The look and feel will be different to The Witcher, but the emphasis on branching narratives, player choice, and complex moral dilemmas all sounds very familiar.
When will Cyberpunk 2077 be released?
After literally years of waiting, Cyberpunk 2077 will come out in 19 November. You can pre-order the game now of course if you know you're going to want to buy it.
That comes after multiple delays. Keanu Reeves took to the stage at E3 2019 to confirm an April 2020 release date for Cyberpunk. That wasn't meant to be, as the release was pushed back first to September 2020 and then to November. The game has officially gone gold now though, so it really is coming out this time.
Hitting that release date doesn't come without a price though, and as of now the dev studio is in mandatory crunch in order to finish the game on time - despite previous promises that it wouldn't force any employees to work overtime.
Which platforms will Cyberpunk 2077 be available for?
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia at launch.
The game will run on the PS5 and Xbox Series X too, though at launch you won't see any immediate performance benefits, with the developer promising that "A later upgrade to Cyberpunk 2077, taking full advantage of the next-gen hardware, will be available for free." We're not sure exactly when that patch will arrive, but don't expect it on day one.
The good news is that PS4 and Xbox One copies of the game will work on the respective next-gen consoles, so you won't need to buy the game twice.
Xbox fans have an extra treat as CD Projekt has partnered with Microsoft to release a special edition Xbox One X and Xbox One controller. The console is sold out, but you can buy the gamepad right now, depending on stock.
While some may be holding out hope that the upcoming title will somehow make it to the Nintendo Switch, we don’t feel as confident; CDPR develops incredibly detailed, complex and gorgeous games, and even though there was a Switch port of The Witcher 3, we can’t imagine that the Switch will be able to power this beast.
Will there be Cyberpunk DLC?
Yup! And even better, it's gonna be free - well, at least some of it will be. The devs confirmed as much in response to a fan asking if the game would take after The Witcher 3 in offering free DLC:
The Witcher 3 released 16 free DLC packs over its lifetime, ranging from cosmetics to new quests and a New Game+ mode. Of course, the game included larger paid DLC content too, and it's likely that Cyberpunk 2077 will follow the same model, with a mix of small free packs and bigger paid updates.
Watch the Cyberpunk 2077 trailers
CD Projekt Red has released loads of trailers for the game so far. First up is the initial teaser trailer from way back in 2013 (!):
Our first proper look at the game in action came at E3 2018:
Then a year later E3 2019 gave us more action and the infamous reveal that Keanu Reeves will appear:
Then June 2020's first Night City Wire stream brought us The Gig trailer, a slick cut that teases the setting and story a little more:
This is more of a graphics tease, but the ray tracing showcase from Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 launch is a great look at the game's dynamic lighting systems, from reflections and shadows to diffuse lighting from all those fancy neon signs:
Also not really a trailer, but this TV/YouTube ad starring the one and only Keanu is a fun way to spend 30 seconds, and a good reminder that he is the perfect spokesperson for this game:
While this purely CGI teaser is all about setting the tone:
What should I expect from Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay?
For those completely unaware, Cyberpunk 2077 is based on an old tabletop RPG. The game is set in an open world known as Night City, a bright, neon sci-fi-inspired metropolis whose residents communicate with one another in a variety of languages.
According to the developers, Cyberpunk 2077 will be considerably ‘wider’ than The Witcher 3, offering a range of environments to explore, treasures to find, unique quests and NPCs, and it sounds like there will be a lot of violence too.
The ESRB has given the game a Mature rating, citing 'Blood & Gore' and 'Intense Violence', including a mission where you “assist a character by hammering nails through his hands and feet.”
Drugs pop up too, along with sex. “The game contains nudity and sexual material,” the ESRB states. “Players can select a gender and customize their character; customization can include depictions of breasts, buttocks, and genitalia, as well as various sizes and combinations of genitals.” Charming.
We also know that one gang, the Mox, are based out of a brothel and run by a former sex worker, so the game clearly isn't shying away from that side of the genre - for better or worse.
