Coming off the back of The Witcher 3, all eyes were on on developer CD Projekt Red. The Polish company’s next game is now nearly here: Cyberpunk 2077.
A gritty sci-fi first-person RPG (based on a tabletop roleplaying game, of all things), Cyberpunk 2077 is about as far from The Witcher series as you can get in terms of its look and feel, but the emphasis on branching narratives and player choice mean this should still play to the devs’ strengths.
Excitement for the game reached fever pitch at E3 2019, where CD Projekt Red showcased not only a new cinematic trailer but got Keanu Reeves – star of John Wick and The Matrix – to come on-stage and reveal the game’s release date. However, like many times before, that release date didn’t stick.
Here’s everything you need to know.
When will Cyberpunk 2077 be released?
After literally years of waiting, Keanu Reeves took to the stage at E3 2019 to confirm an April 2020 release date for Cyberpunk 2077. However, that wasn’t meant to be, as in January 2020 CD Projekt Red confirmed that the release had been pushed back to September 2020 to further polish the game, and in June 2020, the developers confirmed the release had been pushed again, this time until 19 November 2020.
You can pre-order the game now of course, and if you act fast you can get it at a great price on PC in a special CD Projekt Red bundle on GOG.
You can get every CD Projekt Red game so far – including Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 – for just £69/$88. If you grab it before 4 July, you’ll even get discount codes for some Cyberpunk 2077 merch, and that also applies if you pre-order Cyberpunk 2077 on its own (or have already done so through GOG).
Which platforms will Cyberpunk 2077 be available for?
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC as well as offering support for 4K gameplay via the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. It will also come to Google Stadia, and the developer has confirmed that the game will take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X too.
Even better, 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.
It sounds like at launch you won’t see any immediate performance benefits though, 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 the next-gen consoles’ launch days.
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.
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:
What should I expect from Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay?
For those completely unaware, Cyberpunk 2077 is a new IP from the developers of the Witcher series, based on an old tabletop RPG. Cyberpunk 2077 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 foreign languages. While details are scarce, we imagine that we’ll be learning the ways of the city while trying to grasp the languages utilised by its residents to discover strange, dangerous conspiracies.
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.”
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. This can include, for example, the ability to communicate with the NPC residents of Night City using Braindance, a handy digital recording device.
Driving features too, and we already know there’ll be a choice of cars and vehicles. Gameplay footage has already shown the player driving both a car and motorcycle, and in honour of the 5th anniversary of Mad Max: Fury Road the devs teased another vehicle inspired by the film (not to mention a glimpse of the ‘Badlands’ area where the Wraith gang are based):
„Reaver” – custom-built Wraith gang vehicle based on Quadra Type-66 car. With its near 1000 horsepower, you will ride eternal, shiny and chrome. Happy 5th Anniversary #MadMaxFuryRoad pic.twitter.com/9E0gqJKqV5
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame)
May 15, 2020
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.
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: 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: