( Image credit: CD Projekt Red) And its true that Cyberpunks city is shallow, however it isnt intended as a parody. Everything in Night City is surface area. Memory too can be externalised in Night City, able to be taped, modified, and played back in the kind of “Braindances”, used as low-cost home entertainment for the masses.
In other words, Cyberpunks world does not permit a person an internal life. Everywhere you look, Night City wishes to reach inside you and pull whatevers in there out for everybody to see. In an environment where your memories can be edited and your character digitised, who you are ends up being an important concern..
Its this concern Cyberpunks story seeks to address. In the very first half of the game, Vs only objective is to make a name for themselves, to become more than just an Edgerunner doing small-time jobs for the citys different fixers.
That is, until the Silverhand Construct V stole brings them back to life. The constructs motives are self-centered– it needs V alive so it can quite actually overwrite their memory with that of Keanu Reeves rockstar terrorist.
Cyberpunk 2077 has gone through a tsunami of criticism. Much of this is fair and legitimate– the bugs and technical problems, the antiquated open world design, and the underwhelming RPG mechanics are all plainly identifiable flaws. There is one allegation being made from the game, nevertheless, that I find completely baffling, and this is the idea that Cyberpunk has absolutely nothing to say.
NPRs scathing review of Cyberpunk hinges nearly entirely on the concept that Cyberpunk is thematically empty, while Eurogamers (normally exceptional) review specifies “So much energy has been directed at the concern of Cyberpunk 2077s parable. The haven of business materialism that Cyberpunk provides us with has been checked out exhaustively both in more comprehensive cyberpunk fiction and videogames themselves.( Image credit: CD Projekt Red) And its real that Cyberpunks city is shallow, however it isnt intended as a parody. Some of the criticism intended at Cyberpunk is based on the fact the game isnt more expressly anti-capitalist as cyberpunk fiction should be.
NPRs scathing review of Cyberpunk hinges almost totally on the notion that Cyberpunk is thematically empty, while Eurogamers (typically outstanding) review states “So much energy has been directed at the concern of Cyberpunk 2077s parable. It says nothing.”
Personally, I find this an odd remark to make toward any game. All art has something to state about the world in which it was produced, whether it plans to or not. The concept that Cyberpunk has absolutely nothing to state is particularly odd, as it almost screams its message from every skyscraper-packed street corner..
The sanctuary of corporate materialism that Cyberpunk provides us with has actually been explored extensively both in wider cyberpunk fiction and videogames themselves. From Syndicate to Fallout to Bioshock to Grand Theft Auto, games have actually satirised and philosophised about industrialism for years, with differing degrees of success, and differing degrees of hypocrisy.
Seeing a multibillion-dollar business make a video game about how commercialism sucks is always going to feature a side of cognitive harshness. When you leave into Night City and see the oppressive crush of buildings, the kooky-looking NPCs, and the neon signboards trying to sell you different flavours of depravity, its simple to roll your eyes and compose Cyberpunk off as another shallow virtual satire.
( Image credit: CD Projekt Red).
Having your main characters personality erased by an algorithm developed by the most significant corporation in Night City is not precisely a subtle metaphor for our own battles to stand out amidst the howling void of our own technological present. This is just the main pillar of the games expedition of looking for an identity in the face of a city that actively wants to dehumanise its residents. Nearly everybody you satisfy in Night City is looking for a hook to hang their hat on.
Its no accident that Vs motives are clearly self-centered throughout the game.Cyberpunks story is eventually a look for the self, a goal which is tough to achieve when your whole mindset is coded in the language of gain and profit. Its no mishap that Vs motives are clearly selfish throughout the video game, first to discover and then to conserve themselves. Whenever V deals with someone, that relationship is nearly always transactional, either for tough cash or a mutual scratching of backs. Personal relationships that go beyond product exchange are difficult come over.
Some of the criticism aimed at Cyberpunk is based on the fact the video game isnt more specifically anti-capitalist as cyberpunk fiction should be. Cyberpunk isnt so much about resisting industrialism as recognizing how hard industrialism is to resist, due to the fact that it just absorbs whatever bullets you fire at it and offers them back to you at a premium.
Cyberpunk represents this perceived futility of the battle well. One of the very best conversations in the entire video game takes place while V and Takemura are scouting out an Arasaka warehouse from a nearby structure. As they await nightfall, Takemura notifications a feline resting on the railing– perhaps the last feline yet to run away the citys pollution and noise. Takemura wonders if its a Bakenoko– a spirit that can bring the dead back to life (a few moments later Johnny appears, lounging beside the cat).
There is one allegation being made of the video game, however, that I find entirely baffling, and this is the concept that Cyberpunk has absolutely nothing to say.
He senses V is evaluating him for his work securing the symbol of combined power in Night City. “You oppose the corporations, their order, their world, in a mindless method, yet you provide no worthwhile alternative. You show me unclean streets as if no other world exists, as if nothing else is possible.
Takemura represents the ideal capitalist worker. His argument is a compelling and familiar one. None of Takemuras admirable qualities stopped him from being thrown down the ladder completely by scenario and the fierce nature of Night City.
CD Projekt RED is now among the most famous game development business worldwide, clearly part of the culture it when purported to rail against.Cyberpunk may not be an extreme work, but it is well versed in the core styles of the genre, and the method it checks out the dehumanizing and brainwashing effects of tough commercialism on people is both thought-provoking and emotional. For all that I enjoyed Cyberpunks more deliberate musings, however, I think the games most interesting quality is how its thematic stress and anxieties reflect those of the developer that made it..
CD Projekt RED has long presented itself as an outsider studio, the eccentric Polish developer with strong beliefs in customer advocacy, who took an odd beast hunter and transformed him into a worldwide phenomenon. CD Projekt RED is now one of the most well-known video game advancement business in the world, explicitly part of the culture it as soon as purported to rail against. Its more than a coincidence that their latest game consumes over identity crises in the face of rampant industrialism.