Cyberpunk 2077 finally came out of its shell at E3 2018. CD Projekt Red’s first-person, open-world RPG was shown to the world via a colourful, exciting trailer, and then shown to press with a long, 50-minute in-game demonstration. We’ve seen both, interviewed the developers, interviewed the creator of the original Cyberpunk 2020 pen-and-paper RPG, and done our best to hack the Gibson to reveal any extra information we can. Below you’ll find all of that plus the usual announcements, trailers, and release date information.
When is the release date for Cyberpunk 2077?
Regarding the game’s release date, the latest we heard about it was a statement hidden within a glitched frame. “When we told you we would only release the game when it’s ready, we meant it. We’re definitely much closer to a release date than we were back then :), but it’s still not the time to confirm anything, so patience is still required.”
What kind of game is Cyberpunk 2077?
Cyberpunk 2077 is a first person RPG based on the pen and paper RPG – Cyberpunk 2020 by Mike Pondsmith. Our best indication of what the game will be like came from our own coverage at E3 this year as Brendan saw the game in action. It was a 50- minute demo full of things that left his brain “…feeling very fizzy.” The player will take on the role of V, an otherwise completely customised character as the player would be able to choose their own gender, skin colour, body shape, etc. There will also be a background that you can choose at the beginning that leads to certain events unfolding in certain ways based on your upbringing.
Cyberpunk 2077 does use three of the existing classes found within Cyberpunk 2020. Netrunners are your computer hackers, able to slip through the toughest security measures or uncover corporate secrets. Techies meanwhile are described as “renegade mechanics”, preferring to tinker with more physical contraptions and the human body rather than the internet. For those that just want to punch things though, there are the Solos who are the hired muscle; combat focused with the uncanny ability to notice any dangerous traps or generally avoid harm. Cyberpunk 2077’s interpretation of the three classes hasn’t been revealed yet, but you’ll choose one or a mix of the three as the game progresses.
This commitment to the first person perspective makes for some rather macabre visuals. At one point during the demo, an upgrade is installed by one of the “Ripperdocs”. This gruesome procedure involves the eye being ripped from its socket and staring at the character’s now eyeless body. If that doesn’t make you lose your lunch, nothing will.
What is the setting of Cyberpunk 2077?
Cyberpunk 2077 is set in Night City, a fictional dystopia somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco and voted worst city in America according to the narrator in the trailer revealed at Microsoft’s E3 conference. He’s certainly not wrong in that respect as people are seen beating each other up, carrying guns in taxis, and even one unfortunate chap having his eye gouged from his face.
Night City itself has six districts: City Center, Westbrook, Watson, Heywood, Santo Domingo, and Pacifica. There is also an Orbital Air Space Centre marked on the metro map as shown in the E3 trailer. Each one has a drastically different vibe to it: The City Center being where the mega corporations reside, while the rich folk live in Westbrook. Watson has transformed from a haven for Asian cultures into a network of bazaars and markets populated by immigrants, and Santo Domingo has lots of power plants and factories. While those areas are generally quite safe, others are not so much. Heywood has a large gang culture problem that’s bringing the neighbourhood down towards the levels of Pacifica, which is now abandoned by the city and overrun by various gangs.
The cultural divide of Night City
This class divide is apparent with the technology on show, with the metros being used by the lower classes, while flying cars are a luxury item owned by the wealthy. Some live in nice sprawling apartments filled to the brim with gadgets, while others live below the poverty line, such as trailer parks or even on the streets. Despite this, they do have one thing in common: Everyone is trying to get one over their competition, be it a corporate business owner frying the mind of a fellow board member, or some punks mugging a bum.
Much like the cyberpunk universe of another popular tabletop RPG, Shadowrun – Cyberpunk 2077 has its own lingo, with money being called “eddies”, unlicensed surgeons as “Ripperdocs”, and inhaling drugs to heal yourself being affectionately dubbed “whiffing”. It has its own distinctness that one would expect from the creators of The Witcher, but it also is a lot more colourful with a neon-vibe to it.
How does Cyberpunk 2077 play?
From our preview once again, Cyberpunk 2077 is in first-person, complete with a standard HUD, and is a bit of a mix between Grand Theft Auto meets Deus Ex with its ambitious amount of things to do. It will be primarily involve melee or gun-based combat, with V being somewhat nimble on foot and possessing abilities to aid in their survival, but this is not the only way to solve a particular problem. Numerous times during the demo, there are moments where the player has dialogue options that use their more sociable skills to defuse any potentially fatal situation.
