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Credit: CD Projekt RED

Everything we know about Cyberpunk 2077 so far

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Jul 2, 2019, 2:31 PM EDT

If you're looking to once again lose yourself in another fantastically immersive sci-fi world, you've likely got your eyes on CD Projekt RED's upcoming title Cyberpunk 2077. For quite some time, it felt like seeing the game come to fruition would take many many years, we got some very important information following E3 2019, including a release date! Yes, at long last, we've finally gotten a date to  mark in our calendars to expect this upcoming sprawling open-world adventure, and it'll be here a lot sooner than you may have previously thought.

Following that bombshell, a select amount of journalists were treated to a lengthy demo of the game this year at E3 2019. It wasn't playable there at the behind-closed-doors demo (just like last year), but it offered a great deal of information that we only were able to guess about before. We may only have feasted our eyes on a demo so far, but we already know it's got the potential to change the way we look at RPGs. Here's what we know so far about the game, which you'll finally get your hands on in 2020 — can you believe it's debuting so soon?

What is Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077 is CD Projekt RED's newest open-world action RPG in the same vein of the studio's hit Witcher series. It's been floating out in the ether since 2012, and we've only ever heard a few scraps here and there about the project. As the title implies, it will feature a cyberpunk setting with possible androids and other mainstays from the sci-fi genre.

Taking place in the year 2077, it's set in the "sandbox environment" of a fictional location known as Night City — imagine a mixture between Los Angeles and San Francisco — and it's based on the pen and paper RPG created by Mike Pondsmith. Known as the "City on the Edge of Tomorrow," it's the same kind of place you might see in Blade Runner or movies of that ilk. Just like any other big metropolitan area, however, it has a seedier side to it. You'll discover that darkness in Cyberpunk 2077, as corporations begin all-out war on each other. 

During E3 2019, we got our biggest glimpse of the game yet. First, there were two powerhouse reveals at Microsoft's Xbox Press Briefing that no one could have predicted in a million years. For one, we learned that Keanu Reeves is joining the cast as the intriguing, spunky Johnny Silverhand, a move that lit up the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles as the eager crowd essentially lost their minds at the revelation. Second, we found out the aforementioned release date by way of the trailer that eventually revealed Keanu's face. 

Cyberpunk 2077 on YouTube

The new hands-off demo showed off Silverhand as something of a digital "ghost" who only the player character (this time, the male version of protagonist "V") could see. Johnny has players on the lookout for his girlfriend Alt Cunningham, and the only way to go from there is to look out for the Voodoo Boys faction for help. There's only one problem; a group of body mod-loving gang members known as the Animals are right in the way. 

The Voodoo Boys hail from Haiti and spend their days modding their bodies, tripping, and zipping through cyberspace. They're in high standing throughout the world of Cyberpunk, but they're still very much the "bad" guys. You'll be exploring the neighborhood of Pacifica as you dodge their messengers and do your best to maintain control, all the while working with Johnny and trying to stay on the "right" side of the gangs throughout Night City. As we've seen in the new footage, it won't be easy, but that's your only real choice. 

The demo also showed off tons of driving, accompanied by hard techno/industrial music that help set the tone. There will be plenty of vehicles to hop in if you so choose, but for the sake of the demo, V sped away on a motorcycle to drive himself to the next objective. According to CD Projekt RED, you'll be able to spend quite a bit of time simply doing just that, zooming down the streets Akira-style, listening to music, and completing quests. Sounds like the idyllic way to spend time in a cyberpunk future, honestly. 

Of course, this is a ton more than what we knew starting out about the game. In the beginning, CD Projekt RED was coy about showing us what the game might constitute, so this new footage and information have been an absolute boon for those looking forward to the game. Originally, there was a teaser trailer that showed off a bit of what we might expect. Unfortunately, it didn't give us that much information about what we'll see in-game either, except perhaps the fact that someone is attempting to assassinate a female android as bullets fly through the air in slow motion. Her red pumps are on the ground as a riot squad continues to fire and lets bullets rip through the air. 

It's revealed that the "woman" has two scythe-like weapons protruding from her arms and previously committed some real atrocities, with bodies strewn about behind her. The camera reveals what looks to be something like a hunter behind her as he puts a gun to her head. It's all pre-rendered footage, but there's not a lot of context to go by. The end of the trailer states "Coming: When it's ready." Succinct, fitting. It really seems as though it will just be out "when it's ready" after all, at this point. 

Beyond the teaser trailer, there's now a lengthy video presentation that finally debuted on YouTube with just about everything you could want to know about the game's early stages, and it had jaws dropping left and right with folks wondering if what they were seeing on-screen was actually real. 

Cyberpunk 2077 on YouTube

Following the debut of the 48-minute gameplay demo that originally was shown off to journalists at E3 2018, we ended up learning quite a bit about the upcoming game, such as its branching dialogue options, hacking system, and bullet time sequences. As you make your way through the hustle and bustle of the city, you can hop into a car or use other methods of vehicular transportation to get around. There's an expansive amount of personal freedom afforded to players, and it shows in this particular video. 

Combat looks like a luscious mix of melee and slick gunplay, with plenty of futuristic weaponry to choose from. There's also, as one might expect, plenty of cybernetic enhancements you can use to upgrade your character, who can look and "become" whoever you wish. Your initial stats may determine how your character looks and plays at the beginning of the game, but you can always change things up later for a truly customizable character experience. 

The game demo introduced the protagonist navigating her way through a kidnapping situation while dealing with various ways to take out the competition. She utilized various buffs and enhancements to turn the tides of battle in her favor with enhanced guns, biomechanical upgrades, and even a brief encounter with the game's futuristic health insurance — and you thought our current situation was bad. 

When is Cyberpunk 2077 expected to release?

Lock in your pre-orders now, because Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on April 16, 2020. That's only a few short months away, and plenty of time for you to sink into your other lengthy RPGs as prep work before you descend upon Night City. 

When can we expect additional updates on Cyberpunk 2077?

Now that the cat's out of the bag with a release date and lengthy trailers are being shown to the media and select trade show attendees, all bets are off. The countdown has begun for when CD Projekt RED will start showing off 

What kind of scope will Cyberpunk 2077 have?

CD Projekt RED has stated in the past that the game will likely feature a "huge" living city with multiplayer options. The company has claimed that the game may even be "far bigger" than anything else the team has done in the past. Thinking about a title that's somehow bigger than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is certainly mindboggling, that's for sure. 

Why would I want to play Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077 - Hunter

Credit: CD Projekt RED

If the trailer doesn't immediately grab you, know that CD Projekt RED's Witcher series spans three games and several DLC expansions' worth of a story based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's series of fantasy novels. If this game is anything like those excellent titles, there will be an open world teeming with life, memorable characters, customization, impeccable voice acting, and emotional sequences that'll have you grabbing for tissues, all in a neon-drenched dystopian society. What's not to love?
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