Cyberpunk 2077's Setting Is A 'Fresh Take' On The Genre

  • RPG
Concept art coordinator Marthe Jonkers said that the game's setting is meant to be a "fresh take" on the genre.
Concept art coordinator Marthe Jonkers said that the game's setting is meant to be a "fresh take" on the genre. CD Projekt Red

If you are wondering why Cyberpunk 2077 is taking a different approach to the cyberpunk genre in terms of the setting, then you have come to the right place. CD Projekt Red’s very own Marthe Jonkers, the game’s concept art coordinator, stated that the setting is going to be a “fresh take” on the genre.

In case you did not know, the highly anticipated RPG will take place in the fictional California metropolis Night City. While you might think it is all eerie and dark, it actually offers a sunny setting – one that is quite ironic for a cyberpunk game.

The cyberpunk genre, by essence, is all about dark futuristic tropes. There is typically a corporate dystopia topped with unmatched technology, not to mention sophisticated technologies like cybernetic transhumanism. These elements are usually present in settings soaked in rain and darkness – an archetypal cyberpunk visual, that is.

Apparently, most fans were shocked with the aesthetic of Cyberpunk 2077 when the studio revealed more of it at various trade shows. Some were even unexplainably disappointed, so to speak. That is simply because many of the scenes shown in gameplay videos and trailers featured a bright, sunny day. But as far as CD Projekt Red is concerned, it is a decision they are fully committed on.

In an interview, Jonkers talked about why the developers introduced elements uncommon to the cyberpunk genre. "When we showed the demo last year, people were surprised at first that it was so sunny," she said in the interview. "They expected rainy, dark cyberpunk, but you can make a cyberpunk city in California. Of course, it will rain there, because we have a weather system, and it will also be night, but we are really trying to get this fresh take on cyberpunk."

Jonkers clarified that the team at CDPR are quite knowledgeable of the entire canon of cyberpunk. From books to films to beyond, they have consumed content that would help them expand their knowledge. But considering how mainstream the genre has become, they decided it would be best to take on a more unique direction.

Interestingly, Cyberpunk 2077's aesthetic is not just about offering a brighter setting. The developers reportedly diversified Night City's visual design by simply tapping into the lore of the original Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game. It did not matter whether it involved vehicles, weapons, or even architectural buildings. This is the main reason why Night City is a melting pot of distinct styles you would never see from a typical cyberpunk game.

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