Since it’s based on an already existing system, it includes a lot of nods to the original Cyberpunk 2020 rules, including a stat for coolness which is to determine your character’s willingness to fight while wounded and your fighting ability under fire, as well as just how cool they are. Certain equipped items can also boost stats, such as the leather jacket that V puts on during the demo that has a boost to street cred – allowing for better vendor prices. V is also shown to obtain a spider bot that shoots enemies for you, as well as an off-screen helper to pinpoint enemies to shoot.
However, a massive caveat to all of this is that this was all based off a scripted E3 demo rather than a playable portion of the game. What was shown to journalists didn’t feature what would happen if “a male V who never puffed a single methamphetamine in his life, who righteously grabbed a gun off the corp diva and went into the Maelstrom den, metal spider arms akimbo.”
Driving around Night City in Cyberpunk 2077
Driving around can either be done with first or third person cameras, depending on your preference, though whether or not these cars have cruise control like Roach did in The Witcher series has yet to be confirmed. In an interview with lead animator Maciej Pietras, he went a bit further into detail about driving. You will be able to jump out of the car and start shooting from the roof.
Romance in Cyberpunk 2077
Brendan also had a brief chat with one of the developers who confirmed that you can form a romantic attachment with certain characters, each with their own sexual preferences. You can of course choose to ignore this completely, but the option is nice to have for those who want it.
Will Cyberpunk 2077 have multiplayer?
Since E3, there have been a few murmurs that the game will feature multiplayer. After asking that question directly, Maciej Pietra had this to say.
“Currently we are really focusing on developing the fully open-world roleplaying game. And what you’re going to get straight from the box will be a fully fledged single-player experience. When it comes to the multiplayer, I’ll be honest, we’re doing some R&D, we’re researching but that’s all I have to say.”
What easter eggs were in Cyberpunk 2077’s E3 trailer?
There are little details and Easter eggs throughout the trailer to all things Cyberpunk. While trying to establish whether or not the Night City Metro map is an indication of whether or not the city the game is based on a real American city (it’s not, though it is west coast as they run on Pacific Time), I noticed a code underneath that says “N6MAA10816”. I’ve circled the location so you can have a look at the trailer with a much higher resolution. A quick Google search turned up results for Rutger Hauer’s character in Blade Runner as it’s Roy Batty’s serial number. This serial number is also shown in the taxi later in the trailer.
However most impressively, if it wasn’t for some very eagle eyed people, everyone could have missed the hidden statement within a glitched frame of the trailer. It’s surprisingly detailed, going as far as explaining just where Cyberpunk 2077 has been, why it’s taken so long to find out more about it, and even some of the frequently asked questions people would have about CD Projekt Red’s latest game.
In that statement, it says that the game is expected to come with free DLC, “Expect nothing less than you got with The Witcher 3”. Therefore we can probably deduce based on that statement, that there will be several content updates and possibly one fleshed out expansion post-release at a bare minimum, though it’s important to stress that nothing has been confirmed. As with other CD Projekt Red games, Cyberpunk 2077 will be “100% DRM-free on PC.”
Will Cyberpunk 2077 have DLC, microtransactions or loot boxes?
While they could have injected microtransactions as a cheeky nod to the setting, they’ve flat out said no by saying, “In a single player roleplaying game? Are you nuts?”
How does this link to Cyberpunk 2020?
In a very early interview discussing the game in February 2013 with Mike Pondsmith, he is also working as a consultant and designer on the upcoming video game adaptation. He discussed with us how his and CD Projekt Red’s visions were different at first, but “…we all got zeroed in pretty fast on what we all wanted, and it’s been pretty solid ever since.” We also interviewed CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwiński about what drew the team to that specific licence and world.
Then in July 2017, we spoke to Mike Pondsmith again in a fascinating interview that goes into lots more detail on how he’s helping out with the development of the game, and what’s happened since. He also mentioned how the project began:
“What happened was, around four years ago they called us up and I’d never heard of them. I was imagining a tiny studio out in Poland that had done very little, and then I looked at The Witcher 2 and thought, “Wow. This is good. This is really good.” So I flew out to see them and realised they were genuine fans of Cyberpunk. What they didn’t realise is that I’ve worked in design on the videogame side as well as tabletop.”
Cyberpunk 2077’s development history
It was announced on May 30th 2012 and described as a “Cutting edge looking game.” The first trailer didn’t hit until 10th January 2013 in which an augmented human is being shot by police after committing multiple murders. It was created more to aid the company into recruiting more staff in order to make the game, but certainly made quite the impression.
Things did go a bit awry in Cyberpunk 2077’s development cycle in June 2017, when the studio found themselves being blackmailed. They tweeted a statement on the issue:
— CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) 8 June 2017
With that little nugget of information, that’s everything we know so far. It’s still very early days when it comes to information surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, but we will be keeping this hub updated with any additional information that comes to light in the lead-up to its release and beyond.