Offensive Material

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Demonsoul

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#1  Edited By Demonsoul

I’m 60 hours in and have seen all of the endings play out (including the secret ending). I have done a ton of side missions but not all of them. I have yet to be offended by anything in this game. Have you found anything offensive? Which parts?

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Nodima

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The "Bottoms Up" ad is offensively basic, but I suppose I scroll past enough similar jokes on Instagram that mileage will vary by age group and demographic.

I'm surprised more wasn't made out of the "Whore of Night City" (I think it was a specific neighborhood but I can't remember) lore text tied to the ads for the TV show with a trans woman vomiting into a toilet while her balls are arguably the most prominent part of her body considering how much hay was made over the woman with the huge dick throughout the year.

I think the accent work is pretty generic and worth at least bristling at. It'd be cool if every Asian man in Western-developed video games wasn't such a breathy, low-toned speaker (this was a primary reason I switched to Japanese in Tsushima) these days.

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Seikenfreak

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Nah. I'm completely desensitized to stuff and don't take things in a video game personally.

I wish they would've gone further. Gimmie an "AO" rated patch lol Cyberpunk has all this violence, murder, and sex presented in its world and the story, but they never (and can't) take it all the way. All of these things, despite seeming extreme, seem very plausible to me. Even now, the internet is a fucked up place and these things exist if you go looking for it. As a side note, not everything needs to be sex and violence. They could've spent more time fleshing out other areas of future culture/tech.

This is why I'm excited and curious as mods start coming along. Maybe giant world content expansions. To see if people really start filling out this world with even more detail and, hopefully, some polish.

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Efesell

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I mean the ads are shitty and gross. They fall right off that line of like... we’re mocking a bad thing by doing the same bad thing.

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colourful_hippie

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@nodima: Yeah that seemed way more problematic than the Mix it Up stuff that people hyped up. Although nothing exactly phased me, I can see why it would bother someone else.

Personally the only offensive thing about those ads are how basic they are along with the horrible voice lines out of some the gangs you're fighting like with The Animals that shout, "Get Raped!"

That shit is just offensively bad and lazy and out of some time capsule stuck with an Xbox 360 headset and Modern Warfare 2.

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Efesell

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The accent stuff I dunno about. At least they cast the Asian characters appropriately so far as I know.

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Nodima

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@efesell: I'm sure it's all fine, it's just something that's been bugging me lately and I'm not even Asian-American so I'm not sure why that is. Jesse from The Last of Us (which stood out to me more in retrospect after hearing their approach to Manny's hispanic accent and general loverboy approach to life), most of the men in Tsushima (in their English VO) and now the guy from the corpo that helps you out in Cyberpunk. As well as the robot ladies in the hotel lobby, when I first heard them I was like, "well, that's a choice." It's less the casting or even the performance so much as the direction that feels questionable.

Ken Leung's performance on HBO's Industry is a good example of subverting this trope of the repressed, internal Asian male as you get to know his character a bit more and realize how much he's actively playing into that stereotype to suit the needs of UK investment banking. Granted, I dumped Cyberpunk last weekend after a deluge of crashes so maybe the CP2077 guy develops further also.

It just feels like a lot all at once for three major games in one year to all have a variation on that, especially in a year that also had that Barrett performance, which was also a Black voice actor but boy did they go for the Mr. T thing all these years later (and I'm sure that has to do with stuff like Advent Children but as somebody hearing Barrett speak out loud for the first time I was shocked).

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Efesell

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@nodima: Eh Takemura at least doesn't change much in that regard. Whenever he does emote he switches to Japanese to do so and while I think that's a sensible character choice it won't address any of the above.

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doctordonkey

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#9  Edited By doctordonkey

The only thing I found offensive was more of a "holy shit, did a 12 year old write this?" than anything. I forget which gang territory it is but there is a part of the city where enemies have combat barks that say "We're getting fuckin' raped over here!" and "Get raped, asshole!". I seriously thought I stepped through a time portal into 2004 and was playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live and some teenagers were screaming at me.

At some point it crossed a line into the hilarious and I could only shake my head and chuckle at the absurdity of it. Who wrote that and was like "Yeah, that's night city baby, edgy and raw AS FUCK, nailed it".

