Is it a boy? It’s it a girl? Does it even matter? Subverting the tediously limited contemporary thinking on the subject, CD Projekt Red’s game promises a future in which concepts like “boy” and “girl” are mostly irrelevant, and neon pink spandex is for everybody.
Game artist Marthe Jonkers tells Metro that, since its original demo debut, Cyberpunk 2077’s character creation screen has been optimised for maximum inclusivity.
“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,” she explains. “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. And then we have a lot of extra skin tones and tattoos and hairstyles. So we really want to give people the freedom to make their own character and play the way they want to play.”
“Because we wanted to create a very believable cyberpunk world. Cyberpunk 2020 was also a world that had a very dark side and we are also showing this in Cyberpunk 2077, but we paint a picture and we let the player interpret it,” says Jonkers. “We leave it up to the player to see what they think of the situations and how they would handle it. So we’re trying to create a sort of realistic world, we’re trying not to shy away from cyberpunk themes. But at the same time we’re giving the freedom to the player to approach the situations how they want to.”