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Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episodes 4, 5, & the Special Episode

Although here at Cyberpunk Matrix I wrote up individual posts for Night City Wire’s episodes 1, 2, and 3, for this final post and because I’ve been so busy, I decided to create one big mega-post for Night City Wire combining episode 4 which came out October 15th, episode 5 which just came out on November 19th (when Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to be released before it was delayed a third and –hopefully final–time to December 10th), as well as the surprise special episode that dropped on YouTube and Twitch without warning on Tuesday, November 17th. Let’s jump right in.

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire Episode 4

This episode contained a look at some of the vehicles available for driving in Night City, including some behind the scenes of how they were created and a collaboration with Keanu Reeves’ co-owned company Arch Motorcycles (yes, Keanu Reeves loves motorcycles so much he helped start his own company that custom makes them, for more check out our bio for Keanu Reeves where we go into detail about that here.) Then the episode covers four different fashion styles that you can see in Night City, before finally showing the cosplay contest winners (they really went all out!) Oh and they also mention Cyberpunk 2077 is available for Stadia, but I doubt that is relevant for many people.

Cyberpunk 2077 Vehicles

  • Economy class: Affordable with no frills, this class includes tiny cars from Makigai that were shown to be able to fit driving up stairs and along sidewalks. Probably not what it was intended for…or was it?
  • Executive: Designed to impress, this class of car generally are long, fancy, and sometimes has even six wheels.
  • Heavy Duty: This class includes “trucks and tanks” for when you don’t mind taking a while to get to your location, as long as it’s bulletproof. And can probably smash through everything in its way.
  • Sport: Much like sports cars in real life, these seem to prioritize speed, are generally 2-seaters, and seem very expensive.
  • Hypercar: Combining the size and power of a sports car with the armor of a tank or truck, Hypercars seem to have the best of both worlds. These will be undoubtedly even more expensive than your basic sport car.

Johnny Silverhand’s car: A special car that you’ll find in the game as well is Johnny Silverhand’s car, which is a 911 Porsche from 1977.

Arch Motorcycles: Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger are the co-founders, and they partnered with Cyberpunk 2077 to do the audio recording for the motorcycles found in Night City.

Cyberpunk 2077 Fashion

This episode also clearly outlined 4 unique fashion styles prevalent in Night City. They are Kitsch, Entropism, Neomilitarism, and Neokitsch.

  • Kitsch: Neon hair, illuminated tattoos, and chrome. Style over Substance. 
  • Entropism: Necessity over style. “Get the job done no matter how it looks.”
  • Neomilitarism: Deadly elegance without ostentation. This is corporate, militaristic fashion. Substance over Style. 
  • Neokitsch: Celebrities and Braindance stars choose this fashion style. Style and Substance. A return to kitsch from Neomilitarism, but repurposed.

Cyberpunk 2077 Cosplay winners

The winners of the Cyberpunk 2077 cosplay contest are shown above. Although not shown in Episode 4 of Night City Wire, CD Projekt Red later uploaded a 20 minute video showing the contest finale. You can check it out below:

3rd Place went to Larry Hastings as Royce

2nd place went to Anna Ormeli as Lizzy Wizzy

And finally, 1st place went to Tingilya as Dum Dum

To see the entire Night City Wire Episode 4 from Cyberpunk 2077, check out the video below:

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire — The Special Episode

This episode could also be called the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X Special, as the entire episode was only 10 minutes long and showcased exclusive new gameplay from Cyberpunk 2077 in order to demonstrate how it looked running on the new Xbox consoles, the Xbox One X and the Xbox Series X. Personally I didn’t see much of a difference between the two different consoles, but it could be due to a variety of factors like my slow internet or computer screen resolution.

The gameplay footage contains parts of quests that reveal a bit without revealing or spoiling the quests themselves. A lot of the gameplay features driving around at night in Night City, which simply looks gorgeous. I can’t wait to walk or drive around this neon metropolis. One cool thing was seeing Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand as an NPC that appears in the game. You talk with him briefly during the mission while going up an elevator.