It's also a great example of how many different people were involved in the writing, because I find a lot of the stuff with pretty much every more intricate and involved relationship V has to be quite good, and there are side quests and main quests that are right up there with Witcher 3 in terms of writing. Then you have stuff like I mentioned above, and other instances in side gigs and such that just make you go "...huh?".

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Efesell

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They're just all channers it's fine.

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aktivity

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Honestly the constant social outrage has made me desensitized and overall watered down a lot of the impact words like racism used to hold for me as a black man. Admittedly I was never particularly sensitive to these issues. So I guess a lot of the things considered problematic in the game don't register with me.

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bigsocrates

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@seikenfreak: They don't take the violence all the way? What are you talking about. There are vivisected corpses in various places in the game. I shot a barrel and it blew a woman in half, there were intestines flopping out of the bottom of her torso. When I picked up the corpse (the top half anyway) the floppy intestines were in my line of sight. Then I threw that part of her corpse in a dumpster.

If that's not taking the violence all the way I don't know what is. This game honestly should have an AO rating if that rating means anything. Now personally I don't really believe in AO so I'm not advocating it, but the game has extreme violence, explicit sex (everything short of showing penetration) and pervasive language, adult situations, etc... I think that the AO rating is dead for maybe anything but a pure porn game, but frankly I think that the extreme violence in games is worse than any porn game would be.

In terms of whether I was personally offended by anything...I would say mildly yeah. It was more storylines than specific things. I'm desensitized to violence and nudity, but the game treats its women characters mostly pretty badly, and one in particular gets fridged in a really nasty way. It also has racial stereotypes (as others have mentioned) and just treats a lot of subject matter callously. I think it probably relates to the game being made in Poland where they don't really understand the nuances of American racial relations and the country is not at all diverse (95% of people in Poland are ethnically Polish.) The game certainly has a diverse cast (though most of the major NPC characters are white or Japanese, though Dex and Judy are notable exceptions) but the ethnic gangs thing is a tired trope.

There was nothing that made me angry enough to write a letter or warn people away from the game, but there's a lot of stuff that could have been handled better and there were definitely lots of moments that made me say "ew" beyond the intended effect (and its clear that some of the yucky moments are supposed to be offensive and the game is condemning the offensive stuff.)

I am capable of being offended without flying off the handle, though. The game handles trans stuff pretty badly but it isn't explicitly anti-trans, and it handles women badly but it's not soaked in misogyny like some games, so it's far from the worst title I've played even this year in these regards.

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Ry_Ry

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There's a difference between having questionable content within context and just endorsing said content. CDPR does the latter. It's fine to enjoy a thing with issues, but maybe consider taking a moment to hear what the objections are before just saying it's all good.

Like I enjoy Hannibal but I'm not going out stanning canabalism.

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Humanity

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#14  Edited By Humanity

@bigsocrates: How are ethnic gangs a trope when in real life gangs very much function on the idea of racial solidarity? I’m always surprised by people thinking this is a racist and tired idea when it’s basically real life. I grew up in New York City where you have entire parts of the city very much subdivided into ethnic majority neighborhoods “like a bad video game trope” if you will.

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bigsocrates

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@humanity: There's obviously some truth to certain gangs being ethnically divided, though it's never as clear as video games make it out to be (for example the Italian mafia, probably one of the most famous examples of an ethnic gang, worked with a fair number of Jews and Irish people etc...)

Part of why it's a trope is the assumption that this is going to be the same in 2077, with the same ethnic divisions and gang make ups when those do change substantially over time, and part of the reason it's not great in Cyberpunk 2077 is that all the gangs that are ethnic (the Valentinos, Tyger Claws, and Voodoo Boys) are ethnic minorities while the other gangs are based around some kind of non-ethnic element like the Scavs and Animals. In reality there are obviously white ethnic gangs too, like the Mafia or Russian or Ukranian gangs etc...

The reason I called it a trope and not flat out racist is that yes, it is somewhat true to life so it's not some arbitrary decision that all criminals are minorities or anything. But it's also lazy and boring. The Tyger Claws are much less interesting as a gang than the Animals or Malestrom. The Voodoo Boys at least have their weird views on Cyberspace and AI.

