Cyberpunk 2077 Uses Sexism As Set Dressing

Cyberpunk 2077 Uses Sexism As Set Dressing
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

Including breasts in your game doesn’t make it ‘adult’, but it seems nobody passed on the memo to CD Projekt Red. Cyberpunk 2077 is the latest R18+ adventure to confuse sex with taboo, using it as a means to build out the game’s retro-futuristic cyberpunk world in ‘tantalising’ ways.

Sex isn’t featured too prominently in Cyberpunk 2077’s narrative, but it’s plastered everywhere else: billboards, posters and street signs. You’ll see ads for ‘Bottoms Up’, a braindance episode featuring a woman bouncing her arse in a man’s delighted face.

‘Best Braindance in Skin Flick 2077,” the poster reads.

You’ll spot multiple promos for ‘Mr. Chad’, starring a naked man’s torso caressed by faceless women. There’s ads for TV shows like ‘Watson Whore’ and ‘Milfgard’. Graffiti with large-boobed women, big lips and derogatory phrases is dotted throughout.

There’s also Chromanticure posters, sporting a female-presenting model with a prominent penis and the words “Mix It Up” emblazoned behind them. It’s been called out for being fetishistic primarily because it’s used as tasteless set dressing. These advertisements are designed to shock, and to mark out Cyberpunk 2077‘s world as unique. They’re designed to present a future where sex has become normalised, corporatised and sold back to the masses.

But there’s nothing unique or shocking about the sexualisation of female and transgender bodies. What is shocking is Cyberpunk 2077‘s commitment to making players feel uncomfortable at every turn.

cyberpunk 2077 sex sexism
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

Cyberpunk 2077‘s world tailors every piece of advertising to the male gaze. There’s a time and place for sexual bodies, but the constant voyeurism isn’t supported by a point or any grander message. It’s tacky, a reminder of this so-called ‘new age’ cyberpunk world.

Filling the world of Cyberpunk 2077 with dildos is all well and good, but what purpose do they serve other than to remind players of Night City’s obsession with sex? As an easter egg sure, it’s funny. But when you start packing the entire world with dongs, there’s a far more aggressive, sexual message behind it — particularly when so much of the dialogue and imagery treats women so disposably.

Beyond making female players uncomfortable, it’s also embarrassing to see female bodies treated so tastelessly in the game. More often than not they’re also depicted with faces covered — hiding identities while inviting voyeurism of their bodies.

cyberpunk 2077 sex
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

Among frequent references to male genitalia, Cyberpunk 2077 will occasionally reference ‘casual’ extreme violence against women. “You look like a fuckable cut of meat” is a particularly egregious example of what one woman is told in the early moments of Cyberpunk 2077. It’s not the only piece of dialogue that feels in incredibly poor taste. The microaggressions add up to an overarching world that appears openly hostile to female players — but the strangest part is it doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose, or have a bearing on the plot.

Cyberpunk 2077 is primarily an action-heavy title with a narrative spanning multiple eras and characters. There’s daring heists, militant tech and a city-spanning corporate conspiracy.

There’s also a cast of intriguing characters including fantastic, intelligence and well-written women. Judy Alvarez, the Braindance technician, comes to mind. As does cop Regina Jones, healer Misty, T-Bug and Evelyn Parker. They have essential, large roles to play in the narrative. None are particularly sexualised, but their agency is constantly undermined by Cyberpunk 2077‘s world.

watson whore cyberpunk 2077
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

You could argue the world and narrative shows how women can thrive despite the hyper-corporatisation of sex and constant undermining. But Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t attempt to paint the sexualisation of women as wrong in any way. It just highlights poster after poster calling women ‘whores’, ‘babes’ and ‘milfs’. If the game’s story doesn’t subvert sexualisation through its own story, then all Cyberpunk 2077 is doing is just plain sexualisation. There’s no critical thought behind it.

The most frustrating part is Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t need this set dressing to be fun.

