Will Cyberpunk 2 Deliver on Multiplayer Hopes?Will Cyberpunk 2 Deliver on Multiplayer Hopes?

Multiplayer was promised for Cyberpunk 2077, then canceled. Doubts about his involvement in the sequel seem healthy.

This week, CD Projekt Red CEO Michał Nowakowski said the Cyberpunk 2077 developer is considering whether the game’s sequel, currently titled Orion, will feature multiplayer. Given that GTA Online-but-cyberpunk is a dream of mine, I’m excited about the prospect of traversing a futuristic city with people close to me. But then I remember what I did in the year leading up to my first cyberpunk and force myself to calm down.

Cyber Prunk 2077: Official Launch Trailer

Given the amount of news that has come out about Cyberpunk 2077 over the years, you might have forgotten, but it was sold on the promise that it would get multiplayer a few years after launch. When I bought the game in December 2020, I planned to play a bunch of it, finish the campaign, set it up for a while, and then come back for a deep dive once multiplayer became available. However, following the game’s extremely rough launch, CDPR was forced to make some difficult decisions regarding its future, some of which led to the studio breaching promises. One was his decision to cut the DLC expansion from two promised to just one – last year’s Phantom Liberty. The alternative was to remove the multiplayer feature completely.

This was disappointing to me because a huge part of my excitement around the game was centered around the prospect of just wandering around its world, drinking in the neon lights of Night City. A multiplayer mode designed for long-term co-op like GTA Online (which clearly wasn’t what CDPR was building, but seemed to be the most obvious direction) would have been the best place to do it.

I’ve talked before about how much I bought into the Cyberpunk 2077 hype cycle due to the Pandemic. During that first year of COVID, when I wasn’t leaving my house except for essentials, the promise of cyberpunk was a neon light at the end of the tunnel. I may be stuck in my apartment, but Night City will escape. While the game’s ending was disappointing, it was partly CDPR’s fault for continuing to push and expand the game in Night City Wires, but it was also my fault for more than a game. To expect, that is, to not feel like the world is completely broken. And scary.

As I look ahead to Cyberpunk 2, I’m much more cautious. It was easy to take the promise of Cyberpunk 2077 and run with it, but this time I’m not preparing to believe anything. Until I see it with my own eyes and play with my hands. Wanting to play cyberpunk-but-multiplayer won’t make it real.

I’ve learned from the hype cycle, and I just hope CD Projekt Red has too. The studio did a good job of under-promising and over-delivering on Phantom Liberty. I hope it can maintain its commitment to not feeding the hype beast in four or five years when the messy launch of 2077 is a decade in the rearview mirror.

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