Cyberpunk 2077 might be one of the most controversial games ever created, not least for its botched launch, but because of the adult content of the game. When it launched to disappointed gamers on December 10, 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to be one of the best games ever made.
Instead, gamers the world over were subject to game-breaking bugs, performance issues, and desktop crashes. But looking past the issues, most of which have been resolved with hotfixes, a gem of a game does actually exist.
One of the things the game does well is by showing the elegant yet strong personalities of women:
- Support Cast
- Virtues and Joy Toys
Based on a 1980s tabletop game, Cyberpunk 2077 is full of violence and outrageous futuristic predictions that were around at the time.
Dropping bodies left and right is a big part of the game in a city that cares about no one. Animals are treated better than people and would probably even be given the courtesy of a burial service in a future where a business like caskets for pets from Memorials.com would be booming.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an extremely ambitious and complex video game that tackles many of the systemic issues in modern society and it’s really down to the individual to decide upon being either offended by the game’s content or to take on board what the story writers are trying to say.
All of the women in the game have been handled exceptionally well, despite some accusations of superficial and outdated stereotypes.
The Dichotomy of a Protagonist
In Cyberpunk 2077, you get to play a character named “V”. V can be male or female which you decide at the start of the game. It might be worth noting that V can also be created as a transgender character, something which only a handful of games have done including The Sims 4 and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
Making a female character is nothing new, but what is unique about this game is that V is an exceptionally strong character, both physically and mentally while also staying true to female virtues.
A lot of games, just like movies, sometimes make the mistake of using women as a side character who can’t handle themselves when the proverbial brown stuff hits the proverbial fan.
The excellent voice acting by veteran video game actor Cherami Leigh adds to the perception of the character’s strength and Leigh herself has a history of choosing strong female roles in video games.
The People Around You
As the story unfolds in Cyberpunk 2077, V meets all kinds of characters along the way, most of whom are completely bad-ass women. One of the first, for example, is Judy Alvarez.
Judy is a Brain Dance editor/hacker and a member of the Moxes gang, an outfit made up of mostly former prostitutes who protect the women of Night City.
BrainDance is the most popular entertainment in the city. It allows users to experience a recording through the eyes of someone else as if they were actually there.
Neurostimulators provide not only visual experiences but smells, audio, and what the person was feeling at the time of recording.
Another main character is Panam Palmer, a no-nonsense Nomad trying to earn the respect of her male counterparts of the Aldecaldo clan. Panam is capable of taking a flight to the strongest of men and is completely fearless when it comes to settling a score.
The Systemic Abuse of the Vulnerable
One of the more controversial portrayals of women in Cyberpunk 2077 lies with the game’s “Joy Toys” and “Virtues”. Joy Toys are the game’s versions of adult workers with enhanced cyberware for a better experience.
The term itself seems a little dehumanizing and portrays women as objects. Like in real life, sadly, most Joy Toys are addicts or citizens on the bottom rung of society. It should be noted though that there are male Joy Toys as well.
Virtues are a more complex kind of adult entertainer. Instead of working the streets like Joy Toys, Virtues provide a more personal customer experience through tailored programs that can be uploaded to their implants.
Virtues are not typical entertainers but are commonly used for therapy and the girlfriend experience.
One of the first characters that V meets, Evelyn Parker turns out to be a Virtue, however, Evelyn kills herself following being subjected to deviant BrainDance recordings after being kidnapped by a sadistic gang.
Evelyn is handled very delicately though, and the sight of seeing her dead along with the state that she is in when V finds her only serves to highlight the abuse and violence towards women that is still prevalent in modern society.