I just don't see the need for ethnic gangs in 2077, especially when such things play into stereotypes about minorities as criminals, and for some reason there's no Mafia gang or Russian gang (though the Scavs have some Soviet origins, but other identities too.) Is it horribly offensive and racist? No, but it's a mildly offensive and unnecessary trope.

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innacces14

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was filled to the brim with the most offensive material I could imagine. What makes it so easy for me to go back to it was the developers and writers took the stand to identify it, show the player who did it (Nazi, Nazi-apologists, I mean yeah), and tell you to stand up against the monstrosity. Genres are so spineless these days because they want to sell a red lightsaber to the dopes that make the third "Empire was right" forum post for the week, or a collectable Infinity Gauntlet to the "Thanos did nothing wrong" crowd.

Cyberpunk 2077 sounds exhausting to me. Just another game where they blast ableist, transphobic, and eye-rolling cultural stereotypical language. The most disappointing thing that kneecapped this game, in the 8 years where they had this game in mind, was that they never took the time and responsibility to write something that pushes back against that language. Call me an old man, but I'm tired of having people talk to me about how the new South Park season is good. I get it. Cartman called Kyle a Jew.

No one talks about The New Colossus because it's message was clear; you need to be anti-racist. There isn't a multitude of forums dissecting the language unlike the new Star Wars trilogy where everyone is trying to find an out for Kylo Ren because "yeah, he took part in committing genocide of an entire star system, but ReyLo". You don't get the duplicate forums when you have a game that stands the hell up, becomes political, and puts it's foot down with it's message. No one is perfect though and I will bring expectations with the next Wolfenstein game. Entities change.

Cyberpunk 2077 unfortunately leaves me with this question; did they take 8 years to make some weird outlet for their "trigger the libs" jokes? Because I can listen to one episode of Joe Rogan and get that in one hour versus waiting 8 years and actively contributing 50 hours of my life.

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Efesell

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#17  Edited By Efesell
@innacces14 said:

Cyberpunk 2077 unfortunately leaves me with this question; did they take 8 years to make some weird outlet for their "trigger the libs" jokes? Because I can listen to one episode of Joe Rogan and get that in one hour versus waiting 8 years and actively contributing 50 hours of my life.

Eh, I don't get this vibe at all though.

I think that the game is careless and often very tone deaf towards its issue, but not malicious in this manner.

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Serryl

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I wasn't offended by any of it, though the "Bottoms Up" ad made me do a doubletake. I did initially raise an eyebrow over them labeling a Haitian/Creole gang as "The Voodoo Boys". I thought that was lazy, but it got cleverly addressed in an later bit of optional dialogue.

Like innacces14, I was mostly surprised that after so much development time, CDPR didn't seem to have much to say about this dystopian future beyond that humans will find interesting ways to have sex. Brilliant.

Rob Zacny's Vice review captures this really well. He points out that for all the demonstrated problems in Night City (labor rights, politics, law enforcement, environmental destruction, disease), the ones explored deeply often involve sex workers, and that's also true for the edgy advertising.

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bigsocrates

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@efesell: I'd say that it is sometimes intentionally edgy, especially around sexuality (not really around race) but I don't think it intends to offend or upset people, it's just more of a juvenile "hell yeah, a game where you can just pick up a hooker and we actually show you explicit sex, anything goes in Night City, no limits bros" attitude.

And then it gets into the actual plots related to sex workers and it goes through a lot of cliches and negativity, but there are sex workers who are presented as fully realized characters so I don't think the game intends to be anti-sex worker, it just takes on material more complicated than its willing to handle.

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innacces14

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@efesell said:
@innacces14 said:

Cyberpunk 2077 unfortunately leaves me with this question; did they take 8 years to make some weird outlet for their "trigger the libs" jokes? Because I can listen to one episode of Joe Rogan and get that in one hour versus waiting 8 years and actively contributing 50 hours of my life.

Eh, I don't get this vibe at all though.

I think that the game is careless and often very tone deaf towards its issue, but not malicious in this manner.

But the thing is that if I have that question, and you have a different interpretation, then the writers did a lazy job in leaving it to the players to decide what their intent was. Still though, it bums me out that careless and tone deaf is the height in this game. I have heard that the story does come with a couple of nuggets of hope, but put your hand in an open flame and I guess it doesn't hurt after 20 hours?

