With each and every update, Cyberpunk 2077 is getting better and better. It may never be the definitive, next-gen RPG many fans hoped it would be, but as it moves forward, it becomes a game more worth playing. While bugs and performance issues are the priority, there are aspects of the game that haven’t sat well with some fans, and those issues in Cyberpunk 2077 may be harder to fix.
For example, Cyberpunk 2077’s character background customization (the full extent of it anyway), car customization, various forms of transportation, third-person gameplay, manageable real estate, wallrunning, and a sixth attribute were all cut. The truth is, this is also likely the tip of the iceberg, as there’s likely a lot of content that may have not made it off the cutting room floor.
Sometimes, there’s oddities or feelings of emptiness that can easily hint at areas or features that have been cut. Cyberpunk 2077’s subways, for example, show NPCs walking in and out, even if V can’t. The same goes for the missing attribute, as there is a clear space for it in the game menu. Interestingly enough, the same feeling comes from Cyberpunk 2077’s endings. The content may have not have been cut, but if Cyberpunk 2077 had reinforced its companions more, the ending(s) would have had more potential.
Cyberpunk 2077 Endings – Rogue, Panam, and Takemura
Cyberpunk 2077 may not have companions like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, but the relationships V builds with characters like Panam, Judy, River, and Kerry are all important. Only few can impact the endings though. V can end up in a space rehabilitation clinic with Arasaka, choosing whether or not to give their psyche to the Secure Your Soul program. V can end up the leader of the Afterlife with their remaining time, or they can be with the Aldecados searching for a way to extend their life. Johnny could be living in V’s body, leaving Night City altogether, while V goes with Alt in Cyberspace.
In these endings, several characters play important roles. Without completing Rogue’s quests, there’s no Johnny and Rogue storming Arasaka together ending. Without Panam’s quests, there’s no Aldecados ending. And without Takemura, while he may die in Cyberpunk 2077 based on player choice, the “trust Arasaka” quest goes quite differently. It even impacts if a player can get the Devil Trophy/Achievement.
Yet, that’s the extent of companions’ impact on the game’s ending. Romances may be called into question, but Judy, River, and Kerry have no real impact. In fact, they seem downright lost without V in some of the endings, depending on choices, and it creates this weird empty feeling when only half of the companions matter to the ending, but all of them could matter to V.
Cyberpunk 2077 – How Judy, River, and Kerry Could Have Impacted the Endings
Speculatively speaking, there seems to be a few ways that these characters could have assisted V in their own way. Cyberpunk 2077‘s Judy Alvarez, for example, is a brain dance technician but also good in general with technology. She’s not really one for the frontlines, though there are clear exceptions, and what this means is that the doll chip used in her storyline could have been perfected. With Dolls, The Mox, or whatnot, V could have had those with experiment fighting skill at her side. It would likely be even possible for the Mox to run a distraction as V attempted to stealth into the building.
River’s is perhaps the most interesting. His story, especially if he is not romanced, just ends. V never meets the nephew they helped rescue, and it’s never clear what’s coming from River after this. It’s just a focus on family, in which V (if not romanced) only seems to half-step into. If V had asked River for help and explained the situation, it would have been interesting if (during V’s inevitable blackout), River had returned to the police force with evidence, taken over, and led a NCPD force into Arasaka Tower (backed by V) to arrest Yorinobu, leading to another alternative for the Arasaka mission. It doesn’t seem far-fetched considering that V completes jobs for the NCPD to break up various crimes.
During Kerry’s quests, he gets back in touch with his rebellious side, shown when he blows up the Yacht. Of course, Kerry is a far cry from leading an assault on Arasaka, but a quick impromptu concert from him and the Us Cracks (who Johnny Silverhand seemed to like) could have went from protesting concert to distraction to all out riot quickly, allowing V to try to get to the Mikoshi access point.
Of course, it should be noted that Adam Smasher typically kills a companion. Rogue, for example, dies to Smasher, as does Saul instead of Panam. As such, in these hypothetical endings, Judy (or a Mox replacement), River (or an NCPD replacement), or Kerry (or a Rockerboy replacement) would likely die. Cyberpunk 2077 has a secret ending where, not wanting friends to die, Johnny and V assault Arasaka by themselves. With this in mind, and considering how the main story endings go, it’s hard not to imagine a potential secret ending that, instead of relying on one faction/friend or another, they all pooled resources to help the one who truly matter to them: V.
Cyberpunk 2077 Secret Ending? – All for One
Looking at the various plans that go into effect in Cyberpunk 2077’s real endings, it’s hard not to see how they could have worked together perfectly. For example, Rogue’s plan sees Alt Cunningham crash a satellite, killing communication not just for Arasaka but basically all of the surrounding area. Had Rogue crashed Alt while V went with the Aldecados, reinforcements would not appear so quickly, and perhaps the Aldecados who die during the assault could live.
Takemura could convince Hanako to listen to V, which could tie this in further to the plan, where Hanako and Takemura serve as a distraction for Yorinobu and his Arasaka forces. Combined, perhaps V could have just walked in, defeated Adam Smasher, and proceeded to the ending. The aforementioned secret Don’t Fear The Reaper “One for All-style” ending for Jonny and V would make more sense if it came into contrast to another secret ending – “All for One.”
Having completed every character’s storyline, it would have been interesting for V to choose not just one ending, but all of them. In the above, speculative scenario, for example, Rogue could have aided Takemura against Yorinobu by landing where she did, and killed wide communications all the same. They could handle those upstairs, while Cyberpunk 2077‘s Aldecados could have opened a back door as an escape for V and the others, with less dying in the process.
Tossing River into the mix could ensure Yorinobu’s arrest, preventing Saburo Arasaka’s return and the threat of new corporate war. Toss Kerry into the mix, with Rockers and Mox tuned up thanks to Judy’s chip, and the base floor could have been secured. That would only leave the basement for Johnny and V, and as all the plans converged, Adam Smasher wouldn’t be facing one or two people, but all of those who V has impacted. This would add more weight to Smashehr’s death even, knowing that he has been alone and less human for so long, and in this ending, V is choosing humanity.
Of course, this is all speculation. But bringing in more of the companions to genuinely impact the game, instead of offering some oddball or sometimes sad advice in videos for the ending, could have made Cyberpunk 2077’s conclusion 10x better. That time has clearly passed though, and the step forward for CD Projekt Red is in Cyberpunk 2077’s free DLC and premium expansions. Hopefully, the compane truly takes things to the next level.
Cyberpunk 2077 is available now on PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One. PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are in development.
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