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Gaming: Cyberpunk 2077 behind the scenes; Tomb Raider’s snaky DLC; Shenmue III gameplay
After passing the past few months in relative silence, one of the most anticipated games of this (or perhaps the next) console generation has reared its head for a behind-the-scenes update, thanks to a new look at the making of Cyberpunk 2077 from Witcher developer CD Projekt RED.
Narrated by Geralt actor Doug Cockle from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the latest tour of Night City highlights the long, iterative process of crafting an RPG this massive, and confirms that Cyberpunk 2077 will be set 50 years after the events of the iconic Mike Pondsmith tabletop game on which it’s based.
Among the many neat tidbits in the 5-minute clip is the development teams’ ambition to carry the freedom and open-endedness of the tabletop game out of the pen-and-paper realm and onto the screen.
“While video games are nicer to look at, the freedom that you have in a pen-and-paper RPG is something that we have yet to achieve,” level designer Miles Tost explains. “… For us it’s important to give players freedom, to allow them to play themselves in our world and really immerse themselves. That’s also why we have the first-person perspective, because you don’t play as someone else — but you play as ‘I’.”
There’s still no release date for 2077, and as the clip shows, CD Projekt RED clearly wants to take all the time it needs to polish its biggest game since Wild Hunt. The game’s expected to be one of the biggest titles to drop new information at this year’s E3 in June, so hopefully we’ll hear more about when Cyberpunk 2077 is headed to consoles then.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been churning out fresh DLC on a regular basis since Lara Croft took on the Mayan apocalypse last September, and the newest installment introduces a snaky new challenge tomb to conquer, alongside some fire-centric new gear.
The Serpent’s Heart, the fifth DLC installment in a planned 7-piece Season Pass rollout, finds Lara staging a prison break by infiltrating a new enemy fortress, fighting cultists, and mastering river rapids “in order to receive the power of the serpent god,” according to Square Enix.
Making it through in one piece will land Lara a new “Divine Bounty” skill, which puts more lootable coins in the pockets of all your defeated enemies. It also brings two new pieces of fire gear: the powered-up Dragon Scales outfit, which “reduces fire damage, prevents stumbling, and accelerates health regeneration,” and the Serpent Lash bow, which increases the fire damage Lara can dish out.
The new content is included in the $30 Season Pass, but like all Shadow of the Tomb Raider DLC, it can be gotten separately for $5. The Serpent’s Heart is available now for all of Shadow’s release platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and macOS.
It’s not a lot, but the first actual gameplay footage from Shenmue III has at last surfaced, thanks to a new trailer posted by Shenmue co-publisher Shibuya Productions.
The gameplay footage kicks in past the midway point, after Ryo, continuing his hunt for his father’s murderer, impresses an old master enough to be taught a new fighting technique. Check it out below:
Sure, it’s just a glimpse, and it bears all the signs of being more of a tutorial than late-game action, but it’s the first non-cutscene evidence of the actual development work that’s gone into Shenmue III since director Yu Suzuki melted E3 by announcing the game's Kickstarter campaign back in 2015.
Sadly, we won't be playing this one on a Sega Dreamcast like we did its predecessors, but if the development team of Ys Net and Neilo stay the course, we will be playing it on PlayStation 4 and PC. Shenmue III is slated to arrive, at long last, on Aug. 27.