After the launch of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015, hardly anyone would argue against the idea that CD Projekt RED had set a new benchmark in terms of open-world, action RPGs. Fallout 4 hit store shelves several months thereafter, but arguably felt a little dated by comparison. Since then, it seems no other title in the genre has quite reached the bar set by CD Projekt in Geralt’s final adventure. The studio has apparently noticed something similar, and feels more at competition within itself in the lead up to Cyberpunk 2077.
Level Designer Max Pears expressed this notion in an interview for EDGE Magazine’s September 2020 issue. The developer made it clear his comments weren’t meant as a slight to other developers, though. He told the publication,
…there’s no bad blood or ill will towards any other studios or any other games because everyone in this industry moves the medium forward together. But especially coming from The Witcher III, which was such a huge success with such a great world that people spent hours exploring, it’s very much a competition and a different understanding within ourselves as a team.
We’ve set the benchmark already in one previous game, and we’re trying to always do the same. So it’s about always going through and trying to make things better, but it’s also understanding that there is a difference and asking how we push those differences to being a benefit. But yeah, we’re always trying to make genre-defining and groundbreaking games.
Of course, the question now lies in whether Cyberpunk 2077 will raise the bar in its own right. It certainly appears as though all the right ingredients are in place for such a feat. For one, the sci-fi title will feature a smaller, but much more dense world than The Witcher 3. Of late, the studio has been teasing a host of compelling characters, too, all of whom should bring something distinctive the Cyberpunk 2077 universe.
CD Projekt RED will bring Cyberpunk 2077 to the PS4, PC, and Xbox One later in the year on November 19th.