CD Projekt Red has just recently concluded the development of Cyberpunk 2077 when it released the game’s Ultimate Edition. Despite not living up to the total promise of the developer, the finale was still an epic and fantastic closure to an otherwise badly broken game. And while CDPR is already shifting to another project, codenamed Polaris, there are already talks on what could there be in the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, a.k.a, “Cyberpunk 2” or “Project Orion”.
In an interview during CDPR’s podcast program, Answered Podcast, Narrative Director Philipp Weber talked about how Cyberpunk 2077’s life path has failed to provide a meaningful impact in-game. That is to say, whether the player chooses to be a Nomad, a Street Kid, or a Corpo, none of the choices offers a significant diversity based on the player’s initial starting decision or a branching storyline. And in light of the problem, Weber pledged to work on that specific issue in future installments of the series.
I do think there are things with, for example, the life paths, that kind of gives you a promise as being able to play more different kinds of characters. I think this is a thing where, in the future, that’s as an example something we would like to improve. Since I do think we gave a promise there that maybe in the end we did not really sell.
Existing branching paths
However, that is not to say that Cyberpunk 2077 did not have branching paths to it. Players are presented with it during the early part of the game as they get to choose their life path. But the degree of diversity it offers is short-lived, as everything coalesces into a single storyline within the first hour of the game, and is limited to just occasional dialog options.
The game begins with this very specific thing, you can be a Nomad, a Corpo, a Street Kid, but then it sometimes goes away a little bit. We move it all together. Then sometimes you can do it. As a quest designer, I think in retrospect we can see the old topic, given more experience, given more time, I think maybe we would make it a bit less muddled than we did it there.
But, according to Polaris Lead Quest Designer Błażej Augustynek, there is little importance to the life path with regards to the main storyline. That is, life paths are just “the life that you leave as V”.