You can check out the special episode and see if you notice any big differences here:

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire Episode 5

Night City Wire Episode 5 featured an in-depth look into Johnny Silverhand, the process of making the original soundtrack for the game, and finished with the last and final gameplay trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. It also briefly mentioned a digital goodies reward system for players, as well as a new cutting-edge technology that maps facial movements to audio in order to better sync characters to the 10 different original languages available for Cyberpunk 2077. It was a pretty good episode.

Cyberpunk 2077: Johnny Silverhand

The main attraction for Night City Wire Episode 5 was going into the making of Rocker Boy Johnny Silverhand, played in the game by Keanu Reeves. Irreverent, crass, rude, but also kinda funny, Johnny Silverhand died a long time ago but was known as a famous rocker who wanted to stick it to the system. In the game he now only exists as a digital consciousness on a data chip that somehow found its way into V’s head–the main playable character, AKA you.

Cyberpunk 2077: Behind the Scenes with Keanu Reeves

They share not only how they chose Keanu Reeves to play Silverhand, but also the process of motion capture that Reeves went through to bring this character to life, along with a huge range of emotions and actions Reeves had to act out. Apparently they had considered all kinds of people to play Johnny, including actual rock stars, and even creating him digitally, before they settled on Reeves for his Hollywood fame, talent, and charm that he brings to the character and the game. And I think we can all agree with that.

Cyberpunk 2077: Original Soundtrack Score

Paul Leonard-Morgan teamed up with Marcin Przybykowicz and P.T. Adamczyk to create what looks like will be an incredible score. We learn that the composers wanted to take Cyberpunk music out of the 80s and give it a 90s flare by taking elements of rave, IDM, and Industrial to fit the story. They wanted to stick to electronic as much as possible, which is why you’ll be able to hear so much analog synths in the score. They also shared that pretty much all of their quests have their own custom score–which would be A LOT, if you think about it. It adds up to 7.5 hours of music apparently.

And that’s not including all the different bands and genre-bending tracks you can find, as well as the radio channels available in the game too.

Cyberpunk 2077 & JALI: A Revolutionary new videogame lip-sync tech

For a language enthusiast such as myself, the short but sweet section about JALI was super interesting. JALI is “a suite of tools and services that result in a high quality facial performance on characters that is automatically generated on a face based on an audio dialogue from a voice actor.” So what this means basically is that for all 10 VO languages that can be chosen to play Cyberpunk 2077 (English, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Russian, Polish, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese) every single character will have their lips and facial features match what is actually being said and expressed. Which is absolutely incredible in my view. This makes me seriously want to play the game in a target language–imagine learning Italian or Russian while playing Cyberpunk 2077! Because along with the VO you can also have your subtitles of choice.

Cyberpunk 2077 Final Gameplay Trailer

Last, but not least, the final episode of Night City Wire included the final latest gameplay trailer which revealed a few new fun details. It provided the clearest, most succinct bit of exposition to prepare players for the game who might not know anything about the lore or setting that came beforehand. Here it is:

The year is 2077. An economic crisis culminating in nuclear conflict has left America in pieces. With most of the continent degenerating into lawless warzones, people from all over have converged on the already overcrowded Night City, one of the world’s last great megalopolises. A hub amassing the best in resources and know-how, and home to manufacturers of cutting-edge technologies, Night City continues to offer the promise of a civilized future. But in the city streets, a merciless struggle for power rages. Gangs, corporate agents, hustlers, religious cultists, politicians and all manner of criminals strive to outplay one another. Ordinary people get caught in the crossfire. In this world, consumed by never-ending conflict, sometimes only an outsider will get the job done. And that’s you, an urban mercenary, a cyber-enhanced gun for hire. As a mercenary, you swear no allegiance. You’ve chosen the outlaw life, and trust that your abilities will carry you up Night City’s ruthless underground social ladder. To thrive as a merc, you need the right combination of gear, skills, and reputation. With the money you earn, you can turn yourself into a living weapon, buying guns and enhancements in the hundreds. As you roam the city streets, you gain the experience you need to upgrade abilities and acquire perks. Combine the right skills and gear to create a gunslinger with inhuman reflexes, a stealthy netrunner with command of all surrounding tech, or practically anyone in between.

