Cyberpunk 2077's best quests don't come around as often as we'd like them to. There's some good stuff in there, but you'd think a world of transhuman technologies, deeply and overtly rooted corporate corruption, and good ol' fashioned suffering on a massive scale to provide endless, novel scenarios for CD Projekt Red to spin out. Not so. The Witcher 3 is absolutely stuffed with memorable moments, so we expected a few more standouts in CD Projekt Red's latest, which isn't to say we're not cautiously excited for its future.
Still, a few Cyberpunk 2077 quests are stuck in our minds, whether for their complex level design, tender character moments, focus on fun, or flirtation with mind bending cyberpunk themes.
Here's a few we're still thinking about, dozens of hours into our trip to Night City.
Spoiler warning: If it wasn't obvious from the headline, we're going to talk about our favorite bits from the whole of Cyberpunk 2077. If you don't want anything spoiled, turn back. We're not spoiling every outcome for every quest, but establishing information and big beats are definitely detailed.
Epistrophy / Don't Lose Your Mind
Making friends as an autonomous taxicab business ain't easy. So when Delamain's personality cores splinter off and go rogue, sending self-driving cabs on a rampage throughout the city, it can feel like there's no hope for them, now an autonomous and very lonely taxicab business. Lucky for D, V has nothing better to do, it seems, than run about the city and talk down one car from driving off a steep ledge, or to beat down another car obsessed with smashing into things, or have an existential conversation with another in the middle of a vast junkyard. Even the goofy and blatant part of Delamain doing their best GlaDOS impression gets talked down by V.
It's a great sidequest, the kind of thing you can pick at while doing other stuff around the city, and each car has its own gimmick, be it an interesting conversation or novel gameplay scenario. Then there's that finale quest, a final stand from the rogue AIs in the belly of Delamain's maintenance wing, a difficult choice laying down some cerebral cyberpunk themes to do with the nature of life wrapped up in a rad stealth obstacle course. I won't say how things played out for me, but I will say that I get texts from cars vacationing halfway across the world nowadays. Happy for 'em. —James Davenport
Well, I unfortunately can't say much about this quest without spoiling the wild ending, and one of the things I liked about it was that I was a good fifteen minutes into it before I even knew what the hell was going on. It starts as a simple hit, which V seems uninterested in (though I'm perfectly fine with assassinations) and then quickly gets more complicated.
I don't like any of the characters involved in it and they all seem to be horrible people, but I enjoy when a quest sounds like a basic A to B gig and turns out to be something else entirely. (If anyone ever tells me to get in a car and that they'll explain everything on the way, I'm in.) This quest touches on a lot of different themes, from religion to forgiveness to corporate greed and exploitation, and there's several interesting choices to make along the way. —Chris Livingston
Riders on the Storm
For a game that is constantly asking you to shoot at stuff with cool guns, I haven’t encountered many quests that really let you tear it up like the katana-toting super soldier I am. That’s why I enjoyed the simplicity of Riders on the Storm, in which Panam calls up V to help her save Saul from the Raffen Shivs. The Raffen camp is sprawling enough that you can tackle it from any angle.
Even if you do eventually break stealth like I did (thanks, camera sitting in a dark corner), punching a hole in their forces big enough to drag Saul out of there was a thrill. I even dug the cabin sleepover at the end of the quest, one of the handful of moments where Cyberpunk’s commitment to first-person succeeds in making a conversation feel more intimate. —Morgan Park
Every Breath You Take
What if Hitman, but reversed? Blue Moon, member of the famous pop group Us Cracks, asks V for help with a stalking problem. She's been harassed by a fan for some time now, but lately the signs point to violence, so to force a resolution—via pretty stupid means, mind you—V agrees to follow Blue Moon around in public to separate the stalker from the crowd.
From here, you just need to look for suspicious signs and separate the stalker from the crowd. It's a pretty tense scene that ends in violence one way or another, and a neat showcase for the potential of quest design in future expansions. It's a bummer that Every Breath You Take shows up pretty late in the game, only after you've completed a few character quest branches. More disappointing is how little time is spent getting to know the pop stars. But it still took me by surprise and made me sweat long after I thought I'd outlevelled any challenge left in Cyberpunk 2077. —James Davenport
I Walk The Line
I Walk The Line is one of the best all-around quests I’ve seen so far in Cyberpunk. After getting properly introduced to the Voodoo Boys in Pacifica, Placide promises a meeting with Brigitte if you can take care of a little problem in the nearby abandoned mall. It’s such a simple, breezy stealth-action game premise for a quest that gets progressively more complicated once you sneak in. This is one of the quests that we heard a lot about in previews leading up to Cyberpunk 2077 and I can see why.
There’s an attention and care to the level design of the mall that isn’t matched by the other 40 hours I’ve played. It’s the one time the level design has actually approached the variety you see in every level of Deus Ex or Dishonored. I hope there’s more quests like it down the line. It's capped with a gripping conversation that had my V in a rare moment of indecision. —Morgan Park
Phew. This one's disturbing, but makes a case for a future standalone Cyberpunk 2077 murder mystery expansion. Once you complete River Ward's first character quest, you'll get to know him pretty well through awful means. His nephew's been kidnapped. The twist here is that the police already caught the kidnapper, he's just in a coma, so a classic interrogation isn't really an option. But after rooting around (illegally) in a medical facility, River and V cook up the idea to pull some braindances from the comatose criminal's brain.
Doing so requires digging into his past in order to find something that stimulates his unconscious mind. It's a good excuse to root around in River's nephew's home, and get to know the victim and his uncle indirectly. Life isn't easy for the kid, so he was pretty easily groomed by an anonymous online abuser—our comatose criminal—made evident through the route V and River take back through his nephew's emails and web history. Eventually, you find a video sent from the abuser to River's nephew, a looping Steamboat Willy-esque animation of some ghastly cows hooked up to feeding tubes, dancing alongside a grinning farmer. It's also the key to pulling braindances from the perp.
Unlike other braindances in Cyberpunk, these are surreal montages of childhood abuse and neglect. We see, from the murderer's eyes, the way his father berated and abused him. We see a teacher cast him down. We see fragments of his life in abject poverty. It's sad and surreal as hell, each scene interwoven with images of cows wearing these horrific feeding masks. It's rough stuff that you scrub through back and forth, poking around in every grimy corner for potential clues. Braindances are invasive enough on their own, but this? It's something else.
But it works, leading V and River to where the victims are likely still being held. From here, you get a focused infiltration with a few ways in, like a little Deus Ex puzzle box. The place is boobytrapped, a sinister energy coursing through the scene just from knowing that the guy who did All This is hooked up to a feeding tube in a hospital across town. What you find when you finally get in—welp, it ain't pretty.
The Hunt is easily my favorite quest in the entire game for its deft balance of character work with River, slowly unravelling his fragmented family life and rough past, while telling a compelling, inverted murder mystery that makes great use of problematic future tech to humanize both the victim and criminal. It's not a redemption story, but casts a spotlight on the cycle of abuse and violence that goes into making a murderer. Let's hope those future expansions lean even more into detective work. — James Davenport