All About Cyberpunk 2077
What to expect from CD Projekt Red’s next title
When the creative team behind The Witcher 3 set out to make a new franchise, the industry understandably sat up and took notice. Set to release in April 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 looks to be a gritty, ambitious and mature RPG that could change the gaming landscape.
Since its announcement, more and more details around the game have been revealed, including several extended gameplay videos. April may seem like a long time away, but we’re barrelling towards it rapidly — Cyberpunk 2077 will be available before you know it. We thought this would be a perfect time to take a closer look at the game (especially one accompanied by a torrent of information and rumour — some of it credible, some confused, and some outright erroneous). It’s impossible to cover every detail of Cyberpunk 2077, but let’s get into some of the meaty stuff. You ready?
One of the better known aspects of Cyberpunk 2077 is that it’s primarily a role-playing game with an FPS-heavy influence. Heavily touted is the game’s endlessly deep character customisation options. Senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers in fact revealed in August that the game won’t even have gender options in the customisation process; the focus instead will be around body type. It reflects the depth of dedication to the cyberpunk genre and points towards the themes of transhumanism that pervade the game’s world.
One way the game will influence players’ experiences is the amount of pure information available on screen. Even taking just a quick look at the gameplay demo from last year reveals the level of detail and data visible to players in Cyberpunk 2077. Such environment and character detail is vital to gameplay, highlighting the dominant RPG elements and that Cyberpunk 2077 is ostensibly not just a shooter with deep customisation options.
Some of the only negative feedback received online about the revealed gameplay from Cyberpunk 2077 is there’s no option to play in third-person perspective. Fans of The Witcher series may bemoan this, but it points toward the total immersion within the world of Night City that CD Projekt Red are striving for. It reinforces that V is a fully customisable and mouldable character, unlike Geralt from The Witcher. V is an avatar for each and every player to possess and explore with, a vessel to delve deep into Night City with.
The latest gameplay video also showed that missions in game can be completed in myriad ways, all dependent on the different class characteristics you choose to upgrade. Two specific types of play style were shown in the video — a “netrunner” and a “strong solo.” Both are somewhat self-explanatory, the netrunner being a stealth-focused hacking type of character, with the strong solo being a combat focused direct approach character.
The key emphasis here is that the class system is fluid. Players can decide on any number of combinations for their character, pointing toward great gameplay variability and replay value potential down the line for Cyberpunk 2077. You can pick and choose exactly how to upgrade and hone V and your characteristics accordingly. The perk tree is open for you to plunder as you wish, without being locked into a play style or certain skills early on. The entire game can also be completed without killing anyone, with nonlethal combat options available to V. All these sorts of choices and actions lead to different endings within Cyberpunk 2077.
Taking place in Night City, in the Free State of North California, Cyberpunk 2077 is a vast and dynamic experience. As shown in last year’s gameplay demo, Night City is an alert and automated city. Even advertisements are tailored specifically to V. Interacting with them can for instance show V where the closest vending machine is. It’s the kind of intense detail that we’ve come to expect from CD Projekt Red. If it’s pulled off effectively across the entire environment of Night City, it’ll be one of the most interactive, ambitious, and unique game environments ever seen.
Night City will feature six different suburbs and areas, each with its own demography, backstory and importance. A megacity in the Free State of California, Night City is comprised of the City Center, Watson, Westbrook, Heywood, Pacifica and Santo Domingo. The Badlands, which surround Night City, are also explorable.
The City Center will serve as the main commercial area, full of skyscrapers and corporations. Watson is home to immigrants, while the wealthy reside in luxurious Westbrook. Heywood is typically suburban, with growing gangs and wealth. Finally, Pacifica is infested with gangs and Santo Domingo is the main industrial district. Each district has its own particular feel and style, with NPCs in each area reacting to V differently depending on gameplay and character decisions.
The city can be traversed in various ways, either on foot or in vehicles, including autonomous cars that enable the player to focus on combat rather than driving. Furthermore, the city also features a full day and night cycle with dynamic weather. Night City is a living and breathing creation.
Despite its different flavours throughout, it’s clear that Night City is unsafe, wherever you go. With the constant violence that occurs daily, anyone can own guns, and does. Gun laws are nowhere to be seen. It’s a lawless place for the hopeful and the hopeless. Gameplay and customisation choices throughout will seem to have consequences for V’s relationship with the city.
Also announced in early September was that Cyberpunk 2077 will eventually have multiplayer. It appears as if it won’t release immediately. In their announcement CD Projekt Red said they’ll follow the game’s release with free DLC before releasing a multiplayer mode. There isn’t any further information on the nature of a multiplayer component at the moment, so it’s up for conjecture until more details become available. The fact CD Projekt Red are waiting until later to release it however suggests that (hopefully) the multiplayer part will be more polished and rewarding. No player wants a multiplayer mode to be released at launch if it’s broken and unfulfilling.
Much to everyone’s delight, the official cinematic trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 revealed at Microsoft’s E3 conference showed that the resurgent Keanu Reeves will portray Johnny Silverhand in the game. Little is known about Silverhand except that he is V’s guide to Night City, and a digital ghost. His exact role in gameplay is not clear but he will appear as a hologram occasionally and also comment on the player’s actions in-game. It’s a safe guess that Silverhand is vital to the plot of Cyberpunk 2077 however, and gameplay decisions can lead to him becoming your enemy or your ally. It was also announced that because of his importance to Cyberpunk 2077’s story, there are no relationship options for his character.
NetWatch versus Voodoo Boys
Some of Cyberpunk 2077’s background lore was featured in the latest deep dive video, focusing on the relationship between NetWatch and the Haitian gang, the Voodoo Boys. NetWatch acts as the police force of the internet, stopping people from getting past the blackwall, a wall set up to hold back A.I.s from penetrating and causing chaos. The Voodoo Boys are one of the main gangs featured in Cyberpunk 2077 and can be found in Pacifica among the large Haitian community. Their goal is to break down the blackwall and free the A.I.s from behind the wall. The Voodoo Boys believe that unleashing the free A.I.s can help them further defy their boundaries. This conflict forms the basis of the mission featured in the deep dive video, which highlights different ways that V can approach gameplay.
The April release of Cyberpunk 2077 beckons closer with every day. While this guide hasn’t been exhaustive of every detail in the game, hopefully it has shed enough light on the main aspects of Cyberpunk 2077 that are most anticipated. It is sure to be a powerful and influential game, however it turns out. Announced back in 2012, it’s been a long time coming, and as a CD Projekt Red fan, I simply cannot wait.