- Cyberpunk 2077 has successfully turned its initial negative reception around and regained the trust of fans through updates and expansions.
- The sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, codenamed “Project Orion,” has big shoes to fill in terms of narrative and gameplay after the success of the 2.1 update and Phantom Liberty DLC.
- Project Orion may need to explore new territory, such as body horror, to surprise fans and exceed the achievements of its predecessor. The RPG progression systems are also a primary area for potential improvement.
Few games have successfully bounced back from negative reception in the way that Cyberpunk 2077 has. Since its initial rocky launch, CD Projekt Red has worked tirelessly to see its original vision for Cyberpunk 2077 come to fruition, culminating in 2023’s incredibly ambitious 2.1 update and the launch of the Phantom Liberty DLC expansion. Now, the game continually lands at or near the top of bestseller lists on digital storefronts and has a respectable concurrent Steam player count of roughly 60,000 on average. CD Projekt Red has successfully restored goodwill from fans thanks to its efforts to bring Cyberpunk 2077 into the state it was meant to ship in, but it’s also set a high bar for the in-development sequel.
First announced in October 2022 along with several other in-development titles at CD Projekt Red, “Project Orion” is the working codename for the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077. Little is known about the project at this point save for the staff involved, which includes Phantom Liberty director Gabe Amatangelo reprising his directorial duties on the proper sequel to Cyberpunk 2077. Considering the overwhelmingly positive response to the 2.1 update and Phantom Liberty, it’s safe to say that Project Orion has some big shoes to fill in the narrative and gameplay departments.
Cyberpunk 2077’s Addicted to Chaos Quest Abides by its Name
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty’s Addicted to Chaos side quest has a very accurate name, though only some of its chaos is intentional.
Cyberpunk 2077 Leaves Little Untread Territory for Project Orion
Between the base game and Phantom Liberty, there’s actually not much traditional cyberpunk space left untouched by CD Project Red for a future game. All the major themes of cyberpunk science fiction are to be found in the best quests from Cyberpunk 2077. The relationship between man and machine, what happens when those lines are blurred, the power dynamics between governments and corporations, and the merging of disparate cultures and classes in society get explored in depth and from various angles thanks to Cyberpunk 2077‘s flexible life-path system.
That’s not to say that the writers and director behind Project Orion won’t find ways to surprise fans, but they may need to venture into foreign territory in order to do so. One area that is rife for further exploration in the next Cyberpunk game is that of body horror, opening up the potential for the game to delve deeper into the psychological and physiological dilemmas that arise when the machine parts merged with organic tissue begin to betray the bodies they’re supposed to enhance. Both Cyberpunk 2077 and Phantom Liberty touch on these body horror elements, but the full sequel could embrace the concept as part of its main narrative.
In terms of gameplay, there’s definitely some paths that Project Orion could venture down to see it surpass its predecessor, with an expanded and revised version of the RPG progression systems sticking out as a primary candidate. CD Project Red has gone to great lengths to improve the formerly clunky RPG progression of Cyberpunk 2077. The current state of these systems is much easier to understand and features Cyberpunk perks and stat bonuses that provide a tangible impact on how characters perform in combat.
The additions to the base game that have arrived courtesy of continual patches and the 2.1 Cyberpunk 2077 Update that significantly overhauls the core experience have had the cumulative effect of making Cyberpunk 2077 closer than it ever has been to the promise of its initial reveal. Cyberpunk 2077 used to seem like a game that was too good to be true, and that same hype has both negatively and positively impacted the game throughout its redemption arc. If Project Orion is going to avoid the same initial missteps and truly stick the landing, CD Project Red has its work cut out for it.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an RPG set in a future dystopian world. Players take up the role of V, who works as a mercenary in Night City in California. Gameplay involves branching dialogue, open-world exploration, character classes, and combat.
- December 10, 2020
- M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol
- How Long To Beat
- 25 Hours
- REDengine 4
- PS Plus Availability