Five years ago, Polish video game developer CD Projekt Red gave us a chance to experience the epic conclusion of the Witcher trilogy and on September 17th, 2020, we are bound to see their new masterpiece – Cyberpunk 2077. Previously released CD Projekt Red games appear quite different when compared to the upcoming RPG from the same developer, however, it’s important to take into account that the massive success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the main reasons why Cyberpunk 2077 is surrounded by such a huge hype in the first place.
Does that indicate that the fans of the 2015 Witcher title can expect to relive their experiences when the next big hit makes its debut? As we wait for the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red release, we can explore this possibility by comparing the different aspects of the two CD Projekt Red games – Cyberpunk 2077 vs. Witcher 3 – based on what we know so far.
Differences between Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 setting
When playing the upcoming game, is there a chance that we are going to meet the fan-beloved Witcher 3 character Ciri? Cyberpunk 2077 developers keep receiving this question from TW3 fans and time, and time again they give a negative answer. Despite the fact that the Witcher 3 world-building includes different dimensions as well as interdimensional travel there’s hardly a chance for a crossover. Considering the differences in tone between Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red games, we can only expect playful Easter eggs at best, however, the very Cyberpunk 2077 Ciri question serves as a good opportunity to compare the fictional settings of both games.
The lore behind the Witcher trilogy was based on the novels of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski and in the same manner, the world of Cyberpunk 2077 also didn’t emerge from a creative vacuum. The roots of the franchise can be traced all the way back to 1988 RPG table-top game Cyberpunk, created by author and illustrator Mike Pondsmith. During the development of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has included Pondsmith into the team to serve as a creative guide – this wasn’t the case with Andrzej Sapkowski.
The two CD Projekt Red games, despite both of them being RPGs with action elements gameplay-wise, represent two entirely different genres of fiction. Witcher 3 features a medieval fantasy world based on mythology while Cyberpunk 2077 explores a sub-genre of science-fiction that is characterized by cybernetic body modifications, artificial intelligence, the dominance of megacorporations and radically advanced Cyberspace. One could make a guess that because of this shift the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red release won’t have the same appeal to TW3 fans. On the other hand, it might attract a completely new audience of gamers who prefer the strong sci-fi vibe of the new game.
Cyberpunk 2077 map compared to Witcher 3 map size
CD Projekt Red games differ in regard to the map size. This is confirmed by Cyberpunk 2077 producer Richard Borzymowski who stated that the fictional California metropolis of Night City is actually smaller than the Continent of Witcher 3 speaking in terms of mere square kilometers. However, this is the case because the Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red game is located in a city, where all the empty spaces of wilderness that are present in Witcher 3 are removed, with all the urban locations being condensed in a more compact way. While Night City might be smaller horizontally, the game will have radically more verticality by including underground sections and explorable skyscrapers. In fact, this is one of the reasons why these two CD Projekt Red games run on different engines, with Cyberpunk 2077 using REDengine 4.
What about the enigmatic Cyberspace of Cyberpunk 2077? CD Projekt Red representatives have revealed that the main character V will have to venture into this dangerous, futuristic version of the internet sometime during the campaign. Cyberspace is apparently accessed by jacking in through a neural interface, similar to what was seen in The Matrix movies or described in a classic 1982 cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. Will Cyberspace be another open-world zone? As of yet, this is not clear but we can take a look at how similar game design ideas that were realized in previous CD Projekt Red games. It’s likely that Cyberspace will work the same way alternate dimensions did back in Witcher 3.
Means of travel
In regards to travel, there are similarities between Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red gave the players of the third Witcher game the ability to summon Geralt’s horse Roach at any time. In the same manner, Quadra V-Tech – the car of Cyberpunk 2077’s main character V – will have its own artificial intelligence making it possible for the players to call their ride and make it pick them up from any part of the Night City, just like it was with Roach back in Witcher 3.
One of the things that differentiate travel in both CD Projekt Red games is the lack of loading screens when transitioning between open-world zones. The six Night City districts will not be separated by loading times, unlike the different areas of Witcher 3. As for the fast travel option in Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has also included this feature but vehicles without a doubt will remain the main means of transportation. Cyberpunk 2077 will feature three types of cars: utilitarian vehicles, luxury rides, armored cars, and also a variety of motorcycles. One of the coolest things about them all is that they can be modified and used in illegal street races!