In Cyberpunk 2077, you steal a prototype biochip that can set you up for life. When its sealed container is ruptured, the only way to prevent the biochip from failing is to slot it in to your  head. It turns out it contains the digitized soul of Johnny Silverhand, a dead rockerboy with violence on his mind. He’s out for revenge, aims to bring down the megacorp that made the chip. What is in your head can shift the balance of power in Night City. The high and mighty will do anything they can to get their hands on it. The choices you make will shape your story and determine how events unfold. But not everything in Night City is a matter of life and death. Sometimes it’s about style, choosing your look, your ride, your past time, who’s at your side. Choosing how to spend your dirty money.

Cyberpunk 2077 Final Thoughts

From the music, to the voice and motion capture actors, to the gameplay, environment, and immersive yet complex storyline, Cyberpunk 2077 looks like it’s going to be one fun hell of a ride, and a giant step forward for the Cyberpunk genre as a whole. The amount of care and detail CD Projekt Red have put into this project is staggering, and provided there aren’t any additional delays, I can’t wait to get my hands on this game when it comes out December 10th. But what do you think? Are you as excited to play this game as I am, or are you less excited? Let me know in the comments below.

You can check out episode 5, as well as all past episodes on the Cyberpunk 2077 YouTube channel, and my thoughts of the episodes here on Cyberpunk Matrix.

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episode 3

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episode 3

It sure would be nice to know exactly how many of these will come out before Cyberpunk 2077’s greatly-anticipated release on November 19th. All we know as of yet is that a couple more should still be in the pipeline before we all get our hands on the actual game, but hey, as long as CD Projekt Red keeps on pumping these out, I’m not complaining!

So let’s take a look at what CDPR was able to share with us this past Friday in the third episode of their somewhat-monthly installment of Night City Wire:

A New Game Trailer: Postcards from Night City

Hollie Bennet hosted once again, starting us off with an agenda of things to come in the episode before leading straight into the new game trailer, a rather creative game trailer made in the form of an advertisement for the video game’s setting, Night City, entitled Postcards from Night City. 

This trailer was more of a rapid-burst series of clips of the city itself. Whether a tv channel, a radio show, or perhaps a video channel on the Net, the trailer mixes what could pass as real media in Night City with clips of the city itself, almost like a promotional video trying to entice the viewer to visit.

But not one to be outdone, CDPR decided to create a secret website as a mock-promotional ad website for Night City itself. Appearing at 2:17 in the game, you can check out the Nightcity.love yourself. I personally found the website very interesting yet also entertaining, as I was constantly needing to close pop-ups advertising fictional items that exist in the world of Night City itself. Things like Arasaka Home Security, Arasaka Environmental Protection, an energy drink called GolshevikMedical Malpractice, RealWater, and much more. You can also find a little information on the different districs in Night City, complete with the Night City Police Department’s current threat level warning for the district.

Dev Insights: Night City

Next Hollie interviewed Miles Tost, a senior level designer at CDPR. Taking its original inspiration from the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game, they wanted to decide what to do with Night City.

The goal was to make it believable–an immersive place that felt real. They also wanted it to be diverse enough between districts to make the city fun to explore. So first they looked at the real geography of the coast of California (like ports, huge industrial areas facilitating trade, etc.) Then they divided the city into 6 districts with each having its own characteristics in terms of architecture, demographics, people that live there, and the function within the city. Then they divided each district further into sub-districts using the theme of the larger district. This allows each district, according to Tost, to result in a city with a lot of character, with each zone having its own feel to it.

The other main difference between this game and CDPR’s previous game, The Witcher, is that while The Witcher was very spread out horizontally, Night City is incredibly dense and spread out vertically. So it won’t be as easy as looking on a map and going far away into the distance, since it might be close physically, but 5 stories up along passageways that aren’t clear how to access.

While Tost does a great job hyping it up and making it sound fun to play, based on experience, I personally think it will lead to more frustrating and difficult challenges where the player can’t figure out where to go because they can’t see the map vertically to find the fastest path up. That remains to be seen, however.

