Cyberpunk 2077 Won't Let You Choose A Gender, Only Body Types

cyberpunk 2077 body image no gender option pc ps4 xbox oneImage: CD Projekt Red

Given that it heavily borrows from the themes of the original Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop RPG, it makes sense that CD Projekt Red would want Cyberpunk 2077 to be pretty fluid when it comes to identity. We don't have the full picture on how that pans out just yet, but post-Gamescom CD Projekt Red has confirmed once nice little bit that will hit players the second they start a new save.

In an interview with Metro's GameCentral, CD Projekt Red senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers said the studio was trying to make Cyberpunk 2077 an inclusive game, and despite the difficulties they've had broaching the topic, and part of that included removing gender as an option entirely.

"Our character creation menu, for instance, compared to the last demo we now give you so many more options," Jonkers told Metro. "For instance, you don’t choose your gender anymore. You don’t choose, ‘I want to be a female or male character’ you now choose a body type. Because we want you to feel free to create any character you want. So you choose your body type and we have two voices, one that’s male sounding, one is female sounding. You can mix and match. You can just connect them any way you want."

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CDR has talked in the past about building a dystopian world where megacorporations hypersexualise everything, and that the in-game world was filled with plenty of non-binary, nonconforming people. It's a large enough demographic in Cyberpunk 2077 to warrant the attention of brands and advertisers, according to artist Kasia Redesiuk, the creator behind the "Mix It Up" poster that garnered attention earlier this year.

"In 2077, especially with how much body modifications are available, I think people just mix and match however they want, however they feel," Redesiuk told Polygon, stressing that the advertisement was meant to show the negative sides of oversexualisation.

It fits with Cyberpunk 2077's malleable skill system as well, where players can chop and change between classes at will. Quite how all of this fits the loss of humanity that CDR has pressed throughout multiple interviews isn't clear yet — and what's the situation with Keanu, who's supposed to be dead? — but there's a lot of time between now and April 2020.

In the meantime, 15 minutes of gameplay from Cyberpunk 2077 is due to be livestreamed around 0400 AEST on Saturday morning through CD Projekt Red's official Twitch channel.


Comments

    Well, this is some refreshingly positive news. On top of it being supportive for trans/Non-binary folx, it just sounds like a fun character creation system that will allow for a bunch more interesting body types.

    So really it sounds like the male and female options are still there, they just aren't named as such. It will be interesting to see if their body types include an hermaphroditic style or whether it's just Barbie and Ken dolls with different voices.

    It's funny that they highlight this because I've played a number of JRPGs with character creation options that let you have free reign over body and voice matching.

      True, a ton of Japanese (and a few western) games just whack body/gender types, clothes, voices and hairstyles in a generic numbered menu and let you work it out.
      I can't count how often I've had to choose a "female" pony tail from one end of the list to get a cool samurai hairstyle for my dude.

        Saints Row from 2 onwards certainly embraced it.

          This was my thinking - always remember messing with the SR3 character creator where M/F was just another one of the body shape sliders (except it adjusted proportions instead of uniformly growing or shrinking a target body part)... plus being able to pick any voice including grumpy unintelligible zombie :p

            one thing i missed in saints row 4 was the female russian voice, it was just way better than southern bell

        That's so true, and it's weird how it's ultimately actually easier and better design wise just to let people pick whatever the hell they want. Siloing off certain aspects for male or female just decreases player choice - and keeping them free gives the appearance of more options. 4 male and 4 female hair styles doesn't sound like all that much, but 8 hair style options for your character somehow sounds like more!

          Yep, pretty sure more choice is just... more choice! It's your game. Why not give people the freedom to express themselves in the world in whatever way they like.

    Neat.

    I dislike customer customization that excludes/locks body-styles, hairstyles ect. behind the initial gender selection. Is it wishful thinking to hope for the implementation of body types that are not mirrored off marble Adonis statues? I want to reflect my dadbod on my character!

    But yes, it also opens up the possibilities to create marvelous yet hideous beasts ala Dark Souls/Saints Row

    Sorry to everyone for the thread that vanished (you know what the parent/child comments issue is like) but I'm not having that shit hang around.

      What a wild ride this comment section must have been. I was lucky enough not to have seen any toxic comments but I have seen the comment count go up and down over the day so I assume you must have had your work cut out for you Alex.

    Seems painless enough - now how about an easy mode for Sekiro? Or will that someone spoil the enjoyment of those who wish it to be difficult?

    I cannot see any downsides of giving players choice.

      Yeah but some people are self-centred twats who seem to think everything is about them.

