Cyberpunk 2077: How to Manage Your Expectations

Be sure to keep these points in mind whenever you feel the Cyberpunk 2077 hype train going off the rails.

Cyberpunk 2077 lore and history
Photo: CD Projekt Red

After numerous delays and even more controversies, Cyberpunk 2077 will finally be released on Dec. 10. On that day, millions of people will play not just the most anticipated game of 2020 but arguably one of the most anticipated games of the last decade.

Before you go all-in on the game, though, be sure to remember that the Cyberpunk 2077 hype train is typically conducted by fans who are sometimes more passionate than they are realistic. We’re already seeing people not only overhype Cyberpunk 2077 but, in some cases, base their hype on information that isn’t even true.

With that in mind, here are some key pieces of information you need to know in order to manage your expectations for Cyberpunk 2077:

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Not Feature a Grand Theft Auto Style Open World

Because Cyberpunk 2077 will feature vehicles and radio stations, there’s an increasingly popular belief that the game will offer a GTA style sandbox experience complete with free roam mayhem.

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The truth is slightly more complicated than that. While it seems like Cyberpunk 2077 will allow you to do things like attack NPCs, much of its content will likely be tied into quests and storylines rather than free roam activities.

Based on what we’ve heard, Cyberpunk 2077 will be closer to The Witcher 3 and Skyrim than GTA in terms of its open-world activity structure.

Cyberpunk 2077’s Combat Will Be More Like an RPG Than a First-Person Shooter

The biggest misconception I keep hearing regarding Cyberpunk 2077 is that the game will feature a more active combat style similar to a first-person shooter. However, everything we’ve seen of Cyberpunk 2077‘s combat so far, as well as what’s been reported hands-on demos of the final build of the game, suggests that it will much closer to Deus Ex than Destiny. In other words, combat in Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be methodical and highly dependent on your character’s stats and abilities.

Again, I imagine that Cyberpunk 2077‘s combat will ultimately resemble the combat in Skyrim and the recent Fallout games. That is to say that you’ll be able to actively dictate the combat but the effectiveness of your attacks will be stat-based rather than purely mechanical.

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Be Filled With Bugs, Glitches, and Rough Edges

Look, any open-world game the size of Cyberpunk 2077 is going to feature bugs and glitches. There’s almost no way around that.

What’s important to keep in mind is that the bugs and glitches Cyberpunk 2077 was already destined to ship with are going to be amplified by the struggles of the game’s Covid-19 development schedule. The game has been delayed three times in 2020 alone due to CD Projekt Red’s desire to fine-tune and optimize the “completed” base experience.

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Our hope is that Cyberpunk 2077 won’t launch with any notable game-breaking bugs or a Mass Effect: Andromeda level of visual glitches. Everything else will be patched out over time.

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Not Look Like a Next-Gen Game on PS5 or Xbox Series X

Games like Demon’s Souls are already setting high standards for what the next generation of video games is going to look like. However, it’s important to remember that Cyberpunk 2077 was not designed as a true next-gen game.

As CD Projekt Red has explained, the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of Cyberpunk 2077 will launch with certain next-gen upgrades already enabled. However, the full next-gen Cyberpunk 2077 update won’t be released until sometime in the future (possibly 2021). That means that the day one next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 will perform better than the PS4/Xbox One versions but will likely not look significantly different.

However, there’s a strong possibility that those who are able to run Cyberpunk 2077 on PC at the highest settings, which includes ray tracing, will get a sneak peek at what the “true” next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 will look like.

Keanu Reeves Will Not be the Star of Cyberpunk 2077

Despite his surprising involvement in the game’s marketing so far, and reports that his role in the game was expanded at the actor’s request, it’s important to remember that Keanu Reeves is not the star of Cyberpunk 2077.

What we don’t know is exactly how much screen time Reeves actually has. It’s been suggested that he’s kind of a guide/companion, but it seems likely that he’ll only appear in the occasional cutscene as a kind of voice in your head.

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In any case, the point to keep in mind is that friends don’t let friends believe that Cyberpunk 2077 is the Keanu Reeves game.

Cyberpunk 2077’s Map Won’t Be as Large as The Witcher 3’s

This point is actually still open to debate, but the evidence strongly suggests that Cyberpunk 2077‘s map won’t be quite as “large” as The Witcher 3’s map. At the very least, leaked photos of an overview of Cyberpunk 2077‘s map suggest that it’s not quite as large as The Witcher 3 from a pure square footage perspective. That read of the game’s map is in line with comments CD Projekt Red has made regarding the game’s size.

Having said that, it should be noted that Cyberpunk 2077 will likely feature more interior and vertical locations, which could change how we measure the size of the game’s map.

Cyberpunk 2077’s Campaign Likely Won’t be As Long as The Witcher 3’s

The idea that Cyberpunk 2077‘s campaign won’t be as long as The Witcher 3‘s isn’t based on speculation but this quote from Cyberpunk 2077 quest designer Patrick K. Mills:

“We do know the main story run in Cyberpunk 2077 is slightly shorter than The Witcher 3 because we got a lot of complaints about Witcher 3‘s main story just being too long. Looking at the metrics, you see tremendous numbers of people played through that game really far but never made it to the end. We want you to see the full story, so we did shorten the main story, but we have lots to do.”

While it sounds like Cyberpunk 2077 will feature plenty of side quests and activities, you absolutely shouldn’t expect the game’s campaign to be as long as The Witcher 3‘s epic story.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Will Not Launch With Multiplayer

Much has been said of Cyberpunk 2077‘s multiplayer. While we don’t know exactly what the game’s multiplayer will look like, CD Projekt Red has hinted that it’s an ambitious concept that will be worthy of a standalone experience.

To that end, it’s important to remember that Cyberpunk 2077‘s multiplayer will not be available on day one. For that matter, it’s been strongly suggested that Cyberpunk 2077‘s multiplayer likely won’t be available until sometime after 2021.

We can already hear the tweets and comments from people asking where Cyberpunk 2077‘s multiplayer is, so just be sure to manage your expectations for when you’ll actually be able to play it.

Cyberpunk 2077 is out for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Google Stadia on Dec. 10 (unless you got it early from Best Buy).