There has been a ton of waiting and simmering anticipation for the release of CD Projekt Red’s boundary-pushing RPG/first-person-shooter Cyberpunk 2077. With an initial release projection of April 19, the game has been pushed back to September 17 and now (fingers crossed)… November 19, 2020.
With an open world that far exceeds the map size of CD Projekt Red’s Witcher 3, the dimensions of Cyberpunk 2077 really set the bar high for their engineering team.
The neon-dystopian-punk-narrative follows the same timeline of the legendary RPG board games Cyberpunk 2013 and Cyberpunk 2045. Only this time around, the dark and dangerous intrigue and action will be complemented by one Keanu Reeves – the man behind Neo and John Wick – now cloaked (and upgraded) as Night City’s Johnny Silverhand.
Cyberpunk 2077 is already available to pre-order on Steam.
The History of Cyberpunk 2077
Fans following the development of Cyberpunk 2077 must have a strong stomach because the rollercoaster ride has been a little nauseating. The game developers began sharing the idea with the public way back in 2013 after showing a brief, spellbinding trailer.
Of course, it caught the attention and drool of gamers worldwide, but the clouds soon darkened. A long winter of silence chilled the feverish anticipation surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 – the project went dark for five years without any new content and barely any word from CD Projekt Red.
Then out of the ashes, a second teaser-trailer was released at the 2018 E3 Expo. Apparently the project had needed further incubation in the steaming forge of CD Projekt Red’s development team. The people understood – something THIS revolutionary needs a good amount of time in the oven.
In March 2018, a new CD Projekt Red studio opened up in Wroclaw to double-down on production. That October, they adopted a partnership with Canadian studio Digital Scapes, who had worked on the incredible Dying Light. Then in June 2019, Cyberpunk 2077 partnered with Nvidia to incorporate ray-tracing in real time. Ray-tracing ascends video graphics to the next level and allows developers to consider things like enhanced reflections and other advanced lighting effects.
The following 2019 E3 Expo revealed a third trailer and the following summer CD Projekt Red streamed 48 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay through Twitch. At this stage, the final release date was set to April 19th, 2020. Goading on fan disgruntlement, the date was pushed to September 17th. Now it’s November 19th but hey – at least we’re getting it.
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A Cyberpunk-tailored Musical Score
The musical score for Cyberpunk 2077 is peppered with chart-topping artists including Refused, Run the Jewels, A$AP Rocky, Gazelle Twin, Ilan Rubin, Richard Devine, Nina Kraviz, Deadly Hunta, Rat Boy, and Tina Guo. Dream-pop sensation Grimes not only contributes to the game’s custom playlist, she is also featured as Cyberpunk character Lizzy Wizzy. Grimes leaked her affiliation with the game in a now-deleted livestream:
“I did my voice acting for Lizzy Wizzy, that game is going to be fucking good. I mean I haven’t played it, but I saw someone play an hour of the game. The game was fantastic, and I play a pop star who committed suicide on stage, and they had to quickly come and preform emergency surgery and replace her whole body with cybernetics while she was dead for an hour and then she finished the show as a cyborg. One of the greatest pieces of performance art ever made.”
Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Preview
Many of the favorite characters from the original board game grace the storyline as NPCs and the main character “V” is entirely customizable. There are three life paths to choose from: Nomad, Corporate, or Street Kid. The life path you select will alter V’s backstory, starting point, interactions with other characters, and relationship with Jackie – the romantic sidestory.
The game presents many of the different classes of characters found in the board game, but the main character is limited to three: Netrunner, Techie, or Solo. Netrunners are hackers, Techies are crafting specialists, and Solos are lone mercenaries. The character class will alter V’s skills and approaches to each mission. The class system is very fluid. You can start out specializing in one class or mix classes together. Over the course of the game, you can develop skills that define you as a whole new hybrid or specialized class.
There is a range of weapons from melee – the mantis-like sword arms from the trailer – to high-tech guns with smart tracking bullets that can pierce through walls. Upgrades like subdermal grips can increase the damage of your gun, or implants that allow V to shoot around corners, Wanted style. Similar to Watch Dogs, you can zoom in on objects and analyze the environment using a Kiroshi Optical Implant. There is even a brutal feature of hacking your enemy’s brain until it turns to soup.
Your skill in combat will be determined by which implants and augmentations you have, but there is a risk of developing cyberpsychosis – which doesn’t sound pleasant – if too many new implants are installed.
There are two ways to gain XP in Cyberpunk 2077. Experience points are gained by progressing through the main storyline. Street cred is earned by completing side missions for Vendors and Fixers. The developers said that there will be multiple endings to the story, and gameplay can continue on after completion.
Initially, Cyberpunk 2077 will be released to Xbox One, PS4, and PC, so you can jump right on that Steam pre-order now! With any luck, the game will be available through Google Stadia before the end of 2020. Cyberpunk 2077 will also be released for Xbox Series X and Playstation 5. CD Projekt Red also promises that you will get an upgrade to the respective next generation console edition for free if you purchase the game for Xbox One or PS4.
November 19 is fast approaching. Soon after summer, the true measure of CD Projext Red’s promises will come to pass. The gameplay witnessed so far has captivated audiences and has the potential to plug consumers into the story as if cybernetically. At the very least, Cyberpunk 2077 will relieve a massive load of frustrated anticipation.