While I was reading rumours Cyberpunk 2077 may be a first-person shooter RPG, rather than the third-person game I’d assumed, it got me wondering which of the two you prefer, and which could be the better fit for Cyberpunk 2077. Ever since we were rocket jumping around in Quake, the arguments over the benefit of third-person versus first-person in shooters has raged on.
For the shooter purists, first-person is the only way to go. Effectively defined by id Software decades ago, it’s proven the ultimate way to immerse players in the action, as well as tightly define what the player can and can’t see. From a competitive point of view, it’s important that the player can only see where they’re shooting. This has since been riffed on in many ways, with games like Rainbow Six Siege using fixed cameras around the level to occupy both first and second-person viewpoints.
From a storytelling perspective, the benefits and drawbacks of first-person are fairly obvious. As the player, you are seeing and interacting with the world through the eyes of your character. It’s considerably more immersive, demonstrated to great effect in first-person horror games that are pant-wettingly terrifying. In first-person, anything happening to the character feels as if it’s happening to the player, a sort of bond forming between the player and the world they’re inhabiting.
The reverse is true of the third-person perspective, which takes a far more passive approach. Here it is about the player’s connection with their avatar rather than the world, with the player attempting to forge this character in their image.
In terms of gameplay, first-person allows for faster, more accurate shooting and twitchy gameplay. The zoomed in view means threats can be detected more easily, and the player character isn’t hopping about the screen and getting in the way of your view.
The counterpoint to this is first-person shooters, which tend to be slower-paced in general. The wider field of view provides the player with much greater spatial awareness. This puts more focus on positioning, movement and using the environment rather than pure aiming skills. Typically, aiming will be more difficult than in FPS games due to camera’s distance from the action. In a console third-person shooter, they typically rely on heavy aim assist, for example, while the effect is less pronounced in first-person shooters.
It seems tiny but the positioning of the camera affects the design of a game from the ground up. Whichever direction CD Projekt RED decides to go with Cyberpunk 2077, it’s going to have a massive impact on how the game plays. They could decide to support both viewpoints, but we’ve seen with the likes of Skyrim that one playstyle will inevitably suffer depending upon what’s the focus for the development team.
So bearing in mind the possible impending reveal of Cyberpunk 2077, which do you think makes for the superior shooter - first-person or third-person? Can you think of any games which excel us both? Let us know in the comments below!