During the lastest hands-off demo of Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) at this year's E3, it was confirmed that you'll be able to finish the entire game without killing anyone. CD Projekt Red tells us that this is a change the team made based on fan feedback and survey cards handed out at E3 last year.
"Right now, every weapon and every cyberware has a nonlethal option," lead quest designer Paweł Sasko told PC Gamer. Then he revised it a bit.
"I think I can say everything. There's one thing: only weapons that are lethal by definition, so let's say you shoot someone with a bazooka in his face. You shoot his head off. That's typically lethal."
It definitely is. What Sasko meant is there are weapons that so destructive that there's no way to make them safe enough to use on someone without killing them.
"But everything else actually has a nonlethal option," he said. "Pretty much every gun, pretty much every cyberware, you're able to use in a nonlethal way. You're able to knock them down, choke them, make them sleep and so on. There are ways not to kill them and spare them, like the way you could do with Sasquatch, the boss."
In today's E3 2019 demo, during a mission demonstrating different approaches to moving through an abandoned mall crawling with Animals—juiced-up gang members—some stealthy and relatively passive options to taking out or avoiding deadly confrontation were shown off.
In true videogame fashion, players will have the option to sneak up behind some enemies and kill them or knock them out. An environmental takedown method also allows players to put enemies in a chokehold and use nearby props to finish the job. In this instance, our V knocked the Animal out and threw him down a garbage chute, which was described as a passive takedown option, though I worry about the state of the guy's neck after tumbling down a dark metallic shaft from the second story. You can't curb V's aggressive nature entirely, it seems.
You'll also have numerous hacking abilities at your fingertips, assuming you spec into them, which will make even more stealthy, passive approaches possible. Turn off cameras, upload daemons (malware) into enemy implants to knock them out from a distance, or hack into environmental objects—nearly everything is connected to a network—to set up some distractions. Hack a soda machine to make it spit out can after can to draw the attention of nearby enemies, for instance.
We're seeing the game and talking to CD Projekt Red today, so stay tuned for more Cyberpunk 2077 news from E3 2019.