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Cyberpunk 2077 Could Have Focused on Its own History For its First DLC

Cyberpunk 2077 Could Have Focused on Its own History For its First DLC

Ah, DLC, the part of gaming that has split opinions over the years about its effect on gaming in general and the treatment of players. Now, I am not here to preach about the negative impacts that DLC  has brought upon gaming, in truth, it's more of a mixed bag, and some positives should be discussed. No, what I am here to talk about is one game and what it could have done for its first big plot DLC. The game in question has had as shaded a past as DLC itself, CD Projekt Red’s own Cyberpunk 2077.

To say that Cyberpunk 2077 had its own issues is something of an understatement, after all, it dominated the news cycle for a while when it was released. For those that aren’t in the know, the uproar was due to a problematic and buggy release, and an overabundance of hype from the fans. CD Projekt Red has since spent a long time working on making the game work, and many rightly thought that this would be the state of things for a while. However, the new DLC for the game, titled ‘Phantom Liberty’, has since been announced. The story follows on from the main plot and has V explore a new location. This is fine, but there is a better place for a story DLC, and it is before the game even begins. 

One of the most crucial plot details in Cyberpunk is that of Johnny SIlverhand, his resurrection and his journey with V. The player is given some insights into Johnny’s final moments of life and how he became a glorified Alexa program in V’s head. However, while we do get a decent insight into Johnny’s past, a lot is missing. This is frustrating as Johnny is arguably the game’s best insight into how this world came to be the ‘charming’ place that it is. He wasn’t there at the beginning, but he was there when things really took a downward turn.

Focusing on Jonny’s past would allow players to experience a very different period in the setting's history, namely how the world of Cyberpunk handles war and conflict, for instance, what kind of cybernetic implants and weapons tech was available at the time. The main piece we see is that of Johnny Silverhand’s arm, which appears sleeker than many of the other pieces we see. The potential of giving players a chance to see some of the more advanced pieces of tech would be a great one as well as give them more variety of enemies to fight.

Another advantage is that it would also allow players to experience more significant fights and more cinematic set pieces during the Second Central American War. For instance, players could engage in large-scale battles in both physical combat as well as mass hacking. There is also an argument that the available cyber mods would be more potent than the ones V often has access to, considering how much money would be put into them for the conflict.

The other exciting aspect would be the additions the DLC could make to Johnny’s character and why he does what he does. We are told, in his own words, why he chose the course he did, but it doesn’t always translate well. The DLC would be a chance for players to experience the horrors of the conflict and see how Johnny turns into the rockstar revolutionary that he becomes. This would allow players to experience a character who initially views what is happening as a good thing and then join that character as reality slowly hits. There is another advantage as it would be a contrast to the main game where, for the most part, V already understands that the world is terrible, and the player then slowly experiences that rather than learn it with the character.

It should also be mentioned that this arguably makes more sense than having Johnny return considering many of the endings make this idea…complicated. This choice of DLC would also mean that the end of the main game would be left up to the player's choice, saving CD Projekt Red from choosing a canon ending. There is one issue that this concept does raise, though, and it is the removal of the player's own V, which might disconnect them from the game. However, Johnny is arguably as much a part of any V as the player is and, as such, should be enough of a connection for players. 

There is probably an argument that Cyberpunk needs to get this DLC right, and there are certainly indications that this is going to be the case. However, the choice they have made may not be the best one. Now, an important note should be made that this will probably not be the only DLC CD Projekt Red makes, not by a long shot, and so the ideas here may be used in another release, but arguably it may be too late by then. We may never know how Johnny became the man he is, but maybe we should. 

Joshua Render

Joshua Render

Staff Writer

Became a writer and all he got was this lousy bio

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