You’ve all seen the headlines by now. If you watched the E3 2019 Cyberpunk 2077 trailer then you know that Keanu Reeves co-stars in the game as Johnny Silverhand, your AI sidekick who has the second most spoken lines aside from your character, V.  The PlayStation Brahs were lucky enough to be invited to a behind closed doors hands-off presentation of Cyberpunk 2077 during E3 2019. The showing started us off as on the search for the Voodoo Boys, who may or may not have information regarding the special chip in your neck thanks to their leader, Brigette. Before we begin the rep from CD Project Red points out to us all about creating your version of V. Skin tone, ear size, eye color, how much cybernetic enhancements you want to be exposed on the face of your character. They’re giving you the tools to make V the way you want he/she to look. After all, looking cool is half the battle. They also talk about how choosing your class as (Streetkid, nomad, or corporate) whichever you pick will alter your reputation among other NPCs in the game and ultimately alter the course of the game.

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Back to the mission. If we want to get to Brigette, we first have to do a favor to prove our worth to Placide. He needs us to clean up a local abandoned mega mall which has been taken over by a rival gang called ‘The Animals’. Dialogue options appear letting you choose what manner you want to respond and if your attributes are high enough, give an answer that could completely change the situation at hand. We agree to help. Why? Because 50 years ago Alt Cummingham successfully transferred herself to the Net. Brigette could have information regarding how to find this legendary icon, so we gotta do what we gotta do. Placide ‘jacks’ into us and we are on our merry way to eradicate the Animals. Or not. CD Project Red has confirmed that you can complete the game without killing anyone for all you Pacifist out there.

Now shit starts to get really cool. We find our Akira-inspired motorcycle and make our way to the GIM. You can haul-ass on your bike in either 3rd or first-person mode as you traverse the fallen corporate city of Pacifica. Once we arrive (and infiltrate) the mall is when things become crazy BRAHsome. CD Projekt Red shows us two completely different ways to accomplish our mission thanks to two different builds of V. One, a Hacker, uses stealth and their ability to hijack almost anything and everything to their advantage. See the camera? Hack the nearby terminal so no one knows you’re there. The second V is a female BRUTE. She’s cybernetically enhanced to kick tons of ass and take tons of names. Hacker V couldn’t open a door earlier due to the fact that his hacking skills were too low at this point. Our Brute simply walks up, grabs the door, and rips it open as the gears in her cybernetic hands begin to work overtime in doing so. Later on, we arrive upon a wide-open section of the mall, RIPE for battle. Brute runs in, poppin’ caps in Animal ass runs up an AI gun turret and proceeds to dismount it from the base. She then begins to mow down the blazing fast Animals until the ammo clip is empty. The Hacker takes it slow. Hacking the turret while swinging a futuristic whip which not only allowed us to hack enemies but also slice and dice their enhanced limbs off. The stark contrast between playstyles really shows the possibility of multiple playthroughs the game has to offer.

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After clearing the lower level, we move closer and closer to our real target. A Netwatch Agent is hiding upstairs and has been using the Animals for protection. Sasquatch, the leader of the Animals, is the last thing stopping us from completing our mission. She’s big. She burly. She’s SUPER cybernetically enhanced along with a backpack that feeds her juice, making her almost impervious to pain. The Netwatch Agent warns us one last time on various monitors to leave, but hey. What would the fun be in that? The battle with Sasquatch is wild, seeing as how she carries with her a giant futuristic sledgehammer, which she uses to smash various screens that pop-up from the floor that you can use to hide behind. She’s a bullet sponge at first until you disrupt the juice pack on her back, causing her to feel every bullet piercing her skin. Once defeated, we enter into a movie theater which has an almost eerie classic Western film playing in the background. Inside we find the Netwatch Agent. He tries his best to tell us that Placide is about to screw us over. We hesitate. Then we make a decision. We kill him then proceed to hack into Netwatch..JUST AS PLACIDE SCREWS US OVER.

Placide has eradicated all the Netwatch agents in Pacifica, along with you. Or so he had hoped. Keanu wakes us, reminding us that we have a mission to accomplish. While the world of Cyberpunk 2077 reportedly has no load screens, the team quickly fast-forwards the presentation thanks to fast travel as we return to the Voodoo Boy’s HQ and meet Brigette. She knows of the special chip in our neck and how it could hold the key to immortality. To find Alt Cunningham we are going to have to go beyond the beyond of cyberspace. Many have entered and no one has returned. Yet something..or someone is ready to break free.

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The lights come on. The presentation is over. I’m on the edge of my seat, yearning for more. Projekt CD Red is crafting something truly special with Cyberpunk 2077. Sure, the graphics might not look as jaw-dropping as they did during the E3 2018 gameplay demo that blew away crowds but they’re still damn good. This game is going to be huge. The attention to detail that the game is offering combined with the storytelling and the fantastic looking gameplay really gives the game a nice layer of mass appeal. Throw in the star power of Keanu Reeves being your sidekick and the team at CD Projekt Red could have yet another major franchise on their hands. The Witcher 3 has hit over 20 million copies sold since 2015 and I’m willing to bet that Cyberpunk 2077 could easily do that across the PS4, XB1, and PC. It is one of my most wanted games of 2020, earning the Brahs’ Best Hands-off game of E3 2019. Yes, the 50-minute presentation was one of the most BRAHtastic moments we experienced during E3 and I can’t wait for you all to see what I saw when they unleash the footage at PAX West 2019. f

Cyberpunk 2077 launches on April 16, 2016. Make sure not to miss it.

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