I’ve been following CD Projekt Red for a couple of years now after I played The Witcher 3 and fell in love with it. They created this fantastic world and made it a game to remember, instantly becoming one of my favourite RPGs of all time. When I heard about Cyberpunk 2077, I was immediately drawn in and scoured the internet often for any new information I could find.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world RPG that is finally coming to multiple gaming platforms on April 16, 2020. CD Projekt Red has already expressed that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a massive game. But, it has yet to be disclosed on how long the game will actually be. This game will be an in-depth RPG that takes place in a futuristic dystopian world that’s dictated by megacorporations. You as the player have the ability to customize the character you’ll be playing as called V.
Now, this is the part that raises some of my concerns. In the past, with other open-world RPG games, you were allowed to customize your character. And in my experience, the customization has always been lacking. What I mean by that is there isn’t enough diversity. You could either make your character a man or a woman and that was pretty much it.
Then you could choose from a couple of skin tones and when I say a couple of skin tones I mean like 6 and usually this only consisted of 2 darker shades. How can developers create a game that allows you too customize, but have very limited options between skin tone, body build, hair, and gender?
As a black nerd who adores video games, I always felt like I didn’t see myself in these games. I want to see characters who look like me I want to see, characters with curly hair and different textures. I want to see different body types and not just skinny.
Let’s see Curly, kinky 4C hair, locs, fros, thick, short and shrinkage. The Bitmoji app has done this, so why can’t game developers accomplish this?
One topic that has been talked about lately, the closer the release date gets for Cyberpunk 2077 is how will the game portray different diverse characters.
According to quest director, Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz told Gamasutra that CD Projekt Red has been paying attention to how it portrays characters.
“We do not want anyone to feel like we are neglecting this, or treating it wrongly.”
Another topic that started to come up was how will relationships and romance be portrayed in the game. It’s known that your character can develop and have relationships during gameplay, but what is the extent of those relationships and what about your sexuality?
Patrick Mill’s quest designer for Cyberpunk 2077 shined some light on this topic and told game informer,
“Similar to the Witcher, but with more diversity,” Mills said. “There are a lot more
options. You know, you’re defining your own character here, which means defining their sexuality any way you want. With Geralt, you had a character whose sexuality was very well established by the novels and the short stories and the previous games. But in this one, it’s up to you to decide. We’ve got NPCs that are gay, we’ve got NPCs that are bi, we’ve got NPCs that are straight, because we want them to feel real and that they
have preferences as well.”
That being said, they’ve taken what they learned from The Witcher and expanded on that. Wanting to give gamers something to look forward to and hopefully giving gamers the diversity they crave.
While I want to have complete faith in these game developers and yell at CD Projekt Red to take my money I have to be a bit cautious and hope that they created a world that gamers can see themselves in. But, I know along with other gamers of colour and gamers who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community that there will be a major disappointment if the developers don’t stand by what they said initially.
If CD Projekt Red can accomplish this, they will open the door to more game companies and developers doing this exact thing. It’s just like with shows, and movies, you want to see representation and video games are no exception. While I still have my concerns, Cyberpunk 2077 is still a ways away, but I can say I’m excited about a game that is going to take up much of my free time and I hope you are too.
By: Portia Lightfoot
Edited By: Keshav Kant
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Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.