Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced in 2012 to rapturous interest. With sleek cyberpunk stylings and a dramatic slow mo teaser reveal in 2013, hype for the game has only continued to grow in the years since. Every now and then, we get a new tease or info drop — but how much do we really know about the game so far?
As its November 2020 release date draws closer, we take a look at everything we know for sure about Cyberpunk 2077 and what to expect when it finally releases.
This article has been updated with new information, most recently with details about its eventual release date and enhancements to the Xbox Series X version of the game.
Cyberpunk 2077: Release Date
Let’s start with what we know. Cyberpunk 2077 is a cyberpunk-themed action adventure RPG coming to Xbox One, Windows PC and PlayStation 4 on November 19, 2020. It’s also set for release on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 later in 2021.
The reason for this delay between console generations is a major patch set to enhance the game for next gen consoles. These improvements include sleeker visuals, ray tracing and loading speeds. While not considered a ‘different’ version of the game, this major patch will seperate the two console generations and provide a smoother experience.
In the meantime, the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game are expected to run on both the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The game has suffered long delays over the last few years as development expanded and the coronavirus pandemic hit — but it still appears on track for a 2020 release. While these delays are unfortunate, they’re necessary to polish the final product, with CD Projekt Red putting the extra time towards bug fixing and balancing.
An important development update pic.twitter.com/uFGrt9Tqpi
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) June 18, 2020
In a recent update, CD Projekt Red was confident there would be NO further major delays for the title, meaning it’s still on track for its November 19 release.
Cyberpunk 2077: Graphics, PC Specs
We haven’t seen Cyberpunk 2077 at its full graphics potential yet. When media previews were held earlier in the year, graphics were capped at 1080p to preserve performance, so it’s hard to say just how pretty the game will be when it lands on PC and consoles later this year.
With the game destined for modern and next gen hardware, it’s likely Cyberpunk 2077 will push video game graphics to their upper limits. CD Projekt Red confirmed to investors that Cyberpunk 2077 will play on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, but the game won’t take full advantage of the next-gen hardware until an optimised patch is released in 2021.
If you’re playing on a PC, you will need a robust gaming computer with support for DirectX 12. The DirectX 12 interface allows developers to maximise video game graphics and enables ray tracing, which Cyberpunk 2077 has heavily promoted.
Most gaming PCs produced after 2015 will have this compatibility so if you’ve purchased a laptop in the last five years, you should be in luck. Otherwise, it might be time for an upgrade.
Cyberpunk 2077: Setting, Story and Characters
Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City, a sprawling urban megalopolis located in future Northern California. Players take the role of V in the game, a customisable protagonist who can join one of three lifepaths to determine their journey through the game’s world. As a Nomad, Street Kid, or Corporate V players will embark on various missions tailored to their V’s backstory, available weaponry and character choices.
While each V will have a different introduction to the game based on these lifepaths, their overall goal is the same: to travel through Night City and obtain a rare implant that can bestow immortality. This is the description of the game’s main story listed on Steam, but it’s important to note we haven’t seen much of this story outside of short snippets and teases.
The game takes very strong inspiration from the tabletop RPG on which it’s based, but how much this story will impact Cyberpunk 2077 is unknown. If you’re keen to know more about the lore behind the TTRPG, PCGamesN has a full rundown of the original game and every important character to know.
One of the most important Cyberpunk 2077 characters is Johnny Silverhand, a punk rocker presumed dead after launching an attack on the headquarters of banking mega-corporation Arasaka.
Johnny Silverhand will appear in Cyberpunk 2077 and he’s played by internet sweetheart, Keanu Reeves. He’ll appear as a ‘digital ghost’ voice in V’s head and guide them through Night City. While not much is known about Silverhand’s major role in the game’s story, it appears he’ll be a prominent character as he’s said to have more voice lines than any other NPC. You’ll also have a small segment of the game from Johnny’s point of view, as revealed one of the Night City Wire episodes. (See from 12:24 below.)