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Efesell

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#21  Edited By Efesell

It's not the height of the game though.

I dunno, I think we can have good games that also fuck up.

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innacces14

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@efesell said:

It's not the height of the game though.

I dunno, I think we can have good games that also fuck up.

Definitely. Art in general. I love and adore Blade Runner to death, but I absolute think that the writers at the time had a very weird and messed up idea on how people fall in love.

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devise22

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I'm watching my roommate play it from time to time and yeah I'm not overly offended by anything in it but I do have to agree with some in here, it's so edgy. Like there are things in it that without the context the game provides are absolutely offensive to say. My concern over the games edgy/offensive nature is more just how lazy it all comes across.

In Borderland the meme humor felt like their pitch, the "hey we did satire and the internet in our shooter" approach. Whether it worked for you or not (mostly not for me) is besides the point that at least you could see their pitch. Cyberpunk's tone is so all over the place I don't really get the pitch sometimes. Some of the enemy gangs have some of the laziest edgy combat dialogue I've heard, and it does come across as a bit more "shock you" to make you want to fuck them up. Far too many NPC's in the game just have dialogue straight out of subreddits and it's just kind offputting. I get they are trying to make these people feel real to the era they are set, but it all just comes across pretty stereotyped.

Ultimately there is just an aspect to the writing, some of the style choices and just overall with a lot of the games attempts at using humor that make you think the people who made these decisions thought they were much "cooler" than they are. When in reality even the semi cool shit in the game isn't like that groundbreaking or anything. It's a game a little too obsessed with it's own ideas honestly, and I think that is why it can often come across as offensive.

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BaneFireLord

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I thought doing an unironic "The Cake Is A Lie" joke in The Year Of Our Lord 2020 was pretty heinous. Then again, I suppose awkwardly shoehorning in a bad Portal reference is rather fitting for a game that feels like it's stuck in the early 2010s in most aspects.

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Efesell

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I allow the portal joke because they fully committed to the bit by bringing in Glados and that's respectable.

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LapsarianGiraff

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#26  Edited By LapsarianGiraff

So, let me say this as someone who was deeply offended by everything I saw pre-release, especially the trans advertisements.

Like the barrage of text messages and calls from people you've never met about cars, the "offensive" advertisements are all just white noise. Sound and fury signifying nothing. My honest reaction to every piece of "shocking" media in the game was, "really?" Not out of offense, but out of incredulity and exasperation. For better or worse, in the context of the game itself, the controversial ads are much more toothless.

Guy just making loud orgasm sounds on the radio? Really? A dude getting his face sat on with the same graphical treatment as the You Don't Know Jack guy? Really? Watson Whore with a bulging dick and balls while vomiting into a toilet? Really? This is the best you could come up with? I'm all for a fucked up future setting that satirizes capitalism and advertising, but this isn't satire. This doesn't even rise to the level of satire's uglier twin sister, parody.

It's just fucking lazy.

And like everything else in this game, despite screaming for attention, it can just be ignored, because it has literally nothing to say on these issues. The core game is so divorced from this miasma of shitty sub-South Park humor they just vomited onto all the (otherwise pretty) architecture of Night City. I kept an eye out for any sort of actual stance on transgenderism throughout the game, and the closest I got was the fact that Claire, the racing lady, brings up that she's a trans woman once after you do a couple of races, and has a transgender flag on her vehicle. While I'm glad that she's just a character that gets to exist who isn't solely defined by her identity, it's odder when she's one of two trans characters I met (the other being a random NPC conversation.)

So congrats CDPR, you pissed off trans people, some trans allies, and accidentally dog whistled to the shittiest parts of the internet for... some of the most superfluous, basic, and lazy "commentary" I've ever seen in a game (and that's saying something, considering games.) Way to be a free speech.

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Asylumrunner

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For one thing, I think it's worth pointing out that something being offensive is, at the core of it, an extremely personal thing. One person finding something inoffensive does not negate someone else finding something offensive (or vice versa), just like how one person finding something funny does not negate someone else finding something not funny, or finding something good doesn't negate someone else finding it not good.

To echo the rest of the posts, I'm less offended and more just, like, embarrassed on behalf of CDPR. When this game tries to get "edgy" or "dark", it's the most embarrassing, childish, middle-school shit. The advertisements look like they were pulled out of, like, Idiocracy, and are just pathetically dumb. I have now shot my way through three snuff and/or worse braindance studios, and there's not been a point to any of them, they're just "ooooh, this is bad, this is fucked up, isn't this so fucked up?" and it's just pathetic. It's like this game was written by fourteen year olds after googling "sex" who read a wikipedia article about Tor.

I ultimately think this is sort of emblematic of a larger issue with the game as a whole (it doesn't really explore any element of its setting, it just thrusts something unusual in front of you, goes "ain't that weird", gives you some Street Cred, and moves on without analysis, commentary, or exporation), but with the more adult aspects of the setting it comes off extremely callous.

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NTM

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#28  Edited By NTM

Sorry, that is longer than I was expecting. For those that don't care about reading it, it's just answering the question, but also my thoughts on the game so far since I just got it yesterday. Long story short, I like it, but there are some (negligible I'm finding so far) issues. Happy Holidays!

---

No. I think a lot of it is silly, and not in the 'oh, haha, CDPR, you are so funny'. I mean, it's not really offensive compared to other stuff, but walking into a room and a simple painting of two dicks on the wall? Yeah. I just find it silly, but do I care that much? Not really. Some of it is additive for the atmosphere, some of it I just don't feel anything for, while other aspects I can understand why some are offended.

I want to add, even though I don't think this is the right forum to do it, so if anything else comes up, I'll post elsewhere, but I got it yesterday on the Xbox One X, and honestly, I'm liking it more than I expected coming off of all the negative talk about it. I haven't had any major issues. And I hate to jinx it, but so far I've only had one guy sitting in midair at the beginning of my nomad playthrough (also, the intro is disappointingly short/seemingly superfluous). He was on my way to the main missions so I hit him.

In the training where it wants you to defeat a foe hand-to-hand by using everything you've learned, the dummy just fell on the ground and I punched him once to finish it. There were a few instances where I couldn't pick up an item for some reason. There was a moment where, and I don't know if it's a bug or someone holding a phone camera and flashing it (as I had seen that when I thought it was a bug), but sometimes the screen flashes white really quickly.

There may have been another, but I don't remember off the top of my head anything as 'bad'. The frame rate holds up well enough. It does dip into the 20s, but it's not ruining the experience. The create a character wasn't great... Trying to get out the things I dislike so far. I can't say that I'm that involved in the story just yet (still early on), but voice work is good and I can see myself taking to some characters. Aw, HDR is seemingly broken and that is unfortunate. That said, I am conflicted about it because in a way, I kind of like some of what it adds to the atmosphere. I've opted to play with it off though.

In simplest terms, I really like the sights and sounds, even on the Xbox One X, I actually think it looks great. The way sound envelops you in Atmos is really nice. It does remind me of Blade Runner even if that's not entirely what they were going for. I'm playing on very hard as I've heard normal is a cakewalk, and combat is enjoyable because shooting I find satisfying enough, and I'm not just running in their faces and taking them out. I'm using cover. The auto-lean is nice.

As said, technically I haven't made a lot of progress but I did play it for (probably?) seven or so hours now, but what I feel so far is that there's not going to be a lot of upgrading for weaponry. To me, it feels like a looter-shooter where you pick a weapon up and if its stats are good, I take it and use it. I'm not sure if that'll be the case further in, but it's what it feels like now. Um, yeah! I like it so far. I find it immersive when I had not thought it would, expecting little things to bother me. Fingers crossed, I'm hoping nothing completely breaks further in.

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FinalDasa

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Just because something isn't offensive to you doesn't mean it's handled well or not offensive to someone else.

From what I've seen and heard of it sounds like immature jokes and a lackluster attitude toward trying to make a point. So we just have sound and fury signifying nothing.

2020 has taught me that practicing empathy is vital. And hearing the litany of complaints even before the game's release combined with that blase inclusion of content and commentary has turned me off on the game.

