In the comments under Messages about Cyberpunk 2077 you can always spot fans who want to take a vacation just to play through. The question naturally arises: How long will it take me for Cyberpunk 2077? Is the playing time exorbitantly long?
I played the game through extensively and I can tell you clearly: the answer is complicated. The length of the game already turned out to be one of the big sticking points in our GameStar test for Cyberpunk 2077. Because if you really want to, you can play through CD Projekt Epos in under 30 hours. You shouldn’t do that under any circumstances.
How much game time does Cyberpunk 2077 offer?
Those who follow the main story slavishly reach the finale of Cyberpunk 2077 in under 30 hours. I was in 25 hours before the last mission, but I really gave gas for the test. The final itself then lasts another two hours, after 27 hours
Cyberpunk 2077 works differently than many open world games. The game is much more modular. In this case, “modular” means: There are no clinically separate main and side quests, but the side quests sometimes have a drastic effect on the main story. A side quest lasting several hours, for example, unlocks a completely new final mission that is completely different from the other showdowns.
You don’t have to take these side quests with you, which last several hours, but they enrich the main story noticeably and change the credits of the game. You can find out more about this game design strategy here:
Many gamers will not notice the great strength of Cyberpunk 2077
If you only play the main story in Cyberpunk 2077, you will miss a significant part of the game experience. However, if you take the side missions with you, the playing time will almost double.
The playing times in detail
- 25 to 30 hours: Just finish the main quest and leave secondary quests aside.
- 50 to 60 hours: In addition to the main quest, take the essential story side missions and a little bit of trimmings with you.
- About 90 hours: If you really want to experience all the quests and open-world activities in Night City, you can submit the vacation request with a clear conscience. These open world activities include dozens of petty crimes, for example, where you can turn off gang members and experience a little mini-story.
- About 100 hours: You want to soak up all the notes, television reports and side conversations in the game world. “Immersive playthrough” would be called it in new Europe.
What is the replay value?
We found seven different endings in testing. Not all of them differ equally drastically, but still substantially. And unlike, for example, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you don’t choose from all ends at the end. Instead, Cyberpunk 2077 will monitor your behavior throughout the campaign.
This of course increases the replayability significantly. A single playthrough is not enough to experience all the paths of the story (and follow all the romances). Cyberpunk 2077 is not The Witcher 2, so you won’t miss a third of the game if you choose person X instead of Y. But the comparison to The Witcher 3 fits: Your actions can lead to certain characters and stories disappearing from the game earlier. And you cannot play certain quests at all.
At least two game runs it should be if you want to experience the big picture of Cyberpunk 2077.
How do the three “Life Paths” work?
In the character editor of Cyberpunk 2077 you can choose the background story of your main character V right at the beginning. There are three so-called “Life Paths” to choose from:
- Nomadic: You come from the desert and you know your way around faction battles and life beyond Night City.
- Street Kid: You come from the street and you know how to behave in the gutter and the underworld to keep your head above water.
- Concerns: You start as an employee in the mighty Arasaka Megacorp and can use the corporate speech systematically to make suits dance to your tune.
Depending on the chosen path in life, V can express himself differently on certain topics in dialogues. A corporate manager doesn’t show a receptionist in corporate buildings, but a nomad manager masters the language of the desert. However, these dialog options are almost always »Flavor«. They give the conversations a slightly different note without really affecting the game mechanically.
However, there are a few quests that are only available for the respective life path. So if you want to experience 100 percent Cyberpunk 2077, you can’t avoid the third playthrough. The second and third rounds are worthwhile mainly because of the quest decisions and stories, not so much because of the “Life Paths”. You shouldn’t have false expectations.
All further information about the character editor, system requirements and Co. can be found in our huge overview article on Cyberpunk 2077.