Inverse Codex

Everything we know about Cyberpunk 2077, starting with the new release date

From its release date delays to every last leak, here's what we know about your next big time sink.

Cyberpunk 2077/YouTube.

Cyberpunk 2077 has hit another snag in the road, but gamers only need to wait a few more months until they can hit the seedy, neon-lit streets of Night City with Keanu Reeves.

CD Projekt Red's monumental role-playing title will attempt to redefine the genre with customization options players never knew they've needed, countless dialog options to mold the narrative nearly any way you see fit, and an expansive sci-fi open-world that will rival even the most cutting-edge RPGs of the time.

Eager gamers, however, will need to wait.

CDPR announced on June 18 that the Cyberpunk 2077's previously rescheduled September 17 release date will once again be pushed back. The developer's full statement can be read below.

The Polish developer has a proven track record for releasing award-winning RPGs, like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but Cyberpunk 2077 will be a monumental change of gears. The developer has forged a reputation of excellence, but it has long been a one-trick pony. All of its past major releases have been a part of The Witcher series, but now it's looking to new horizons.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be unlike anything CDPR has created before and based on everything the company has teased so far, it will also blow the minds of gamers around the world.

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 customizable 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 CDPR 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."

In 'Cyberpunk 2077,' players take control of V, a mercenary who wanders the crowded streets of Night City. V is fully customizable, including their appearance and personality.CD Projekt Red

When will Cyberpunk 2077 be released?

Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on November 18, 2020. On June 18, CDPR announced it would be pushing back the game's already-delayed release date two months from September 17. The company is not fully satisfied with the quality of the game so far and asked fans for extra time to bring it up to its standards.

Here's CDPR's full statement on this second delay:

The game was originally slated for release on April 16, but that was delayed to September 17 in January to give the developer more time to fully polish the title. That seems to have taken a bit longer than anticipated.

What consoles can I play Cyberpunk 2077 on?

The game will launch on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on the Google game streaming platform, Stadia.

Microsoft announced that Cyberpunk 2077 will also be playable on the Xbox Series X on the console’s release date sometime in November. This is thanks to the Series X’s Smart Delivery feature that lets gamers seamlessly play specific games they’ve purchased on the Xbox One on the Series X. But Cyberpunk’s relationship with the PS5 is a bit murkier.

Sony unveiled what the PS5 will look like and showcase an early roster of exclusive games for the next-generation console, but Cyberpunk 2077 was never mentioned. Eurogamer reported that Sony has told its developers that any game submitted to launch on the PS4 by July 13 must also be compatible on the PS5. Since Cyberpunk 2077’s release date is now in September, this would apply to CDRP.

But with no confirmation from the developer or Sony, Keanu Reeves’ future on the PS5 is up in the air.

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, CDRP 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.

One is a video titled “Deep Dive,” a 14-minute exploration of a single mission players can complete in the game. CDPR warns the video contains light spoilers. You can watch it below.

A year later at E3 2019, CDPR 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.

How will the Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay be like?

If cinematics and lore aren't enough for you, don't worry.

CDPR released two new gameplay trailers on June 25. The first is titled "The Gig," which showcases some of Cyperpunk 2077's prologue that revealed the opening scenes of the game will feature V (players' custom character) wrapped up in a heist for a bio-chip that doesn't exactly go according to plan.

The second is a much lengthier gameplay snippet that shows off "braindance" gameplay. This futuristic technology lets players jack into other characters' memories and analyze their past actions to gather clues and insights on other inhabitants of Night City.

CDPR hasn't confirmed anything yet, but there's a hint in the trailer that suggests players will be able to braindance into Keanu Reeves' head.

During E3 2018, CDPR debuted a 48-minute gameplay demo, which you can watch below. This was still early days for the game so it 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.

What kind of customization should I expect in Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077 will offer players a level of customization never before seen in other RPGs. Certain game publications and content creators have received hands-on time with the early hours of CDPR's upcoming title and have confirmed that the introductory character customization menu comes with an endless array of options.

Kotaku listed out all of the body and face customizations that will be available to gamers:

  • 6 skin types
  • 35 hairstyles
  • 17 eye types
  • 8 eyebrows, 17 mouths
  • 17 jaws
  • 17 ears
  • 8 bits of "cyberware" and the option to not dawn any
  • 8 types of scars
  • 6 types of face tattoos
  • 11 piercings
  • 5 types of teeth
  • 8 eye make up options
  • 5 lip makeup options
  • 3 blemishes
  • 3 types of nipples
  • 5 types of body tattoos
  • 2 types of body scars

But that's not all. Players will even be able to customize the size, shape, and hairiness of their genitals.

There will be 2 types of penises with varying size options, 1 vagina option, and 5 types of pubic hair to choose from.

An early version of the customization menu in 'Cyberpunk 2077'. The finalized version may differ.CDPR

What other 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 CDPR’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 CDPR 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.

'Cyberpunk 2077' is an immersive open-world RPG set in a future dystopia inspired by movies like 'Blade Runner' and 'Akira.'CD Projekt Red
Night City is a polluted place ridden with crime, and players get to explore its depths.CD Projekt Red
Players are accompanied by "Johnny Silverhand" (Keanu Reeves), the rock superstar of the band SAMURAI who lives in V's brain. The developers tease that Johnny can become your best friend or your worst enemy based on how you play the game.CD Projekt Red
Night City can be a dangerous place if you're not careful.CD Projekt Red
Like we said: Dangerous.CD Projekt Red
'Cyberpunk 2077' envisions a world where body modifications through technology aren't just possible, but common.CD Projekt Red
At its core, 'Cyberpunk 2077' is a first-person shooter, but the interactivity, immersion, narrative, and improving stat blocks also make it a comprehensive role-playing game.CD Projekt Red
The world of 'Cyberpunk 2077' is all about failed promises. Neighborhoods in Night City were built to become utopias. But political and economic strife left the city in ruins. CD Projekt Red
It isn't hard to see artistic influences like 'Akira' in 'Cyberpunk 2077.'CD Projekt Red
Nice jacket.CD Projekt Red

What rating will Cyberpunk 2077 have?

CDPR has never shied away from making its games as horny, grizzly, and crass as humanity possible with titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Cyberpunk 2077 is proving to be no different.

It narrowly dodged the dreaded "AO for Adult Only" rating from the ESRB and was instead was rated "M for Mature" in May. But don't worry, it won't be lacking any explicit scenes.

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.

In Cyberpunk 2077, Refused performs as the fictional band SAMURAI, V's favorite band led by Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand. Two songs have been released: "Chippin' In" and "Never Fade Away."

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 November 18, 2020 for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Google Stadia.