Anticipation for the Cyberpunk 2077 release date couldn’t be higher. For years we waited with no sign of a new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer and gameplay details, but CD Projekt Red has revealed masses of new details on the upcoming futuristic RPG, and all at once.
Fans were treated to a huge E3 2018 demo that showed Cyberpunk 2077 is the answer to perhaps the biggest game development question of the decade: how do you follow up something like The Witcher 3? Polish RPG powerhouse CD Projekt Red is looking to replicate its successes with Eastern Europe’s beloved fantasy book series by turning its hand to the futuristic world of Cyberpunk 2077.
CD Projekt Red’s videogame is an adaptation of the Cyberpunk 2020 pen-and-paper game. It’s a first-person RPG set in a gritty, vast future metropolis known as Night City. Like The Witcher 3, it is an adult story, touching on drugs, violence, and social politics. It’s almost certainly going to be the most talked about game of whatever year in which it finally releases. Here’s everything we know about Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 release date
Despite the deluge of new information unveiled at E3 2018, we still have no Cyberpunk 2077 release date. That said, joint CEO Adam Kiciński recently admitted in CD Projekt’s yearly financial report that E3 would be a good platform to announce the release of a game. “Yes, we agree with this assumption,” he says. It should be noted that while he doesn’t actually confirm that a release date will be revealed here, he does go on to say that E3 is the best place for “big announcements of big launches.”
As we get closer to E3, rumours are also beginning to spread that CD Projekt Red will, indeed, reveal the Cyberpunk 2077 release date, alongside a new trailer. Aside from that, the Witcher developer has also reiterated plans to release two triple-A titles by the end of 2021, with Cyberpunk 2077 being its main project. More recently, a moderator on the studio’s official forums explained that those plans have not changed.
That said, In December 2016, CD Projekt Red was given sizeable funding from the Polish government to research new game techniques that have been dubbed ‘seamless multiplayer’, ‘animation excellence’, ‘cinematic feel’, and ‘city creation’. The grant comes with a deadline, by which time the projects must be completed. Assuming they’re for Cyberpunk (they totally are), there has to be a Cyberpunk 2077 release date in June 2019. That the date is sometime next year was even supported from Turkish publisher, Bilkom.
This target matches with CD Projekt Red’s claims that they are targeting current-generation consoles for the game; the PS4 is rumoured to be due a replacement in 2020.
In February 2016, an investor call suggested Cyberpunk 2077 would be released by 2019. CD Projekt Red said it’s planning to release two triple-A RPGs between 2016-2021, and confirmed on the CD Projekt forums that Cyberpunk 2077 will be the first to come out. The studio also said that work won’t begin on the second RPG until it’s wrapped up Cyberpunk 2077.
We also know roughly what stage of production the game is in: Cyberpunk 2077 is in early alpha. That suggests that pre-production has concluded, and work on Cyberpunk 2077’s key features is well underway. CD Projekt Red has said that Cyberpunk 2077 is playable from start to finish, albeit without all the assets and bug testing complete. Therefore it seems sensible to assume that all the world areas may well already be built, and development may now be focused on anything from refining core systems to expanding features and adding quests, art, and assets. The E3 and Gamescom demo, while the most polished slice of the game, demonstrated that despite the early alpha status, the game is certainly at an impressive point of production.
The Witcher 3 took three-and-a-half years to develop, so chances are development time will be similar for both Cyberpunk 2077 and the unannounced game. Work on upgrading the game engine for Cyberpunk began around the release of The Witcher 3, so we’re probably looking at the sci-fi RPG coming up to beyond the halfway point in its development. All of the above points to a Cyberpunk 2077 launch in 2019.
Hopefully this isn’t derailed in any way by the departure of Cyberpunk 2077’s creative director. Sebastien Stepien, who worked on all three Witcher games, left CD Projekt Red in January 2019 for Blizzard. The project he has left the company for is unknown but, based on the extensive gameplay footage we’ve seen already, his work could well have been done already. In other workforce news, as of March 2018, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz is now the Cyberpunk 2077 design director. You’ll remember him as game director on a little game called The Witcher 3.
Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay
Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay first debuted behind closed doors at E3, and CD Projekt Red showcased the same demo to a select few at Gamescom. Soon after the developers have revealed that footage to the general public.
In it we see one of Cyberpunk 2077’s side missions play out, and quite how much the game owes to the pen-and-paper RPGs from which it takes inspiration. Our character, V, is given the task from famed Fixer, Dexter Deshawn to take an expensive spider bot drone, by any means necessary. The bot, it turns out, is part of a haul stolen from Militech by the Maelstrom gang. The mission sees you play off both groups in either a peaceful or violent way, or an approach somewhere in between. We also get a proper introduction to the seedy underbelly – and overbelly, really – of Night City both on foot and on four wheels, and a visual representation of how weapon and character upgrades work.
According to quest director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, however, what we saw was a mere fragment of the overall game and the Cyberpunk 2077 demo has changed a lot since. Speaking to Areajugones (via dsogaming), he says “the demo shown last year was only a small fragment of the actual game,” and that it wasn’t clear from the gameplay video “how the game fits into an open world or how it fits into a larger image of the game. I would say that the game is pretty different to what we [showed] last year.”
While we could admire Geralt’s shock of white hair in the third-person The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person RPG. You will have three main types of Cyberpunk 2077 weapons that include melee weapons and high-tech guns, and you indulge in a bit of Watch-Dogs-style scanning and, with the right Cyberpunk 2077 abilities, plenty of hacking. However, don’t expect a Doom or Titanfall type of experience.
You also have two types of Cyberpunk 2077 XP: core XP and ‘Street Cred’. The former is earned by completing main missions, but you only build Street Cred by completing side missions. You can then spend your special experience points to access new vendors and Fixers, a type of quest giver. You can also boost your Street Cred with Cyberpunk 2077 gear, which includes designer clothing that will grant you elemental defense stats.
Given what is most likely going to be a gargantuan dystopian world, you’re going to need a way to get around. Usefully, then, we have hundreds of Cyberpunk 2077 vehicles to better explore the world, and action-packed car chases. Unfortunately, you will not be able control any of the flying vehicles in the world, but you will be able to steal cars to rapidly get around Night City. CD Projekt Red also say that there will be no loading screens to get in the way of your exploration of this handcrafted game world.
In terms of Cyberpunk 2077 combat, we can expect everything from numbers popping out of enemies to a full destruction system to crop up during gun battles. There are weapons with smart-tracking bullets, weapons that can shoot through walls, and abilities that can hack enemies brains to mush, so you will have a variety of ways to take on every fight. A lot of your combat potential will be decided by which implants and augmentations you have equipped, but be wary of installing too many implants as you can develop Cyberpunk 2077 Cyberpsychosis.
Night City is a seedy spot where criminal gangs often rule the roost, so how will you let your hair down after shooting up a gang hideout? Well, we know that there will be Cyberpunk 2077 romance options that allow you to flirt with NPCs and have one night stands with them. That the game has “full-frontal nudity” shouldn’t surprise Witcher 3 fans; Geralt did get round the block a few times. On a totally unrelated note, CDPR is supposedly “planning” a Cyberpunk 2077 photo mode.
Regarding quest design, you can expect to complete some of them in three to five different ways. That comes from senior quest designer Philip Weber, who delved into Cyberpunk 2077’s mission design on a Reddit thread. Weber explains that Cyberpunk 2077’s class system has impacted the ways players can interact with the game’s missions. Weber then goes on to say that using the skills from these class systems “gives you more (as an example, three to five in some cases) ways how to solve a quest or challenges within a quest. This naturally makes quest designs more complex in some areas, but it’s honestly great fun to do.”
