Cyberpunk Xbox Series X gameplay: Check out the latest footage
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Cyberpunk Xbox Series X gameplay: Check out the latest footage

Alex Kane
18 November 2020

Night City awaits on next gen

An all-new Night City Wire special showcases CD Projekt Red’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 for consoles. Made in collaboration with Microsoft, the 11-minute video includes footage from both the Xbox One X and next-gen Series X versions of the game.

Shown from the RPG’s first-person perspective, the upload follows protagonist V as they carry out a quest called “Automatic Love.” (Objectives include “Call Judy” and “Find Evelyn at Lizzie’s bar.”) Even on the One X, where the frame rate may end up being slower, the artistry and detail are stunning — in the character models as well as the environments.

Upgrades to lighting, reflections, and textures are immediately obvious when the footage switches to the Xbox Series X (at the 1:52 mark, although the edit alternates back and forth between consoles). As a demonstration of the Series X’s next-gen capabilities, Cyberpunk’s a dazzling achievement, but we should keep a few things in mind.

A product of incalculable labor hours and overtime, having been in development since early 2016, it was announced back in May 2012, with original Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith consulting on the project from the earliest stages. Few games, if any, get eight and a half years of gestation and dev time.

Once described by pioneering sci-fi author William Gibson as “GTA skinned over with a generic ’80s retro-future,” it remains to be seen whether CD Projekt Red’s obscenely ambitious opus will live up to the punk literary genre that inspired it.

In the meantime, we can enjoy glimpses of the world Night City promises, and hints of what’s to come for V and the digital ghost of Keanu Reeves — known here as Johnny Silverhand, “rockerboy” frontman of a band called Samurai.

Will all the neon and sexy holograms add up to a game as enduring and beloved as The Witcher 3, Fallout: New Vegas, or Red Dead Redemption? A bit of healthy skepticism is probably a good idea till review copies start to go out. But it’s impressive to see how alive this game world feels — richly drawn, densely populated, immense in scope.

Night City may be many things, but “gorgeous” is the first that comes to mind.

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