CD Projekt Red is known for their engaging side quests that fully immerse players in the world that the developers have crafted. This is evident especially in The Witcher franchise and has become a hallmark of CD Project Red’s game design.
These side quests did not typically have an overall large bearing on the way the main plot advanced, but instead offered players experiences outside the overarching story, to better understand specific NPCs and the world around them.
A quote from our The Witcher 3 review drives this point home and is a sentiment that is shared by most of the gaming community. “The optional missions were never as cut-and-dried as simply going to place X and killing Y monster; for that brief period of time, I was truly invested in the wellbeing of the people who had hired me, and I was determined to see my job through as a witcher.”
However, this may be changing in CD Projekt Red’s upcoming title Cyberpunk 2077. While the general design mantra of improving upon immersion with the use of side quests will likely remain key to Cyberpunk 2077’s design, an interview with CD Projekt Red level designer, Miles Tost, hints at the idea that Cyberpunk 2077’s side quests may not be subject to the self contained storylines seen in past titles for the studio.
“Sidequests are great opportunities for us to tell stories of our cyberpunk world. After all, despite not being a part of the main questline, they are still connected to the world and can elaborate on certain parts of it, like the characters, so it’s all interwoven. And yes, that also means that our sidequests could affect the main story.”
These statements can be taken two different ways. Miles claims that the side quests will not be part of the main questline clearly in his first quote. However, the fact that he closes his thoughts by saying that side quests could affect the main story is a bit contradictory compared to the first half of his statement. The Witcher franchise has side quests that elaborate on the world and characters, which sounds similar to what he is discussing here.
It was also stated that The Witcher 3 expansions are influencing the design philosophy at CD Projekt Red moving forward, which gives players some insight on what to expect from this new IP from the developers in regards to side quests. It remains to be seen whether or not the side quests will be able to impact the main plot of the game in any substantial way, however.
We do not have any word on a release date for Cyberpunk 2077. It was previously teased as, “coming when it’s ready.”