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What if Cyberpunk 2077 Was a Linear First-Person Shooter?

Author : killjuic
Publish Date : 2021-05-19 08:20:09
What if Cyberpunk 2077 Was a Linear First-Person Shooter?

Whether or not a game should be open world or strictly linear is oftentimes a moot discussion, regardless of the game in question. If the developers deem there is enough of a plan to realize a living world full of detail, then an open-world adventure is on the way. If the narrative is better as a focused centerpiece, rather than one story among many side quests stealing the spotlight, then a linear adventure makes more sense. That's almost certainly not the case with Cyberpunk 2077, though the beginning of the game does certainly make it seem that way. Cyberpunk 2077 does eventually become more open-ended, but it's interesting wonder if the opposite had happened.

While the rest of Cyberpunk 2077's playthrough saw similar highs throughout the main story and several of its best side quests, the beginning of the game is extremely linear. Many critics came to praise the first few hours of CDPR's latest RPG because it set the tone and atmosphere of Night City excellently, regardless of players' chosen lifepath. Jackie and V's tale of short-lived success and grave tragedy helped set the stage for the main story of Cyberpunk 2077. The beginning heist is tangentially referenced throughout the rest of the game, but Cyberpunk 2077 doesn't have many similar examples of concise storytelling throughout the remainder of its main quest.

As a linear action adventure game, Cyberpunk 2077's setting holds a lot of potential similar to its existing open world framework. Rather than functioning as a highly customizable RPG that allows for varied character builds like netrunners or techies, Cyberpunk 2077 could function as a Far Cry-style first-person shooter. Players would just be Solos focused on gunplay, though there's room for expanding offensive cybernetic enhancements like Mantis Blades and other miscellaneous abilities.

Each playthrough could exist as a sort-of hybrid between a Call of Duty campaign and a Far Cry game, eschewing an open-world for focused missions or even some sandbox/open-ended elements. So long as it follows a similar design to Cyberpunk 2077's prologue, or even some side quests, the game could see similar success.

Outside of gameplay, many fans and critics praised the dynamic between V, Jackie, and T-Bug as they prepared for the big heist at the beginning of Cyberpunk 2077. Much of the events and character development before that were glossed over by an in-game cutscene showing Jackie and V becoming renowned mercenaries in Night City. Perhaps that montage could be a selection of playable missions were V and Jackie carry out miscellaneous heists or crimes throughout the city to build their reputation. Then from there, the Arasaka heist could be a midpoint or rising action in the story, rather than the inciting incident the mission serves as in the existing Cyberpunk 2077.

The problem is that Cyberpunk 2077 was always billed as a simulatory open-world RPG, much like CD Projekt Red's previous projects. Much of the allure of the Cyberpunk world was the idea of becoming the mercenary players wanted to be, even if to some fans that never really panned out in Cyberpunk 2077 proper. The impressive writing and quest design from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would serve as the foundation for making Cyberpunk 2077 an immersive RPG as well. Considering the source material Cyberpunk 2077 is based on is a tabletop RPG series akin to Dungeons and Dragons, making it a linear shooter wouldn't have made sense.

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