There are three iterations of the Cyberpunk series to date – Cyberpunk (aka Cyberpunk 2013), Cyberpunk 2020, and Cyberpunk V3.0. Based on the fiction of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and other authors from the original Mirrorshades collection, Cyberpunk uses the science-fiction sub-genre going by the same name and depicts a dystopian future in which our world is run by mega corporations and criminals, hackers, gang members, and other low-lives run the underbelly of cities. The game plays in dark and gritty-styled urban settings typical of sci-fi Noir films such as the classic Blade Runner.
There is a strong emphasis on the 1980’s pop idea of style over substance too. Main genre tropes such as hired-hands for combat, high-tech weaponry, cybernetic modification, performance-enhancing and recreational drugs, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and cloning have all made it into later iterations of the game.
The spectrum of characters can include anything from hardwired mercenaries with cybernetic modifications to powerful businessmen.
Players initially choose from a basic character class or role. However, there is enough leeway for variation even within the same class, resulting in any two characters from the same class having very different skills and stats.
Cyberpunk utilizes a skill-based system like CoC, which is referred to as the Interlock System. Players are awarded points, which they can subsequently spend on upgrading their skills. Other skills can be learned, but in-game time must be spent on the former skill set. Players will gradually add cybernetic augmentations to their body, and give up their humanity for increased mechanization.
Combat is an essential feature in Cyberpunk, and the rule book emphasizes heavily a realistic type of combat that can easily result in one-shot-one-kill type of scenario. This encourages players to think more strategically and cautiously rather than jumping blindly into combat. Characters do not automatically become more resistant to damage.
However, there are ways to increase tolerance through improved escape abilities, augmented body implants, and body armour.