Typically RPG’s, especially more modern ones, try to make every player decision carry a certain weight with it, which inevitably affects the outcome of your character’s journey. While Cyberpunk 2077 will surely have choices that push the story in your direction, apparently there won’t be much, morally, to give you pause before murdering an entire strip club… if that’s how you want to play.
Choices and consequences for those decisions have become somewhat of an expectation in expansive, open-world RPGs. In Fable, for example, every little thing you did to the people around you ultimately factored into the type of person your main character would develop into. Want to go around farting in the faces of every woman and child you meet? You’re going to end up with some big ass goat horns growing out of your dome-piece. Adore and respect your fellow man and butterflies might decide they enjoy following you where ever you go. While every game doesn’t go to these great lengths to drive home morality, a good chunk of RPG’s involve similar mechanics.
Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t want to come between you and your moral compass.
By removing the morality system from the equation, Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, quest director and winner of the “Most Polish Name Ever” award, has evaporated the question of “is it ok to kill people for fun?”. In regards to CD Projekt Red’s new game, the answer is simply, yes.
While the game will involve choices during character interactions that will surely affect the game’s ending, the minute to minute gameplay seems to be untouched. If you’re walking down the street and see someone that looks like they deserve a beating, go for it. If you prefer to incapacitate your enemies instead of killing them, the game will offer you ways of playing that way as well.
“We don’t have a moral system per se. To complete it non-lethally you have to be very good at stealth. Invest in points that allow you to stealth better, use weapons that will allow you to incapacitate the enemy instead of killing them, to make the moral choices that will allow you to avoid killing people throughout the game.” Tomaszkiewicz said in a recent interview.
Sometimes, punishing the player for getting bored and wanting to see what happens if they kill a random NPC isn’t always the best way to play. It’s nice to know that player choice will only come into play during dialogue-like interactions with NPCs. It’s also nice to know that if I get bored I can test out some new cybernetic enhancements on some innocent bystanders and not worry about that choice ruining the way my game ends.
While a morality system might be missing, at least CDPR is still letting us find love in their games. Cyberpunk 2077 drops on PlayStation 4, XboxOne, and PC April 16, 2020.