Yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere, a mysterious page of code appeared on CD Projekt Red's Twitch channel. After a few hours of anxious waiting, fans were rewarded with gameplay footage from Cyberpunk 2077, giving us our first extended look at what we can expect from the open world action role-playing adventure.
The demo, which was originally shown to media at E3 and Gamescom, is now available for all to view on YouTube - and in 4K too, if you want to experience the full glory of that shiny cyberpunk rain. It's a whole 48 minutes of first-person shooter action and a truly gritty introduction to life in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe. (NSFW warning: there's nudity, swearing and of course violence in the demo.)
From what's been shown, Cyberpunk 2077 has some impressive world-building: Night City is a bustling, grim world that's the perfect backdrop for sinister storylines and brutal combat.
And indeed, the video shows much of the game's distinctive combat mechanics in action. The footage shows the female version of V, the game's protagonist, engaged in several first-person firefights, where she uses an ocular implant that allows her to see through walls. Another particularly cool implant allows players to see the flight path of bullets - pretty nifty if, like me, you're too scared to peek your head over cover. We can now finally see those mantis blades in action, which appear useful not only for dicing up enemies, but also for gripping onto walls. The future of the Swiss army knife is bright indeed.
CD Projekt Red is keen to emphasise this isn't the final product: throughout the footage there is a watermark reading "work in progress - does not represent the final look of the game". According to a press release issued alongside the video, the CD Projekt Red was somewhat reluctant to show the footage to the public, as it felt "uneasy about publicly committing to any particular design" with the game still in the "playtest phase".
Game director Adam Badowski explained the studio chose to release the footage now as "many [fans] want[ed] to see what the media saw". "Although this is probably not the same game you'll see on your screen when we launch, we still decided to share this 48-minute video with you," continued Badowski. "This is how Cyberpunk 2077 looks today. Let us know what you think!"
At the end of the gameplay stream, too, CD Projekt Red included a secret message asking for fans to give feedback on the build so far. And this is exactly what they've been doing - social media has been flooded with praise for the footage and excitement for the game. Somehow, Cyberpunk 2077 has managed to reach all-new levels of hype.
Cyberpunk 2077 still doesn't have a release date, but according to producer Richard Borzymowski in an interview with Engadget, the entire game is now playable from start to finish. With this core foundation appearing so strong, it's easy to see why expectations are so high.
If you can't get enough Cyberpunk 2077 goodness, make sure to check out Eurogamer's recent Gamescom interview with senior quest designer Philipp Weber, which covers everything from transhumanism to netrunning.