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Every Cyberpunk 2077 Feature That Was Left On The Cutting Room Floor

After eight years of development, rumors, and promotions, the expectations for Cyberpunk 2077 were titanic. In hindsight, it seems inevitable that the game was destined for a controversial release, especially given the project's tumultuous history.


The hype machine arguably became the game's worst enemy. The protracted development cycle lent itself to speculation and anticipation in equal measure. While there was a great deal of baseless speculation from fans about what the final game would include, players also made several logical assumptions based on the wealth of trailers and interviews. Certain core aspects of the game, like third-person cinematics and customizable backgrounds, were radically reworked. Other long-anticipated features were announced to be absent at the eleventh hour. Pairing these discrepancies with a core campaign that was shorter than many gamers anticipated, an outcry was bound to occur. 

However, much of the trimmed content was cut for good reason, and may have resulted in a stronger final product. It's difficult to deny, however, that the game that was promised differs greatly from the Cyberpunk 2077 that was finally released. Here are the Cyberpunk 2077 features left on the cutting room floor.


Customization system stripped bare

In 2018, redditor u/BenTilley corresponded with CDPR over Facebook to confirm that Cyberpunk's protagonist, V, would be able to buy multiple apartments throughout Night City. CDPR changed course on this concept long before launch, stating in a 2019 interview (via Google Translate) that V would have only one apartment. However, property acquisition and decorating weren't the only customization features to get the axe.


NPCs were also supposed to react to your wardrobe as an extension of the game's intended focus on objectification. However, this is not evident in game, as NPCs do not even react to characters walking around naked. For a game that touted unprecedented immersion and a meticulously detailed character creation system, this seems like an oversight.

The final major blow to the game's customization system was the loss of vehicular customization, a feature that was originally confirmed by  CDPR senior level designer Miles Tost in an interview at E3 2019. While none of these features drastically affect the gameplay or narrative, the constraints on customization and their lack of importance can feel at odds with the game's purported ethos.


Third-person cut-scenes removed

On Sept. 2, 2019, CDPR Global Community Lead Marcin Momot announced on Twitter that CDPR was shifting its intentions to go "100% first person." This is in contrast to earlier promotional materials, like the game's E3 2019 trailer, which showed off Cyberpunk's player character in third-person.


Again, given the early emphasis on customization and players' ability to create their own, distinctive version of V, locking players into a first-person perspective might seem strangely limiting. On the other hand, given the game's admitted graphical performance issues on older platforms, as well as the non-trivial number of visual hiccups and glitches present, streamlining the experience to focus on a single visual perspective might have been a safe move.

Fortunately for a certain set of fans, Cyberpunk 2077 also has an active and talented modding community, with creators stepping up to bridge the gap between what was promised and what was delivered. On PC, players can experiment with Night City in third-person via a third-party mod.


Custom backstories replaced with life path origins

Early on, CDPR teased an incredibly ambitious customizable background system, which was eventually replaced with life paths. Rather than building a bespoke background, one life event and personal question at a time, the player must now choose one of three identities that serves as an origin story for V: Corpo Rat, Street Kid, or Nomad. This change seemed like a reasonable compromise and a good way to keep scope creep in check. CDPR still promised gamers a diversified experience, as V's lifepath was supposed to dramatically affect the choices and quests available in a given playthrough


In the end however, life paths effectively act as funnels for the game's plot threads, a way to streamline an introduction to the game's otherwise overwhelming number of mechanics. Apart from a few life path-specific dialogue options sprinkled throughout the game, the initial choice players make about V's background has relatively little impact on the overall roleplaying experience of the title.

No parkour zone

Omitted features are always disappointing, but cuts can also provide focus and clarity to titles that would otherwise be cluttered or half-baked. Cyberpunk's scrapped wall-running and parkour systems might have been one of these smart cuts, especially bearing existing physics and collision glitches in mind. In June 2020, speaking to Game Reactor, CDPR confirmed that wall-running had been removed from the game for unspecified "design reasons," dashing the excitement generated by the wall-running footage in the game's August 2018 trailer.


Given the near-overwhelming amount of mechanics present in Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR's unspecified design concerns are easy to imagine. Also, since the title was marketed as an RPG rather than an action game, complex verticality and mobility are not necessarily essential elements of the title, which may have contributed to CDPR's decision to trim such a physics-intensive traversal system. 

In addition to potentially introducing more glitches, allowing players to stalk and dispatch enemies with Assassin's Creed-esque moves could also have unbalanced combat, unfairly favoring builds that leverage ambushes.

No dual-wielding

Sometimes gamers fall in love with a feature that is teased, even if it was never truly intended to come to fruition. Such was the case with dual-wielding in Cyberpunk 2077. While never officially announced, Jackie was showcased dual-wielding weapons in an early gameplay teaser and the collector's edition of the game came with a statue that showcased V dual-wielding pistols. This led many gamers to conclude that the feature would be available in game. But in July of 2020, Marcin Momot confirmed on Twitter that dual-wielding weapons would not be an option. 


