If all you care about is traversable landmass, Cyberpunk 2077's urban dystopia might feel like a step back to you - until you look at what's actually in it. Developer CD Projekt Red's last game, The Witcher 3, gave players several fantasy realms to explore, with cities, villages, and a whole lot of sprawling countryside between them. Cyberpunk 2077 subtracts the countryside, turns the whole thing into one big city, and jams it full of even more stuff.
We had the opportunity to interview Cyberpunk 2077 producer Richard Borzymowski at Gamescom, and he explained the approach the studio is taking to building out the virtual world of Night City. You can watch the whole interview below.
"If you look at pure surface [in terms of] square kilometers, then Cyberpunk 2077 might even be a little bit smaller than The Witcher 3, but it’s the density of the content, taking the world of The Witcher and squeezing it right in, deleting the wilderness between.
"Obviously [...] in The Witcher we were an open world with vast lanes and forests in between smaller cities and larger cities like Novigrad, but in Cyberpunk 2077 we’re set in Night City. It’s an integral part of the setting; it’s essentially a protagonist if you want to call it that, so it has to be denser. It wouldn't give us the end effect we wanted to achieve if the city wouldn't be believable [...] so we packed it full of life."
Night City is more densely packed than The Witcher's world, and it also has more spaces stacked on top of each other vertically. It sounds like you won't be able to explore outside of the city, but there probably wouldn't be much to see beyond its walls - judging by our look at Cyberpunk Red, the rest of the world is probably still in bad shape.
Wondering if Night City would feel bigger with more players? CD Projekt Red says it's experimenting with multiplayer, but "if it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit."