CD Projekt RED’s RPGs always center on player-choice. But the studio is apparently upping the ante with Cyberpunk 2077. This time, player-choice will prove so integral that some players may beat the game without actually completing the main questline.
Lead Quest Designer Pawel Sasko confirmed as much and explained the notion’s inner workings during an interview with Polish publication, Spider’s Web. According to Sasko (via VG247), the studio built Cyberpunk 2077’s “structure” based on what was learned from developing The Witcher 3. He explained, “The Witcher had the main stem of history and side threads departing from it, and this was our main structure, which we call the ear. So in Cyberpunk’s structure we have this wheat spike, which serves as its center, the main storyline with different subplots surrounding it, which can be triggered in various ways.”
For the first time, CD Projekt is experimenting with subplots further. Most notably, subplot will alter the core game’s main plot. These changes are drastic, so much so that players can beat Cyberpunk 2077 without first wrapping up the primary storyline. Sasko notes that the chosen lifepath affects every piece of the puzzle. In fact, the lifepath players choose at the start of the game means they’ll experience a “completely different epilogue than the player with a different lifepath who made different choices, met different characters and formed relationships with them.”
Cyberpunk 2077’s lifepath system will even alter V’s relationship with Jackie, the companion seen in many a trailer and gameplay video. Going Corpo means V will meet Jackie under a set of circumstances that differ from another player who chooses the Nomad path. Sasko told Spider’s Web: “This is one example of the fact that depending on the chosen path of origin–as a character you were born in a different place, you have a different story, and therefore both Jackie’s story and your relationship with him was different.”
In the end, it all comes down to a butterfly affect that affects whole storylines, since some quests are exclusive to certain lifepaths. Thus, one decision made at the start of the game has been structured to impact every facet of the experience. As Senior Quest Designer Philipp Weber previously teased, such variety is bound to make replay value incredibly high.
CD Projekt RED recently pushed Cyberpunk 2077 out of its September launch date. The sci-fi RPG will now hit stores a little later in the year on November 19th for the PS4, PC, and Xbox One.