Wake up, Samurai. It’s time to enter Night City. The long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077, the next open-world RPG video game from CD Projekt Red (makers of the award-winning The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), is coming very soon. And we here at Inverse want you to be prepared.
Because a game as big as Cyberpunk 2077 can be overwhelming to comprehend, consider this guide the Virgil to your gaming Dante. Keep checking back frequently as we'll update this page with everything you need to know.
What is Cyberpunk 2077?
First revealed to the public in 2013, Cyberpunk 2077 is a sprawling science fiction RPG that will be released for PCs and consoles in 2020. Based on the 1988 tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, the game takes place in a near-future dystopia where body modifications are common and crime runs rampant.
Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City, a crime-ridden city in the Free State of California. Players take control of "V," a mercenary deeply embedded in the underworld of Night City. "V" is customisable to the player's choosing, allowing them to be any gender and have any skin tone. Their backgrounds and combat styles are also up to the player's preference, from brute force strength or crippling the advantage of opponents with advanced hacking.
It was at Xbox’s E3 2019 presentation where CD Projekt Red unveiled the game's most prolific cast member: Keanu Reeves. As the mysterious “Johnny Silverhand,” a hard rocker for the fictional band SAMURAI, Johnny Silverhand helps V accomplish their quests but has his own agenda as well.
Below is the official synopsis for Cyberpunk 2077 via the game’s website:
“Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.”
In an August 2019 "Deep Dive" video on YouTube, the game's creators said: "In the world of Cyberpunk, few things go as planned. Every decision you make will have consequences. Your choices will shape how the world reacts to you and affect your relationships with those around you."
When will Cyberpunk 2077 be released?
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on September 17, 2020. The game was previously scheduled to be released on April 16 but was delayed several more months in January as CD Projekt Red opted to refine the game.
What consoles can I play Cyberpunk 2077?
The game will be released on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google’s new streaming platform, Google Stadia. Click here to learn more about Google Stadia. The game will also be playable on the upcoming Xbox Series X, the powerful new console from Xbox coming later this year. Those who purchase the game on Xbox One are eligible to also play on Xbox Series X for free via Microsoft's "Smart Delivery" feature.
What are the artistic influences of Cyberpunk 2077?
Artistic influences for the game run the gamut of urban noir sci-fi, including Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner, Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime Akira, the Ghost in the Shell franchise, and literary authors like William Gibson (author of 1984’s Neuromancer) and Bruce Sterling (the Mirrorshades anthology).
Amusingly, Gibson tweeted about Cyberpunk 2077 last summer, criticizing it for being “a generic 80s retro-future.”
What regions of Cyberpunk 2077 can I explore?
There are several regions in Night City you can explore as you continue through the game. Those regions are:
- Westbrook: A tourist-oriented Japantown, Westbrook is for the wealthy who like to play as hard as they work.
- Heywood: A massive suburban district. To live here means you've made it, but that doesn't mean you've escaped the darkness that lurks in Night City.
- Pacifica: Abandoned, crumbling, and overrun with gang activity, Pacifica is the textbook definition of impoverished. It was once primed to be a lavish tourist center, but as corporations pulled out, the neighborhood was left unfinished. Towering, incomplete skyscrapers are now home to all sorts of nefarious activity.
- Santo Domingo: All of Night City is powered from here, with its power plants and industrial factories.
- Watson: A uniquely Asian-centered location, cultures mix here with markets, bazaars, and plenty of alleyways to get lost in.
- City Center: Where it all happens in Night City. This is where all of the corporations are located and there’s plenty of neon and luxury to lure you in.
- The Badlands: Venture beyond Night City and you’ll find yourself in the Badlands, where the remnants of the past lie buried in dirt. Beware the Nomads who roam in dangerous vehicles across the Badlands.
What are the gangs of Night City in Cyberpunk 2077?
On Twitter, CD Projekt Red introduced the gangs and factions of Night City in a series of tweets. The lot of them are characterized by specific ethnicities and use of specific enhancements. Thus far, a handful have been revealed and with more likely on the way.
- Tyger Claws: A Japanese gang who are "ruthless and violent in practice, and intimidating in appearance. Katanas, street bikes, and luminous tattoos are their trademarks."
- Kang-Tao: A Chinese corporation "specializing in smart-gun technology and security services." One of the few gangs to have government backing.
- Valentinos: One of Night City's largest, Valentinos are characterized by "a strong moral code and century-old traditions." They control predominantly Latinx areas of Heywood.
