Will Cyberpunk 2077 Be As Wacky As The Original?

The ‘Dark Future’ is actually pretty funny.

The world of Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be about as hardcore sci-fi as one can get – but should we be expecting something less traditional from it? Recently, we got the chance to sit down with Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith and play through a session of the classic tabletop RPG. While Pondsmith claims that 2077 is “Pretty damn close to what [he] would have made,” there was one particular aspect of our pen-and-paper adventure that seemed decidedly absent from what we’ve seen of CD Projekt Red’s dystopian future: Cyberpunk can get downright silly.

Exit Theatre Mode

Through the course of our two-hour play session, not only did we defuse bombs and incite riots against the world’s megacorporations (you can watch or listen to the whole thing here) – we also encountered a smooth talking bad guy who was more reminiscent of a J-pop star than a corporate assassin, and a roving gangs of manic Gilligan’s Island cosplayers. And these weren’t ideas that just happened to pop up in our session, either – the Gilligans are one of many canon Posergangs in Night City, essentially gangs of cosplayers with psychotic tendencies. Absurdity is a key part of Cyberpunk’s tabletop experience – wither it’s gangs like the Kennedys and the Bozos (if the whole “crazed gang of cyborgs” wasn’t bad enough, how do you feel about crazed cyborg clowns?), or the fact that there are player classes who’s special ability is to throw a kick-ass rock show.

Exit Theatre Mode

As much as I’d love to see a band of cannibalistic Bob Denver lookalikes terrorizing the Corporate Sector of 2077, it makes sense that we haven’t – and probably won’t – see elements like that in CD Projekt Red’s version of the sci-fi dystopia. Pop culture references – even ones that may seem dated – and madcap characters/factions/etc have always been part of the tabletop experience, but things like murderous clowns or cosplayers aren’t necessarily fitting for the tone of the story the developer might be trying to cultivate. The good news, though, is that if you do want to fight a bunch of cyber-clowns or robo-Gilligans, you only need to get some of your friends around a table.

JR is an editor at IGN, who spends most of his free time these days playing pen-and-paper RPGs or futzing around on Twitter.

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