The Cyberpunk 2077 release date isn’t even here, and it’s already mightily tempting to compare The Witcher 3 to its retro-futurist ‘successor’. CD Projekt Red’s responsible for one of the best RPG games this planet’s seen since the Conjunction of the Spheres, and it could be behind another come November. The Witcher 3 has arguably set the benchmark for what a modern open-world role-player should be, and CP2077 looks set to snatch the baton and keep on running with it, based on what we’ve seen and heard so far, at least.
On one hand, drawing a direct comparison might not be entirely fair. It’s a little reductive to equate the two simply because they share a developer, and from snapshots of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay revealed so far, there are plenty of meaningful distinctions. There’s the obvious: Cyberpunk’s based on a tabletop universe about a dystopian city, transhumanism, and gang warfare. It’s also got first-person perspective; you play a mercenary hacker called V; Keanu Reeves is in it.
Cyberpunk 2077’s character customisation, combat, mission structure, and tone will differ markedly to the studio’s last big hitter in the RPG space. But, it’s inescapably still in that space, and forged with CDPR’s lens, no less. That got me thinking. I’m a huge fan of The Witcher 3, not just because it’s the epitome of its genre, but because it’s an experience that really means something to me; one I often ruminate on when I’m not playing.