Taken on its own, it’s actually extremely fun and involving. Cyberpunk‘s story is a little too thin in places, but the overall gameplay, exploration and narrative is genuinely enjoyable. The sex feels tacked on and unnecessary — a poor attempt to create controversy for controversy’s sake.

Sex and sexism in a game isn’t edgy. It’s not a bold political statement. There’s clever ways to tackle the sexualisation of women and transgender bodies in society through video games. Video games can include meaningful sex, too. But Cyberpunk 2077 misses the mark by a long shot. Its understanding of what adult content is, and its reliance on the taboos behind sex, is pedestrian.

Cyberpunk 2077 needs to do better.

Comments

  • As an added note, I’m still going through after my large piece trying to look for more stories that might tackle, or add deeper layers to Cyberpunk’s world. Basically anything that might have the kind of emotional maturity that made The Witcher 3 stick so well.

    I’ve found a couple of interesting side quests that venture into really neat, proper cyberpunk territory, but after ~55 hours it’s been rough searching.

    I’ll keep going, because I’m doing a full review of the game. But it’s disappointing to see a studio that did so well with its writing just … fall back on so many lazy tropes. Sure, it might be authentic to a particular flavour of cyberpunk, but there are a lot of cyberpunk games that found cleverer ways to blend sex and sexuality into their worlds too.

    • This is whats confusing to me from the ‘Games Journalism’ side on multiple websites with reviews and takes.
      “Sure, it might be authentic to a particular flavour of cyberpunk, but there are a lot of cyberpunk games that found cleverer ways to blend sex and sexuality into their worlds too.”
      You admit that its authentic to the cyberpunk its supposed to represent, you know, the one its based of by Mike Pondsmith, but with 2020 twitter goggles, you wish the dystopia was less dystopic and want the game to be more progressive claiming cyberpunk should ‘be better’.
      I know im not alone in finding this take a bit confusing, but considering in the last few years People have taken Star Trek, an almost Utopia setting and made it more ‘current year political problems’. I probably shouldnt be surprised its such a common want from people in media journalism

      • It’s not that it’s dystopic that’s problematic per se.

        It’s that CDP has shown a talent in past games for pairing dystopia and misery with purpose, which is what made games like The Witcher 3 so good.

        What’s wrong with wanting the same studio to follow up on that?

        • Because its an entirely different setting and protagonist.
          In the witcher 3, with either Geralt or Ciri as you play as, you are essentially the guy/girl who can do things others cant, you are essentially a super powered being among thousands of nobodies who look at you with either distain or hope.
          There is alot you can do there as you are an outsider to any story you walk into, and when it comes to sex in the witcher world, are we forgetting the amount of people you can have sex with in that world “just because”.
          V is just a drop in the ocean of a horrible dystopic future of 80s science fiction, you know, the time where sex sells and power goes absolute, a universe that follows on from the 80s with not just its captalistic ideals, but its male predominant focus .
          This cyberpunk world, is not based on 2020 ideals and then moved forward into 2077.
          The point im trying to make is, theres more than one way to have outrageous expectations from a video game.
          Expecting a progressive masterclass with big things to say on 2020 topics, “youre going to have a bad time”

          • I agree with m2d2 on this. I think that’s what people aren’t getting when it comes to this game is that they place 2020 ideals on a game not set in 2020. There’s this growing notion that the politics of today have to be in the games of “tomorrow”. The setting of the game is supposed to be this gross caricature sexuality and sexism. The game is based in a world of extremes. People wish for some kind of deeper context, which is fair, but in reality, sometimes you just don’t get those answers.

            Sure it would be nice but we as the consumer aren’t owed that, also on note, it’s funny how people see alot of the themes as offensive, yet we live in a world where the majority of our music videos are pretty much on the line of hardcore porn. A good example is WAP, people were salivating over that music video and praising it, yet that very music video would be right at home within night city.

        • “What’s wrong with wanting the same studio to follow up on that?”

          There’s nothing wrong with wanting them to, but there’s everything wrong with expecting them to.

