'Cyberpunk 2077' is one of the most anticipated video games of 2020, and it's just a few weeks from launch — here's what the game is all about

Dave Smith,Ben Gilbert
·8 min read
Cyberpunk 2077
A scene in the "Cyberpunk 2077" trailer. YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077
  • The game developer behind the acclaimed "Witcher" series has been working on its next major video game, "Cyberpunk 2077," for years.

  • "Cyberpunk 2077" is a first-person action game set in a sprawling futuristic city. The cast is star-studded, with Keanu Reeves playing one of the game's main characters. It's scheduled to launch on November 19 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

  • Notably, the game won't be available on the new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 consoles when it debuts. The publisher has said a next-gen version would instead be released sometime in 2021, though the game would still be playable on both new consoles because of backwards compatibility.

  • We've broken down trailers and news around "Cyberpunk 2077" to give you an idea of what to expect from one of the world's most anticipated games.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The development studio behind the acclaimed "Witcher" series announced "Cyberpunk 2077" all the way back in 2012.

In the years since, it's become one of the most hyped and highly anticipated games.

At Microsoft's E3 press conference in June 2018, fans finally got a first look at the new game. Then, one year later at another Microsoft E3 press conference, Keanu Reeves showed up to announce that he would play a character in the game — and, more important, that "Cyberpunk 2077" would finally come out in April 2020.

April 2020 came and went. Two delays later, and we're now just weeks from the launch of "Cyberpunk 2077" on November 19. Here's what one of this year's most anticipated games is all about, based on game trailers:

In "Cyberpunk 2077," you play as V, an urban mercenary and cyberpunk who takes on dangerous jobs for money.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

You create your own version of V, who can be male or female. Your choices affect some romance options and interactions with characters in the game, but most are unaffected by character selection.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

You can choose V's backstory, and the reason you're visiting Night City, where most of the game is set. For example, you can be there for romance, or revenge.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

You can also choose your haircut, tattoos, and put points into various attributes like Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Reflexes, Tech, and Cool.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

When you create your character, you're not locking yourself into a single experience. You customize your character as you play through the game.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

There are three classes in the game — Solo, Techie, and Netrunner.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

The Solo class is focused on combat.

Techies are focused on gadgets and machinery.

Netrunners can hack into computers, robots, or even into people's heads to manipulate or kill them.

You can choose to focus on one skill set, or a combination of the three.

"Cyberpunk 2077" is a non-linear role-playing game played from a first-person perspective.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

This means you'll be shooting weapons in first-person. Enemies have life bars, and damage numbers pop out of them when you shoot them.

You can approach each encounter in various ways: You can go in guns blazing, talk your way out of a problem, or turn parties against each other.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

When you talk with the game's non-playable characters (NPCs), dialogue options will appear on screen, and each choice you make could have consequences.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

"Cyberpunk 2077" takes place in Night City, a sprawling futuristic metropolis.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

It's difficult to say how big the city is, but the game's developer CD Projekt Red says it's huge, packed with people, and has no transitional loading screens (like "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and "God of War").

Unlike the company's last game, "The Witcher 3," which featured a very flat map, "Cyberpunk 2077" is far more vertical, with buildings that just keep going up.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

If you don't like traveling on foot, you can drive vehicles around Night City, including cars and motorcycles.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

The mechanics of driving appear similar to that in the "Grand Theft Auto" games.

There are six districts in Night City, and they all have their own unique vibe. The game's creators have so revealed one district, called Watson, that surrounds an in-game fallen corporate giant.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

Night City is interactive: You can interact with advertisements, for instance, which can tell you where to buy certain products.

Cyberpunk 2077
Different vendors sell goods and services in exchange for EuroDollars, or "Eddies." Cyberpunk 2077

There's a day-and-night cycle in Night City, and an ever-changing weather system.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

You'll be spending a lot of time in V's apartment, where you can suit up, check your computer, and access your weapons.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

You can buy additional locations to use as bases through the course of the game.

You can unlock skills in the game and use them to your advantage.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

With a high enough engineering skill, for instance, you can disassemble panels in walls to open up new paths.

"Cyberpunk 2077" has an inspection system that lets you learn about objects, lore, and other useful information.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

You can use this system to link with a spider-like bot, which can scope out environments, climb walls, pass through vents, and be stored in the trunk of your car when not in use.

By doing things in the real world, you gain Street Cred, which helps you unlock new dialogue or vendor prices throughout the city.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

It's likely that some side quests will only be available if you have a certain amount of Street Cred.

V wears a special jacket that plays an important role in the game. It also gives you an initial 5% Street Cred boost.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

Combat is a big emphasis in the game: One gameplay demo featured three to four different guns, all with very different perks for using them.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

The demo featured an "epic" weapon called the Smart Rifle, which has bullets that track and follow your targets. You can use mods to customize all the weapons in the game.

Enemies hiding behind cover? No problem. Your scanner can spot enemies ducking behind barriers, and another gun you can obtain in the game lets you bounce bullets off walls.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

The world isn't fully destructible, but windows and bodies are — so you can blow off arms or legs strategically, assuming you're a good enough shot.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

If you'd rather use your hands than your weapons, your character is also equipped with twin Mantis Blades, which you can use to climb walls and chop up enemies.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

V can also run on walls and jump down onto unsuspecting enemies.

V can also hack into bad guys and send malicious software to the rest of their squad.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

In the E3 2018 demo, V plants a virus in a bad guy's weapon to prevent him from shooting when she approaches.

Like "Grand Theft Auto" and "The Witcher," parts of "Cyberpunk 2077" involve sexually explicit themes. The game is not for children, and features full-frontal nudity.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

The game also heavily features drugs and drug use.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

Drugs can be found and used as part of the story and in social contexts: If a gang member offers you a hit of his inhaler, choosing whether or not to accept could have consequences.

Most quests in "Cyberpunk 2077" come in the form of jobs, which can be acquired in different ways. Sometimes you get them by talking to fixers, who find mercenaries like V to come in and solve problems.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

Other times, you'll see things happening on the street and can choose to get involved. The game's developer says it wants missions and quests to feel organic.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

"Cyberpunk 2077" is a single-player game at launch with no multiplayer, although one of the game's designers Patrick Mills says a multiplayer mode is in development and may make it into the game at a later date.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

And while this isn't a game with a party system, you'll occasionally be joined on jobs by other characters.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

The game's release date is now set for November 19, 2020, and it's coming to PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google Stadia.

Cyberpunk 2077
YouTube/Cyberpunk 2077

Enhanced versions of the game with upgraded graphics are scheduled to arrive on next-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles at some point in 2021.

You can watch a 50-minute gameplay video for "Cyberpunk 2077" below. (Note: The video contains gameplay violence and adult themes.)

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