Gangs of Night City

This was a very interesting segment to introduce the viewer to the gangs that can be encountered in Night City. The clip covered 6 gangs in total. They were the following:

  1. Maelstrom
  2. Valentinos
  3. 6th Street
  4. Voodoo Boys
  5. Animals
  6. Tyger Claws
  7. Moxes
  8. Nomad gangs
    • Wraiths
    • Aldecaldos

While we just get a glimpse of what each gang sounds and acts like, we were able to get a much closer look when Hollie then follows up the video with an interview with Quest Director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz.

Dev Insights: Gangs of Night City

While he didn’t talk about all the gangs in detail, Mateusz did talk a little bit about Maelstrom as his favorite gang. He likes how unpredictable Maelstrom is and their element of chaos. He also likes how intensely augmented their bodies are compared to any other gang in Night City.

PC Modding Contest & PC Requirements

Finally, Episode 3 of Night City Wire wrapped up with the results of the Cyber-Up Your PC contest (where professional case modders competed for the most original Cyberpunk PC case modification for prizes). The cases were pretty original, you can check them out in the video above. The episode then finally finished with the official System Requirements for Cyberpunk 2077, which I’ve posted in the images below:

And that’s it!

It seems to me that CDPR is eager to showcase the biggest and the best first with each progressive episode. Granted Episode 2 was pretty great, but I do feel that there was more to see in EP1 than EP2, and the same can be said for EP3. Seeing the gangs and the level design was interesting, but the case mods were really not that interesting to me and while system specs are obviously very important to learn about, especially for people like me who will be playing the game on my old gaming laptop, it’s not as impressive to look at as the music development or seeing a brand new game or gameplay trailer.

But what did you think? How does EP3 rank compared to the others? And how excited are you about Cyberpunk 2077? Let me know in the comments below!

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episode 2

Night city wire episode 2

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire–Episode 2

Alright folks, CD Projekt Red is back with another Night City Wire episode, giving us another in-depth look and more information about the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 video game set to come out November 19th! So let’s jump right into what new things we were able to witness from Episode 2 (in case you missed it, you can check out my thoughts about episode 1 here).

choose your path

An In-Depth Look Into the 3 Available Life Paths

Night City Wire started off with an introduction from Hollie Bennett again, of course, before beginning with an in-depth look into the three back story life paths that the player can choose from. They are: Street Kid, Nomad, and Corporate.

Street Kid

Street Kid seems to have a focus on different friends or connections in Night City, and a constant struggle against the police. If you like knowing all the factions within Night City, all the big players, and all the connections and intricacies within the city itself, Street Kid is for you.

Nomad

Nomads seem to have a particular focus on family connections, freedom, and comradery where the other two factions, Street Kid and Corpo, are too easily morally compromised. If you like the idea of growing up in the badlands and being an outsider when you arrive in Night City, Nomad is for you. This is the life path that I’m personally going with on my first playthrough.

Corporate

Corporate is all suits, hierarchy, phone calls and business meetings in suits. It’s classy meets corrupt. If you love the idea of having power in corrupt corporate companies flush with money, Corporate is for you.

Regardless of what backstory you choose, all three follow the same general path of major events happening within Night City. However, your background will affect your interactions with the characters in Night City, including what options are available to you in the dialogue and how situations play out. Also, regardless of your backstory, you will also find missions that are themed to all three classes.

becoming samurai

Music: How Refused Brought Samurai to Life

Swedish band Refused recorded an entire album of tracks that are attributed to the band within the video game, Samurai. In Episode 2, we are able to see what the process of recording songs for a fictional band set within a video game was like for this Swedish rock band.

Lead vocalist Dennis Lyxzen explained how it was an unusual process having someone monitor his singing a song, since he was singing it as Samurai’s lead singer Johnny Silverhand (voiced and represented by Keanu Reeves) and not as himself.

At the end of the clip about Refused, CD Projekt Red also released the fourth track from Samurai, called A Like Supreme, online.

looking at guns

A Closer Look at the Weapons in the Game

With a short video clip but then also in an interview with senior gameplay designer Pawel Kapala, we learned a lot about the kinds of guns and other weapons that will be available in Cyberpunk 2077. They fall under five different categories: Cyberware, Melee Weapons, Smart Weapons, Power Weapons, and Tech Weapons.

interview hollie

There are also other secondary weapons like Throwables, as well as weapon mods and attachments for the weapons you pick up.

power weapon

Power Weapons are the most similar to contemporary weapons, with some small exceptions like bullets being able to ricochet off walls or surfaces.