          The fact is, as others have pointed out, Cyberpunk was created in the 1980’s as a pisstake/dark parody of the corporatization of a lot of aspects of culture. Sex, drugs, violence, you name it. A lot of these aspects hit peak toxicity around those times, especially the use of sex to sell. Think of the idea that the world diverged around 1980ish into a very different Cyberpunk world, where all the worst aspects grew into what it became, the drugs, the sex, the violence, the technology. All morals and ethics were essentially lost, because only the technology grew. It became ‘life’ for people and then some.

          Your character, as pointed out by m2d2, is just another cockroach in society, whereas in the Witcher, you were essentially a mortal god among men. Now however, you’re just another person, exemplified by the fact you can literally ‘create yourself’ in the character generator.

          The sexualisation aspect is meant to show the rancidness of the world, it’s meant to exemplify the horrific way they present women. While women are sexualised, guess who’s busy blowing the fuck out of each other in the game? Most of the action in the game, the death and violence, most of the gang members in the street committing horrific, graphic violence seem to be males? While women are toxically viewed in a sexual way, men are being represented through violence too (and yes, there’s ABSOLUTELY female characters in there too doing this, but it really does seem to be majorly male there from what I can see so far?)

          So personally, I’m seeing what the original RPG did, it’s showing the shitty side of humanity, and doing it well. It’s showing out addictions, it’s showing how tech becomes it’s own ‘drug’ and humanity becomes addicted to it. It’s showing how we exploit women, it’s showing how toxic males can become to each other. Cyberpunk has always been a great introspective property, but when we only look at one aspect of it, we really do miss the delicate web of societal analysis it actually weaves!

    • Just as a correction, Watson Whore is, as far as I can tell, about a man. As in, he is the whore.

      While the overtly sexualised ads do seem to be overplayed and don’t exactly send a revolutionary message (corporations will use sex to sell, what a terrfying dystopian future- oh wait thats just real life right now) there does seem to be a little bit more or a balanced representation than you normally see in videogames.

  • This is what has put me off from the game from the early reveals. Cyberpunk is one of my favourite genres when done right. The world should feel genuinely filthy and gross, Joi from Blade runner 2049 is a perfect example of something that unnerving but believable. Cyberpunk’s world looks like it was designed to look cool and ironic. All of these advertisements look like they belong i GTA future city: amusing but juvenile.

    The misogyny makes less sense in a narrative sense, too. In a world where anyone can get moduled up to be as tough as they want, you would imagine to see just as many advertisements targeted toward dominant women, showing submissive males as you would advertisements for men. (a weird monkey paw situation “the gender gap has been closed, now everyone acts like a stereotypical toxic male” would at least be saying something).

    People will argue that the world is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, I agree. But I disagree that the authorial intent behind the world should also make you feel uncomfortable.

      • Exactly, games that can narratively justify making you feel uncomfortable are great. It’s the reason why I’m really looking forward to Disco Elysium coming out for Switch. From everything I’ve seen, it’ll put me in a deeply unpleasant world, full of unpleasant characters, but it all looks to do that in service of narrative payoff. Until I start hearing otherwise from voices I trust, I don’t get that vibe from Cyberpunk at all.

    • I’m so sad that this is what a lot of people will think Cyberpunk is after 2077’s inevitable success. I love the Cyberpunk genre, just not what it sounds like *this* take Cyberpunk was shooting for.

      I still hope I’m proven wrong by something in the game, but at this stage I think I’ll skip it until it’s cheaper / fixed / has some quality free DLC.

    • I suspected something was off when one of the first things I heard post- release is that there are dildos everywhere.
      It’s kinda surprising that it’s this way. I guess they couldn’t figure out how to make things hypersexual without largely appealing to just dudes.

      And yet, despite all that, and the various *phobias I’ve seen it been accused of so far, it’s gonna make a mint.

    • At least Leah put forward a compelling opinion, personally I may totally agree, but I was more than happy and willing to read someone elses opinion without resorting to some form of silliness.

