Cyberpunk 2077 is the latest upcoming title from CD Projekt Red. As another RPG from the studio, one question was surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 morality. The developers did confirm that there isn’t a morality system per se. Instead, players will have a lot of morally gray choices to pick from.
One thing that’s just a personal theory of mine is regarding Johnny Silverhand. Since he’s a rebellious rockstar living in your head, he’s going to guide you often. Call it the Cortana of Cyberpunk if you will.
I feel like this guidance will sort of provide players with a moral barometer. Instead of having a statistical morality system, our actions will be judged by Johnny. Depending on what we do, Johnny will either be with us or against us. This will provide a sense of doing right from wrong. That’s assuming Silverhand’s a good guy.
Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay definitely has a wide range of play styles. This includes being able to go the entire game without killing anybody. This means morals as a player will exist. However, the game won’t track them. The Cyberpunk 2077 morality also won’t have a direct impact on your story. Only your choices will.
CD Projekt Red have expressed how Deus Ex was a big inspiration for Cyberpunk 2077. Specifically, they talked about the Role-playing elements of both games. The difference is that Deus Ex did have a morality system. One that changed the player’s story path based on how lethal they were.
Another example of morality in a linear story game was Dishonored. Dishonored had entire levels change based on the morality meter Corvo established from how much he killed. This also led to whatever unique ending you had.
Open world games can have a morality system as well. In Fallout New Vegas, it was called karma. Karma was determined by your actions. Stealing and innocent murdering led to bad karma. Then saving and aiding raised it back up. The karma system factored directly into gameplay. The side of karma you were on allowed you to pick certain skills.
Cyberpunk 2077 would be interesting with a morality system. But after the whole controversy surrounding the game recently, I see why it isn’t. The game is established to be a moral lacking world. You’re essentially in a cesspool of degeneracy and gritty vibes. Nobody cares about one another, it’s every person for themselves.
The absence of this morality system also explains why CD Projekt Red doesn’t want players to join any factions. Maybe the only moral center we have in the game is Johnny Silverhand. Since it’s Keanu Reeves, I think it’s a good choice.
Cyberpunk 2077 releases in May 2020 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.