When you hear the phrase “cyberpunk,” a few key franchises come to mind. There’s Blade Runner. Ghost In The Shell. The Matrix. Transmetropolitan. And tellingly, none of these relate to punk music in the slightest, nor are they especially concerned with punk-related fashion styles. Rick Deckard never had a mohawk. The Major never makes a passing mention of her fondness for Doc Martens. I guess Spider Jerusalem — with his signature shaved head and all-black attire — wouldn’t have looked out of place at a 2002 warehouse show, but eh, even he scans more like a late-’90s U.K. raver scene kinda dude than someone with a favorite NOFX album.
So it’s actually kinda nice to see a few pink and purple spiky haircuts in the trailer for Cyberpunk 2077, a pending RPG from the same minds behind 2015’s The Witcher 3.
All that’s neat. Except from what we can tell, in the future Cyberpunk 2077 envisions: 1. Basically everyone is poor. 2. The overwhelming majority of the city’s wealth is control by a tiny cadre of shadowy business elites with sinister agendas. 3. Crime causes lots of problems. 4. Most people are way too reliant on technology to keep themselves distracted and “happy,” in adjusted terms. 5. Most people are emotionally and/or chemically out of whack. 6. Cars fly up and down buildings, quite like they do in The Fifth Element.
So except for that last thing, Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t sound like much of a departure from our mundane, everyday reality. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with realism in video games, if that’s your thing. I’m just saying I personally prefer a little more fantasy and escapism in my entertainment.
Nevertheless, CD Projekt Red’s been working on this thing since 2012 at least, so while no release date has been announced as of yet, gamers can surely expect an elaborate, immersive experience. But when it comes out, I’ll be playing Sonic The Hedgehog, which in no way reminds me of the ordeal that was last Tuesday’s surprisingly perilous trip to Trader Joe’s.