As the first part of my “How to Improve Cyberpunk 2077” quest, I’ll talk about Mission choices. Please be warned that the article will contain spoilers.
Let me start with my summary on the initial article:
While there are different ways to solve a “zone”, the quests themselves rarely change despite having dialogue options that suggest they would.
The problem here is that while the game provides you with so many talking options, impactful results rarely come out of them.
The possible kinds of change I’m talking about are as follows, from easiest to hardest.
- Minor Impact: ie your choices change some sort of detail or a single step. e.g the gig where we look for the honest cop. A Nomad V can talk to the nomad NPC to skip the payment.
- Mission Content: ie your choices change how the quest plays out. A well-done example is the Maelstrom Gang investigation.
- Mission-Chain Content: ie your choices change how future missions play in that chain. Imagine if you could save either Mitch or Scorpion in the AV crash zone and the selected person appeared in the rest of the Nomad missions, providing alternative mission content and dialogues
- Change outside the mission: ie your choices have an effect on things outside that mission and mission chain. Imagine if you had a way to save T-Bug, for instance, and she would be with you throughout the game.
Now let’s judge Cyberpunk 2077 regarding these.
- Surprisingly uncommon. There are so many options that just end up being a dialogue option. I don’t understand why.
- It’s hit or miss with this one. Take Dex’s mission. Maelstrom investigation is really good. No choices in Evelyn part except selling her out but that doesn't count.
- This does not exist as far as I can remember, except changing dialogue and except the option to call people at the end.
- Likewise, I don’t think this exist.
To be fair, the above isn’t too different from most games. However, CDPR made explicit promises that sounded like we’d have at least some, if not a lot, of 3 and 4.
I also want to note that the game tricks you into thinking there are more choices and options. I thought Panam came to me for help and was so happy that I helped her because we got progressively closer in her missions. Turns out, even if I treat her badly, reject her advances and take other people’s sides, she reacts exactly the same as long as the missions continue. Do you remember when you have to yell to Jackie fast to throw the Hypo for the girl in the icetub? Turns out he throws it on his own even if you don’t do it in time.
This isn’t solvable by a simple mechanic, so I’ll go by the points above.
- Honestly, they don’t need to do much. They just have to add some effect after dialogue options. There were several times when I saw a special dialogue option but nothing happened. No need to overdo it. Heck, just give us some extra xp/cred for using our dialogue options. Call it good roleplay.
- This is not necessarily bad in the game, it just needs more options and more visible results. e.g I am not sure if I had an effect on the Peralezs’ missions outcome. It felt like I did but also felt like I didn’t. I wish it was more visible somehow.
- See 4.
- I think 3&4 could easily place the game in top 3 RPGs ever in every single player’s mind and that was apparently part of the hype, which turned into a disappointment. There are a few places in the game that I felt they had more in mind and I hope they either add such choices to future content and/or revive any cut content.
I mean imagine these timelines for Nomad missions
Timeline 1: V shoots the drones during the AV zone car scene fast. Panam is never shot. She helps V and together they save both Mitch and Scorpion. Nomad missions have both characters’ options included.
Timeline 2: V isn’t as fast, Panam is shot. V asks her to support via sniper. They save either Mitch or Scorpion.
Timeline 3: V isn’t as fast, Panam is shot. V pressures her to support directly. Panam is killed on the scene, V can’t save anyone. Nomads never get in touch with V.
Timeline 4: Same as above, except V manages to save Mitch and lies to Mitch about Panam. Thinking she sacrificed herself willingly, Mitch introduces V to the clan and they do ask for help when Saul is taken and V can still get their help in time.
Timeline 5: V is too slow with drones. Panam takes on the turret and shoots them herself but they are late for both guys. Panam hates V’s guts and never calls him.
Wouldn’t it be cool? The sad part is, the above does not have any new missions, no huge content, nothing major. Surely there is some content to add but with small touches we can get much more from what we already have.
Regarding this topic, Cyberpunk is pretty much Icarus. It flies so close to the sun, but it fails to make it. The problem is, it made promises to touch the sun, so with the disappointment it brought to people who expected the delivery of those promises, the game looks worse than it objectively is.
I believe CDPR can salvage this in future, but honestly, this is the one I expect the least to change. Fingers crossed.
Wanna read my take on Life Paths? Keep reading here!