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innacces14

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Just to be clear, I can already feel this forum devolving into an out where readers can say "well it's just lazy then". This game is offensive. If you can't be offended by this game then you have absolutely zero regard for people and zero imagination about where life can take you. I love video games, but ignoring the horrendous drivel they want to pass as "jokes" just to pay $60 to play an okay game when it's running on all cylinders is the most moronic thing people can do with their lives right now. Fuck this game. Do better.

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Efesell

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Well, alright.

I'm glad you could be here to settle all dispute.

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LapsarianGiraff

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@innacces14: Can there be a "both?"

Because I was offended but it's also incredibly lazy. And seeing how little impact it makes in the final game is both reassuring and disturbing at the same time.

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Humanity

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@asylumrunner: I don't know the base material, maybe it's there although I doubt it, but more than anything I don't really get the obsession this game has with sex. I think they patched out the mess of dildos that Jeff and plenty other reviews I've heard talking about pre-release, but even now the world is just saturated from top to bottom with sexual media. Everywhere you go these posters of different ways to do it, different augments to help you do it, different mods that fetishize something or other. I don't mind the writing a whole lot and haven't really encountered anything awful. It's been mostly just regular videogame speak full of unnatural exposition and generalizations. The sex stuff though is tiresome. What bothers me is that there doesn't even seem to be a cutoff point for any of this either. I've been to the dumps and to the rich downtown highrise and the ads are all the same. It's like this entire future world is just obsessed with fucking and all the tech and cybernetic advancement seems to mostly be in service of that singular purpose - or shooting things.

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Nodima

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#34  Edited By Nodima

@ntm: For what it's worth, I wound up deleting my PS4 copy and submitting a request for a refund from Sony after two separate nights two weeks apart in which hard crashes erased my progress multiple times, but despite playing a game that looked like a 2008 PC emulating a watercolor-filtered fan remake of GTA San Andreas inspired by the pointillism of Monét...

If it hadn't have been for those crashes, I'd still be playing the game. Personally I was fascinated by how busted the game was on previous gen baseline consoles, but I also think the core game has a medium floor that's mostly engaging. Walking around the game is a bit like navigating the offices of the Martin-Flemmer building (Being John Malkovich, where the floors are high and the ceilings low) in that every bit of praise is accompanied by something to complain about, but there is inkling enough of something good there that I think it generally makes sense anybody with capable hardware would have fun with the core story missions at the very least.

...But, again, my experience with the game was probably a 1:2 ratio of compliments to complaints at best, and the crashes were just something completely alien to me as a console player. I'd like to see CP2077 through, but likely not until multiple patch passes, acquisition of a current gen console and a steep discount.

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innacces14

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@theoracleofgame: Oh it's both alright, but I'm gonna put my foot down and do what the OP did and focus on the offensive part before it gets swept under the rug because "remember the bugs"?!

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chaser324

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#36  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

Even if you aren't personally offended by anything in this game, there's plenty of content that I think just about anyone with the least bit of social awareness should be able to recognize as potentially offensive.

From the very start of the game and the character creator assigning gender based on voice, through to the ethnicity/race based gangs, and the most obvious point of contention being the "edgy" ads - Cyberpunk 2077 is rarely ever subtle with its (mostly failed) attempts to be subversive. If this game attempted to deliver a meaningful message about any of this, it would be easier to forgive, but instead, it mostly just comes off as 4chan humor.

All of that said, it's still possible to enjoy the game in spite of all of that, and I don't think anyone can take that away from you. Personally, I've played quite a bit of the game and mostly had a good time, but I'm still able to recognize this game's failures in specific areas.

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devise22

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@theoracleofgame: Haha yeah I'm in the same category. I guess for me the distinction is that despite it being offensive (it is) how it lazily presents itself really impacts how offensive it can be. Like the ambient gang dialogue in combat specifically contains a lot of offensive word choices that feel entirely meant to justify them as generic enemies. Not only is it offensive but it's a lazy attempt to make your enemies feel bad. They also do nothing with it from what I've seen, as someone above mentioned about Wolfenstein as an example of something that more so did.

It almost kind of makes some of Cyberpunks stuff doubly offensive, because the decisions on how to use their edginess often come across as "well we met the line, these are shit people your meant to kill anyways." It's just so bare minimum that it absolutely doesn't justify their use of offensive shit in game, especially when you consider that much of the offensive content is baked into the games overall aesthetic.

