Orignally published on 2021-12-04 14:29:45 by www.forbes.com
Ever since Cyberpunk 2077 released, there has been one common question from those who played the early part of the game. Very close to the beginning, right after you complete the entirety of your life path quest, there’s a montage that shows you running jobs and interacting with characters alongside Jackie, your heist buddy who (spoilers from a year ago) dies during your first big mission which kicks off the overall plot of the game.
The question is why those missions and sequences in the montage couldn’t be playable, and now, CDPR finally has an actual answer to give.
On the Story Mode YouTube channel, Pawel Ochocki, Senior Cinematic Designer, and Igor Sarzynski, Narrative Director, were asked about this exact issue.
You can see what they have to say at about 30:56 in this video, but I will transcribe the key bit below
In short, this was not “cut content” the way some speculate, and it was always the plan to speed up this section from a storytelling angle:
“From my perspective if we spent those six months here with Jackie, from the screenplay structure point of view…it would be stretching it for super long and then here the actual action starts. And it starts at the end of the heist when you get the chip with Johnny Silverhand in your head. Expanding the game on this part…just like doing gigs with Jackie around the city, sure it’s cool, but it’s just open world formula with a particular goal for the character or conflict, and just like this guy trying to earn some money, but there’s no real tension to it. Once you start dying and the cyberterrorist from the past is in your head, that’s where the tension arises.”
Here’s where I think the tension, between players and CDPR, arises regarding this issue.
I think players enjoyed Jackie as a character, and consider the heist mission probably one of the best segments of the game. I believe the idea is that if we got more time with Jackie, we could have had even more fun with him and even more of those types of missions. Generally speaking, I think people enjoyed their time with Jackie more than with Johnny Silverhand.
And yet I actually do sort of agree with them from a narrative perspective. Cyberpunk 2077 was not meant to be following an open world formula like a GTA game, where you start small scale and work your way up through gigs and the point is just amassing more and more power. Cyberpunk 2077 has a main throughline that has nothing to do with any of that, it’s trying to survive the chip in your head that’s killing you. So given that that’s the main point here, an aside of 5-6 hours that’s just you fighting random gangs with Jackie does sort of mar the pacing of that.
I mean it’s possible that Cyberpunk 2077 maybe could have had a better story about V and Jackie’s rise to power instead of the Johnny chip stuff, but with the latter as the stated goal, I do get what they mean about why they would want to fast forward through that section. Yet I also can relate to why players wanted to play that part given what the game does give us with Jackie. That also would have been a great period to flesh out the “life path” idea more, rather than everyone getting a 10 minute intro, meeting Jackie in some way, and then getting this identical montage before leading to the heist.
Anyway, this is a very interesting conversation about the game in general, and there’s a lot more good stuff in that hour+ long interview. Check it out.