The Cyberpunk 2077 game over screen will only roll if your character dies, too – meaning that even if you’re tasked with escorting an individual, and that person dies, the world goes on the same. If you’re thinking that could lead to some silly hi-jinks, then you’ll likely find CD Projekt in agreement. In an interview with German outlet GameStar (translated on Reddit), Philipp Webser explains that quest designers asked themselves at every turn what the stupidest thing a player could do in that given moment – with missions then being built around that.
Cyberpunk 2077 trailer
Cyberpunk 2077 first in-engine trailer was debuted at E3 2018, and you can see it above. It came with plenty of easter eggs, including Steam codes for The Witcher 3 and a mock interview confirming that Cyberpunk 2077 will be “100% DRM free on PC.”
Before the E3 2018 trailer, though, Cyberpunk 2077’s intense hype all started with this title reveal four years ago. How time flies when you’re waiting for a sprawling RPG to play.
The second teaser trailer gave us our first look at the world, with bulletproof cheeks, bladed arms, and future police trying to bring down this cybernetically enhanced criminal.
Cyberpunk 2077 screenshots
If you didn’t get your fill from the Cyberpunk trailers, you might like to have a look at some Cyberpunk 2077 screenshots. They’ve all been uploaded off the back of the latest trailer, and so they’re largely similar to what you’ll have seen in the images above, but you might be able to glean some more information from the still images.
Cyberpunk 2077 concept art
Above you can see some concept art from the game, all of which has nicely been rendered in the trailers to allow you to see exactly how a game progresses from idea to reality. For a closer look at exactly how the game has developed, see the sliding image below.
Cyberpunk 2077 story
Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in, you guessed it, the year 2077. In a sprawling metropolis called Night City, you take on the role of a fully-voiced, streetwise young man or woman – you can play as either gender in Cyberpunk 2077 – named V, who was raised in the gutter and wants to improve their life. The street gangs and megacorps will do all they can to keep people down.
The streets of Cyberpunk 2077 will be filthy, drug infested, poverty-stricken hellholes, with the rich presiding over it all in their ivory towers. V describes it as “the worst place in America.” As well as coping with rampaging madmen, many of the poor are addicted to a new drug called the braindance, which allows them to experience the emotions and stimuli of another person. For just a few hours, you can be rich, successful, and popular with your preferred gender. Because braindances aren’t livestreamed, viewers can experience any moment in another person’s life, living it as if it were real.
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Most of these experiences are tailored by megacorporations, with braindances sold to the populace as a form of entertainment. There are also braindances created on the black market, obtained illicitly, that offer much darker dreams, such as feeling the bloodlust of a serial killer. It’s going to be dark as hell, basically.
We also know that Cyberpunk 2077 will exist in the same timeline as the Cyberpunk 2020 board game that it takes its inspiration from. Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith took to Reddit to clear up some misinformation on the subject, as another interview suggest the two games would be separate.
“There’s still an incorrect interview floating around the interwebs that states that Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk 2020 are separate timelines,” he says. “To clear this up, I am posting right here and now that the timeline is unified, with the path moving from Cyberpunk 2013 through Cyberpunk 2020, then through Cyberpunk RED and up to Cyberpunk 2077.”
Cyberpunk 2077 classes
There are three playable Cyberpunk 2077 classes: Netrunner, Techie, and Solo. You will not have to pick one of the three – you can either focus on one or mix abilities and play styles from all three class types. If you’re unfamiliar with Cyberpunk lore, Netrunners are hackers, Techies are crafting specialists, and Solos are lone mercenaries.
All three of these classes come straight from the tabletop RPG, but are only three of many classes in Cyberpunk 2020 – other classes like Rockerboys, Nomads, and Journalists will be present in certain Cyberpunk 2077 NPCs.
