Fans have wanted to know just how far Cyberpunk 2077‘s character creator goes ever since the game was announced. After a lengthy hands-on session with the game, I can tell you: it’s pretty damn deep — and, yes, you can customise your junk.
Journalists and content creators around the world have been getting lengthy hands on previews with Cyberpunk 2077 over the last week. It’s the first time CD Projekt Red has allowed hands on access to the game, and it covers the prologue for each of the game’s three character classes, and the next couple of hours after that.
In total, around four hours of the game was playable — although circumstances meant I ended up spending closer to five hours in Night City. But there’s a hell of a lot to cover. If you’re after a recap of the entire experience, you can find that here. Instead, I’ll be covering just what the character creator is like — especially since people are going to spend a whole lot of time in it.
Above is an old version of the Cyberpunk 2077 character creator. It was first shown off in CDR’s deep dive video last August, and I’ve brought it up here because it provides a neat useful reference.
The version of Cyberpunk 2077 I played is functionally very similar to the picture above. The game starts by asking you to pick one of three general classes: Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo. Other options like Netrunner or Solo, roles from the original Cyberpunk 2020 class book and referenced in the Cyberpunk 2077 deep dive, did not appear.
Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t feature fixed classes as such, but your first choice will undeniably affect your playthrough. Each of the classes has a distinct prologue that you’ll playthrough. On top of that, each class will have access to different dialogue options throughout the course of the game, although you’ll only get to see choices that your current character can (or could have) made.
After grappling with that choice, it’s down to the body and appearance. The visual look doesn’t have the brown tinge of the screenshot above, and there’s no colours for the skin tone or eye colours any more. On the right is a set of numbered options for each of the various customisations, your character in the middle that can be fully rotated, a set of three presets on the left, as well as a random character generator.
For those who want to see every option, there’s a lot. 6 skin types, 35 hairstyles, 17 eyes, 8 eyebrows, 17 eyes, 17 mouths, 17 jaws, 17 ears, 8 bits of “cyberware” (as well as no cyberware), 9 types of scars plus off, 6 types of tatts plus off, 11 piercings plus off, 5 types of teeth, 8 bits of eye makeup, 5 bits of lip makeup plus off, 3 blemishes, 3 types of nipples, 5 types of body tatts, 2 types of body scars, 2 dick types, 1 vagina option, dick size options, and 5 types of pubic hairs.
You’re not immediately presented with the nudity, either. If you want to just have that stuff disabled, it stays disabled. If you want it hanging out there, then have at it. But what’s nice is that the game will at least honour your choice, if you then want to have a randomised preset. I cycled through the randomised character generator for about two minutes straight, and it never actively changed the genitalia preferences (mine were disabled).
And that’s about how long it took the character generator’s randomisation would spit out similar models. Everything else until that point was genuinely distinct. Even just flipping between the random models looks nice. The whole character changes, but there’s this extra little transition as the lips contract or tighten, the eye-sockets expand or recede. It’s slick.
There’s plenty of mirrors and ray-traced reflections in the full game, although the latter was disabled. (The preview build actually launched from a batch file that specifically disabled ray-traced reflections and shadows. A PDF supplied to press afterwards mentioned that DLSS 2.0, ray-traced diffuse illumination, ray-traced ambient occlusion and ray-traced shadows were all enabled, although you could see from the batch file commands that ray-traced shadows were disabled. It will be available in the full version of the game.)
Either way, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to see your avatar in the flesh. And what’s neat is that the game recognises your character’s choices. If you choose to play V as a male, one of the perks in the game appears as Demolition Man. If your character identifies as a female — and this doesn’t lock out how you want to customise your character’s appearance either – the perk changes to Demolition Femme instead.
Other bits of language change too. Some of these aren’t gender related, but more specific to the character class you chose. In a later scene from the opening hours, V finds themselves in a chair going through a braindance. It’s basically a Ghost in the Shell-esque sequence where you relive an external memory, but like Remember Me or Life is Strange, the player has the ability to pause, rewind, and analyse the surroundings from where the memory was taken.
In the braindance sequence, a thug attempts to rob a store before being shot in the head. In the playthrough from footage supplied to press by CD Projekt Red, V talks about how reliving the experience:
That was … too much. Felt … could feel the guy’s … pain, his stress, his … hope? Hope wrapped up in somethin’ else…
In my playthrough, V — who had a corporate background with Arasaka — was accompanied by a second character. Judy didn’t approach the braindance chair where V is sitting, and instead, V complains about not getting enough warning:
“Coulda warned me how much it hurts to die.”
Attributes are your main other choice during the character creator screen, but this is less of an important choice than you might initially think. You start with five skills all at 3 points: Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, Technical Ability and Cool, some of which are shortened to TECH, REF, and so on. You’re given 7 points in the creator to alter your stats, although you can only max out a certain skill to 6.
After you’ve picked your preferred skills and locked in your avatar, it’s time for the game’s opening. But if you want to know more about what the game’s actually like to play, you can find my full impressions with Cyberpunk 2077 here.