CDPR Director concurs with critics on Cyberpunk 2077's linear story

Quest Director Pawel Sasko agrees that the game failed to meet fans' expectations and could have done better.

When Cyberpunk 2077 launched in 2020, many gamers felt like CD Projekt Red had just turned into Billy McFarland and sold them the Fyre Festival. Suffice it to say that the much-anticipated RPG was far from what the Polish game developer had built it up to be.


One of the most common criticisms leveled against the game is its linear plot. Even though the main storyline has different paths the player can take, CDPR could have done a lot more, a fact that CDPR's own Pawel Sasko supports. During a Q&A session on Twitch, one fan asked the Quest Director for Cyberpunk 2077 how he feels about players criticizing the gamer for being linear. Surprisingly, Sasko responded by saying that the players were "completely justified."

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

Second thing is, the expectations were specifically regarding big branches [in the narrative]. And again there are a bunch of big branches in Cyberpunk [...] but you are thinking about branches in a different manner.

To further expound on this, Sasko used the storyline of Goro Takemura, one of the fan-favorite characters in the game, whom you can save or let die.

cp takemura
In the main quest, Search and Destroy, you can choose to either save Goro Takemura or let him die.

[This choice] is such a big gigantic branch that actually influences so many things along the way and was so much work to make it work both those ways. But for the players, at the moment they learned how to do it, they sort of ran to save him. So, in a way, it almost became a non-choice.

So something that was designed to be non-linear... wasn't really a choice. When everyone learned how to save Takamura, everyone started doing that, and in the player's mind it became linear, even though it's not.

We as devs, we interpret non-linearity [in games] in a much broader fashion than players do. Players just go down to ‘can I make completely different choices and see completely different content?

Even though Sasko explored how players and game developers think about non-linearity in different ways, the CDPR dev admitted that the game could have been better.

I think it’s fine, I think it could have been better. We do know how to make it better and I would expect more from us.

Despite the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR has come a long way in attempting to make amends with its fans. Maybe the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty DLC is exactly what it needs to mend bridges and restore its tarnished reputation.

Caleb Sama

I'm just your average Joe Schmo with a love for films and a knack for writing. I can tell you all about the latest blockbusters and indie flicks, but I'll also sneak in some obscure references and dad jokes that will make you groan and roll your eyes. My reviews are like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get, but you'll probably want more. Link up with Caleb on Steam.
Comparison List (0)