Tech Weapons use Electromagnetics to punch through walls or cover.

tech weapon

Smart weapons track enemies in real time, by having the bullets shoot out and then change direction in midair to hit their target, or follow a target that’s in motion.

To get these weapons, you can both find weapons and buy weapons in shops, but the best weapons you can acquire according to Pawel are off of the enemies that you kill or from loot caches within Night City. Weapon rarity ranges from common and uncommon to rare and legendary, which sounds very similar to that of Borderlands’ hierarchy system as well.

And that’s it!

Compared to Episode 1, a lot of immediate reactions to episode 2 were that it was better in the sense that there was more substance being shared (like the life paths and weapons deep dive), but also that it felt like it ended a lot sooner than the first episode. Interestingly, Episode 2 is actually about a minute longer in length than Episode 1, but it is true that it had less segments within it. This may be because there were less surprises in this episode, compared to the surprises presented in the new official trailer that was jam-packed with information, the news about the Netflix exclusive series Edgerunners and its production, and the new in-game mode called Braindance. Nonetheless, Episode 2 was an excellent continuation of Night City Wire, and I for one can’t wait for a third and, if we’re lucky, maybe even a forth episode before the game finally releases on November 19th.

Your thoughts

What did you think of Episode 2 of Night City Wire? What life path will you choose? Do you like the songs that are currently released from Samurai? And what weapons are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below. You can also check out the entire episode here:

Review: Hyper Jam

Hyper Jam

Hyper Jam: Neon-Soaked Arcade Fun

“Hyper Jam is what happens if you paint a Neon Synthwave sheen over Super Smash Brothers. With fast-paced, high-intensity action and constantly spawning items that can be thrown, its levels include punishing consequences if you step out of the arena.”–Cyberpunk Matrix

Hyper Jam is a neon-soaked indie arcade brawler that came out for PC, XBox and Playstation in February 2019. With its new release on Nintendo Switch, I’m going to take a look at what makes this game the must-have for cyberpunk parties everywhere.

Beautiful Neon Colors and Retro Vibes

The first thing that you notice when you start up this game is the beautiful aesthetic in lovingly-rendered 80’s neon colors. From the characters to the maps to the perk selections and menus, everything is delivered in a simple, yet pretty package.

07-Characters-Key-Art

A Killer Synthwave Soundtrack

The second thing you notice is the stellar Synthwave soundtrack that matches the game’s aesthetic perfectly. This is also one of the major things that immediately drew me to the game after seeing the trailer below.

The trailer immediately hits you with Paradise Warfare, one of my favorite tracks by Carpenter Brut, also an all-time favorite Cyberpunk and Synthwave artist. Once you buy and load up the game, however, the song you’ll probably most associate with the game is the one that plays automatically in the home menu screen, which is Dressed to Kill by Dance with the Dead–another excellent synthwave artist, and decidedly more fast-paced and upbeat a tune to get you psyched up to get right back into the fray. Other synthwave artists whose tracks you’ll encounter in the game include Meteor, Vulta, and more.

Making a Profile and Choosing your Character

09-CharacterSelection 

Before playing, it’s advisable to create a profile for yourself before choosing your default character to play as. This was a mistake I made at the beginning, as I wanted to jump right into the action without creating my profile. What the game doesn’t tell you is that after you create your game profile, you then have access to selecting your preferred skins, taunts, and you can also access the key bindings menu from here too–all options that are completely hidden if you don’t create your profile and nickname first.

Your 4 character choices are: Max (The Hunter), Ghost (The Nightmare), Yuki (The Lantern), and Vance (the Fixer). The only differences between these four are what they look like and the taunts they have, which vary in what they say and their voices of course. Taunts are unlocked progressively as you play more, and are a fun way to celebrate defeating an opponent at the end of each round.

