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Cyberpunk 2077: Release date, post-launch multiplayer, and everything we know

The Cyberpunk 2077 release date is growing ever closer, which is some solace for the colder weather (assuming you live in the northern hemisphere). Only the winter and most of the spring stand between us and our grand debut onto the streets of Night City. That's a nice thought, but somehow one that also makes the wait seem all the longer. But while we're twiddling our thumbs and wishing they were cybernetically modified, we can look back at all of the inside looks and insight we've been given into Cyberpunk 2077 over the last year. There's no better place to start than with that big E3 2019 (later a rad making-of video of the same trailer), and roll on through extended gameplay, which you can watch above.

Once you've taken in your fill of the new gameplay presentation, you can keep rolling with a bunch of new screenshots: there are looks at the dialog system, combat, and even a slick new car perfect for burning up the streets of Night City. We also got to pick the brains of a CD Projekt Red producer about Cyberpunk 2077's map size (it's all about the density). Did I mention that it's coming to Google Stadia? There are plenty more details on the game to go over, including the all-important Cyberpunk 2077 release date. Let's take a look.

Cyberpunk 2077's release is set for April 2020

We'd only been waiting since, oh, 2012 to find out when we could play CD Projekt Red's take on the Cyberpunk universe, and now we know. The Cyberpunk 2077 release date will arrive on April 16, 2020. For the CD Projekt Red fans out there, that's just under five years after The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt first came out in May 2015. Cancel all of your plans for the rest of April, maybe May and June too. You know what, you'd better just block out the whole summer.

Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer is coming, eventually

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer was one of those rumors that flitted in and out of the realm of probability, based on grant applications with the Polish government and a few developer comments. It finally slammed right into the realm of "confirmed but not scheduled" in early September, as CD Projekt Red says it plans to add "some multiplayer action" to the game after it puts out some free DLC and other single-player content. That means we could be waiting a while, but the studio is officially on record - we're going to enjoy some Night City shenanigans with friends, at some point and in some capacity.

Cyberpunk 2077 DLC will be Witcher-like

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Before multiplayer comes around, you can expect Cyberpunk 2077's DLC model taking a similar path as The Witcher 3.  That means there will be a good amount of free updates that add onto the game in the weeks and months following its arrival, and after that there will be bigger - likely paid - expansions that expand the world while moving V's story in new directions. At least, that's what it sounds like so far. CD Projekt Red could always change its mind on the details, even if we have a pretty good idea of the big picture.

 Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay is first-person and very slick 

We got a fresh infusion of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay in August 2019, but you can still go back to the extensive preview CD Projekt Red first showed off at E3 2018. 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 trailers shows life in a colorful dystopia 

The second trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was 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. 

The third trailer took things in a darker direction. Let it be a reminder to you: the only person you should trust in Night City is yourself... and that's only if your brain hasn't been hacked recently.

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 presentation 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.