Cyberpunk 2077 release date possibilities, gameplay reveals, and more on the Witcher studio's next big RPG

If you were hoping against hope for a surprise Cyberpunk 2077 release date sometime in 2018, the chances are looking ever more slim. But at least you can look back and savor how much we've learned about the game since the year began. Remember when all we had to be excited about was the official Twitter account going "beep"? Now we have developers going on record to talk about how the people in Cyberpunk 2077 will feel even more real than those in The Witcher 3, not to mention ever more details to extract from that lengthy gameplay demo. And though the Cyberpunk 2077 release date still evades us, at least we have some healthy speculation to keep us going.

Cyberpunk 2077's release date will take some time

The creator of the original Cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game gave some more context for where the game is in an interview over the summer: "We have an awful lot of stuff that we want to do, and it's going to take time to do it. And I'm hoping the fans are going to give us the time to do it," Mike Pondsmith said. "We need space, we need time, and we need the privacy to mull it over." And that really doesn't sound like "surprise holiday release window" material, unfortunately. 

 Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay is first-person and very slick 

If you were expecting a sci-fi flavored version of The Witcher, you may be reeling right now. But don't worry: in this case, change is a very good thing. Cyberpunk 2077 uses a first-person perspective to put players firmly in the boots of a low-level gun-for-hire on the futuristic streets of Night City, and it also works well with the game's penchant for fast-paced gunplay. That said, 2077 is far from a straight first-person shooter: dialogue bleeds seamlessly into exploration, hacking and engineering skills can get you all kinds of places you're not supposed to be, and there are even a bunch of non-lethal (or just non-gun) options for fighting. Plus, there is still a bit of third-person during scripted cut scenes and driving around the city. Keep in mind that everything we've seen so far is subject to change, but it's all very promising.

Cyberpunk 2077 screenshots from Gamescom are packing heat

CD Projekt Red used Gamescom as an opportunity to share a new set of screenshots with the world. Click that link to see the whole set, but in short, they were much more focused on characters and tense moments than the largely scene-setting images released around E3. They offered a new look at main character V's comrade in arms, Jackie Welles, who unwinds after a long day of futuristic gunfights with some relaxing acupuncture.

 Cyberpunk 2077 trailer shows life in a colorful dystopia 

The second trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 is a stark contrast to the original: it was made inside the game engine and shows scenes from all across Night City, as opposed to the first trailer which was built with CGI and took place almost entirely in one super-slow-motion moment. We see various scenes of life, spanning from a subway car to a city street to inside a corporate office, and a narrator tells us about how things kinda suck around here but people keep crowding in anyway. Turns out the narrator is our main character V, or one possible version, and things quickly escalate with scenes of big guns, aerial shootouts, and car chases. And we're officially excited. 

Cyberpunk 2077's PC specs are reasonable (so far)

The E3 demo of Cyberpunk 2077 looked really good in cramped hallways and more open areas alike. You might worry about that kind of heavily choreographed demo also running on the equivalent of a NASA supercomputer, but it turns out the PC specs were pretty reasonable - at least as far as fairly high-end gaming builds go.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K at 3.70GHz
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming
  • RAM: 32GB of G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 RAM with a speed of 3,000MHz
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti
  • Storage: Samsung 960 Pro 512GB SSD
  • PSU: Corsair SF600W power supply

We did some comparison shopping to put together a current PC build with those components and came to a price just north of $2,500. That's a lot, but keep in mind two things: 1) PC component prices drop over time as more powerful successors emerge, and 2) that was likely a very high-resolution, demanding, and most of all unoptizimed version of the game. There's a good chance that Cyberpunk 2077's minimum and even recommended PC specs will be lower than the E3 demo machine.

Cyberpunk 2077 character creation is confirmed 

I said "one possible version" before because you'll be able to create your own character as soon as you start playing Cyberpunk 2077. You'll be able to customize V's face and body in the usual cosmetic ways, but you'll also be able to make some choices that influence the story as well: your character's gender will change things a bit, moreso the background you pick for them. And there are no pre-defined classes, but you will be able to allocate your skills and abilities as you prefer. You can continue to refine and customize your character in the game proper by installing Cyberware to do all kinds of things; a few examples include augmentations that boost your reflexes or give you better tactical awareness in combat.

Cyberpunk 2077's setting is Night City

There's no other place like Night City. Located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (where the city of Morro Bay is in real life), its six districts span the socioeconomic spectrum from opulence to abject poverty. At the shining top is City Center, where the biggest corporations compete to make the most showy headquarters possible. At the grimy bottom is Pacifica, a distant part of the city that has been partially abandoned and overrun by gangs. In between are the industrial district of Santo Domingo, the tourist-friendly Westbrook, the affluent suburbs of Heywood, and the dense tangle of life and commerce that is Watson. Each zone will span a decent chunk of horizontal real estate, but CDPR says vertical exploration will be just as important. You'll need to go floor-by-floor if you want to discover every corner of Cyberpunk 2077's world.