The utopian dystopia - forever just a day or so away... Yup, it's been delayed again, as I'm sure most people are aware, but at least we know it's all in the name of making it a better game, rather than packing it full of last-minute micro-transactions...
Still, in the meantime, we thought we'd take a proper dive into Cyberpunk 2077, and take a look at all the awesome things to come later next month when (we're hoping and praying) it finally releases.
A true tabletop RPG brought to virtual life
Now, as many of you will already know, this game is going to be huge - trying to cover everything that will be part of the final product would take pages and pages of me waffling on. So instead, we're going to cover the "basics" of Cyberpunk 2077, as well as get just a little bit excited for some of the coolest stuff we'll be seeing from the hard-working folks at CDPR.
At the most fundamental level, Cyberpunk 2077 does a fantastic job of taking its source material and truly elevating it into the digital realms, staying true to the lore and using artistic and creative license to expand it even further within its new virtual medium. In effect, this game is possibly the closest any has come to recreating a "true to the tabletop" experience, attempting to maintain everything from the original game that made it so great. That being the very heart of what makes any RPG brilliant, and to some extent, exactly what CDPR gave us in The Witcher 3 - a sense of total freedom, and a world with depth and consistency, which feels full and alive, ready for players to dive into. And that's exactly what CDPR appears to have achieved once again...
An open approach to every element of gameplay
From what we've seen so far in gameplay footage and trailers, plus various interviews and videos covering the title, it's become more and more apparent that Cyberpunk 2077 is a great recreation of the table top game, and especially so when it comes to freedom of choice and customisation.
For example, when it comes to your own character, there will be a level of customisation that puts many other titles of similar genres to shame, with the ability to tweak just about every part of your physical appearance, from head-to-toe. You'll even be able to choose your dress-style from a range of different clothing items that can be found throughout the game, all of which will affect both your combat resistances and how other characters will view you (otherwise referred to as your "street-cred") - think of it as a mix of GTA:V and, say, Fallout: New Vegas. GTA:V gave us an extensive range of outfits to choose from, giving us the ability to make our character really standout in a crowd (or blend in, if you preferred), but in New Vegas, there was a rudimentary Faction Outfit system in place, which would give you access to areas you might not be able to get to otherwise, or else allow you to be seen as more (or less) likeable to certain NPCs. Combine the two, and that's sort of how the clothing system will work in Cyberpunk 2077.
Vehicles are also looking to be another element of the game which will give you some options. Though there won't be any vast customisation options comparable to GTA:V, there will be quite a variety of different models and classes of vehicles. Ranging from the compact, low-end economy class cars all the way up to super exotic racers and high-end executive rides, there's a transport choice for everyone and anyone, if you have the cash. You'll even be able to opt for nimble motorcycles or colossal, industrial-grade trucks if you feel like it. Plus, much like our trusty old Roach in The Witcher, you'll be able to summon your chosen whip at any time, to pretty much wherever you are in Night City - very useful indeed. Of course, just like weapon skins in shooters, you'll also be able to unlock rare versions of different vehicles, through quests and gang affiliations too. Combine your insatiable taste for fashion and an unhealthy obsession to hoard cars and motorcycles, and you too can become some kind of Cyberpunk Ralph Lauren.
And of course, what good is all of those cars if you don't need to get around? Well-known and honestly completely expected from the get-go, Cyberpunk 2077 will be entirely open-world, and you'll be able to stumble upon just about anything at any given moment. CDPR have stated that they were attempting to create a very organic and dynamic experience, one which feels incredibly natural - in short, they want players to feel like they exist within the world, rather than it simply being one which revolves around them. What this means for gameplay is a complete freedom to choose where you go and when, as well as which quests you pick up, and which you ignore. You could be cruising down a backroad in Japantown, on your way to grab some food with an NPC for one quest, only to have your Fixer (a sort of contract broker) call you and say there's a gang deal going down nearby, and they need your unique skillset to make sure it goes favourably for the Tyger Claws. Whether you do it or not, that'll be up to you, and you may find that consequences follow suit.
Shoot, sneak, speak, hack - conflict, how you like it
Another freedom in Cyberpunk 2077, and much like other RPG titles including The Witcher 3, how you handle combat scenarios will be down to your own skill, wit and unique approach to any situation. You might decide that a potential fight could be lethal, so try to talk you way out of it before it even begins. Perhaps the foes you'll face are looking pretty squishy, so a purely aggressive, full-frontal assault would be the best approach. Or maybe there's some delicate matters at hand, which require a more technical, nuanced angle of attack, making use of stealth and subterfuge to take out targets before they even know you're there. Ultimately, however you tackle combat in Cyberpunk 2077, you'll be able to lean into your own strengths and favoured style of gameplay, without ever feeling like there was only one way to go in, and one way to come out. And not just tactically speaking either. There have been multiple reports pointing out that environments in Cyberpunk 2077 are all very purposefully designed to allow multiple routes in and out of different areas, with particular places designed specially to allow characters with different builds to take advantage of any abilities they may have invested in. So unlike some games were certain options are very cool but also total no-go's due to their limited viability, in theory, for Cyberpunk 2077, every choice made for a given ability will have actual implications on how you play out the next encounter.
This sort of gameplay design and philosophy is supported by the wide array of weapons and Cyberware that will be available to the player too. Weapons will fall under four overarching categories, Melee, Power, Energy and Smart, and these inform the type of experience any given weapon will offer. Smart weapons, for example, are able to shoot enemies that aren't within your line-of-sight by using guided ammunition, whilst Energy weapons are akin to Railgun technologies, capable of punching through solid cover. Power weapons on the other hand, are some of the most common but equally some of the punchiest weapons in the game, dealing particularly high damage in CQB. Meanwhile, melee weapons will give a much "cleaner" and stripped down CQB experience, allowing for more finesse and manoeuvrability, and potentially more effective stealth capabilities. These weapon types are also provided by a variety of different manufacturers who bring their own unique spin to each different weapon (think like the OG Mass Effect), all of which will also be able to be modified with a range of attachments.