- Animals: An "aggressive" street fighter gang in Pacifica that choose natural, animal supplements over cyberware. "They’re animalistic at heart, and dangerously proud of who they are."
Where can I watch the trailer for Cyberpunk 2077?
Several trailers for the game are available to watch online.
The most recent video for Cyberpunk 2077 is a video titled “Deep Dive,” a14-minute exploration of a single mission players can complete in the game. CD Projekt Red warns the video contains light spoilers. You can watch it below.
At E3 2018, CD Projekt Red released a lengthy 48-minute gameplay demo, which you can watch in the embed below. The game has likely undergone significant changes from its premiere nearly two years ago, but it is the longest single look at the game at the moment.
A year later at E3 2019, CD Projekt Red released a new trailer emphasizing the game's story. The end of the trailer revealed Keanu Reeves as Johnny, who acts as the player's guide — and possible enemy — and exists only in V's brain chips.
What features can I expect in Cyberpunk 2077?
Cyberpunk 2077 is all about freedom of choice afforded to players. From the making of V to the branching narrative that unfolds based on specific choices, the world of Cyberpunk 2077 is a techno-oyster.
In addition to V's appearance, players can tweak V’s personality and abilities. Because it's based on a tabletop RPG game, players are able to improve stats such as Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Reflexes, Tech, and Cool. Changing these aspects of V will change how NPCs (non-playable characters) react towards V.
There will also be an option for getting V in romantic relationships. Quest designer Patrick Mills had this to say about CD Projekt Red’s approach to letting V fall in love during an interview with Game Informer:
“You’re defining your own character here, which means defining their sexuality any way you want. With Geralt [in The Witcher], you had a character whose sexuality was very well defined by the novels and the short stories and the previous games. But in this one, it’s up to you to decide. We’ve got NPCs that are gay, we’ve got NPCs that are bi, we’ve got NPCs that are straight, because we want them to feel real and that they have preferences as well.”
So, why does this game have Keanu Reeves?
Why shouldn't it have Keanu Reeves?
In short, the actor was approached by developers CD Projekt Red in July 2018. "They showed me a short demo and introduced me to the idea of playing the character Johnny Silverhand," Reeves said in a June 2019 interview with IGN. "It sounded great to me."
Reeves admitted he doesn't know much about the lore of the character or his fate, as much as kept under wraps even from him by the developers. But the star of The Matrix and John Wick reportedly contributed creative ideas that allowed Johnny to be "more complex and relatable." The actor also enjoyed his role so much that he asked to do double the work he initially signed up for.
In a 2019 interview with GameSpot, senior level designer Miles Tost said the developers were inspired by Reeves' roles in sci-fi, cyberpunk movies like Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and the influential Wachowski Siblings film The Matrix (1999) as reasons for approaching Reeves. "The roles he's been playing really fit," Tost said, "[it was] a very natural match made in heaven."
"For me I was attracted to the storytelling," Reeves said. "Not just choose your own end, but choose your own path. I thought that was cool. There's so many games ... this one is kind of like your own private cinematic experience. It's almost literature in a way."
Reeves added, "And I am part of [the player's] journey."
Where can I see images of Cyberpunk 2077?
The game's official website contains a bevy of hi-res images that reveal exactly what kind of world players will immerse themselves. You can view a handful of them below.
What rating will Cyberpunk 2077 have?
In North America, Cyberpunk 2077 has not yet been rated by the ESRB. But you can almost guarantee the game will be rated M for Mature.
In Brazil, the country's game rating board classified the game as "18+," with a laundry list of things that gave the game such a rating. The rating included items like "Description of consume of illicit drugs," "Foul language," "Description of illicit drug consumption or trafficking," "Sexual exploitation," "Nudity," "Prostitution," "Mutilation," "Intense sexual relation," "Cruelty," and of course, "Blood." And there's still more. All in all, sounds like a good time!
In response, the game's lead quest designer Pawel Sasko tweeted, "You surprised? We don't fuck around."
What's the significance of music in Cyberpunk 2077?
Music plays a significant part of the Cyberpunk 2077 experience. Real-world musicians Run the Jewels, Grimes, A$AP Rocky, Ilan Rubin, Deadly Hunta, Gazelle Twin, Tina Guo, Rat Boy, Refused, and more all contribute original music that create the sonic world of Night City.
At the 2019 Game Awards, Grimes debuted her song "4ÆM," made exclusive for Cyberpunk 2077. Like Reeves, Grimes also plays a character in Cyberpunk 2077 as a pop star who died and came back to "life" as a cyborg.
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released September 17, 2020 for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Google Stadia.