Following on from the wild success of The Witcher 3 isn’t going to be easy but with Cyberpunk 2077, we think CD Projekt Red might have a pretty good shot at it. In this new IP they’re moving from the gritty, high fantasy world of the Continent to the gritty, science fiction word of a neon cyberpunk metropolis.
This game looks like it’s going to offer a significant aesthetic refresh from The Witcher 3, but hopefully without abandoning everything we loved about it in terms of gameplay, themes and tone. Of course, at the moment we don’t know all that much about Cyberpunk 2077.
The internet is crawling with news and rumors, though, so we’ve collected everything that's been said about the game here for your convenience and we'll be constantly updating this page as more details emerge.
Cut to the Chase
- What is it? A brand new IP from CD Projekt Red, the studio behind The Witcher 3
- When can I play it? There’s no official release date but 2019 seems likely
- What will it play on? PS4, Xbox One and PC and we’d expect the 4K console iterations too
Trailer and screenshots
After an extremely short title reveal trailer, in 2013 we were treated to a more than two minute long teaser trailer although it didn't reveal much about what will be in the actual game.
It did, however, capture Cyberpunk's futuristic setting incredibly well and let us know that when it comes we can expect something dark, dangerous and visually stunning. At the end it also looks like we get a look at the Braindance technology discussed further down.
In the game’s official teaser trailer it’s stated that the game will be coming “when it’s ready.” But for now it appears that CD Projekt Red is hoping that will be sometime in early 2019.
In an investor call in early 2016 it was suggested that Cyberpunk 2077 would be released before June 2019. It was also said in this call that CD Projekt Red is planning to release two new triple A RPGs before 2021.
It was later clarified in forums that Cyberpunk 2077 would be the first of these games to arrive and work on the second would not start before Cyberpunk 2077 was finished.
Considering The Witcher 3 took around three and a half years to develop, a 2019 release doesn’t seem unmanageable for the studio.
As well as a deadline they’ve no doubt set for themselves, the studio also has a deadline from the Polish government.
In December of last year they were given a grant of more than $5 million from the government to research new game techniques related to multiplayer, animation and city creation. The sizable sum came with a project deadline attached and if it does relate to Cyberpunk 2077 it’ll mean the game really does have to be released in 2019. The government said so, which ironically isn’t particularly Cyberpunk.
News and features
It’s going to be bigger than The Witcher 3
It would have been a pretty safe guess to say that Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a big game, but in an interview with MCV in 2015 visual effects artist Jose Teixeira said it’s going to be “far, far bigger” than anything the studio has ever done.
In fact, he said that The Witcher 3 was being treated as a learning experience and that they could do better. To do better, the studio has doubled in size with studio head Adam Badowski saying that after The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 needs to be “even better, even bigger, even more revolutionary” than what had originally been planned.
You’ll be travelling on more advanced tech than boats and horses
So, we know the game map is going to be intimidatingly big. How will we get around it, then? Well fortunately, moving out of the high fantasy realm gives CD Projekt Red a little more freedom when it comes to creating vehicles.
Don’t expect horses and basic boats here – a job listing for a Senior Vehicle Artist for the studio said they’d be expected to work on “incredibly complex vehicles, planes, bikes, robots and mechanics.“
It’ll have a big single player story
We don’t imagine we’ll shock many people when we say this but Cyberpunk 2077 will take place in the year 2077.
Specifically CD Projekt Red has confirmed it’ll be set in a place called Night City. Night City’s streets will be huge, filthy, and invested with drug problems. As you’d expect from the Cyberpunk genre, there’ll be a huge wealth gap, where the rich and corporations preside over poverty-stricken citizens, many of whom are driven into gangs.
Desperate for escape, many of the poor residents of Night City turn to an addictive escape known as Braindance which for just a few hours allows them to feel physically and mentally like they’re someone (anyone) else.
According to CD Projekt Red they’re “digital recordings of a person’s experience. The viewer can stream a braindance directly into his neural system via special brain augmentations, called a BD player. Braindances allow the viewer to experience all brain processes registered, including emotions, muscle movements and all stimuli perceived by the recording person.”
Braindance experiences that place you in the lives of the rich and glamorous are naturally sold by corporations. However, much darker and illegal Braindances that can turn those using them into bloodthirsty killers are also distributed on the black market.
In this incredibly dark world you’ll play a young man that’s been raised in the lowest section of society but wants to make something of himself and rise out of the gutter. Like most Cyberpunk protagonists we imagine he’ll be something of an anti-hero and find himself embroiled in the criminal underworld, manipulated and forced into difficult situations. How Braindances will be used by or on the protagonist is unclear.
The game will be an RPG like The Witcher 3 and videogame character progression will fit in well to Cyberpunk’s world of physical and mental augmentations.
It’s based on the Cyberpunk board games, the creator of which, Mike Pondsmith, has been working closely with the development team to ensure it stays true to the source material and doesn’t lose the Cyberpunk at its core.
This contrasts with the studio's relationship with the author of the Witcher novels, Andrzej Sapkowski, who has always been ambivalent about the games.
But there will be multiplayer elements
It was confirmed years ago that the game would have multiplayer elements but what exactly they’ll be is unclear. It was said, though, that the game would mainly focus on single player.
Considering some of the grant CD Projekt Red received from the Polish government was to go towards creating new techniques that included multiplayer experiences we’re expecting something exciting and refreshing.
Rumors and things we'd like to see
Combat inspired by the original tabletop RPG
We know that the designer of the tabletop RPG Cybperunk on which Cyberpunk 2077 is based is heavily involved in the creation of the game. We hope his involvement extends to the game's combat because the combat system he created in his own game was fairly revolutionary for the tabletop genre.
Rather than involving drawn out and long turns, it was fast, brutal, gritty and overall perfectly suited to the spirit of Cyberpunk.
A big part of Cyberpunk combat involves upgrading your body with new abilities and robotics which would be perfectly in line with a video game character development system like those created by CD Projekt Red.
In Pondsmith's game bodily enhancement has to be carefully considered –
it's a balancing act where every benefit has a drawback. When a player makes robotic additions to themselves they reduce their humanity and empathy leading to an uncontrollable state of cyberpsychosis. This has the potential to be a really interesting system if it's adapted for the game and could be used in a similar manner to excessive consumption of combat-enhancing potions in The Witcher.
Keep checking back here for all the latest Cyberpunk 2077 news