      From some of the comments I've been reading elsewhere one might infer that allowing non-binary people to make characters a better reflection/analogue of themselves is nothing more than a personal attack by CDPR on all us regular males and females...

        As a "regular" male, this option seems brilliant to me. I can create someone exactly like me. Others can create someone like them. Seems like by taking the choice of gender out and going this way, it's a mature level headed way to approach it?

    I don't understand the fuss, you don't choose gender in like 99% of games.

      Yeah but it's usually a pretty binary choice of man/woman in games that let you create a character. I love it when games let you play around with a body slider and mix and match like in the Saints Row series.

      I don't understand the downvotes either.
      Better worded: Why are you booing? I'm right!

      4 people downvoted my original comment but not one of them would explain why it's worth it.
      I think that says a lot about them.

      Last edited 29/08/19 4:29 pm

        Dunno, but one of those particular downvoters is probably just salty there is no way to extoll the virtues of Destiny's worst features in a Cyberpunk character creator. It's about the only thing he drags his arse out of his cave for usually ;)
        Yes, I'm just dicking around and no, I'm not actually serious. Just referring to some of our previous stoushes. Hi, if you're reading this, youknowwho. Plz don't get yer knickers in a twist!

    The single downside I can think of is there is with how characters address your character. They could go with addressing them by the baked in name or ‘they/them’ as a non specific one, but that can sound awkward.

      Yeah but that would fall more on bad writing rather than a bad mechanic.
      Plenty of games have had choice between a male or female and been able to avoid making the dialogue weird and I wouldn't put CDPR in the bad writing category anyway.

      Remains to be seen I guess.

      I've noticed that many games with recorded dialogue and non-fixed player character sex have taken to reducing the number of gender-specific pronouns and unisex names. Shepard was no accident. It's so common when you don't have a fixed protagonist (eg: Peter Parker, Kratos, etc) that it was genuinely surprising to me how often Kassandra and Alexios get their own mentions. But even then, a lot of the generic stuff in the game - non main-characters - call you 'misthios'. MMOs often refer to the player as, 'hero/champion/general/commander'... this consideration's everywhere, when you look for it.

      I'm betting the choice of protagonist name, 'V' is deliberately avoiding having a gendered name. People are more likely to be speaking to the Cyberpunk protagonist directly, neatly avoiding most use of pronouns, and when you hear yourself spoken about, it won't be too difficult at all to write it in such a way that misgendering is easily avoided.

        It's probably not even that hard to write. Like, how often do people refer to you by a gender-specific pronoun while you're listening at all? If someone's in a conversation, you refer to them as 'you' or by name; 'he/she/they' are usually for talking about someone who isn't present (i.e. conversations where the character player isn't there to hear it anyway).

        Even then, wouldn't be hard to add pronouns alongside body type and voice as options.

      I was playing Far Cry 5 this evening and for the first time I noticed that the enemies were referring to me as 'them'. I'd not noticed until just then, but it seems like a nice, simple way to avoid having to rewrite and rerecord.

    Don't really have an issue with this one way or the other because it makes sense for the setting.

    At least a certain minority crowd won't be about to proclaim the game is phobic based on a single in-universe advertisement.

    Heres hoping the game doesn't get banned in Straya,

      It shouldn't be, at least not for anything drug related. In the source material the drugs are called things like Blue Glass, SynthCoke and stuff like that. There would be little reason for them to name them after real drugs therefore getting the archaic classification board's attention

        I'm not sure the fictional or synthetic aspect matters anymore.
        It seems even made up drugs can result in a ban if they are portrayed as having only positive effects.

        I'm kinda hoping they go the Fallout path and have it so there's a chance to develop an addiction and suffer withdrawals or basically anything that won't hold the game up in RC hell.

      No, we just get the other minority crowds proclaiming the game is phobic based on an customisation slider.

      @bondles
      @yassum

      I fail to see what part of my comment triggered you so much as to downvote me. Can you not handle the objective truth of the matter?

        Its bondles. You know the answer to that.

          "sexualizing trans people in advertisements is transphobic REEEEEEEEEEE!" - bondles

    I don't understand a lot of complaints about options other than male or female as you are effectively complain that a game has too many options

    Won't Let You Choose A Gender, Only Gender Based Body Types...what diffrance? ill tell ya nothing.

    This could make for some interesting in game romance options

    Kudos for the comment section being mature about the discussion. Doesn't necessarily have to be in agreement, but promoting healthy debates.
    Meanwhile over at IGN, it's a cesspool of transphobic comments, pointless political arguing and comments straight up bordering on hate speech.

      I just went iver to IGN after ypu mentioned it amd it reaffirmed my belief that I don't care about climate change, because I don't think the human race deserves to exist.

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