Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release later this year via the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, and Google Stadia. According to developer CD Projekt Red, the aim with the game is for it be as impressive and bar-setting as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- its most recent major release -- was in 2015. And so far, it looks poised to achieve this. The game doesn't just look great, but some of its systems sound complex and equally impressive.
For example, the game can be finished without completing the main quest. Just think about that for a second. How many games do that, and do it with a narrative as complex and ambitious as Cyberpunk 2077? Sure, many games, like various Far Cry titles, have secret, gag-like endings, but that's not what CD Projekt Red is referring to. What the Polish developer is referring to when it says this is the game's various sub-plots, which are so involved that you can reach the conclusion of the game without finishing the overarching main quest they branch out from.
In The Witcher 3 there were various world states the game could end in depending on your countless decisions, big and small. However, the path there was very linear. For Cyberpunk 2077, it sounds like CD Projekt Red has evolved the formula to not only be more complicated, but more responsive to player agency and ultimately more immersive.
“Subplots allow us to do something that we have never done before – they change the main plot of the game and they are doing that in such a way that you may not even finish the main plot, but still finish the game and get a completely different epilogue than the player with a different Life Path who made different choices, met different characters and formed relationships with them.”
Of course, it remains to be seen if CD Projekt Red can pull this off, but if there's one team who could do it, it's probably them.
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