Is a CD Projekt Red game really a CD Projekt Red game if it doesn't have choices you lose days of sleep over? The answer is no. Luckily, Cyberpunk 2077 will follow in the footsteps of the Polish developer's previous games, and will include a deep consequence system attached to virtually every decision you make.
According to Mike Pondsmith, the creator of Cyberpunk 2020 (the tabletop RPG the game is based on) and who has been intimately involved with the project, CD Projekt Red has implemented a proper choice and consequence system in the game, one that is faithful to the original board game, and one that isn't a straight-forward "black and white" karma system. Further, the choices you make in Cyberpunk 2077 will impact the story and characters in a natural, intricate way.
“One of the binding philosophies of the game is that your actions have consequences,” said Pondsmith while speaking with LastKnownMeal. “And that also goes back to the original sources in the tabletop game. In the tabletop game, there is no system for karma- good things, and so forth. But you can pretty much guess that if you blow away some guy in a gang, his gang’s going to remember, and they’re going to find you. That is realistic, that is the way things really go.”
“Sometimes karma isn’t really meted out in a nice, neat 'dark side, light side' way. Sometimes it comes and bites you in the butt in ways you never expected. We were kidding the other day in the office about that moment when you’re driving on the freeway, and somebody cuts you off, and you flip them off, and then you go into the bank, and there’s the guy you flipped off behind the counter! This sort of stuff happens!
“Karma is not a black and white thing,” added Pondsmith. “But your actions do have consequences. In the original trailer, I loved the fact that the music piece they picked was called Personal Responsibility, because it sort of said everything right there.”
If you played The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or the games before that, all of this will sound familiar, if not a slight evolution on the formula. Most have concluded that Cyberpunk 2077 is perhaps the most ambitious game in known development, and we already know CD Projekt Red is as ambitious as they come with narrative and story. In other words, Cyberpunk 2077's consequence system doesn't sound revolutionary on paper, but something tells me it might just be in practice.