Cyberpunk 2077 character creation
Yes, the vehicles are customizable but this is even more true for the main character V. Key difference between the CD Projekt Red games in question is the extent of available character customization. Witcher 3 is a role-playing game in the most literal sense as the player assumes the role of Andrzej Sapkowski’s written character Geralt. However, with Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red will provide the players with an extensively detailed character customization menu that will not only allow for choosing the gender and physical appearance of V but also his or her biographical background.
This particular topic might also raise a question: is cyberpunk 2077 third person, just like other CD Projekt Red games? If not, how will you be able to see your custom appearance if the entire game is presented from a first-person perspective? We’ve covered these questions in one of our previous blog posts about Cyberpunk 2077 going 100% first-person. From what we know the statement made by Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red global community lead Marcin Momot still holds valid: “players will still be able to see their characters in the inventory screen, during driving sequences, in mirrors and, very occasionally, in some of the cut-scenes.’’
Cyberpunk 2077 vs. Witcher 3: combat mechanics
Unlike any of the previous CD Projekt Red games, Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person shooter meaning that even though we won’t be able to get a glimpse our custom character’s appearance except for the situations mentioned by Momot, V will nevertheless feel unique due to a variety of possible ways to tackle FPS combat of Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red will include different cyberware builds and customizable weapons both for aggressive and stealthy playstyles.
No two playthroughs will feel the same as Cyberpunk 2077 will feature a fluid class system (similarly to other CD Projekt Red games from the past) that will allow for V to possess a mixed set of skills and attributes of different, presupposed gameplay roles. There are three main playstyles featured in the game: Solos who rely on guns, military-grade cyberware, and raw power, Netrunners who rely on hacking and Techies who rely on manipulating hardware to their advantage.
Is Cyberpunk 2077 shorter than Witcher 3?
By releasing Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red will provide us with another narrative-driven experience. Accompanied by the digital ghost of an activist rockstar Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves) our custom made mercenary V will look for a microchip that supposedly grants immortality. Just like in the previous CD Projekt Red games, we can expect to visit a variety of locations during the course of the story. Aside from the Night City and Cyberspace, V will also get to visit the Badlands – ruined wastes beyond the Night City that are populated by scavengers and Mad Max-type characters known as the Nomads.
What do we know about the campaign length of Cyberpunk 2077? CD Projekt Red representatives have stated that once again Cyberpunk 2077 is going after quality and not quantity. Technically, the campaign will be a bit shorter than in CD Projekt Red games like Witcher 3 but Cyberpunk 2077 will compensate for this with higher replayability and meaningful side-quests. Compared to the upcoming game, Witcher 3 will feel more linear as Cyberpunk 2077 quests will be characterized by a complex structure and even a possibility of influencing the main storyline in significant ways.
With Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has also confirmed the return of minigames in the tradition of the infamous Witcher 3’s card game Gwent. Among the side activities, we will see the already mentioned street racing, along with boxing and visiting the shooting range among countless other world exploration tasks called Street Stories that will reward the player with XP and Rep. Just like the previous CD Projekt Red games, Cyberpunk 2077 will not have a morality system. Instead, V’s reputation will be determined by Rep points that act as a double-edged sword – if V has high Rep, the character becomes easily recognizable on the street, making it hard to blend in if the player seeks to be stealthy.
DLC will also significantly increase the length of Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red claims that the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 addons will equal those of Witcher 3. This is saying a lot since TW3 expansions Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine can almost be considered separate CD Projekt Red games! If this is true, we are looking somewhere from 25 to 50 hours of additional gameplay. Coupled with all the opportunities the Night City contains – side missions, minigames, and optional romance storylines we can expect to enjoy over a hundred hours of content with amazing replayability.
Make the wait for Cyberpunk 2077 easier with The Witcher 3!
It will be months until we finally get a chance to try out Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red originally had the release date set for April 16th, 2020 and if that were the case, many of us would be enjoying the game by now. Nevertheless, a delay will guarantee the highest possible quality of the game and until launch time comes, all the CD Projekt Red games released in the past can make the wait a lot easier. Feel free to visit Eneba game store and purchase The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or any of the previous Witcher games from CD Projekt Red. You can also pre-order Cyberpunk 2077 GOG key if you haven’t done so already – browse through Eneba assortment and discover some of the best RPG video games of the decade!