Cyberpunk 2077 characters
We have details on five Cyberpunk 2077 characters who featured prominently in the E3 2018 demo. Firstly, there’s Jackie Welles, a mercenary who takes on bounties and operates on the fringes of the big league. Dexter Deshawn is the next face we run into – Dexter is a Fixer, someone who handles odd jobs ranging from kidnappings to assassinations provided the price is right. Fixers effectively liaise between mercenaries and clients, organising dirty work. Night City is full of Fixers, and Dexter Deshawn is among the most sought after.
Royce is the boss of Maelstrom, a Watson-based gang who specialise in raiding mega corporations to steal tech. He’s cold, calculating, and untrustworthy. In the demo we also meet ripperdoc Doctor Victor, as skilled with a scalpel as he is with a screwdriver. Victor can heal you, repair broken cyberware, and install new implants and tech fresh from the black market. Finally, there’s Meredith Stout, an agent for the Militech corporation – she’s an egomaniac and despises anyone from the lower classes.
Cyberpunk 2077 map
Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be absolutely massive, if you hadn’t guessed. In fact, even level design coordinator Peter Gelenscer doesn’t know how big it is because Cyberpunk is much more vertical than The Witcher 3. At E3 2018, Gelenscer was cagey about an exact Cyberpunk 2077 map size but he did say “it shouldn’t be big, it should be enough.”
Speaking to MCV back in 2015, visual effects artist Jose Teixeira said: “Cyberpunk is far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before. Far, far bigger.
“We’re really stepping into the unknown in terms of complexity and size and problems we encounter,” he said. He also went on to explain how The Witcher 3 was a learning experience, and the studio is confident they can do even better next time. Considering the jump between The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3, we’re inclined to believe it.
CD Projekt Red has doubled in size to meet this goal. Studio head Adam Badowski said The Witcher 3 raised the bar, meaning Cyberpunk 2077 needs to be “even better, even bigger, even more revolutionary” than originally planned.
The map will be split into six Cyberpunk 2077 districts: City Center, Watson, Westbrook, Heybrook, Pacifica, and Santo Domingo. Naturally, City Center is the city’s beating heart and is luxurious owing to the number of corporations present there. Watson boasts a blend of Asian cultures who inhabit the buildings of an old corporate giant. Next up is Westbrook, a tourist hub with sites like Japantown that cater to those who like to let loose a little. Heywood is the Latino district of Night City, a sprawling suburban area populated by those at the higher rungs of the social ladder – but there is a hidden gang problem.
Outside of the main city you’ll find the poorest and most dangerous district is Pacifica, cut off from much of Night City and plagued with gang violence. Finally, Santo Domingo represents Night City’s power and industrial area.
Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer
CD Projekt Red said back in 2013 that Cyberpunk 2077 would have “multiplayer features” but we know from E3 2018 that Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer will not be available at launch. CD Projekt’s upcoming RPG will launch single-player only, but multiplayer is currently in R&D, according to quest designer Patrick Mills in an interview with Eurogamer.
The Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer is being worked on by a Canadian studio called Digital Scapes. The studio is made up of developers from BioWare, Relic, and Radical, and has also worked with Dying Light developers Techland. Considering Digital Scapes helped with the PvP invasion mechanic present in Dying Light, there’s the slimmest chance that Cyberpunk 2077 will boast a proper multiplayer system.
If we are lucky enough to enjoy an online component in Cyberpunk 2077 we would expect a co-op system similar to the one in Dark Souls, but we’d also be happy to destroy our real-life dystopian rivals in a good car chase through Night City.
Cyberpunk 2077 system requirements
Of course it’s far too early for any final Cyberpunk 2077 system requirements, but as the E3 2018 demo was a live build we can get a rough idea of what demands it will place on our rigs. CD Projekt Red have also said what was powering that live build – it was powered by an Intel Core i7 8700K at stock speeds, with 32GB of DDR4 memory, and an Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti on graphics duties.
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That’s high-end, for sure, but considering how gorgeous the game is purported to look and the fact that we still don’t have a Cyberpunk 2077 release date it’s a much more humble PC build than some were expecting.