One of the Year’s Most Ambitious Games Just Got a Whole Lot More Exciting
There’s already a lot to be excited about with CD Projekt Red’s new game. From the insane setting, the open-ended approach to missions, and customizable genitalia (albeit with the nudity censored in some markets), it feels like we’re getting more exciting news every day, but we still know relatively little about the actual storyline.
We know that the player character, V, is tasked with stealing a valuable computer chip, and is then betrayed by the fixer who gave him the mission. We know that the long-dead Johnny Silverhand digitized his consciousness and that V communicates and works with him throughout the game. We know that you can pick their own backstory out of a choice of three and that these backstories influence your path throughout the game, including three distinct opening missions to introduce you to the world of Night City. As far as hard-set story details go, it’s not much to go on.
And maybe there’s a reason for that: In a recent interview with Polish website Spider’s Web, lead quest designer Pawel Sasko stated that the main storyline is, essentially, optional.
“In Cyberpunk’s structure we have this ear, which is the center, the main plot of history and around it are those secondary threads that can trigger in different ways. Side threads cause something that we haven’t done before, namely they modify the main thread – and in such a way that you may not complete the main thread at all, but you can end the game and receive completely different epilogues than another player who chose a different lifepath and he made other choices, met other characters and built other relationships with them.”
Essentially, you can complete the game, and even get a definitive resolution, while barely touching the main plot thread.
Interestingly, even the sidequests aren’t linear; using an internal system (the token system) the game will assign sidequests based on a variety of factors, such as character progression. Pawel states that different players will see the same sidequest turn up at different points in their journey throughout Night City, and with at least one quest having a staggering twelve ways to complete it, that means that the game has a huge variety of ways to make a story that’s uniquely yours; whether you go in guns blazing or talk your way out of trouble, focusing on the main quest of ignoring it entirely, You are V, and Night City is yours for the taking.
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