    • That wasn’t meant to be a reply to you.
      But my reply to you would be that I don’t think you can outright dismiss an article slash website when there is at the very least validity behind it.
      Polygon may find offense in everything, but that doesn’t mean that these issues don’t exist in CP2077.

  • Personally I was hoping for ads similar to what is found in film Idiocracy.
    also it should have the heavily sponsored clothing from said movie

    but about the sex in the Ads, I think one of the problems is that we are Australians with quite conservative Television ads.

    while I remember watching the World’s Sexiest Ads years ago, and Eastern Europe used to have quite sexual ads. (Cyberpunk 2077 is made by a Polish company)

    such as…
    A Magazine(?) TV ad about a man looking into a sauna filled with beautiful naked women then (bah, bah, bah) then he covered his erection with the Magazine (without using his hands, if you know what I mean) in the middle of a Sauna with big men.

  • It’s an american future dystopia. That is precisely what I would expect given the current state of the 2nd world country. I have to admit though that I would also expect just as much sad sexualisation aimed at men.

  • I gotta say, I’m at odds here. The article raises some really good points but then so do some of the comments.
    I feel kind of stuck in this middle ground where I’m like “eh that’s the world they want to tell and maybe it’s up to the player to decide if they want something that explores the bettering of humanity”.
    When it comes to the violence and killing in other games it doesn’t generate quite the same amount of scrutiny. I guess Psycho Mantis really did have a point there.

  • Simply not liking the direction it takes is one thing… But pretty much saying it’s ‘incorrect’ to have taken said direction, and that it should have done better, is a whole other.

    Night City is not a good place full of good people, and its pretty clear this extends beyond the city to the rest of the world the game is set in given radio news snippets about entire portions of the world essentially being nuclear wastelands… And as already mentioned by others, the property the game is based off isn’t all unicorns, roses and ‘proper’ either.

    I am quite over this whole thing where people expect their specific personal ideas on how every single aspect of every single thing should to be handled should apply to basically each and every single fuckin’ game they play these days too, especially in a game set in a future where shit clearly went VERY wrong over the course of its history.

    People were being warned about having their expectations set too high for Cyberpunk 2077… Perhaps some journalists should similar advice and consider that just because their expectations of how things were handled didn’t fit precisely to how they’d do it, does not automatically mean it’s wrong as far as the game’s world goes.

  • The problem with this article is that it appears to be written with a basic misunderstanding of what cyberpunk is.

    It’s not meant to be aspirational, it’s a warning. That’s the whole point of the genre. It takes elements of the 1980s/90s and projects them into a dystopian future. It’s a genre frozen in time – we’re now IN the cyberpunk ‘future’ and it is somewhat different that the projections (worse in some ways, better in others).

    Most people who play the game are too young to know this, which is entirely understandable, and will create issues such as this review. But Cyberpunk 2077 is a game firmly written to sit within the space of the cyberpunk genre and the cyberpunk RPG, and the set building is pretty much spot on.

    It’s MEANT to be nothing but the male gaze, because in the 80s, that’s all there really was and this is just dialling that forward.

    The negative sexualisation of women is 100% in sync with cyberpunk as a genre – that’s not to say there are not positive female representations in it (there are many), but all exist in opposition to this heavy-handed dominant social theme.

    I’d also argue that a lot of people seem to have missed the fact that despite middle class media making a big show of positive sexualisation in contemporary society, we’re not THAT far behind the negativity on show in these kinds of settings.

    I mean just look at the comments section of articles discussing any video game with women in it. While people may not be able to make the same overt crude negative sexual comments they would have a few years back, the vitriol and misogyny is still present in the same amount, just couched in more socially ‘acceptable’ ways.

    The simple fact is, a huge percentage of people treat women like garbage – and that percentage has not substantially lessened today from any point in history. In fact, I guarantee this post will sting a few into replying, as they can’t help themselves.