Then you'll have Cyberware to choose from as well. It wouldn't be Cyberpunk without it, and is probably one of the more anticipated elements of gameplay. Much like weapons, the Cyberware you choose will help streamline your character builds and offer increased combat effectiveness, or even allow you to weaponize your own body, such as with the frequently showcased Mantis Blades. It'll also aid in more roleplay specific areas, such as translator chips that will allow you to understand dialogue encounters you might otherwise be unable to participate in - many NPCs will speak their native languages, and to build authenticity into the experience, CDPR decided not to translate with subtitles. So unless you actually speak the language in question, or else have the translator chip, you'll be severely limited on the diplomacy front. It's a unique twist, and one that'll certainly offer plenty of replayability.
Vivid characters, gangs and organisations
Speaking of replayability, Night City will feature a pretty exhaustive number of gangs, all with their own agendas, territories and alliances. You'll be able to interact with all of them at some level or another, but as your relations improve with one particular gang, don't expect the rest to remain friendly.
Gang affiliations and relations will also be affected by how you start out in Night City - to begin the game you'll be picking one of three potential origin stories; Street Kid, Nomad or Corpo. These starting points will change who your character is friendly with from the off-set, as well as any potential rivalries too. For example, going down the Street Kid path will have you on good terms with a gang known as the Valentinos, a sort of Mafia style group with a strong sense of family and strict moral codes. You'll also have access to certain actions and responses in some dialogues, that reflect your knowledge and experience of living and working in the suburban and ghetto areas of Night City.
Depth of a focused experience > vast empty spaces
What all of this ties into is essentially CDPR actively seeking to avoid the notion of "a mile wide but an inch deep." We've briefly mentioned GTA:V once or twice, and that's largely due to it being often used as a point of comparison on the open-world front; the world map of Cyberpunk 2077 will only be around the size of the city of Los Santos itself, making it significantly smaller than GTA's entire map. But the difference between the two is in the depth of the experience on offer, as well as how populated and alive the city areas, and more broadly speaking, the whole map feels. Night City will be absolutely crammed full of NPCs and events, with many of the buildings offering complete exploration, which also gives the world much more verticality than other open-world titles. Even the Badlands (the areas surrounding Night City) will be populated with the outcast Nomad groups that live there, as well as other areas of interest like the various oil and solar industries that power Night City.
Brain what now?
Another element of exploration in Cyberpunk 2077 will also come in the form of the so-called Braindance, a sort of ultra-futuristic VR type experience that allows users to step into a pre-recorded "scene," and live it for themselves, able to see, hear, feel, smell and touch everything within it. Though largely used for recreation and rehabilitation in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe, for players, the Braindance will act as a form of tool for gathering information and insight into various NPCs and quests. You'll be able to analyse these scenes using the "editor," revealing hidden parties or objects that weren't apparent at the time. Checkout the clip below which will give you a solid insight into the possibilities that Braindances will offer the player...
What about modding support and multiplayer functionality?
Not surprising at all, many have already started asking whether Cyberpunk 2077 will support modding and multiplayer functionalities. Though they won't be supported on release, CDPR have seemingly confirmed that both could well be coming to Cyberpunk 2077. Well, sort of.
Modding support will likely be implemented in a similar way to how it was in Witcher 3, with the relevant tools being made available to modders who can then upload their work to sites like Nexus, but likely won't be arriving until after several DLCs have been released. Meanwhile, multiplayer sounds like it may well be a separate title completely, rather than an add-on mode you can jump into from the main menu, and again, won't be around anytime soon, with some reports saying its arrival could be as late as 2022.
Of course, these are both things that are a little way off yet, if they're to come in the end at all, but it's nice to know they are at least under consideration and in the works, and that CDPR are keeping an ear out for things fans might like to see in the future.
When's it coming and what do you need?
Last but by no means least, we thought we'd talk release dates and specs, since both are indeed very important.
As for specs, CDPR have officially announced the minimum and recommended requirements which are as follows:
If your system isn't quite looking up to spec, then you can check out our full range of GPUs and CPUs here, as well as our Custom-built Gaming PCs designed especially for Cyberpunk 2077, and our newly revitalised Reign Gaming PCs too.
Sadly, Cyberpunk was delayed once again this year, pushing what was thought to be the finalised release date of November 19th back to December 10th. This has left many concerned that the date could well shift again, pushing the release into the new year. But I don't think this is a likely scenario. From the reports on the delay so far, and given the marketing push from CDPR in the lead up to the November release date, it's clear the delay was a very last-minute decision, and one that would not have come easily to those at the helm. Multiple trailers, many billboards and London bus vinyl were touting the November release date, as well as numerous tweets from the official Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account, which isn't something that would happen if the delay had been planned. Equally, CDPR representatives have now confirmed that the delay came as the result of inconsistencies in platform versions, which would all need to be rectified before the game's release.
Still, the delay is only an additional 3 weeks on top of what has been years of development, and if it means everyone will get to experience the joys of this fantastic looking game together, then so be it.
Ultimately this will just mean an even more polished experience than what was already on offer, and hey, it's just in time for the Christmas holidays, so no doubt it'll be the only thing anyone plays over those two weeks!
What are you looking forward to from Cyberpunk 2077? Any particular features? The lore? Join in on the hype and let us know down in the comments below.