There’s been another massive round of Cyberpunk 2077 previews this week, although unfortunately it looks like the sessions were limited to those in Europe and the US. Still, there’s enough information available to answer some pretty major questions about the sci-fi RPG before its launch on December 10. Here’s the biggest reveals.
It’s the choices, not the weapons themselves, that make Cyberpunk 2077’s combat tick.
A game of this size and scale isn’t going to perfect everything, and it seems like the one area to temper expectations will be the weaponry. If not an outright criticism, one consistent refrain was that the actual weapons are fine. Not bad, certainly not amazing, and definitely not revolutionary, but just fine.
“It didn’t necessarily amaze me in the heat of any given fight, but the vibe, style, and sheer volume of choices available let me eventually find something that had me grinning ear to ear,” IGN said in their preview. In a video discussion, one of GameSpot’s editors described the melee combat as floaty, a little akin to how Skyrim‘s melee combat felt.
The chaser to all of this is that Cyberpunk — and this was apparent in the prologue, which I played earlier this year — appears to excel more in the range of solutions offered. Here is Gamespot’s description of a particular fight that pans out after a key scene:
Approaching after, I tried to sneak up on the corpo robots guarding the crash site, but was quickly spotted. Instead, I ran for it, got behind a rock, and used my smart sniper rifle to fire homing bullets at each of their robotic heads, while trying to keep my head down from the rockets fired from the carrier’s mounted turrets. After clearing the place out, Panam and I found the pilot of the carrier holding one of her friends hostage. I tried to talk him down, convincing him not to do anything stupid–which caused him to hesitate long enough for Panam, enraged, to shoot the pilot in the head and rescue her pal.
PC Gamer also highlighted a similar benefit with the katana — not that the katana itself was awesome, but how you can plan fights around that by incorporating some hacking to help minimise the distance on enemies and security systems:
A quality sword like the Black Unicorn, combined with these perks, makes wielding a blade in Cyberpunk 2077 incredibly satisfying and super effective. If you’re careful, and use the environment to your advantage, you can clear out an entire facility of heavily armed soldiers without firing a shot. Throw hacking into the mix, disabling security cameras and rebooting optical implants to temporarily blind enemies, and you end up with more compelling reasons to keep your gun holstered and your sword unsheathed.
One of Cyberpunk 2077’s key figures is Panam, a former nomad.
Once you’re done with the initial prologue and you meet Johnny Silverhand for the first time, the next key figure you’ll meet in your journey is Panam. Panam’s a mercenary and a former Nomad, and multiple previews explained how you’ll be teaming up with the former nomad and travelling outside of Night City, although this won’t happen until at least the 10 hour mark.
You’ll do more than just the one-off quest and mutually beneficial exchange, too. After completing the lengthy main quest that involves saving a friend, Gamespot noted how Panam calls you later for help on side missions down the road. It’s not clear whether Panam will be a romance option either, although that brings us neatly to…
Yes: Cyberpunk 2077 has sex scenes in first-person, although it cuts away at key moments.
Interacting with sex workers wasn’t an option in the original Cyberpunk 2077 previews, but it was available this time around — for those who asked. It was all triggered by a trip to the Kabuki district, and a particular area called Jig Jig Street, where male and female sex workers reside.
This same area, according to PC Gamer, is where you can find shops that sell “scary-looking dildos” and various shop mannequins in unusual positions. It’s also worth remembering that the Classification Board might have called out this area earlier this year in its redacted decision report:
During one quest [REDACTED]. V enters a sex shop [REDACTED]. Mannequins are posed inside glass cabinets in various sexual positions, including a simulation of rear-entry sex. Other, smaller cabinets contain a variety of sex toys or devices, including a number of oversized phallic-shaped dildos.
As for the first-person sex scenes, they last for around half a minute, Gamespot says:
Protagonist V and his partner slam the ham in a number of positions (all played from a first-person perspective), and there was a fair amount of full-frontal female nudity and moaning in the scene. Just as an aside: There are a lot of boobs to see in Night City.
In short, Cyberpunk‘s sex scenes will be more graphic and up-front than anything Geralt enjoyed in The Witcher 3. That’s probably appropriate for Cyberpunk 2077‘s tone and the cyberpunk genre in general, but know that if the nudity is a problem for you, you can turn it off (on console and PC).
Cyberpunk 2077 is more of a slow burn than a full-on action RPG.
Any game that has a six hour prologue is going to be a bit of a slow burn, but the life and storyline beyond that is equally deliberate. Just like the combat, and the braindances where you relive a moment in time searching for clues, Cyberpunk 2077 is more about your choices in any given situation — and how those choices pan out over the long term.
IGN’s preview described it as an RPG first — not an action-RPG or a shooter, despite what indications the first person perspective might have offered. Crucially, getting from one place to another is more beset by the time and the journey, rather than fighting your way from point A to point B.
As a result, I could sometimes go hours at a time without ever drawing a weapon, completing missions just by having conversations and sneaking around a bit. Fights can be found around almost any corner, with bounties to collect or gangs to attack at the drop of a hat, but you sort of have to go looking for trouble between big quest encounters if you want it instead of it coming to you naturally.
Another example of the game’s slow burn — or how it’s engineered to promote a more methodical pace and more consideration of choices and options — was in GamesRadar’s preview:
But what you do and in what order also matters. I delayed picking up the payment for one of the game’s first missions from a fixer called Wakako, and later on in a core mission I was able to bring up my missing eddies as part of an entirely separate conversation. It’s a small thing, but a huge part of how this world is created to feel utterly realistic and always reactive to V’s actions.
The end of the 16 hour preview, according to GamesRadar’s Sam Loveridge, was enough to just hit the game’s second act. (That would mean the first act clocks in at around 9 or 10 hours, given the prologue lasts for about 5 or 6 hours depending on your playstyle and choices.)
You can fast travel around Night City, but Cyberpunk 2077’s better if you don’t.
Each of the game’s districts has their own unique flavour and visual palette, but naturally if you need to skip across town you can do so quickly. There wasn’t any indication in any of the previews as to how long loading times were for fast travel — although all the previews were conducted via the GeForce Now streaming service (running off an RTX 3080 GPU, according to IGN).
But because so much of the city’s character comes through the travel, it’s best to go through Night City on foot. (Or car/bike.) It’s also helped by the fact that Cyberpunk 2077‘s world is more compact than what a regular open-world would be, so travelling by car or bike generally isn’t a bad option speed wise.
As an added note: no, you can’t walk into every building in Night City. But unless those buildings have something to do, would you really want to?
You’ll play some story missions from Johnny Silverhand/Keanu Reeves’ perspective.
We know Keanu Reeves is canon in Cyberpunk and Johnny Silverhand has a unique backstory, but what’s more apparent after the latest round of previews is just how much interaction you’ll have with the star. Gamespot’s preview noted how you’ll relive some of Johnny’s memories in “a few story missions”, and the player gets to decide what kind of relationship you have with Johnny.
Crucially, Johnny’s relationship with the player also becomes a key plot choice. I won’t say anything more on this point, because I feel some people might prefer to have all of Johnny’s story as unknown as possible, but you can read up on some of the details here if you like.
Cyberpunk 2077 is definitely shaping up to be a game that we’ll be playing over the whole holidays. The sheer size, scope and amount of time it’ll take to get through all the quests is staggering — one preview mentioned having around 30 side quests by the end of their 16 hours.
As always, we’ll be covering the game plenty over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more coverage from myself and Leah on the game, as well as guides, reviews and coverage from our US partners. Cyberpunk 2077 is out on December 10 for PC, PS4 and Xbox, with support for the next-gen consoles via backward compatibility.