    That’s one of the valuable lessons dystopic genres like cyberpunk give us – these people subvert the dialogues of their society to enable their misogyny. From the alleged ‘lefty’ whose twitter feed is a non-stop rant about the evils of women through the lens of geek culture to the endless burbling about how making the efforts to use correct pronouns is somehow a dreadful burden on society, this stuff just becomes the background.

    Getting slapped by in-your-face crude misogyny is meant to be a reminder that this is the future you get when you don’t make the effort to be vigilant against these people.

    If ‘leftists’ hadn’t spent the 80s and 90s fighting this stuff, the world around us would probably very much look like some of the visions of cyberpunk authors.

    • It hit me a few years ago that we basically live in a cyberpunk world right now minus the cybernetics everywhere. Something the teenage 80’s me would never of expected would happen so fast

    • “The simple fact is, a huge percentage of people treat women like garbage – and that percentage has not substantially lessened today from any point in history. In fact, I guarantee this post will sting a few into replying, as they can’t help themselves.”

      citation needed.

      “That’s one of the valuable lessons dystopic genres like cyberpunk give us – these people subvert the dialogues of their society to enable their misogyny. From the alleged ‘lefty’ whose twitter feed is a non-stop rant about the evils of women through the lens of geek culture to the endless burbling about how making the efforts to use correct pronouns is somehow a dreadful burden on society, this stuff just becomes the background.”

      Im glad I still make you mad.

      • Can’t believe you took the bait anyway.
        Are you implying that you have a twitter account like that, I’m confused.

        • engaging with worrito is fun. i love his several paragraph-long essays 🙂

          My Twitter is linked on my discord profile if you want to check it out and come to your own conclusions.

          🙂

  • It’s pretty close to the old tabletop game where the world is frankly horrific, everything thing is a commodity from sex, to clean water to someone being dismembered for their body parts.

    It’s not something to glorify but to make you angry to make you embrace the punk of cyberpunk where the world can’t be fixed at all so burn the whole fucking system down.

    So you live fast, die young, help a few people along the way and leave a great corpse and a legend that lives on.

  • Why are you applying 2020 standards to a game set in 2077 based on 80s culture?

    I think the creator Mike Pondsmith put it best:
    “Cyberpunk was a warning, Not an aspiration”

    If it makes you uncomfortable that’s the point.

    • That’s what I was thinking too

      In 2077 I’ll be 90 years old, this game made me closed-minded and bitter at how the future culture turned out…

      I wandered around looking at all the new things, comparing them to now (the good ole days) feeling a disconnect like I didn’t belong, judging everything on my high and mighty horse, while at the same time being distracted by all the boobs

    • The point is it’s neither particularly creative, nor original, nor is it consistent with the actual world they’ve created (gender fluidity, except, most of the sexualisation is of women! …so much meh).

      Sure, if you want you can describe it as a 2020 pisstake of 1980s SF, but that’s hardly the standard that CD Projekt Red set for themselves or that they appear to be presenting in a much more serious package than, say, Saints Row IV.

      You say that the author is applying 2020 standards to a game set in 2077 based on 80s culture, but as the article points out, it’s the game itself that presenting 2020 standards as if it’s a game set in 2077. It’s hardly like MILFs, for example, were a thing in the 1980s.

      Unless you’re somehow saying that men are currently just as sexualised as women in 2020 western culture and therefore CD Projekt Red have made a deliberate decision to focus their flavour advertising on naked women because… reasons?

      • Imagine having an argument so weak, you have to get to “ah but milf wasnt a term in the 80’s therefore it is 2020 standards in 2077”
        Fucking hell fishboy, you are a parody of yourself.

  • I find it fascinating how uncomfortable sex makes us. In a game that i am sure is filled with bloody violence it’s sex that really gets peoples heckles up, one way or another.

    ‘But there’s nothing unique or shocking about the sexualisation of female and transgender bodies.’ so why are you writing this article? ‘What is shocking is Cyberpunk 2077‘s commitment to making players feel uncomfortable at every turn.’ How is that shocking? that’s the point of creating a dystopia. I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy after reading 1984…

    The author’s general point that a dystopian world depicting bad stuff is bad is… kinda dumb. You should probably look up the word dystopia.

