S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl and Half-life 2, at least in my memory, had somewhat similar response to the beta content/pre-release footage being cut or changed. A few years ago there was a thriving modding community trying to bring back the old content and polish it to make it feel like something the devs initially planned - it was ambitious, and I they even released a big mod that recovered some (if not most or even all) of the cut features, including plot and locations among many other thigs, for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I think it was called Lost Alpha?Just basic common sense. It seems a lot of people were unaware of the nature of game development process. How much stuff is being cut from games. I remember reading the art director of Human Revolution said that they had to cut an entire location from the game because they couldn't finish it on time and it was one of his favorites so he regretted it big time. A LOT of stuff is thrown away for various reasons. My poor boi Iorveth didn't make it into The Witcher 3 and apparently he had a series of quests.
Much like with Half-Life 2 beta, Lost Alpha and the final release feel like completely different games with somewhat similar points here and there rather than something we lost and never got a chance to see. I don't get it why people see the cut features as necessarily good or crucial, benefiting to gameplay or immersion or whatever.
Honestly every creative endeavor is going be full of cuts and changes and radical turnarounds you would never plan initially, but love them better in the end. Or, at the very least, consider them more fitting or less nonsensical to the entire thing.
Regarding the game length - I really wonder how variable is it depending on lifepath choices and side quests, especially when they are influenced by the choices players make with skills and affiliations. I beat PREY (2017) in 30 hours, which I don't think is typical even for a thorough run, I hope I can beat at least one lifepath of Cyberpunk 2077 in less than 100 hours!