Cyberpunk 2077 launched in what felt like a half-finished state, but even aside from the many fixes that have come through updates, future DLC has the opportunity to make the game world itself just as appealing as its excellent characters. Cyberpunk 2077 provided an open world that was disappointing to some players on launch, and while the game’s voice acting and character arcs were quite strong, the failure of in-game systems to create a living world sabotaged the game’s success. Passive NPCs and numerous side quests couldn’t compensate for the world’s shortcomings, limiting the potential for players to immerse themselves in the futuristic landscape. Characters like Panam, River, Kerry, and Judy explored different walks of life throughout Night City, taking V and Johnny on exhilarating adventures that gave the game meaning, but even as the glitches and bugs began to disappear, some elements of the world’s emptiness remained.
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Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City, an urban society controlled by corporations and gang violence. Players control a fully customizable Nomad, Street Kid, or Corpo character simply named V. During a heist gone wrong, V must install a biochip known as the Relic into their cybernetics, which causes their neural system to begin deteriorating. Johnny Silverhand, a fragment of consciousness residing in the Relic played by Keanu Reeves, starts appearing and guiding them through Night City while trying to create an artificial intelligence cure for the Relic’s damage. Unfortunately, as the game progresses, players can experience the true limitations of the game’s world even as they may be enthralled by its characters, something future Cyberpunk 2077 DLCs could expand on.
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While players suffered many bugs during Cyberpunk 2077’s lifetime, the story and basic gameplay systems provided an enjoyable experience (for those who weren’t falling through the ground). Unfortunately, the game’s overhyped status and failure to deliver on many promises sabotaged many storytelling opportunities. CD Projekt Red’s scope for the game proved too ambitious, as many details in the game’s world struggle to compare to its characters. Unnatural NPC movement, repetitive dialogue, and restricted buildings are just a few of the many ways Night City’s livelihood seems to fade. Thankfully, Cyberpunk 2077’s DLC can help expand the game’s world and match its developed characters.
Cyberpunk 2077’s DLC Needs To Explore Enemy Territory
Adam Smasher is Cyberpunk 2077’s most memorable enemy, featuring dozens of cybernetic enhancements that turned him into a living weapon. As a terrifying monster who appeared in V and Silverhand’s stories, exploring Adam Smasher’s rise to power throughout the unseen territory in Night City could give him a more developed backstory. Playing as a character previously portrayed as a villain opens the opportunity for players to explore different allegiances, perspectives, and properties previously unavailable to them. Navigating Adam Smasher through corporation skyscrapers without worrying about being shot opens the opportunity for CDPR to implement morally ambiguous stories and NPCs. Killing innocents to secure profits or decimating a rival company’s servers can develop some of the many unexplorable skyscrapers in Cyberpunk 2077. The Arasaka Corporation consists of many characters that CDPR could utilize to tell Cyberpunk 2077’s story (and explore gameplay) from the enemy’s perspective, furthering the game’s twisted morals and darker narratives. With no ‘right’ choices to make in a broken, corrupt society, Cyberpunk 2077 has the opportunity for tremendous worldbuilding with its traditionally hostile characters and settings.
Cyberpunk 2077 Can Provide Playable Backstory For Romances
Cyberpunk 2077 has many romances available, from Panam to Kerry Eurodyne, but their romance arcs are unfortunately underwhelming compared to the rest of the game. There are limited romances that maintain a presence after the game’s completion, but V and Johnny Silverhand rarely explore their significant others’ backstories. Players can experience some of Kerry Eurodyne’s past, but most of the rockstar’s personal story is relayed through dialogue or in-game codices. Creating Cyberpunk 2077 DLC and expansions that turn romances into playable characters through unique adventures could open more zones in Night City, with each relationship exploring a different lifestyle usually beyond V’s reach during the primary campaign.
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Panam Palmer is an extremely popular Cyberpunk romance, with her no-nonsense attitude and leadership skills enabling V to explore life outside the Night City norm. Alternatively, River Ward previously enjoyed a life in the Night City police force, struggling to battle corruption and fight for justice in an unjust system. Meanwhile, Kerry Eurodyne enjoyed the perks of living as a celebrity in Night City’s upper class. A DLC to explore these characters’ lives and backstories could open new areas of Night City and beyond. Completing missions with Nomad clans, launching police raids against Corpos and gangs, and eliminating competition in the music scene all provide opportunities to explore further beyond Cyberpunk 2077’s map or expanding explorable buildings.
Cyberpunk 2077’s V Can’t Live Forever, DLC Offers An Answer
Since Cyberpunk 2077 ends with V receiving a terminal diagnosis or with Johnny Silverhand living a new life in a borrowed body, it’s clear that the game’s DLC can’t follow the protagonists’ story forever. Additionally, both characters have the opportunity to leave Night City and live their final days outside the chaotic city. Like most of CDPR’s RPGs, players have a great deal of influence over how their character’s journey begins and ends. Without story DLC, players still aren’t sure what choices resulted in the best ending, as V and Silverhand presumably succumb to their condition no matter the choices made. However, additional DLC could expand Cyberpunk’s world into other cities and towns, introducing new companies, enemy factions, or other Nomad clans. By exploring beyond Night City in a DLC, CDPR can grow the franchise beyond one game by expanding its in-game world and plots.
However, Cyberpunk 2077 could introduce a new explorable location for a unique adventure for fans who don’t want to explore beyond Night City. While players can explore the city’s surface, various skyscrapers, and the surrounding deserts, the city’s underground is a neglected subject. For all the gang activity happening in the daylight, there are plenty of opportunities for CDPR to create a literal criminal underground outside the corporations’ influences. A new protagonist could explore Night City’s darkest sewers and a hidden metropolis with new (and returning) characters. Whether the new protagonist has connections to V or Johnny Silverhand could be left up to the player, though it’s unlikely CDPR could abandon its original player characters so quickly.
While it’s unknown what Cyberpunk 2077’s major DLC will cost or include, CDPR’s best move would be to emphasize development on more stories and characters. The Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone DLCs provided Geralt-centric stories that expanded an already vast world, but Cyberpunk 2077 features only a fraction of the content that its fantasy RPG predecessor did. Thankfully, CDPR has continuously released quality-of-life fixes and gameplay patches to make the original product more stable and playable, meaning DLC could be right around the corner.
Next: Everything Cyberpunk 2077’s Next-Gen Update Actually Fixes
Cyberpunk 2077 is available now on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC systems.
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About The Author
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Natalie Lindner is a Game Features Writer for Screen Rant, creating content on the past, present, and future of games in the industry. Prior to this, she worked out of a writing consultancy in Rhode Island from 2018 to 2021, where she helped college students improve their writing abilities. Natalie has contributed her video game writing to several smaller websites and projects since 2018 and is eager to continue that journey with Screen Rant.
Working out of New Hampshire, Natalie spends the time she isn’t writing about games outside; hiking or biking. On those rainy days, she can be found striving for action on the latest FPS or perusing the latest comic books.
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