    • That quote you highlight is actually ridiculous come to think of it.

      // What is shocking is Cyberpunk 2077‘s commitment to making players feel uncomfortable at every turn. //

      A game like Last of Us 2 got fucking PRAISED for making people feel uncomfortable, despite it doing so it in massively cliche and nonsensical ways… Repeatedly.

      But of course, Cyberpunk 2077 apparently does it ‘wrong’ and ‘incorrectly’ , and should ‘do better’ according to the very specific (and therefore impossible to match) personal ideas of authors such as this.

      • That’s pretty shitty to selectively quote one line, when there’s chunks like:

        You could argue the world and narrative shows how women can thrive despite the hyper-corporatisation of sex and constant undermining. But Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t attempt to paint the sexualisation of women as wrong in any way. It just highlights poster after poster calling women ‘whores’, ‘babes’ and ‘milfs’. If the game’s story doesn’t subvert sexualisation through its own story, then all Cyberpunk 2077 is doing is just plain sexualisation. There’s no critical thought behind it.

        But anyway.

        The key for me — and what I’m focusing on in my fuller review next week — is whether the writing actually sticks the warning part of the cyberpunk dystopia, or whether it just glorifies it.

        It’s fine for any piece of media to be whatever wants it to be. And I can understand principally why some would say, hey, Cyberpunk 2020 was a dark, shitty world and that’s what we’ve got. So what? That’s what cyberpunk is. (I’d say it’s one brand of cyberpunk, but that’s a bigger chat for another time.)

        But I’d argue The Witcher 3 was an equally depressing, brutal world — and CDP found ways to bring that to life and provide an equity of purpose for all the characters in it. Cyberpunk was also advertised and pitched (for years) as being an equally complex, mature narrative. So it’s fair game to hold a mirror to what was actually produced to see how it turned out.

        • Conversations like this remind me of the idea of someone discussing an author’s intentions with using blue curtains… On how they signify feelings of sadness, depression, whatever, you get the point. Then the author comes along “No. The curtains were just blue.”

          This idea that something bad must outright tell everyone how wrong it is or its ‘incorrectly’ handled is absolutely insane. As if the set dressing of all the shitty advertising isn’t telling people something in itself about how the world of the game looks upon it’s people, and yes that is mainly women.

          Only Kotaku and other places see that focus on selling women and assume it’s sexism for the sake of sexism on the developers part. Instead of even remotely factoring in that advertising in our very real world is heavily directed towards catching the ‘male gaze’ in the present day, and all the developers did was copy that and amplify it into a future where nothing was done to stop that from continuing. So, you know, once again it does basically exactly what the original property it is based on did.

          The selling of sex and how they sell it simply ISN’T wrong in the context of the game’s universe. Shoehorning in a reality based 2020 “The moral-of-the-story is this is bad!” doesn’t even fit… One might say it actually goes very much against it and seems like a great way to kill immersion.

          It does nothing for the story besides tell a player, “Yeah you’re playing a videogame and this was put here to hold your hand and point out whats bad.” basically for the ENTIRE sake of having people not bitch and moan that the developer’s didn’t tell everyone sexism and objectifying women was bad.

          The amount of such hand holding grown adults insist there should be in video games, movies, etc, these days is just absolutely moronic.

        • Additionally, I suspect you have a lot more “It is NOT Witcher 3.” style comments coming your way if you keep falling back on that.

          I don’t care if it’s the same developer. That’s basically typecasting. And I’d argue it’s the major reason a lot of developers make the same sort of games over and over, and churn out sequel after sequel. Because the moment they try something different it’s automatically deemed worse before even given a chance.

          And I’m going to say this now anyway, Witcher 3 was a great game. But wasn’t ALL stellar by any means… Some of it was flat as fuck, and after the third or fourth sidequest where you realise either choice you made would have some shitty consequence regardless you just basically rolled your eyes any time some ‘serious’ choice had to be made from that point on.

