- Author: Mila Grish
- Date: May 9, 2020
And it’s a little bit more than you might think.
About a couple weeks ago an “18+” rating for Cyberpunk 2077 leaked from a Brazilian rating system, and the released list of details left many fans excited.
CD Projekt Red has shown us many times in the past that the developers aren’t afraid to explore adult topics: violence and mutilation, sex and vulgarity, drugs and prostitution were all listed under the Brazilian rating. The response that came from Paweł Sasko regarding this information the same day was, “You surprised? We don’t fuck around.” The confidence and bluntness of that Tweet felt wonderfully appropriate when we consider what we know about CDPR and their famous Witcher series.
CD Projekt Red knows and owns their history of developing exciting games that push the boundaries of gameplay, storytelling, and contemporary culture. If you saw any of the team’s interviews regarding Cyberpunk 2077, you know that this project will not be an exception. The developers are planning on challenging our morals, diving into controversial topics, and keeping us on edge throughout the experience.
ESRB Rating of Cyberpunk 2077, New Gameplay Information
Since that leak the fans were a little afraid that Cyberpunk 2077 might receive an AO (Adult Only) rating from ESRB, which would limit the availability of the game through popular distributors. Whether it’s a relief or a disappointment, three days ago ESRB released the M (Mature) rating on their website. Well, even though the game isn’t going to have actual pornographic sequences, the offered summary still promises a lot of explicit content.
There will be graphical mutilation (including exposed organs), and there will be a lot of drugs. There will even be first-person sex scenes with both major character and prostitutes with partial nudity, sexual sounds, and implicit motions.
The fans also pointed out, not without humor, that players will be able to customize their character’s “breasts, buttocks, and genitalia, as well as various sizes and combinations of genitals.” So, don’t feel like CD Projekt Red is cutting out all of the fun stuff to adhere to the guidelines. Based on what the developers are telling us, it would be quite reasonable to expect the same level of adult themes as we saw in Witcher games, if not more.
Why Having the Adult Content is Important
When it comes to considering this question, there is more on the line than CD Projekt Red trying to entertain their players. We have to remember that Cyberpunk 2077 has to resolve new challenges due to it being a first-person RPG. If Witcher was all about Geralt’s personality and story, Cyberpunk 2077 can accommodate a much larger variety of personalities and decisions made by a player: the game’s main character, V, can be anyone the player chooses him or her (or them!) to be.
And CDPR have been very responsive to the modern discussion of gender and sexuality when they told their players that V can have gay, bisexual, and straight relationships alike, with the equal amount of development going into all of the available romance options. We talk about it in a lot more detail in this news post. In the world of Cyberpunk, the topic of what makes us human becomes even more complicated, so it’s delightful that CD Projekt Red will not be shying away from such topics.
So, why the customizable genitals? We have some guesses.
Firstly, the promised level of customization that awaits us in the game (from our fighting style, to our appearance and clothes, to the look of our vehicles) is all about giving us that exciting open world full of limitless possibilities. We can expect CDPR to put in a lot of work to make the experience as rich and immersive as possible.
Secondly, a game where everyone’s body is at least partially a machine, a topic of body shapes and outward appearance has to be complicated. It’s only a part of the experience to play a character unique in their looks down to their crotch.
Thirdly, and this might be one of the boldest reasons, is to allow for non-binary and transgender characters in all of their forms. Haircuts, body shapes, and types of genitals can all be mixed and matched in a way that makes the player connect the most to their chosen character. This part of the game might be more uncomfortable for some than any of the graphic violence or depictions of sex, so it’s quite a respectable decision and highly relevant to the discussions about gender we have today.
In other words, yes. Sex, crime, and violence are all exciting themes in themselves, and combined with the problematic morality of the Night City these will give us a vibrant and a memorable experience. Still, these themes are also present in the game to explore some complicated topics. Active crime on the streets, dysfunctional government, modified humanity, and questionable morality will not only keep us guessing about what is coming next, but will raise some challenging questions that might leave us evaluating our own reality.
That’s what makes this quite important.