"The story will be low-level. We are not going to save the world, or even save a city."
Yeah, I know. Captain Obvious is giving me the stink-eye over that headline, he thinks I'm muscling in on his turf. Regardless, the point bears repeating: Cyberpunk 2077 is not Blade Runner. Despite what the haunting debut trailer might imply, 2077 "won't be a game about police hunting cyber-psychos," explained creative director Sebastian Stepien.
"That's a sub-plot ... The story will be low-level," he continued. "We are not going to save the world, or even save a city. We are focused on the main character and his problems, or her problems."
"First of all it will be an RPG, so that means you create the story," he continued. "In Syndicate and other shooters you can do no such thing. The other thing is that you will have the chance to create your character's personality. This is very, very important. The style and mood and atmosphere of this world, what you do at the bar, what do you drink, how you react with other people, what dialogue you choose -- all these things let us keep the Cyberpunk atmosphere all the time."
Blade Runner has a strange relationship with the cyberpunk genre. Aesthetically, it's hugely influential - Its rain-soaked streets, bathed in a perpetual neon glow became the de facto vision of the future until the post-Apple, white-plastic-on-everything-look became fashionable. But despite being the genre's chief visual influence, with the possible exception of Akira (which itself owes the movie a nod or two), Blade Runner technically isn't a cyberpunk film. As 2077 director, Mateusz Kanik notes, the "punk" aspect is notably absent.
"There are lots of cyber games around, but there's not a lot of punk in those games," he said. "We want to put more punk into ours. We do not want to make a dark and hopeless world. We are not doing Blade Runner. It will be full of rock and roll."