CD Projekt Red has expanded upon some of the character creation tools available in Cyberpunk 2077, and things have seemingly changed for the better in terms of fluidity.
The developer drew criticism at E3 2019 for featuring a poster in its gameplay demo that many, ourselves included, initially viewed as transphobic. We even had a chat with them about this at the time, where they confirmed players wouldn’t be constrained by gender identity.
CD Projekt Red stressed that 2077 takes place in a world where everyone is demonized regardless of gender, sexuality or occupation. You’re all a target, and the imagery required context to be properly appreciated.
While we still had our doubts, it was clear that the developer was aware of its previous mistakes and hoped to make it up to players ahead of release. And that sentiment seems to have materialised with the newly introduced character creator.
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Speaking in an interview with Metro at Gamescom 2019, senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers expressed that feedback from fans had been taken on board regarding Cyberpunk 2077’s approach to gender and player expression.
‘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.’
‘We have two voices, one that’s male sounding, one is female sounding,’ she said, ‘You can mix and match. You can just connect them any way you want.’ As a transgender woman this flexibility sounds really promising, showing that I could create an in-game avatar that truly represents me, which really matters in RPGs like this.
Obviously, Cyberpunk 2077 still takes place in a dark, twisted world, but CD Projekt Red is making sure it’s one all players feel comfortable experiencing. ‘We just want to know what we can improve on because we want to make a really good game and we really want to make a game that everybody is comfortable playing. But at the same time we’ll tackle difficult issues. It is a cyberpunk world after all.’
Cyberpunk 2077 is due to launch for PS4, Xbox One and PC on April 16, 2020. A Google Stadia release has also been confirmed, although it will seemingly launch after other platforms next year. Either way, we’re very excited to get our hands on it.