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Cyberpunk 2077: New release date, first hands-on, and Night City Wire details

The Cyberpunk 2077 release date is still set for November, but our first hands-on preview with the game has somehow made the wait for it feel even longer. On top of reading Sam Loveridge's impressions from her time with the first four hours of the game, you can also check out everything we learned from the first Night City Wire livestream. The event revealed a new trailer, new gameplay, and even an anime series coming to Netflix in 2022, and CD Projekt Red says the next episode is coming in just a few weeks.

While we wait for the next episode to arrive, there are plenty more details to pore over. We have an early look at the Cyberpunk 2077 map, Cyberpunk 2077 classes, the cast and characters of Cyberpunk 2077, and more. On top of that, a ratings leak from the ESRB details the explicit content you'll encounter in Night City, and to be fair, CD Projekt Red isn't mad about it. One developer took the opportunity to remind fans that they "don't f$@% around." Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One owners will also get the Xbox Series X version for free "when available." 

If that doesn't get you excited enough to score a Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order then we don't know what will!

Cyberpunk 2077's release is set for November 19

Formerly set for April 16, 2020, then September 17, we now know that the Cyberpunk 2077 release date will fall on November 19. To be fair, we've been waiting since the project was first announced in 2012 to play Cyberpunk 2077, so a few more months probably won't kill us.

Cyberpunk 2077 new trailer sets up your first job

Your first big score in Cyberpunk 2077 sets the scene for the rest of the game, and this trailer sets the scene for that score. In a tight two minutes you're introduced to your jolly (and extremely overconfident) friend Jackie, your new employer Dex DeShauwn, and your mission: score an experimental chip from the biggest corporation in Night City. Sounds simple, right? As we've already seen previously teased, things go very wrong, but the exact way things go down is still a secret - and will probably depend on how you play. However it happens, you'll be spit out into Night City, ready to start your climb to the top with the digital ghost of Keanu Reeves trapped in your head. 

Cyberpunk 2077 life paths influence your story 

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

When you're building your character in Cyberpunk 2077, no choice may be more important than your life path. This determines who your character was before you join their story in progress. You'll have three options, and each will have a different opening to the game: there's the Corpo, who comes from a life of high-powered suits and executive backstabbing; the Street Kid, who was used to life in the roughest parts of Night City before taking a two-year leave of absence; and the Nomad, who hails from the gangs of roving survivors who travel the wastelands beyond the city. Even once your intro is done, your life path will have smaller impacts throughout the rest of the game - like a Corpo being more comfortable if they ever make it back to a board room. 

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. Later, it confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer was going to be a huge addition to the game - we probably shouldn't expect it to arrive until 2022 at the earliest.

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's PC specs are somewhat approachable

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 not too terrible - 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 broad

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.

If you'd like to check out the latest prices for the various special editions of the game, be sure to take a  look at our Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order guide. Or you can find the cheapest prices for the standard edition below.

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?