Outside of Johnny Silverhand, various trailers and tidbits have revealed more of the game’s main cast.
This includes terrifying Arasaka borg Adam Smasher, V’s friend and confidant Jackie Welles and braindance hacker Judy Alvarez. Each will have an important part to play in the game’s story but the scope of their roles, like the main plot of the game, is largely unknown.
Cyberpunk 2077 is playing its story cards very close to its chest, so it may be we only discover what the game is really about when it actually launches.
Cyberpunk 2077: Customisation
Cyberpunk 2077 has a robust character customisation system where players can choose everything about how their V looks from hair colour and eye colour down to the types of genitalia they possess. Rather than focusing on a gender binary, Cyberpunk 2077 will offer a range of genderless customisation options, allowing you to create a V that best represents you.
As Kotaku Australia editor Alex Walker discovered during his time with the game there are two dick types, one vagina type, five types of pubic hair, genitalia size options, a range of blemishes, scars, tattoos and make-up options as well as your usual body type, hair type, eye colour and facial structure options. The detail here is incredible and should provide players with an opportunity to become their perfect V.
Customisation will be integral to your Cyberpunk journey, from character appearance options to available weaponry, cyber augmentations and story choices.
Cyberpunk 2077: Combat, Game Mechanics
Cyberpunk 2077 is set to have hybrid melee, stealth and shooter combat with gameplay style determined by player preference. The game takes place in a first person view, so you’ll be right amongst all the action.
According to reports, you’ll be able to play the game as a pacifist and not kill anyone at all, so stealthier players will have a range of options available to them. Otherwise, you can go in all guns blazing with an array of deadly weaponry.
In the first previews for the game, we’ve seen hand-to-hand battles, gunfights and the deadly cyborg Mantis Blades so there’s already a lot on offer for players to explore. Further previews showed off laser guns, pistols, machine guns and every other type of weapon you’d expect to see in a game like this.
In a second edition of Night City Wire, CD Projekt Red broke down the differences between the classes of weapons. Power weapons can have the ability to ricochet bullets, while smart weapons can track enemies hiding behind cover, dodging or running. Tech weapons, meanwhile, rely on electromagnetic power, giving the ability to break or shoot through cover or walls.
Weapons have different rarities, but the most unique legendary items are generally only available through certain choices that can be made in game. One example given was the choice to save or kill an NPC — killing them gives you access to their weapon, but there is an obvious cost and effect throughout the rest of the game.
Players looking to augment their V will have a range of cyborg-like implants to choose from, with every option adding an ability or strength to V’s arsenal. So far, we haven’t got a good look at these augmentations by they’re expected to impact your combat style heavily through the game.
Outside of combat, Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in a vast open world where exploration is encouraged. There’ll be multiple locations to explore, including the outskirts of Night City. You can either explore the city on foot and jump into a car for some big time hooning.
Many side quests and activities will be available for players including the mind-bending Braindance sequences which let players experience memories of the past as well as boxing matches, hand-to-hand fights, car racing and shooting mini-games.
An interesting mechanic that’s been referenced is the ability to use different dialogue choices depending on where the player is looking. One example given in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine is the ability to get the drop on enemies planning to ambush you in the middle of a conversation, or helping you spot suspicious movements by other characters in the environment.
Cyberpunk 2077: Multiplayer
Cyberpunk 2077 will contain some form of multiplayer mode, but it likely won’t be included in the game at launch. In fact, it may not even be included with the game until 2022.
This multiplayer mode is described as a AAA project running alongside Cyberpunk 2077 with its own development team. CD Projekt Red said the multiplayer mode would only release after free updates and paid DLC to Cyberpunk 2077, so it’s currently how long we’ll have to wait or how it’ll work.
With an entire AAA team working on the project separately to Cyberpunk 2077 it’s likely to be a far more robust feature than something like a battle royale mode or a smaller online mini-game. Something like Red Dead Online or Grand Theft Auto Online may form a basis for this multiplayer mode, but we’ll all have to stay tuned for more information on how it’ll function.
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