H’oh boy. I don’t often do these little titbits of news on here, because by the time I can command these cursed digits into jabbing something relevant onto the screen, you’ve all already read about it from the ‘real journalists’. Still, this feels entirely tap-worthy, and if you haven’t seen this video yet, well, strap in.
It’s been a bit of a week for CD Projekt Red and their Witcher-in-the-Future ‘em up (shush it’s early), and amidst a silver platter of PR cock-ups handled with the grace and poise of Theresa May’s arthritic dance moves, they’ve also released this absolutely chock-off slice of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay, for the first time.
Yeah you’re reading that right. FORTY EIGHT MINUTES’ WORTH. And yes I’ve watched it, and yes bits of it are utterly mind-blowing. It’s a very slick, controlled, vertical slice style gameplay video that shows off, most impressively, the seemingly bustling metropolis of Night City. The bit where they emerge onto the street for the first time at that zebra crossing? Yeah that got me.
It shows off some augmentation abilities you’ll be able to buy to upgrade and customise your character, the kind of mission structure and style to expect, a rather flat-footed looking driving section, and many gorgeously run-down alleyways, side streets and boulevards, all soaked in garish neon and disorienting menace.
You definitely shouldn’t be taking the visuals at face-value here, because all though this is CDPR and not, I dunno, Ubisoft, it’s still unlikely the finished version will look quite as good as this. If you were to however, you’d be hard pushed to call this anything other than aesthetically breathtaking.
I won’t sit here and describe the whole thing. You should absolutely watch it if you have any interest in this game. I rarely stop banging on about The Witcher, and its hundreds of hours of absolute chef-kissing-fingers majesty, and so even the very slightly questionable sections of this I will keep an open mind on.
Though that very sentiment is also why the PR department binning-it-into-a-ditch the other day seems surprising and out of character.
Yeah. They went there.
And then, to counteract those that were calling them out on tweeting garbage like that to their two hundred-odd thousand followers, they went here:
Sorry to all those offended by one of the responses sent out from our account earlier. Harming anyone was never our intention.
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) August 21, 2018
Apparently having been watching a healthy amount of Logan Paul and other rot-sodden, guffawing YouTubers while feverishly taking notes, this classic non-apology was yet another misstep.
CDPR have been outspoken in the past on certain issues that certainly made them seem aware of and above this sort of thing. And sure, it’s one, perhaps reactionary tweet that might’ve been an unthinking, remote mistake.
Sorry That You Want Me To Be Sorry
But as with the YouTubers who just can’t seem to not say racist stuff for a bit, when you have such a reach, you have a responsibility to your audience and to yourself to be careful and methodical about what you spurt out into the universe.
This isn’t about people getting easily offended, as so many leap to in defense of someone saying something they shouldn’t – it’s about those with responsibility handling that privilege of being able to speak to so many people properly. And when they can’t just do that, just think about what they say or tweet, and when they can’t just make a statement with some level of sincerity, well then they deserve the backlash.
I was gutted to read how CDPR had acted, being home to one of my favourite games. I’m hoping this was an isolated incident of miscommunication, and well, it was the right time to release a video like that wasn’t it.
Cyberpunk 2077 is reportedly playable all the way through, so could we be looking at a late 2019 release date? More, as soon as I have anything at all to say about it, on Respawn.