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Poland’s Cyberpunk 2077 gears up for global release

WARSAW, POLAND – Arguably the most anticipated video game of the year, Cyberpunk 2077, developed and published by Warsaw-based CD Projekt, is scheduled to be released globally in two days, after being repeatedly delayed.

The latest production of the studio best known for being behind the hugely successful “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” is reported to be one of the most expensive game ever made, with a total budget estimated at 1.2 billion zloty (270 million euros).

“This time it’s happening,” confirmed Marcin Iwiński, director and co-founder of CD Projekt, to AFP, brushing off criticism over the numerous delays.

Described by CD Projekt as “far bigger” than The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 was initially set to be released in April 2020, before its release was delayed to September 17, November 19 and once again to December 10, sparking a fierce backlash from gamers – some of whom even sent death threats.

The developers blamed the delays on the coronavirus pandemic and on the complexity of creating such a vast world for different platforms. The game is set to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One before being realised for for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S next year.

Set in the futuristc universe of the popular pen-and-paper role-playing game of the same name, CD Projekt’s upcoming release is an action role-playing video game in which players assume the first-person perspective of a customisable mercenary known as V, who features on the advertising posters in a marketing campaign spanning 55 countries, from Warsaw to New York’s Times Square.

The story takes place in Night City, an American megacity in the Free State of North California controlled by corporations which is reliant on robotics for everyday aspects like waste collection, maintenance, and public transportation.

With Cyberpunk 2077, Iwiński says he wants to draw gamers into an “immense” online world. The English version contains 450 hours of dialogue voiced by 125 actors, reports AFP.

Fan-favourite actor Keanu Reeves has a starring role in the game, which can be completed without killing anyone, with non-lethal options for weapons and cyberware.

The game draws its influences directly from the cyberpunk genre, and particularly from Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner, William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer, as well as the manga and anime series Ghost in the Shell, which often features advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.

Last year, Poland became the world’s fourth largest exporter of video games, behind China, Japan and Hong Kong.