Cyberpunk 2 As A Direct Sequel Makes No Sense

Project Orion may be a direct continuation of Cyberpunk 2077but as exciting as the premise sounds, it might not be the best direction for the series. The sequel, otherwise dubbed as Cyberpunk 2, was first announced in 2022 as a part of CD Projekt Red’s long-term strategy update. Indeed, the Polish developer has plenty of thrilling plans in store for future years, including a remake of Witcher 1 and other brand-new RPG titles to come. But with Cyberpunk 2 promising to delve even deeper into the dystopian RPG universe, many players are already anticipating the release of Project Orion.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAYSCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT


Expectations may be especially high knowing that Cyberpunk 2077‘s upcoming Phantom Liberty DLC will be the game’s first and final expansion. Phantom Liberty – which releases on September 26, 2023 – will incorporate a fresh new set of spy-thriller adventures into the Cyberpunk 2077 universe, bringing V to the dangerous Dogtown district and alongside Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand and even Idris Elba, who plays a role as FIA agent Solomon Reed. Phantom Liberty is CDPR’s biggest expansion yet (at least in terms of budget), and so it seems like it’ll keep players sated for some time. However, that hasn’t stopped some Cyberpunk fans from theorizing about the contents of Cyberpunk 2.

Related: Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty DLC: Trailer, Story Details, & Price



Project Orion May Be A Direct Sequel To Cyberpunk 2077

Songbird from the Phantom Liberty trailer, looking back into the camera.

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, little to nothing is known about Project Orion‘s story, gameplay, or release date. The developer has remained rather tight-lipped in describing the project, stating only that it will “prove the full power and potential of the Cyberpunk universe” in CD Projekt Red‘s strategy update. In fact, Cyberpunk 2 has yet to officially enter development at all, as CDPR’s CEO Adam KiciƄski predicts (via CD Projekt IR‘s Q1 2023 earnings conference call on YouTube) that the developer’s new Boston-based studio will only begin working on the title in early 2024. As such, it’ll likely be a couple of years before edgerunners hear any concrete details about Project Orion.

That being said, according to Insider Gaming (which translates a report from Spanish gaming publication Vandal), the developer may have actually revealed that Cyberpunk 2will be a direct sequel to the first game.” Of course, it’s important to note that CDPR has yet to announce the premise of the upcoming game officially, and that the statement could simply be an innocent error in translation. However, it’s interesting to consider the implications of a direct sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 nonetheless, especially since the idea might not work so well in-game as it does on paper.

Cyberpunk 2077 Has No Canon Ending

Image of Cyberpunk 2077 concept art of a character approaching a neon-lit bar, with V pasted overhead looking towards the camera.

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of a direct Cyberpunk sequel is simply the fact that Cyberpunk 2077 has many different endings. Depending on the decisions players make and how they interact with various characters, they’re able to choose between five different outcomes for V, ranging from grim, heavy-hearted acceptance to going out with a bang. None of the endings are particularly cheerful, and none are particularly canon either; while it could be argued that some endings are more realistic and more cohesive with the protagonist’s personality, at the end of the day, V’s story is in the hands of the player.

In order for Cyberpunk 2 to be a direct sequel of Cyberpunk 2077, one of the endings would need to be deemed as canon – and even then, CDPR would have to jump through some serious hoops to make it work. In the base game, it’s not possible for V to survive the infectious Relic, and the Night City merc ends up either immediately or eventually passing away. Unsurprisingly, it would be difficult to continue the story of a dead character. In order to see a direct sequel, V would have to be revived (for a second time), which risks making all of Cyberpunk 2077‘s endings completely pointless.

It’s possible that the Phantom Liberty DLC could actually give V a happy ending, which would make things slightly less complicated. Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty‘s Songbird offers the protagonist a cure for the Relic, and thanks to her credentials, it may actually end up being a worthwhile venture unlike Hellman’s own promise in the base game. However, while it would certainly be nice for things to finally go V’s way, it still wouldn’t be the best idea for CD Projekt Red to base the entire premise of Cyberpunk 2 on Phantom Liberty‘s tentative “good” ending, since not all players will be purchasing or playing the expansion.

Related: Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty DLC Is Already Making A Big Mistake

Project Orion’s Setting And Story Would Benefit From Variety

A stadium lit up by dozens of neon advertisements in a nighttime setting, possibly Dogtown, in Phantom Liberty.

V’s heartbreaking narrative and their dynamic with Johnny Silverhand are compelling, but at the end of the day, there are plenty of other, more fruitful avenues that Cyberpunk 2‘s story could explore. After all, Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the table-top role playing Cyberpunk games, which are massively complex and ripe with characters, settings, and lore; the groundwork in world building is already laid, and Project Orion shouldn’t restrict itself to the base game’s storyline.

A sequel set a few decades into the future, for example, could see a more advanced (or more corrupt) Night City that continues to warn players against the disastrous consequences of a hyper-capitalistic society. On the contrary, Cyberpunk 2 could take players to a completely different part of the world, such as Europe, which – at least during Cyberpunk 2077‘s time – is doing considerably better, economically. Even Phantom Liberty could set up Cyberpunk 2 with its own plot, especially given that the expansion could either see the downfall or the reprise of the New United States of America.

As heartwarming as it might be to get extensive closure of V and Johnny Silverhand’s story, Cyberpunk 2 being a direct sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 would be a lackluster venture. The dystopian, lore-rich universe can go in any number of directions, and it would be disappointing to see it stick within the confines of Cyberpunk 2077, especially since it would need to perform some serious narrative gymnastics to get there. But until CD Projekt Red releases more information about Project Orion, all that fans can do is continue to speculate about the nature of the next entry – and the many possibilities for Cyberpunk 2‘s story.

Source: CD Projekt Red, CD Projekt IR/YouTube, Insider Gaming, Vandal, Cyberpunk 2077/YouTube

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