outmaneuver your opponents and dominate the encounter using your assortments of hacking software. Or try a mix of both, or another character build entirely — there’s dozens of skills for you to mix and match until you find the combination that suits your preferences best. Your cyberpunk, your way, your rules!

Cyberpunk 2077

Move stealthily, but carry a big stick… Is it really possible to complete Cyberpunk 2077 by using stealth and skill, never killing anyone? Says Tomaszkiewicz: “When designing Cyberpunk 2077’s gameplay, we wanted to provide gamers with as much freedom as possible, including combat. You will be able to stealth your way through most encounters, avoiding direct engagements. We prepared numerous tools that you can have at your disposal to help in achieving this goal. One is through the use of hacking — in the world of 2077 most things are connected, meaning you can hack into them and, for example, cause a nearby vending machine to go haywire, creating a nice little distraction. You can also inject an enemy with special malware that’ll sabotage their optical implants, allowing you to sneak past them undetected. You can also go for a more direct approach and knock enemies unconscious, or a completely indirect one by looking for hidden paths through the levels — which will probably require you meet certain skill-related conditions in order to be able to take advantage of them. There will be a few encounters you will need to fight your way out of. In these cases, however, you can defeat your foes without killing them, and then leave them be after the fact. There are mods for weapons that make them non-lethal, as well as tranquilizer ammo, special cyberware, and blunt weapons. It’s your choice how you want to approach combat.”

Cyberpunk 2077 releases on PS4, Xbox One and PC on December 10. Pre-order now at JB Hi-Fi.