Cyberpunk 2077 developer believes linear criticism of story is ‘fully justified’

Pawe Sasko of CD Projekt Red stated that fans’ criticism of Cyberpunk 2077’s relatively linear story is “fully justified”.

While there are many options for players to choose from throughout the game that curate different experiences for different players (for example, starting in Nomad, Street Kid, Corpo lifepaths, or their five different endings), many felt Cyberpunk 2077 should have given more. — especially considering how much was pledged before the game was released.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Trailer.

A viewer asked Sasuke, speaking on his Twitch channel (via PCGamesN), “How do you feel about players who criticize the game for being linear?” To this, the developer replied that it was “completely justified,” before going into more detail.

“There are many things that happened. First of all, players expected more, they expected more because of how The Witcher 3 was built, and I think Cyberpunk has an insane amount of non-linearity, but I think the expectations were higher,” he admitted.

“The second thing is that the expectations were specifically for the big branches [in the narrative]. And again, there are a bunch of big Cyberpunk offshoots […] But you think of branches in a different way.”

Sasko also touched on parts of the game that were meant to be non-linear, but almost became non-optional due to the relationships the player can develop with characters in the game. At this point, Saku mentions Takamura, a character you can save or let die.

“[This choice] It’s such a huge branch that actually affects many things along the way and it’s been a lot of work to make it work both ways,” Sasko stated.

“But for the guys, the moment they learned how to do it, they kind of ran to save it. So, in a way, it almost became a non-choice.”

He continued, “So the thing that was designed to be non-linear… wasn’t really an option. When everyone learned how to save Takamura, everyone started doing it, and in the player’s mind it became linear, even though it’s not.”

In addition, Sasko developers tend to think in terms of “nonlinearity.” [in games]”in a much broader way” than the player base does.

“Players come down to ‘Can I make completely different choices and see completely different content,'” he said, fully appreciating once again that CDPR did not meet players’ expectations for the release of Cyberpunk 2077.

“We know how to make it better, and I expect more from us,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty DLC is set to release later this year. This DLC is the only expansion planned for Cyberpunk 2077, with the developer confirming that it will be paid.

Phantom Liberty will take place in an “all-new area” of Night City known as Dogtown, which CDPR describes the expansion as a “spy thriller.” You can read a few things (plus Idris Elba) that caught my eye from the latest trailer here.

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