As cool as guns akimbo are, however, this omission also makes sense. Similar to the potential issues with parkour, dual-wielding is a feature that would presumably affect skill trees, itemization, and combat. If using different weapons together could offer inherent tactical superiority, it could become an extremely difficult mechanic to balance. That said, perhaps CDPR could have somehow addressed the issue cosmetically, with paired weapon items assigned to a single slot.

Missing NPC routines and unfulfilled AI realism

When Miles Tost and Philip Weber spoke with GameStar in 2018 (via Google Translate), they promised "more than a thousand" NPCs with hand-made routines, improving over the systems in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In the final game, only mission contacts have designated schedules or discernible routines. Most NPCs seem to dynamically spawn around V with their behavior, appearance, and density subject to the player's current environment and time of day. The crowd dynamics shown off in 2018's gameplay reveal trailer also do not reflect the final game, even when it is run on maximum settings


As for promises of unrivaled realism in AI behavior, Reddit user u/KaiCouzell has broken down many of the unrealistic AI quirks that are prevalent in Cyberpunk 2077. NPC reactions to violence are particularly unrealistic. If the player assaults a bystander, they will not attempt to fight back, and every NPC in the vicinity will crouch in place, regardless of whether they actually witness the assault or not.

Once again, the community has stepped up to close the gap between what was promised and what is present with TemplarGFX's mod that makes adjustments to crowd behavior.

Misleading manhunt system

Law enforcement in Night City leaves much to be desired, even putting corruption and police brutality aside. As PC Gamer reported, police have a habit of teleporting behind players after they commit crimes, without other NPCs needing to report the player first. Modder WillJL has produced a fix in the form of the "Annoy Me No More" mod. This mod prevents instant-spawns for police and includes many other quality of life perks.


While the game does feature a manhunt system, it is simpler than those found in Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption. Polygon noted that evading capture is typically a matter of hopping into a vehicle and driving a few blocks. Because of this, car chases are virtually non-existent. 

Admittedly, CDPR never billed vehicular chases as a specific selling point of the title. In an interview with The Gamer, the developer stated that Cyberpunk would not rely on "emergent content," instead favoring handcrafted content, such as scripted events. 

Given the emphasis on the need to flee from the police in promotional materials, however, there is a substantial difference between the pursuit system that was seemingly promised and what the game delivered.


Scaled-back Flathead drone

CDPR originally had big plans for remote-controlled robots that ultimately fell through. While Cyberpunk 2077 delivers on the promise of using aerial reconnaissance drones to survey certain missions, they are always scripted sequences that the player cannot voluntarily trigger.


Players obtain a Militech Flathead spider drone fairly early on as a crucial component of "The Heist" mission. While the flathead mission offers some fun moments, CDPR teased other exciting applications for the bot on Cyberpunk's Tumblr. Specifically, players using engineering and tech skill trees could use the Flathead as a damage-dealing companion and crucial piece of infiltration equipment on some missions.

In the end, the Techie and Netrunner skill trees had too much overlap, and both the Techie tree and flathead drone were left on the cutting room floor (via Google Translate). Unlike dual-wielding and parkour, which would have entailed a great deal of work for relatively modest gameplay gains, the lack of drone combat in a cyberpunk-themed title — and the removal of the Techie skills — came as an unpleasant shock for some fans.


The Monorail is closed

After the game launched, redditor u/Sybekul discovered an unfinished train station that connects to the monorails in-game. While trains can be seen gliding through the city, and V takes a train in the 2018 cinematic E3 trailer, players currently have no way of interacting with them. It seems likely that these "ghost stations" were initially planned to serve as in-game fast travel locations, though there are not nearly enough of them to be as effective as the game's current fast travel system.


While the fast travel system that exists is functional, and a functional monorail system was never explicitly promised as a part of the game's marketing, the feature was clearly planned and removed all the same, as explained by GameStar (via Google Translate). Again, this is not an enormous blow to players' ability to experience or enjoy the game, secret inaccessible areas are nearly ubiquitous in complex video games. That said, the half-finished rail system is another example of content that was planned and never fully implemented.

Watered-down weather

Originally, Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to have a dynamic weather system that included acid rain, as a means of exploring the game's themes of global warming and pollution. It is unclear whether these aberrant weather phenomena were supposed to introduce new mechanics, like posing a threat to players' health, or if they were merely supposed to provide visual variety, but they do not manifest in the final game by default. As fans have noted, "superstorms" are referenced in Night City's history and Cyberpunk's lore, so it seems plausible that weather was another system which was pared down, streamlined, or simplified in preparation for launch.


It should be noted, extreme weather conditions do appear in-game, though they are restricted to a few scripted occurrences of sandstorms, such as the "Riders on the Storm" mission. This is another area where the modding community is once again stepping up to the task of realizing Cyberpunk's potential, as a "Climate Change" mod is currently available, adding more weather effects to the game.