What's the deal with... Cyberpunk 2077?

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Cyberpunk 2077's release date, multiplayer details and everything else we know so far.

Cyberpunk 2077 is inching closer to reality with last week’s reminder *beep* from developers CD Projekt RED. The tabletop adaptation lit our worlds on fire in 2012 with an incredible and enigmatic CG trailer, so hopefully the five year wait will have been worth it. Here’s what we know so far about the next massive RPG from the wizards behind The Witcher.

When is Cyberpunk 2077’s release date?

The first CG trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was teased during CD Projekt RED’s 2012 summer conference. In the ensuing years, CDPR didn’t stop talking about the project, which is a good thing, but they did pour almost all their power into making The Witcher 3 and its DLC so we can’t really fault them for taking their time. Part of those interviews suggested a release window between “2017 and 2021”, with another unannounced RPG also for that window. Since Cyberpunk 2077 already has a name we’d expect it to be the first of the two to release. Which is unfortunate because a 2020 release would have tied in perfectly with its predecessor...

What type of game is Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077 has been described as an open world RPG with a “huge living city” and “seamless multiplayer”. CDPR have stressed that it will remain a single-player, story-based RPG for the most part, as this will be their first foray into multiplayer features. The multiplayer features are intended to ensure the long-term success of the game, however CDPR have been quick to quash claims of microtransactions and other shady monetisation strategies.

The game itself is based on a tabletop, pen and paper RPG called Cyberpunk – and its more popular second edition, Cyberpunk 2020. The game functioned much like you’d expect any dystopian technofuturistic take on role-playing, with skills that stem from cybernetic upgrades and a world full of megacorporations. The combat emphasised realistic lethality, so single bullet wounds could actually kill in some circumstances, we’re not sure if the video game version will be quite as unforgiving.

Where does Cyberpunk 2077 take place?

Seeing as the “when” is quite obvious, the where of Cyberpunk 2077 is a fictional megacity known as Night City. In the source book for its pen and paper predecessors, Night City is located on the US West Coast, between San Francisco and LA. Established in 1994, Night City is home to 1 million people downtown and more than 4 million in the surrounding satellite cities. Game lore positions it as The City on the Edge of Tomorrow, with advanced technology in its rapid transit systems, cross-city communication networks and a corporate center where a dozen of the world’s megacorporations are hosted.

If it’s been 50 years or so since that description, thinks could have turned a lot darker than the already seedy underbelly of the city in 2020. Mobsters ruled the overcrowded streets and by 2023 megacorps openly warred over them, too. Creator of the original RPG Mike Pondsmith has left a trail of hints about the true nature of the world in 2077, which we’ll know soon enough, but here’s how he described things at the trailer’s launch all those years ago.


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