Fans have wanted to know just how far Cyberpunk 2077‘s character creator goes ever since the game was announced. After a lengthy hands-on session with the game, I can tell you: it’s pretty damn deep — and, yes, you can customise your junk.
The press and public has had access to the game’s first two acts so far. The first preview contained the game’s character creator and the entire opening chapter, which the second round of previews included about ten hours of gameplay after that point.
There’s plenty to say about the game itself, but for those who are just wondering what you’ll have access to in terms of options, here’s what you need to know.
This post has been updated since its original publication.
Cyberpunk 2077: Character Customisation
The character creator is pretty extensive, much like you’d see in a Fallout game or a suitably large open-world RPG, and there’s a ton of options to play around with. You start by choosing one of three life paths, Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo. These don’t affect your attributes or perks, but each of the life classes will have a different prologue — the Nomad starts in the Badlands, while the Corpo starts by throwing up in a bathroom in Arasaka’s HQ.
Other options like Netrunner or Solo, roles from the original Cyberpunk 2020 class book and referenced in the Cyberpunk 2077 deep dive, did not appear.
A key difference with the lifepaths is the impact on your dialogue choices later on. In an early mission to recover a prototype Militech bot, you have the choice of meeting up with a Militech agent. You don’t have to meet her; you don’t have to work with her either. But if you have a corpo background, you’re given another option to resolve your conversation: you understand how problematic her position is, and that if it’s not resolved, her bosses will likely be done with her real fast.
It’s a useful argument to make when there’s a gun pointed at your face, basically.
After grappling with that choice, it’s down to the body and appearance. The visual look doesn’t have the brown tinge of the screenshot above, and there’s no colours for the skin tone or eye colours any more. On the right is a set of numbered options for each of the various customisations, your character in the middle that can be fully rotated, a set of three presets on the left, as well as a random character generator.
For those who want to see every option, there’s a lot:
- 6 different skin types
- 35 types of hair
- 17 eyes
- 8 eyebrows
- 17 mouth types
- 17 jaw options
- 17 types of ears
- 8 types of cyberware (plus none)
- 9 types of facial scars (plus none)
- 6 tattoos (plus none)
- 11 facial piercings (plus none)
- 5 different types of teeth
- 8 types of eye makeup
- 5 types of lip makeup (plus none)
- 3 types of blemishes
- 3 types of nipples
- 5 body tattoos
- 2 body scars
- 2 penis options, or a vagina
- Options for penis length, and 5 pubic hair styles for both genders
Your gender is also not tied to your character model. You start by picking a female or male-presenting version of V, but your character’s pronouns and how other characters talk to your V is determined by the voice you choose.
And as for the nudity, it’s disabled by default. If you want it hanging out there, then have at it. But what’s nice is that the game will at least honour your choice, if you then want to randomise your character. I cycled through the randomised character generator for about two minutes straight, and it never actively changed the genitalia preferences (mine were disabled).
And that’s about how long it took the character generator’s randomisation would spit out similar models. Everything else until that point was genuinely distinct. Even just flipping between the random models looks nice. The whole character changes, but there’s this extra little transition as the lips contract or tighten, the eye-sockets expand or recede. It’s slick.
There’s plenty of mirrors and ray-traced reflections in the full game, although the latter was disabled. (The preview build actually launched from a batch file that specifically disabled ray-traced reflections and shadows. A PDF supplied to press afterwards mentioned that DLSS 2.0, ray-traced diffuse illumination, ray-traced ambient occlusion and ray-traced shadows were all enabled, although you could see from the batch file commands that ray-traced shadows were disabled. It will be available in the full version of the game.)
Either way, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to see your avatar in the flesh. And what’s neat is that the game recognises your character’s choices. If you choose to play V as a male, one of the perks in the game appears as Demolition Man. If your character identifies as a female — and this doesn’t lock out how you want to customise your character’s appearance either – the perk changes to Demolition Femme instead.
Other bits of language change too. Some of these aren’t gender related, but more specific to the character class you chose. In a later scene from the opening hours, V finds themselves in a chair going through a braindance. It’s basically a Ghost in the Shell-esque sequence where you relive an external memory, but like Remember Me or Life is Strange, the player has the ability to pause, rewind, and analyse the surroundings from where the memory was taken.
In the braindance sequence, a thug attempts to rob a store before being shot in the head. In the playthrough from footage supplied to press by CD Projekt Red, V talks about how reliving the experience:
That was … too much. Felt … could feel the guy’s … pain, his stress, his … hope? Hope wrapped up in somethin’ else…
In my preview playthrough, V — who had a corporate background with Arasaka — was accompanied by a second character. Judy didn’t approach the braindance chair where V is sitting, and instead, V complains about not getting enough warning:
“Coulda warned me how much it hurts to die.”
Attributes are your main other choice during the character creator screen, but this is less of an important choice than you might initially think. You start with five skills all at 3 points: Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, Technical Ability and Cool. You’re given 7 points in the creator to alter your stats, although you can only max out skills to 6.
After you’ve picked your preferred skills and locked in your avatar, it’s time for the game’s opening. But if you want to know more about what the game’s actually like to play, you can find my full impressions with Cyberpunk 2077 here. We’ll have more info about the full game next week, when Cyberpunk 2077 launches on December 10 for PC, PS4 and Xbox.