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@devise22: @innacces14: Totally. The people who discounted the early narrative around this game and some of the same reactionary YouTube channels who immediately jumped on the "ZOMG BUGS" train are less a venn diagram and more a circle, ha.

It's disturbing how casually CDPR leveraged trans fetishization, and for what? A throwaway poster.

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Nah, I don’t allow video games to offend me, or any art for that matter.

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@humanity: As someone with a decent amount of familiarity with the source material, some of the changes I've noticed seem to be, uh, worse.

My big sticking point is with the Valentinos. In the text of Cyberpunk 2020, the Valentinos are a non-ethnically-defined gang that's essentially a criminal organization of pick-up artists. In 2077, they've been completely overhauled into Stereotypical Latinx Gang #3289: calaveras, low riders and motorcycles, heavy Christian iconography, the same lazy trope that's been pumped out since, like, Los Muertes in Crackdown 1. It's possible that this was a change from R. Talsorian's side of things (as they did change the Voodoo Boys from a gang of sociopath poser white boys into a gang of Haitian spiritualists), but flipping through my copy of Cyberpunk Red, the edition of the RPG that came out roughly alongside 2077, there literally isn't any mention of the Valentinos.

My completely speculative guess is that they wanted a Stereotypically Latinx Gang for Jackie to be part of, so they just took the Valentinos and overhauled them into what they needed for the game, but it's still a pretty weak, tired trope at this point.

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Demonsoul

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Nothing here is offensive, but some of the bugs are epic and hilarious to see in action. I encountered then gem today while replaying one of my favorite late game missions. Do not view the below image if you are avoiding possible spoilers.

No Caption Provided

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ragnar_mike

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#42  Edited By ragnar_mike

I'm mostly just offended by the content of this game in the sense that it's all incredibly reductive. There's an incredible place in this IP for discussions of body image and intersectionality and transhumanism and sex work and classism and a bunch of really interesting topics. None of that is explored in depth, if at all. The first season of Altered Carbon explored classism and sexwork so much more interestingly than Cyberpunk, and Altered Carbon barely really looks at it in the grand scheme of things.

The posters feel like the environment artists were the only one to read the story bible and that everyone else ignored it because it was mocking and insultingly stereotypical. Watson Whore, Bottom's Up...I'm pretty sure there's one add for speed in a can and another that more or less should just be called Deepthroat. Like...yes, I understand the goal of taking exploitative advertising to its logical conclusion to set the tone, but they can't have thought this was going to land in the US. Particularly these past few years.

Anyway. I'm all for the subjects they're bringing up in the game. They're important things to talk about and parody is an excellent way of shedding some light on it. But that takes a gentler touch than Cyberpunk was able to accomplish while putting out so many fires it seems. To be honest, I think I liked Saints Row 3's handling of all this better which is...I don't even know how to unwrap that. Haha

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Humanity

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@ragnar_mike: I agree that the posters and generally the “fake advertising” of this world is a huge detriment and actively works against it. Literally anything else would be an improvement. Where are the recruitment posters for the various corporations, posters of music bands of fashion trends of anything that isn’t this shitty obsession with sex.

That said I couldn’t disagree more about your comment regarding Altered Carbon, which itself had a ton of gratuitous sex in it for the sake of some T&A. That show was extremely shallow and had very little to say or at best had about as much to say as Cyberpunk. I do think there are story threads in the game that are meaningful like the Judy quest line that shows the effects of cumulative mental abuse and the toll it can take on a person that is very unique to the way prostitution is performed in that world.

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Efesell

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I think to some degree the posters and ads make total sense, it's taking the sex sells aphorism and turning it up so high you break the dial. It's a decent enough way to show what things might be like if all of that can just go completely unchecked.

But yeah there's basically no variety or additional targets at all and it just becomes irritating noise. Maybe that's also sort of the point but for a player that stops mattering when my vision drifts to the side during some event to find another one of those god damned Bottom's Up animated billboards and I sigh.

