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Cyberpunk 2077 could have destructible environments – but that might mean no flying cars

The Cyberpunk 2077 demo showed off some environmental destruction throughout the combat sequences, with bullets busting holes through walls and knocking off bits of concrete around the edges of certain pillars. You might be wondering just how much destruction will be in the final game – apparently, the folks at CD Projekt are also trying to figure out the answer for themselves.

“We’re trying to push the interactivity of the world by adding in details from a physical side,” level designer Miles Tost says. “The game will be highly physical, will have a lot of destruction. You can see that in the demo when you’re in the scavengers area and you shoot at the pillars and they start crumbling.”

The biggest bits of destruction are seen in the demo’s opening gunfight, most notably when the battle crosses between two rooms and bullets are exchanged through a wall – right before Jackie busts through to bring the fight to an end. It’s a cool scripted sequence for the demo, and it could end up being a dynamic gameplay system, but the team is still deciding where to put those hardware resources to work.

“Every platform only has so much performance,” Tost tells IGN. “If you think about it, as a developer, how do you want to root this performance? Do you want to have more NPCs? Do you want to fill a large city space? Or do you want the environments to be more destructible? Do you want the lighting to be better, or do you want to have more complex AI?”

According to a Gamescom talk (translated via Reddit), the studio also points to flying cars as another big point of development constraints, likened to destructible environments in terms of the strain it puts on resources. CD Projekt said flying cars couldn’t be driven by players back at E3, though it seems the studio is still doing design work to see if it’s feasible for the final game.

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But, as the team said at Gamescom, flying cars might mean no destructible environments, or vice-versa. Or perhaps we’ll see neither, if some other feature is deemed a more important use of those resources. If you’re wondering why the gameplay video was plastered with ‘this is a work in progress’ messages, this kind of thing is a big part of the reason.

The Cyberpunk 2077 release date remains at some indeterminate point in the future, and it seems development still has a long way to go. This is your reminder that everything you’ve seen and heard is still subject to change – a few puddles might not be where you expect them in the final game.

PCGN

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