CD Projekt Red has revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 character customisation options and romance scenes will attempt to be as inclusive as possible in a number of approaches, in an interview with Video Games Chronicle.
Cyberpunk 2077 level designer Max Pears explained what character customisation would mean for its gameplay and social relationships in Night City. Firstly, the supporting cast of characters will always refer to the Samurai by their name, rather than a gender. Assumedly, NPCs will call them ‘V’ instead of saying a gendered word like ‘lady’ or ‘dude’, which is a simple yet effective move toward inclusivity. Pears said, ‘It helps people know that it’s their character that’s being spoken to and also however you’ve envisioned your V, that’s still your V. That’s been our focus: your version of V is your version as the player and that’s how you will be addressed in the game.’
He added, ‘We really want to make sure players get the representation that they want. In the genre of Cyberpunk as well, it asks such deep questions about what it means to be human, let alone what it means to define your gender. Having that customisation match how you feel is your representation of how you feel… it’s important for us and it’s important to the lore of this world too.’
Cyberpunk 2077 has changed its character customisation options in response to criticism that a binary gender choice would still be required in a game revolving around themes of transhumanism. Instead of a male or female category, there are now body types and two voices to select when creating V. Pears stated in the interview that, as well as using a first person persepctive, Cyberpunk’s sex scenes will have the characters in their birthday suits. But, Pears mentioned that V’s body type would specify their genitalia. ‘We have the body type that you select and then the genitals will be determined by that,’ he explained. ‘You can have a male or female voice with either body, but the genitals are defined by the body.’
And finally, as for Johnny Silverhand, Pears said he’s valuing platonic love: ‘Keanu plays a crucial role in the game, but as for the option to romance him, I don’t believe you can.’ I suppose him being hologram would pose a possible romantic roadblock, but it’s 2077, and anything could be possible.
Cyberpunk 2077 will launch for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 2020.