Science fiction as a genre has a long history of being used as an allegory for philosophical explorations of the human psyche, of society, and of larger metaphysical trappings. Then again, it also has a history of being some cool, pulpy, superficial action that anyone can plug into and enjoy.
This stands true for cyberpunk, which is just one subset of science fiction, as well. But which side of the spectrum will Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt RED’s upcoming sojourn into the genre, fall on? Will it explore the larger philosophical and transhumanist implications cyberpunk works have often been used for? Or will it go more for the action route?
CD Projekt RED has previous talked about similar issues before, on one occasion saying that Cyberpunk 2077 won’t shy away from political issues, and then later on reiterating that with another one of their statements. Now, speaking to PC Gamer Magazine, writer Stanislaw Swiecicki said that the game will explore both sides of the aesthetic.
“Some cyberpunk is more pulpy and driven by action. Stuff like Terminator and RoboCop,” he said. “But then there’s the more philosophical side of the genre. Think Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell. Our mission is to give players strong elements of both. You’ll experience the thrills of using cybernetic implants and high-tech weaponry in combat, sure, but there’s also depth in the story. We want to ask questions about what identity and individuality are in a world where people are so closely connected with technology.
“Storytelling is hugely important to us as a studio. We want to tell stories that resonate with people on an emotional level and ask important questions. So there will be a lot of that in the actual game. It’s an important part of the genre.”
This is good to hear—as I mentioned, cyberpunk stories have traditionally often been used to explore some rather high brow issues, and I am glad to see CD Projekt RED won’t be shying away from those. Cyberpunk 2077 launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC- most likely. If you want to learn about whether the game will incorporate any emergent gameplay, make sure to check out our news story from our interview with CD Projekt RED discussing just that.