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#45  Edited By ragnar_mike

@humanity said:

@ragnar_mike: I agree that the posters and generally the “fake advertising” of this world is a huge detriment and actively works against it. Literally anything else would be an improvement. Where are the recruitment posters for the various corporations, posters of music bands of fashion trends of anything that isn’t this shitty obsession with sex.

That said I couldn’t disagree more about your comment regarding Altered Carbon, which itself had a ton of gratuitous sex in it for the sake of some T&A. That show was extremely shallow and had very little to say or at best had about as much to say as Cyberpunk. I do think there are story threads in the game that are meaningful like the Judy quest line that shows the effects of cumulative mental abuse and the toll it can take on a person that is very unique to the way prostitution is performed in that world.

That's fair, I think I was trying to use that reference as more of a detriment to Cyberpunk than a praising of Altered Carbon. I seem to miscommunicating as of late with using a reference as an example that gets the opposite intent presented. Oh well. Anyway, I agree. Altered Carbon at least asks more interesting questions, even if how they answer them is shallow or completely ignored. That show has a similar issue of really interesting core ideas (what value does a body have when separated from consciousness, it's ideas on murder, etc.) but is fumbles with any meaningful discussion of said topics. Much like Saints Row, ANY meaningful discussion to me is ahead of what Cyberpunk does.

Though I agree, Judy's side stuff with the Moxes is probably the most interesting exploration of that theme, just nowhere near enough imo.

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Humanity

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#46  Edited By Humanity

@ragnar_mike: I absolutely agree that Altered Carbon asks some really fascinating questions about humanity that has effectively transcended a "physical" existence. I think in a way that is the most disappointing type of fiction - great ideas that are in turn used as tools for shallow action setpieces. While reading Altered Carbon the novel and later watching the show, I had the same thought I do when playing Cyberpunk in that the creative director is a 12 year old boy coming up with really "cool" ideas.

At the end of the day it's a shame because I'm one of the lucky few that has not experienced a whole lot of bugs during my Cyberpunk playthrough and I'm actually quite enjoying the experience. That said it is hard to defend the game when there is so much grating, eye-roll inducing set dressing that adds nothing. I have a high threshold for this sort of stuff and I'm able to usually shake it off as just "dumb videogame stuff" but the volume of it in Cyberpunk feels oppressive and stands out even more whenever you do encounter genuinely good story moments. For instance I was doing a mission where myself and my current sidekick Panam, who I think is well written and has a great voice actor, had to go to sleep to prep for a mission. As I'm getting in bed I have a clear view of the nightstand between our beds whose drawer is stuffed with like 6 different dildos coming out of it - and it's like ..why? How would this even make sense in the game world? It just brings the whole experience down.

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@humanity: I remember the drawer full of dildos! It was a weird moment given the way the stuff with Panam is played.

They might argue that it's a commentary on those motels (something that's discussed later in the game) or how now that inhibitions are gone dildos are like bibles, every room has them, but I think the thought was just "tee hee wouldn't this be funny" so they did it, which is really how much of the game's approach to sexuality plays out.

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I swear they must have stealth patched this because everyone talks about all these goddamn dildos and I ain't found a one.

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Humanity

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#49  Edited By Humanity

@bigsocrates: Yah it would be nice if it had any sort of depth to it but for the most part it is just Saints Row 3 humor interjected into an ostensibly serious game which is why it's so jarring at times.

@efesell:There definitely was a patch because apart from the above mentioned example where it was really hard to not notice I also have not encountered tons and tons of them lying around everywhere the way reviewers talked about pre-release.

EDIT: ..which does make me wonder if there would be a way for them to also patch out some of the posters and change them for something different. I know nothing about game dev but I imagine the posters are art assets that are being referenced and placed onto 3D models so technically they could just substitute some of the flat artwork with other art.

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@humanity: There are not showers of dildos like many people described but you can definitely find them in weird places if you're looking.

They could easily fix the posters if they wanted to. It's not always as easy as just replacing one texture with another (there might be specific lighting designed around some of the posters and video screens and there can be other stuff tied to them in surprising ways, such as scripting in cut scenes) but it's been done before. They ripped KFC out of Crazy Taxi. But I doubt they'll do it. They have a lot of technical stuff to fix ahead of time, and the game is so full of bad representations of sexuality that it goes way deeper than the posters.