Maps

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There are five maps to choose from in Hyper Jam. All are beautiful maps and good fun, my only complaint here is simply that there aren’t more of them! Also, while it’s possible to choose a randomly selected map, once your map is selected it remains the same for the entire game. I would have liked to have a randomly-selected map for each round, making the game play even more varied. The six maps you can choose from are Overpass, Jungle, Assembly, Subway, Hotel, and Tower

Fast-Paced Combat

12-Overpass-1

The biggest draw to this game is the tight, fast-paced combat game play. It feels very reminiscent to the feeling you get when playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl, as you have to always be moving, and an attack can come at any moment. As you play weapons appear on the screen at random, which you can pick up and use. They are either in the form of melee (Katana, Sledgehammer) or long-range weapons (bow and arrow, grenade launcher, missile launcher), with the melee weapons breaking after using it four or five times, and long range weapons running out of ammo after four or five rounds as well, depending on the weapon. Weapons can also be thrown for a small amount of damage and to knock players back, which really adds a more frenetic experience as players dash to new appearing weapons, realize the ones they have broke or ran out of ammo, or run away from opponents with empty hands in the incredibly small arenas. See the resemblances?

Striking Beyond the Grave

05-Subway-1

One very cool feature that’s different from Brawl is that you can strike beyond the grave to avenge your death, kill the player currently in the lead, or simply intimidate the players who are still fighting. After you die, your cursor becomes a faint cursor for about 5 seconds before it slowly changes into a square targeting reticle. Position your reticle above an opponent and fire–there’s a 2-second delay, but if they don’t get out of the way in time because they’re busy, you’ll be awarded with a satisfying blow of additional damage that can sometimes take them out entirely.

Countdown Killing Circle

10-Subway-Sudden-Death

A second cool feature is that if the battle is taking too long, Sudden Death will be announced and a circle will appear in the arena, with the area inside the circle remaining normal but the area outside the circle turned red as it becomes a damage-dealing kill-zone. This circle then slowly shrinks, forcing the combatants closer and closer together if they want to avoid taking any additional damage. It also makes for risky choices as a player may be tempted to venture into the killing circle to grab a weapon lying on the ground that is just out of reach.

Perk Progression and Drafting System

02-PerkSelection

The combatants fight each other in successive rounds, gaining points for things like being the last man standing or for dealing damage, and losing points for things like falling off the map, not dealing damage, or killing themselves by accident (yes, it’s possible). Once a player reaches a certain threshold of points, they just need to survive as the last man standing for one final round and then they win the game.

In order to spice up the game, after each round a certain number of perks become available to add to the combatants. The twist is that whoever has the lowest points and is last in the game gets first choice in which perks they want. Perks overall are fairly balanced, however, and usually there isn’t a clear choice of which perk is better. Perks do stack, however, and so a three-stack perk for one player might be better than a new 1st level perk.

History

The team behind Hyper Jam had worked in different Melbourne-based game studios while they developed Hyper Jam’s core mechanics and identity in their spare time. After they attended GDC 2017, they were inspired to leave their respective game studios and found Bit Dragon, where they began work on Hyper Jam full time.

Final Review: 8/10

13-Fight

Because of the aesthetics, soundtrack, and fun game play, I highly recommend this game. The game play mechanics are smooth and work well, the perk draft keeps things interesting and allows players to catch up, and this is simply a game that sounds great and looks beautiful. As a brawler it’s great, but don’t expect any story whatsoever, as there is none. This game shines in multiplayer fighting, as playing against bots can become a bit boring after a while. For myself, I ended up taking a long time waiting for an automatic match-making to happen so I could play against someone else online. Fortunately, you have the option to play locally against bots while you wait. The fact that this game offers cross play means that with the new release on the switch, hopefully the game will become more popular and thus more players will find it and play it. This is definitely the type of game I would love to play locally with friends who come visit, or simply online. My hope is that Bit Dragon Studio can continue developing this game, by adding even more weapons, maps, characters, and having more people play online allowing for faster multi-player matchmaking.

Note: Portions of this article previously appeared on Cyberpunks.com

Review: Cyberpunk Slasher Ghostrunner Demo

Ghostrunner demo

Cyberpunk Slasher Demo Now Available

Without any warning except for some cryptic posts on their twitter, the Cyberpunk wall-running time-bending slasher Ghostrunner just dropped their demo on Steam, PS4, and XBox (and yes, it’s free!). However, make sure to pick it up quick, as it’ll only be available until May 13th. For more details, check out their website.

