Cyberpunk 2077 is going to get thirsty. CD Projekt Red’s upcoming science fiction Keanu Reeves best friend simulator will feature a plethora of romancible characters, including those of the same sex as your custom avatar. According to a DM discussion between Redditor magired1234 and Cyberpunk 2077 lead quest designer Pawel Sasko, Cyberpunk 2077 will have in-depth and narratively important romance options comparable to the developer’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt while offering more bachelors and/or bachelorettes to chase. Some of these wooable NPC’s allow players to engage in LGBTQ relationships.

Sasko explained that V, Cyberpunk 2077’s protagonist, is the reason behind the more robust relationship system. Unlike The Witcher 3’s Geralt, V isn’t a concrete character from the game’s outset. While player choice is a heavy factor in The Witcher 3’s storyline, Geralt has a distinct appearance, voice, and backstory, and these are defined characteristics that Cyberpunk 2077’s lead protagonist diverges from. V’s race, voice, sex, and gender expression are customizable from Cyberpunk 2077’s outset. As a result, players are granted with more choices within the narrative, including who’s worth dating within the game’s dystopia.

As a pansexual transgender woman, I applaud Cyberpunk 2077’s inclusion of queer relationships. From my viewpoint, dating someone has nothing to do with their sex assigned at birth and more to do with the quality of their character. It’s cool that Cyberpunk 2077 reportedly respects this outlook. With that said, Cyberpunk 2077’s abundance of romantic offerings may have some drawbacks. While The Witcher 3’s love triangle was limited to Triss and Yennefer, those characters were incredibly well written and worthy of the hour-long quests necessary to learn more about their respective personalities. Executing similar quality character development on a grander scale would be a herculean feat.

Additionally, I worry that CD Projekt Red won’t handle LGBTQ relationships well. The inherent intricacies of queer identity and romances generally aren’t explored well within the mainstream video game landscape, and this is especially true of CD Projekt Red. Within the LGBTQ community, the studio’s PR has taken a dive over the past year. The GOG (CD Projekt Red’s online storefront) and Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter accounts have made light of transgender discrimination in the U.S. In 2018, the GOG account coopted the Won’tBeErased hashtag while the Cyberpunk 2077 account repeated the obnoxious transphobic phrase “Did you just assume their gender?!”

This is to say nothing of the recent controversies surrounding Cyberpunk 2077’s use of race and a fictional in-game advertisement with a sexualized transgender model. Whether or not Cyberpunk 2077 can overcome these issues remains to be seen, but even with my concerns, I’m excited to play this game when it launches in April 2020. Keanu Reeves better be a romance option.

Riley Constantine
Contributor. Riley Constantine is Iowa's third greatest export behind Slipknot and life insurance. She loves to review movies and games while examining how they often mirror the bizarre world we live in.

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    19 Comments

    1. Nope. Don’t care at all. I want a good, well written story. The more “types” of relationships they have the lower the overall quality of them will be vs just a few like in the Witcher.

    2. Personally, i hate romance in every adventure/action/science fiction/fantasy story. It usually is just a cancer that takes time away from the main plot and very rarely actually adds anything to the story. And the fact you can romance gays or trannies dont makes this better in any way, unless you are one of those narcissists that need to see themselves reflected on everything in order to like it.

      These feels like a calculated, pandering move more than anything.

    3. People with mental illness are never represented but we never complain. 😒😒😒

    4. *surprised Pikachu face at the comments section exploding into violent homphobic rage at the very suggestion of positive LGBT representation that isn’t either punchlines or two sexy females making out*

      Just kidding, it’s not surprising at all, you boring idiots are entirely predictable.

    5. I was really looking forward to buying this game but the more I hear about it, the more SJW woke it is sounding. I can get that carbon copy experience from a litany of other games already on the market. The more I hear about the direction they are choosing to take things, the more they remind me of EA games and that is certainly not the experience I’m looking to pay for. So this has gone from a definite buy for me to a game I will almost certainly pass on.

    6. I don’t care if theirs lgbt relateships just make a good game

    7. Good on them. Maybe I am being cynical(considering this site writers are full of cynics) but I think it is much easier to put LGBTQ+ romance in games that have character creation featuring all genders.

      They can reuse many dialogues, scenes and even “romance” scenes body rigs. Bioware is notorious for that and it worked for them.

    8. I want someone to explain something to me. If you’re transgender, and feel like you were born in the wrong body, then why wouldn’t you just play as the sex you identify as? If you’re a dude who thinks he should have been born as a woman, why wouldn’t you play as a woman? I feel like that’s something someone with actual gender dysphoria would do. Like, why would you want to play as a trans character? It doesn’t seem like a fun reality, and video games are all about escapsim. At least in my opinion.

    9. Just wondering if you use the word “lame” that casually around paraplegics / people without legs.

      1. Good point. It’s honestly one of those words that I’ve used for so long that I don’t even think about it. Will strike it from my vocabulary

        1. Do you also use “strike” around domestic abuse victims?

    10. LGBTQ isn’t what actually matters, it’s whether the relationships are actually well written, and I have yet to see one in video games that actually is. In fact, most of them are about simply telling the other one what anyone with at least two brain cells can tell they obviously want to hear until they have sex with the player (a scene that if you really cared to see could probably see on Youtube inside of a week after the game releases) and then the relationship might as well not have happened, and rarely does it ever have any effect on the plot whatsoever.

      I say there should be multiple less than obvious ways to get the character to like the player, the sex scene should most of the time be gotten out of the way relatively early, have a strong effect on the plot once it definitively starts, and throughout the relationship have bumps on the road as well as multiple sex scenes that aren’t just copy pastes of the first. You know, like how real people have relationships.

      1. No. LGBTQ absolutely DOES matter. As a gay guy, I’ve played through all sorts of trashy/silly straight romances in games that my straight friends have loved the hell out of because as badly written as they were, they had their own avatar on one side, and a character they could get interested in on the other (even if they had to headcanon 50% of the romance – what the game threw at them was valid). Took me a while before Jade Empire let me romance Sky (Which I had to use a guide to stop from having it stick me with one of the women, because apparently the game thinks being Not An Asshole to someone means Being In Love With Them). And, I’ve appreciated most of the LGBTQ romances in games that have them.

        There is NO reason for an LGBTQ romance to be held to a higher standard than the straight romances in games, and there’s no need for romance writing to be held to a higher standard than the rest of the game’s writing.

      2. “LGBTQ isn’t what actually matters” No truer words spoken.

        “Hello Homosexual. Buy product. Here is Rainbow flag. Buy Product now, from company who loves you. Now that it’s all conveniently publicly acceptable.”

        Anyone who thinks a corporation or company ACTUALLY gives two shits about dudes who think they’re ladies, or blokes who fuck other blokes or whatever is as delusional as dudes who think they are ladies.

        1. Hey dude, thanks for making the internet a shittier place for people who already have it pretty hard done by. I hope your ego was sufficiently strengthened by your vitriolic comment and you can sleep soundly like the big badass that you clearly are.

    11. Did Witcher 3 have LGBTQ relationships? Obviously the player ones were heterosexual, but you’d think in a game that massive, a gay relationship might have popped up somewhere. Like in one of the quests.

      I ask because I’m hoping the CD Projekt writers are capable of handling this stuff well, even if their frigging marketing team can’t.

      1. No. Just Triss and Yen. However, having arguably two of the most well written romance arcs in the AAA space offsets the drawback from the lack of options

      2. Witcher series had some gay side/npc characters. Witch Phillipa Ekheart comes to mind.

    12. Are they actually going to assign each wooable character a preferred sexuality or are they all going to just be bi-sexual like in some games so the player can choose whomever they want (and potentially multiple relationships)? I’d say the biggest issue is just whether the relationship means anything in game as typically it just acts as another checklist for the player to do (like in the Fable games) and then the relationship has no effect upon the game other than maybe giving the player a home and extra resources when they go home. Games where the player starts as a blank slate would be the most difficult to make a relationship a meaningful experience since it offers the most choices to the player and there is only so much time and effort the development team can spend in coding, voice acting, and writing before you’re essentially just playing a dating sim.

      If they can pull it off great but it can often come off cringing at best and absolutely forgettable or even annoying at worse if the characters and/or story are uninspiring. I know the author is a fan of what Elder Scrolls Online did with LGBTQ characters and quests but honestly most of the quests and writing in that game are so dull you can skip most of the NPC dialogue and it doesn’t affect the game in any way (once you finish quests there is little to no interaction you can do with the characters unless they offer more quests so it’s not like you can go hang out with the NPC or have dinner with them).

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