Cyberpunk 2077's Setting Will Be A "Unique Take" For The Franchise

Night City wasn't made overnight, it's evolved over half a century.


While creating Night City, the setting for Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red wanted to create a "unique take" on the Cyberpunk franchise. This is why the upcoming RPG takes place in a primarily sunny locale as opposed to the gloomy, rain-soaked settings traditionally seen in the cyberpunk genre.

"When we showed the demo last year, people were surprised at first that it was so sunny," Cyberpunk 2077 concept art coordinator Marthe Jonkers said in an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz. "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."

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Night City is built on the foundation of four distinct visual styles, each of which details the different ages of cultural and social-economic growth in the Cyberpunk universe between 2020 and the events of the game. This creates a very different world in the Cyberpunk universe, one that allows you to instantly recognize when a car was made or how long a certain building has been around just at a glance. "That was really, really important to us, to make a unique take on Cyberpunk," Jonkers said. "And I really like that when people see screenshots of our game, they recognize it as our style."

The first era, Entropism, was one of intense poverty, so anything made from that time looks very plain. "The designs from that era are very practical, more about practicality than whether it looks nice or is decorated," Jonkers said. Entropism was followed by Kitsch, a period of time when the economy recovered in Night City and allowed the low- and middle-class to invest in more colorful and extravagant items. The third era, Neomilitarism, saw the rise of rich corporations, which is where all the tall and sleek skyscrapers come from. Finally, Neokitsch, saw the divide between the rich and poor grow wider--and several members of the wealthy class began adopting the colorful style of the poor, albeit with a more money-centric twist. Think clothes made of animal pelts.

Jonkers goes on to explain that this level of world-building allows CD Projekt Red to tell stories about the people that live in Night City without expositional conversations. "There are layers to the design of Night City and all its inhabitants, so when you drive around and you see a building that's sort of pink with these soft edges, and the windows are sort of soft shaped, you know that this is kitsch style, and you know that was built in that period of time where people had more money back then," she said. "It's telling you a story about the background of the city, and gives an extra layer of believability."

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on April 16, 2020.

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