Now that CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 is finally out on console and PC, fans are asking whether the open world shooter can be played offline.
While some of us thought we'd never see the day that Cyberpunk 2077 would be released, it's finally here. To say Cyberpunk 2077 has been hyped since its first announcement in 2012 would be an understatement. As a labour of love for both fans and developers CD Projekt Red, it once looked like we might not get to play the sci-fi shooter until the actual year 2077.
Although there are players already exploring the seedy streets of Night City (1 million at launch), others haven't bought it yet or are going to wait until the next-gen console upgrade next year. For those who are yet to get to grips with the game, you might be asking "Can you play Cyberpunk 2077 offline?". There's no need to trawl the depths of Reddit or the internet to find out, because we've done the sleuthing for you. All you need to do is sit back, boot up the game, and decide what colour hair you're going to give V today.
Can you play Cyberpunk 2077 offline?
In short, yes. Cyberpunk 2077 is a single-player RPG, which means you don't need a constant connection to play the sprawling title. Night City has six distinct districts you can explore on foot, motorcycle, or car, but thankfully, it can all be done offline. Although the game will load different areas and missions, it won't require the internet to do so. Making Cyberpunk 2077 offline-only is sure to be a popular addition for those who have a capped bandwidth, usage policy, or simply live in an area with dodgy internet.
This is great news considering the backlash developers continue to face for always-DRM games. Even though this method is supposed to stop copyright infringement, that's no concern for the casual player. Unless you're jumping off the Battle Bus for a round of Fortnite or parachuting into Verdansk for Call of Duty: Warzone, always-DRM is usually a hated feature of games.
There's been a rise in controversy when it comes to always-DRM games, with the likes of Activision coming under fire for making its single-player versions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Remastered, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 always-online on PC through battle.net. Elsewhere, Rockstar Games took flak for making Grand Theft Auto V always-DRM through the Rockstar Games Launcher. However, the worst culprit is Ubisoft, which was dragged over the coals for making everything from Far Cry 3 to Assassin's Creed Odyssey always-DRM. The publisher later retracted its plans to make singleplayer games need an internet connection.
Will Cyberpunk 2077 offline change?
While Cyberpunk 2077 might be offline for now, that will change when the equally hyped multiplayer comes out. As with any multiplayer mode where you want to play against an actual human being, Cyberpunk 2077 will require an internet connection to match you against others. Devs are currently playing coy about the title's multiplayer. CD Projekt Joint CEO Adam Kacinski has called multiplayer a "standalone project", meaning it might not come packaged in a traditional way.
There's no timeframe on when Cyberpunk 2077's multiplayer will be rolled out, but by the looks of it, it could be a 2022 launch. We've previously seen Rockstar games release Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online as their own entities, so it's entirely possible Cyberpunk 2077 could do the same with its own online presence. Either way, it shouldn't affect your offline story campaign much.
Obviously, there will be times Cyberpunk 2077 needs an internet connection. Alongside downloading the game through the respective storefronts if you haven't bought a physical copy, that massive Day 1 patch also needs the net. Added to this, the upcoming DLC content will also require connectivity to download it. There's already a lot of buzz about DLCs, with developers promising there will "no less" than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This means there should be at least 13 DLCs on the way. In the meantime, you can play all the single-player Cyberpunk 2077 you want, knowing that a lacklustre internet shouldn't cause you any problems.
Images via CD Projekt Red