The player will be able to obtain and level up a series of skills, abilities and enhancements to improve gameplay and add new mechanics. That kind of RPG mechanic is core, right from the start of the game, which has an in-depth character creator and a choice of three backstories - or Lifepaths - to shape your character: Corpo, Street Kid, or Nomad.
It's still a shooter though, so there'll be all the first-person gunplay you'd expect from a modern FPS. All the classic weapon types are represented, along with a selection of more sci-fi guns with tricks like shooting round corners or through walls.
Driving features too, and we already know there'll be a choice of cars, bikes, and other vehicles. The 'Rides of the Dark Future' deep dive goes into more detail below, showcasing the various classes of vehicle from Economy, through Heavy Duty, and right up to Hypercars.
They're mostly brands and designs created by the dev team (with inspiration acknowledged from the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road), but the clip hints that some real-world vehicular icons will be included too - and we already know that includes Keanu Reeves' own motorbike.
We've even seen what's likely a full map of Night City and the areas you can drive around, as photos leaked to Resetera of a physical map being offered as a pre-order bonus for the game:
One feature you may have spotted in the gameplay videos above won't appear in the final game though. In an interview with Gamereactor, the game's level designer Max Pears revealed that the game's wall-running has been "removed due to design reasons." He didn't explain why it had been removed, but did emphasise that there's still "a lot of flexibility in how you move," so don't worry too much.
The game will play around with some more cyberpunk-y concepts too. The 'Braindance' missions are a good example of this: they let you jump into a playable recording of another person's experiences to investigate events. You can rewind and fast-forward, analyse objects, jump into third-person views, and more.
Speaking at Pareto Securities’ Gaming Seminar, CD Projekt RED CEO Adam Kicinski claimed that Cyberpunk 2077 “is our new Witcher 3, but even more ambitious.”
“We work [in a] new universe, futuristic universe. We believe it’s very appealing to players, not only RPG players—but this is [a] true RPG, like Witcher, like Witcher 3, for mature audiences. It’s handcrafted, detailed, of course open-world, with open-ended gameplay,” he said.
Despite that, the game will actually be shorter than The Witcher 3. But that's because the company got "a lot of complaints" about Witcher 3 being too long, according to senior quest designer Patrick K Mills, and that "tremendous amounts of people played through that game really far, but never made it to the end."
"We want you to see the whole story. So, we did shorten the main story, but we have lots to do. And in terms of a completionist campaign, I just don't have that number," Mills added.
The company has also confirmed that multiplayer is on the cards, although the team has only just started work on it and, as such, won't be a feature of the game at launch. It is coming, though, with CD Projekt Red teasing that the fully-fledged multiplayer mode will make an appearance once all free single-player DLC is released.
The game's soundtrack has also been teased, and there will be a star-studded lineup of tracks to choose from. A$AP Rocky, Run the Jewels and Grimes are just a handful of the talent whose original recordings will be used in the game. Each artist will even have a fictional name in the game, to add to the mystery of the fictional Night City.
Cyberpunk 2077 PC spec requirements
CD Projekt Red has revealed what you'll need inside your PC to get the best out of Cyberpunk, and it's surprisingly manageable. Yeah, you might struggle if you haven't updated your PC for a while, but any modern build should breeze past the minimum specs and even hit a good chunk of the recommended stuff:
OS: Windows 7 or 10, 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K or AMD FX-8310
Memory: 8GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB or AMD Radeon RX 470
DirectX: Version 12
Storage: 70 GB HDD, SSD recommended
OS: Windows 10, 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
Memory: 12GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 Fury
DirectX: Version 12
Storage: 70 GB SSD
Cyberpunk 2077: Edgerunners anime
In an unexpected reveal, CD Projekt Red also announced that Cyberpunk 2077 is getting its own anime: Edgerunners.
There's no footage of the anime yet, but we know it'll be a 10-episode series set in Night City - but following different characters to the game - that will arrive on Netflix in 2022. So there's a while to wait.
The anime will be produced by Tokyo's Studio Trigger in collaboration with CD Projekt Red, and they released a short promo video highlighting the collaboration: