Or what happens when you market an oversexualized world and fail to deliver.
So, Cyberpunk is finally out. Literally unplayable on last gen consoles and game-breaking bugs present on PC still, the game is a hot mess and will likely stay a hot mess for a while until everything is patched out. BUT despite the bugs, I managed to complete a playthrough and have a lot to say. But while I won’t be discussing the story and features until some time has passed (so everyone can have their chance of playing it and experiencing it for themselves), I want to talk about the sex in the game, or more specifically, the underwhelming romances, and the overt lack of sexual activities you can do in the game.
Disclaimer: This is as of patch 1.04, and right now the devs are focused on fixing the game-breaking and immersion-breaking bugs, so we likely won’t see an update to any of the things this article will discuss for a while. It’s safe to assume that the information provided by me in this article will be relevant for at least a few months.
I will divide it into several sub-topics which are all related to sex, sexualization and kinky stuff.
Where are the cocks/vaginas? –
One of the many sexual selling points of the game was the possibility to customize your character’s genitals. Yes, it is there, we get a standard vagina, an uncut penis which has no physics, and a cut penis which has too much physics. You can also choose between a small penis, a default penis, and a big penis. I highly doubt that anyone used the small/default option because in our minds, we’re all sporting monster cocks. You can choose to not have genitals showing at all, and your character gets futuristic bland underwear. So what’s the problem?
The character creation and inventory screen are THE ONLY PLACES in the game where you get to see your genitals. You can’t walk around nude in your own apartment, you can’t look down at your dong while walking around in the open world, your character showers in their underwear and during the limited and basic sex scenes (we’ll talk about them later), your character is wearing underwear.
This is obviously either a bug they haven’t fixed, or some weird ESRB rating fix, because it literally makes no sense. Why give the player an option to customize their punani or banani if you’re not able to see them in action or see them at all unless you undress your V like a Barbie/Ken doll in the inventory screen? The only bagida you see in the game is during a flashback memory for 2 seconds.
I just don’t get it, there are sex shops in the game with big ass dildos on display, there’s a dildo weapon you can equip and whack people with, the dildo weapon itself depicts a large hard realistic penis. So why the hell can’t V run around with their junk out?
Where are the sexy outfits?
Night City is a place of crime, sex, and violence. It’s been advertised as such for years. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game so I can explore all the shops for sexy bdsm outfits so my V can look like a futuristic dom top while hacking away enemy limbs and heads with my mantis blades. But no, I can’t have that.
There are some revealing outfits, don’t get me wrong. A few latex bras for female V, some skimpy beach shorts, one harness that looks like it came out of the Rain on Me video by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. But that’s mostly it. Nothing special, nothing with the wow factor. And believe me when I say, I spent almost 2 hours exploring all the world’s shops hoping to find something sexy for my V to wear.
Most of the time, I looked like a wannabe gangster club kid from 2018, nowhere near 2077.
Where are the sex workers?
The Witcher 3 came out how many decades ago and it had plenty of medieval hookers to sheathe your leather sword into. Guess how many Cyberpunk has? A game that was in development for allegedly 7 years? A game that spent thousands upon thousands of $ to tell us times and times again how sexual it is? It’s two. TWO HOOKERS?! One male and one female. I heard rumors of a second hidden female sex worker somewhere, but I didn’t find her myself.
So picture this. Night City, a city of crime and violence and sex, has only 2 (and a half) hookers? Those hookers must be the richest people in Night City, because the hooker to citizen ratio is highly in their favor. I was surprised that they even had time for me and my 100 Eurodollars. They were probably on a lunch break or something.
Where are the hookups?
I imagined being able to chat up random NPCs and maybe flirt with them? I imagined some one night stands, orgies, kinky sexual encounters. It is 2077 after all and the world is a dystopian nightmare.
So why not have random sex with people if everyone is at risk of dying with every breath they take? But the NPCs in this game are stiff. They walk right through you, have pre-recorded one-liners of dialogue and have no indication of being alive apart from walking in circles and popping in and out of the field of view, again probably due to a bug and not due to futuristic teleportation devices.
NPCs are dead in this game and unreactive. I spent some time observing their behavior and literally crouched in front of a peeing NPC to see if they reacted in any way. Do you know what the homeless NPC did? They asked me how I was doing while they proceeded to pee on me for 20 seconds. They didn’t stop peeing, I just walked off and went to take a digital shower, with my underwear on.
There are hundreds of sexy NPCs in this game and I wished I could at least flirt with some of them.
Where is the romance?
For a game that claimed to be the most progressive thing we’ve seen in the gaming world, providing only 4 romancable characters is outright disgraceful. There’s Judy for gay women, Kerry for gay men, Panam for straight men and River for straight women or men who like to play as women. While the side missions for romancing these characters are exciting and sometimes beautiful (the last mission with Kerry before he becomes your boyfriend), it ends abruptly as there is no indication in the game afterwards that these people are your romantic partners.
There’s no dialogue talking about them with your friends, there’s nothing else you can do with them after the side missions, and you get only one sex scene with each. And while the sex scenes are steamy and outright jack off material (if you look past the fact that you and your partner are in your underwear while having sex) there’s absolutely nothing else you can do afterwards. No dates, no going to their home for a hookup, no calls from them to check up on you, no sexting, nothing.
I visited Kerry after a while passed since he became my boyfriend and he acted like I was some groupie and did nothing to indicate any affection towards me.
These romances feel more like rushed checkboxes than something worth your while and making you feel anything. And while the devs were on the right path with the characters, I think it would’ve been far better to spend more time on developing the romances, adding side activities and more sex scenes, making it possible to hookup on demand with them after the missions (like Dragon age and Mass Effect have been doing for years).
It’s becoming more and more obvious that Cyberpunk should’ve been delayed for at least another year. I don’t know if the devs or the fans are at fault for overhyping the sexual nature of the game, but to me it felt like an early alpha build of what was promised. And that’s not cool.
Don’t get me wrong, the game is absolutely gorgeous, the world is intricate and compelling, but it just feels unfinished. It’s likely that Cyberpunk will be on everyone’s minds for a while, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. It seems to me that it won’t be playable as intended for at least another 6 months and that the issues with overpromising and under delivering are likely not going to be fixed.
And it’s just sad.