        • Honestly, so far I would say Cyberpunk does a hell of lot more to suggest how everything is messed up because of the callous disregard for life – that’s not just through sexism, but the devaluing of the individual and the commoditisation of everything, that many other games that have tried to convey in different ways though mostly via humour. Cyberpunk doesn’t fit that style – it’s deliberately making problematic sexualisation – along with all other problematic behaviours – confronting.

          Heck, I’d say it’s less sexist than Witcher 1 and 2, which are still routinely praised for the writing with nary more than a passing “oh those tacky sex cards” for Witcher 1, or a gripe about the “Lesbomancy” quip in Witcher 2.

          The depravity of it and showcasing how bad and harmful that is for society is kind of the point. I kind of agree with Kasterix with the TLOU2 comparison. I found it’s “exploration” of sexuality to be forced and tacky, and a backwards step rather than the “let’s praise the game for making a statement” that so many people seem to do.

  • Not here for an argument, but it seems, now, that in the push to prove games can have as much artistic merit as movies/books etc. (Which I absolutely think they CAN), we then put TOO much responsibility on some shoulders.

    I’d compare maybe the music of Mozart, to say Rob Zombie. Sure they’re both artistic, both great writers, and Zombie has even written some deep music, but maybe today I just want a metal song about The Munsters car, and not get pissy cos the song isn’t “saying something”…

    Everyone’s too quick too be angry these days.

    • The difference being that Rob Zombie doesn’t base years of marketing around “saying something” and then produce music that bear all the markers for something that has a deeper meaning but none of the actual meaning.

      I find it bizarre that so many people are just doing some version of “stop politics in my games” when they’re playing a game specifically designed to mimic and explore a literary genre specifically designed to be political from the ground up. The fact is that they wanted to use the trappings of a genre and they are going to be judged one their ability to make a text in that genre. So far it just seems like they made more Ready Player One and less Neuromancer. That’s worth critique, regardless of what your ultimate opinion is.

      • But where did Cyberpunk 2077 have years of marketing around “saying something”? I never saw that in any advertising material.
        Cyberpunk as a setting pushes the dystopian frame to extremes in a confronting way – but for some reason people seem to be taking offense at the game doing exactly what the setting does.

        Heck, I saw a Kotaku article that was criticising the game for not having sufficient DIVERSITY. This game has more diversity in a single shopping block than many games have in their entire world, and yet somehow it’s still *not enough* for some people who seemingly want to complain that it isn’t catering for “insert their specific minority” here. Quite frankly I’m finding the complaints on 2077’s social commentary or its “acceptability” in that frame as being a case of the game giving them a metre of extra content and leeway in the direction they wanted and above virtually every other video game on the market, but now those same people are up in arms because it didn’t go 100 kilometres in that same direction.

        Honestly, I’m seeing more justification in critiquing the critiques than I am seeing justification in the critiques of the game.

  • This whole thing just smells of gender assumption….

    In what setting was it said these are women in the ads???
    I for one know I made a feminine looking character with perky gams and long uncut schlong…. I don’t identify either way so please tell me how all these ads with these characters – even the characters in world – have gone out of the way to identified themselves as a particular gender?

    Where is the LGBTQ+ rage over this opinion??

  • I’m not sure what you were expecting – CDPR are just staying true to the source material.
    It definiately isn’t for everyone but i dont think you can take issue with it knowing the source material going in.
    If it wasn’t like this i’m sure they would cop heaps of flak for selling out and diverging from source material.

  • Lets face it you clearly had not played the game much if at all when posting this; Regina isn’t a cop, Mysty isn’t a healer (unless you mean the spiritual type), Evelyn is a tragic figure (whose story is largely centred on the abuse and dehumanising of a person in the sex trade of the setting) and your list of female figures misses 3 of the most important ones in the game.

    BTW the Watson Whore is male presenting and Adam Smasher is an inhuman monster and his line of dialogue you quoted is part of establishing him as such (it is the first time you meet him in the game).

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