With a final release date that still hasn’t been announced (maybe sometime this August?) Ghostrunner is the OTHER Cyberpunk video game we’re all really looking forward to this year. Since the demo was free and I have a Steam account, I was able to give it a go. So here are my thoughts on the 20 minutes of gameplay I spent on this new demo.

A Beautiful Cyberpunk Intro Video

Ghostrunner starts with a beautifully done introductory video of you, the titular “ghost runner” with a lightsaber-style katana Cyber-sword and a full mech-looking body including a closed helmet. Who are you exactly? We don’t know. All we know is you run fast and mortally slash all in your way.

An Exciting Introduction

Ghostrunner Gets Demo On Steam, Cinematic Trailer

The beginning short video also introduces to you the types of moves you can look forward to making in-game, like wall-running, big leaps and dashing forward in the air, slashing enemies, and some sort of slowing time ability.

“Ascend humanity’s last remaining shelter, a great tower-city. The tower is torn by violence, poverty and chaos. Conquer your enemies, discover the secrets of the superstructure and your own origin and obtain the power to challenge The Keymaster.”–Ghostrunner Game Description

Beautiful Cyberpunk Visuals and Environment

The Ghostrunner demo is quick but well worth your time

One of the reasons why I completed the level in 20 minutes my first time (I’ve seen online that some were able to finish it in as little as 4 minutes, but that’s quite difficult) was because I really wanted to take the time to appreciate all the environments. It’s not every day that you get to really walk around in an immersive 3D Cyberpunk environment like this one. I encourage you to take a look at the ads and posters plastered everywhere, and then go back and run through it as quick as possible. The irony of a game like this is that its producers spend all this time designing beautiful levels with stunning screenshot potentials, and then players run through it without even bothering to take in the details (as you run your environment blurs ever so slightly because of how fast you are running, making it even harder to take in your Cyberpunk atmosphere). It also has great synthwave music, I’m happy to report. They sure know their target audience!

Simple Armed Enemies

Ghostrunner Demo Now Available on Steam; New CGI Trailer Released

Not much to say about these simple armed guards. You don’t have much of a chance to look at them, since they fire at you as soon as they see you, and they’re fairly easy to dispatch. The intro video above suggests more difficult enemies later on, including a boss of some sort with robotic arms? An interesting twist was that to pass a certain level, I had to kill all the guards to unlock the doors, who had chips implanted in them that kept the doors locked (and if they were dead, all chips would go offline I guess).

Wall-Running Action

Cinematic Trailer For Ghostrunner Reveals Limited Demo On PC ...

The wall-runnning action reminds me a lot of the fun fast-paced action in Titanfall 2. Except this time you are armed with a glowing sword and nothing else. Sometimes the walls are just walls, other times they are curved billboards, or pieces of wall suspended in midair by inert cranes.

Open Levels with Deep Chasms

Ghostrunner Demo Now Available on Steam; New CGI Trailer Released

The levels have 2 challenges: the guards shooting at you, and the empty spaces that you need to traverse. Get shot by the guards, even just one shot, and you’re dead. Fall to your death, of course, and you’re dead with no chance to recover. Whenever you die, however, you instantly respawn and reset to an earlier checkpoint that saves automatically (so no need to save the game continuously). It also encourages you to get right back into the action, similar to how deaths in Halo, for instance, result in an instant reset and throws you right back into the action.

Ghostrunner Demo No Death Run (4:44) - GameSpot

Final Verdict: 8/10 for a Cyberpunk game demo

Ghostrunner is a fast-paced, exciting game with stunning visuals and great music. The game itself is a level-crossing slasher, with wall-running and slow-motion options. It’s meant to be played fast, so it’s quite hard but rewards repeated attempts to cross its levels. Playing well rewards good instincts and experience through multiple attempts, rather than any planning or logic. With no chance to shoot back at your opponents and very little story to speak of, if you like fast-paced wall-running slashing action, this game is for you.