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'Cyberpunk' developers promise more freedom, more customization than 'The Witcher' offered

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

New details on the Cyberpunk video game from CD Projekt Red.

The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red offered new insights into its next title today, the Cyberpunk video game based on the pen-and-paper role-playing game of the same name.

In addition to citing influences from pop culture cyberpunk fare like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, CD Projekt Red's Marcin Momot says the team will draw gameplay inspiration from Deus Ex and ShellShock. Cyberpunk will adhere closely to the rules of the original pen-and-paper game.

"We want to keep the role system from the pen & paper version of Cyberpunk," Momot writes in a new community Q&A. "As opposed to the regular fantasy set-up with mages, warriors and archers, we're going for something different. In Cyberpunk, each character role will offer a set of special skills that will impact your stats in many different ways.

"That's where the challenge kicks in, we want to create a game where character customization will be strongly tied with the plot. Now going from that, we believe that we can make a game where, with many different role choices, you will get a very strong, engaging story, just like it was with The Witcher."

Cyberpunk's story, Momot adds, will play out on a global scale, but will focus on the fiction's "most characteristic venue," Night City, California.

Momot says the developer wants to give Cyberpunk players "way more freedom with customization of the main protagonist [than] they had with Geralt in The Witcher series."

"We are planning on letting them change their statistics, equipment, implants and much more," he explains.

CD Projekt announced Cyberpunk in May at its summer conference, but has not yet revealed a release date or platforms for the near-future sci-fi RPG. The creators of Cyberpunk say they're also working on a new edition of the pen-and-paper version expected to hit alongside the video game.

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