I’m glad the RPS article brought this stuff up. I don’t understand the readiness to fall back on racial stereotypes. It’s infuriating how unimaginative game devs can be. It’s the future! It’s cyberpunk! You have a blank check to imagine a world where anything is possible, where identity and origin can mean anything.
I guess they just don’t give a shit.
The insensitive trans ad in game is also another instance of what appears to be them trolling their “SJW” critics.
I don’t get it, a white guy in a suit told the character something that turned out to be correct so that’s validation of their view that there are regressive racial stereotypes? Or is it more that they don’t want a scifi game that deals with racial issues, and would rather more imaginative storytelling?
It’s only the kind of thing you can judge when you see more than a quick gameplay demo, the intent and purpose of everything that is shown on screen is just as important as what is actually shown. I think RPS is just fishing for clicks here.
Gunplay is another matter, everyone wants good gunplay but average combat mechanics didn’t stop TW3 from being GOAT.
Precisely, as you say, it’s Cyberpunk. It isn’t a happy, cool future.
The setting is based on today’s world… only worse. Injustice is in the menu, oppression, and megacorps have all the power. Drugs are rampart, economic disparity is enormous. It isn’t supposed to be a fancy, positive science fiction. If anything it’s kind of retro future, even, there is a moment on the private presentation where they talk of being in a private “BBS” .
Never mind that the accusation of being stereotypical with minorities just because there was a gang with black members is eye rolling. Past year we had a long video where the enemies were mostly white* and nothing happened. Now they are black, and it’s maybe-racist! It is if you have a short memory, I guess. Apart that common sense would be to do that kind of judgment with the final game, as a single mission isn’t going to represent what surely will be a 100 hour monster of experience.
*I admit, it’s kind of weird to call something that is half a robot “white”, lol
If they only put white people is bad, people wiill shout because of lack of representation, but if they put people of other races and cultures (like here, where Haiti people, both good and bad, appear, they even use Creole) is also bad because they are in an impoverished area and lots of them are in a gang.
Thing is, in this game 80% of the people you interact with are going to be criminals, thugs, gangs or assholes. Hell, it’s a bit ironic complaining of that, it’s as if somehow people forget that YOU, the main character (of whatever race you choose), are also a dangerous criminal who most probably is going to kill tons of people.
The insensitive trans ad is perfect. It’s funny how people are complaining, the same people who complains how they aren’t dealing with the underlying themes of Cyberpunk… except they are doing it, precisely, with that ad.
This is a setting where the ‘sacredness’ of the human body has been lost. The human body, like the rest of the world, has been exploited by the late-stage capitalism, it has been marketed, commoditized, and fetichized. People exchange body parts as a fashion statement.
‘In your face’, extreme ads that abuse trans themes to sell you a fucking can of coke is perfect in every way for the setting.
The gang of the Haiti guy is the Voodoo boys. Typical I know.
Although it isn’t bad name for a cyber hacker gang. Because they can do ‘black magic’ with computers and do ‘spooky’ things (kill someone at a great distance, etc).
TBH, even if I full subscribe to what I said to my previous long post, Cyberpunk 2020 (which I played a bit many years ago) is ALSO a collage of stereotypical cyberpunk, a mix of ‘greatest hits’ list put in a blender. Depending of you how handle it, it can be very stereotypical and almost bland.
This part of the RPS article is a little concerning too:
We’re playing as a Netrunner, which means we can hack turrets. It’s a little disappointing that the first example of hacking is so mundane, but soon we’re tapping into robot boxing trainers and gym weights. The robot punches someone’s face off, and a poor fella who’s working out gets his neck crushed. It’s neat, but very Watch Dogs – you’re not being creative, you’re just walking up and pressing a contextual hack button.
Knee-jerk reactions to the RPS article aside it is actually helpful to read a preview that is offering some light criticism rather than the pages and pages of drooling hype and KEANU!!!11! that has mostly hit the web recently.
“Light criticism” is certainly one way to refer to that RPS passage, but I thought that was the worst part of the preview. They mention hacking weights - what does that do? The way it’s presented it reads as “things started mundane, but then they got more interesting”. But then they don’t tell us what hacking the weights accomplished, and they seem unhpappy that hacking the boxing robot was essentially another violent solution to something. But to what? And why is a “hacking via button promp” (I certainly don’t want some garbage minigame) “not very creative”? Or was it the violence that wasn’t creative? As opposed to what? I don’t have context on the situation to properly comment because they provided none.
And, I’m sorry, but of course they put hacking a turret in as part of the demo. I would understand disappointment if that’s all they had shown off. But it wasn’t (and they hacked several other things in the previous footage).
I totally wish this game would make my netrunner fantasies come true. I don’t want a stupid hacking minigame, I want ICE, and firewalls, and virus and subroutines, the whole shebang. I fear they are going to make the ‘mainstream’ version where playing a netrunner is going to be a FPS with ‘powers’, where the hacking is mostly abstracted, except maybe in two or three missions where you go to actual cyberspace.
My concerns with this game can be summed up by the question: what if the Witcher 3 had been confined to the Novigrad underworld?
One of the great things about the Witcher 3 was that the characters were defined in part by their (sometimes complex) relationships with the institutions of that world. There were a nest of distinct yet interconnected institutions that made the world there go: nation states, armies, religions, cults, schools, local governments, secret societies and criminal organizations. Nothing I’ve seen of the Cyberpunk game so far leads me to believe that CDPR has overcome any weaknesses in the Cyberpunk source material in modeling that sort of complexity. The RPS review addresses this specifically, noting that the underworld organizations seem to be distinguished solely by the branch of the tech tree they are pursuing.
Didn’t rps post a bunch of articles in the run up to the release of Witcher 3 expressing a laundry list of concerns with things they’d seen in preview videos? Must have brought in some nice click juice. Thankfully their concerns were unwarranted.