This Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox Is Too Much

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This Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox Is Too Much
Screenshot: Microsoft

Happy Friday: this special edition Xbox One X comes with glow-in-the-dark graffiti that says “No Future.” It’s probably right.

I wasn’t down with this Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One X when it leaked on the Canadian Walmart website yesterday. Instead of something bright and neon-fuelled, it looked to me like the sort of colourful scrap metal you might use as a pillow if you lived in a scifi junkyard. But this glow-in-the-dark shit is my shit.

Image: Microsoft

Under normal circumstances, the phrase “No Future” would almost certainly qualify as the sort of bad virtual graffiti that tries to club you over the head with a game’s grim-dark themes. See “What happens when the food runs out?” in The Last of Us or “No one will keep us from death!” in Dishonored. Did you know things are not good in these worlds? Did the zombies, raging pandemics, and crumbling social orders not properly convey that? If not, check out the side of that concrete underpass.

But the year 2020 feels like it asks for something more. Apparently, it demands a a console that brings that obvious, needless graffiti out of the game and into our living rooms. It demands a console that reminds us “No future” even in the dark, even when it’s not on.

If I wasn’t already planning on buying the Xbox Series X I might make an exception for this One X just so I could be haunted by its relentlessly, prescient epigram every time existential dread keeps me up at night.

Comments

    • Perhaps… but the devs have never said that, the phrase is pretty generic, and the sentiment is consistent with what one might expect from a cyberpunk universe, so it’s at least as likely that the slogan was simply something edgy-sounding that a bunch of 20-something Polish marketing executives came up with in a boardroom brainstorming session.

          • There is literally a Sex Pistols sticker on the motorbike in the game. Well, actually, it’s Sex Blasters, but in the same style of the classic punk style. So yeah, hedging my bets on the quote being intentional, not generic. But sure, be the ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ guy, everyone loves that guy.

          • Fair enough. Far better to accept the wild speculations and completely unfounded assertions of completely random people on the internet over actual evidence. After all, that’s why we have climate change denialists, anti-vaxxers and Donald Trump. Everyone loves those guys.

  • …the phrase “No Future” would almost certainly qualify as the sort of bad virtual graffiti that tries to club you over the head with a game’s grim-dark themes.

    I hate videogame graffiti. It’s so bad. Half-Life 2 did fairly well at imitating real graffiti, but that’s the only example I can really think of. Whatever else 2077 will have, it will definitely not have realistic graffiti. I hope it’ll fall short of the writing-plot-points-in-blood approach of Bioshock, but what we’ve already seen is just not at all like real graffiti.

    This is a bit of a pet-peeve of mine – real graffiti doesn’t just reveal its meaning on the surface, where a video game like DE:HR will have gang affiliation labeled by graffiti like illegal street signs, the real stuff might do the same but only to those in the know. It’s one person or group painting over another person or group’s work, but you’d only know that if you really paid attention, either over time or to what pokes through the gaps in the new piece.

    In every virtual city I’ve explored they’ve never felt very ‘real’, and videogame graffiti is a great example of why – everything is a concession to the player, we don’t need street signs, train tickets, newsvendors or convenience stores, so they’re typically omitted. It’s wierdly exciting when they aren’t.

    I want the sort of cities that in terms of set-dressing offer you nothing, or almost nothing, plot-related, nothing in relation to your main quest, but details that flesh out the imaginary and probably unseen citezens of a city. Realistic graffiti would be a great place to start.

    • Yeah, I’d say the graffiti I’ve seen around Sydney over my 42 years of life varies dramatically, from puerile tagging on trains and buildings to classics like ‘Eternity’, from the labour aligned conservative bashing murals to obscene scribbles. Its not something that should be restricted to an elitist ‘this is the way real graffiti is’ and a real city would have far more than that.

      • In all my years around the labour movement that I’ve never seen anyone graffiti anything. Socialist Alternative or Greenpeace activists, sure, but both would categorically reject the allegation that they had any relationship to mainstream labour.

        • I was specifically referring to the murals that seem to crop up in the same area of the inner city, such as the ones depicting Trump and Putin making out and such. Doesn’t seem to be part of the purview of Greenpeace, and I’ve not really heard anything about the Socialist Alliance besides that they keep on turning up on the various election forms. I’m sure you could think of a better way to refer to those that do the murals and cheer them on.

      • To be clear when I say ‘real’ I mean illegal, often sloppily or hastily done and often just tags – not pretty in a game, but realistic, and personally I find them quite interesting – if you pay attention you can sketch out vague affiliations and factions between different groups by which tags appear where (and what they’re on).

        I wouldn’t personally include murals here. Murals are almost exclusively done with permission and often for pay, while some might imitate styles popular in graffiti, I wouldn’t say they actually were graffiti. If you’re talking about ‘pieces’ I’d seperate them from murals, most pieces are done illegally, but with collaboration and/or planning, definitely graffiti, but usually aimed at conveying something the general public wouldn’t catch unlike a mural which is usually aimed at the general public.

        The graffiti I see in games is usually more of a mural than anything else because it’s typically something I, as an outsider, can understand at face value.

      • I’ve still got to get around to playing those, I hope they won’t be too dated by the time I do, I’ve heard a lot of good things about them

    • It’s such a simple thing to get right too. But it’s like when you see gamers in video games and they’re nothing like the person these developers apparently develop developments for?

    • Isn’t playing a game meant to take you to place were you have never been before? Escape the real world?

  • The graffiti is on the back side of the scrap-metal Xbox. It doesn’t say anywhere that it’s not, but it took me way too long to realise that these are just two sides of the same console.

    • Haha, nah, I did a unit in Uni ‘Graffiti, Kitsch and heirarchies of value in art’ (or something along those lines) – it was actually really cool, and legitimately made me look at Graffiti and ‘bad’ art differently.

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