Cyberpunk 2077 is likened to Grand Theft Auto by the genre’s ‘father’

All press conferences at E3 have gone ahead as planned, and the show is now open to journalists and the public to explore the booths and get hands-on with many of the upcoming big games.

While Rockstar isn’t showing anything off, Grand Theft Auto does become tangentially relevant when one of its new games is (pejoratively) compared to it.

CD Projekt Red, the Polish developer that blessed the world with the Witcher RPG series, is working on a new IP. Based on the legendary tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020, a new open-world first-person role-playing game called Cyberpunk 2077 is coming to PC and consoles.

While the game was first released a few years ago, followed by a very unremarkable trailer, we finally got to see some in-engine footage and reporters in the showroom to experience the actual gameplay.

The reaction to the trailer has been almost universally positive from the gaming press and fans. The problem is, people who are big names in the cyberpunk community aren’t very impressive. William Gibson, author of Neuromancer among other novels, considers the father of cyberpunk a genre known as trailers.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world game that does nothing when it comes to potentially controversial topics such as violence, crime, substance abuse, and sex.

In that sense, the Grand Theft Auto comparison is apt, and in an industry where GTA happens to be a mainstream giant, its latest installment has sold over 95 million copies, cementing it as one of the most mainstream representatives of these subjects , it’s also easy to see why something like GTA might seem ordinary.

The Cyberpunk 2077 trailer also ditched a key visual characteristic of the cyberpunk medium, which is that it’s bright and sunny instead of a dull, rainy night scene. As iconic as the neo-noir depictions in cyberpunk work are, the general rule of thumb for the genre isn’t that the sun is shot in a back alley by a crime boss, so it must always be nighttime.

This sunny, big-city vibe in the trailer is visually similar to several of GTA 5’s trailers, showing sunny Los Santos in contrast to the explosions and various acts of violence carried out by Trevor, Franklin, and Michael. The scenes are juxtaposed.

The reason why the GTA comparison may sting the developers of “Cyberpunk 2077” is because of the connotation it carries.

GTA has always been a sarcastic, hilarious game that’s deliberately overblown and full of dick jokes. In this game, the carmaker is called Pfister and the beer is called Pißwasser.

It’s a big, stupid, and immature game that’s deliberately large, stupid, and immature. It’s not a criticism to call it these things, because that’s exactly what the developers have in mind.

However, the cyberpunk genre and cyberpunk franchises are considered a more sane thing to do.

The whole genre revolves around themes of technological development and class differentiation, blurring of the lines between economics and politics, the transfer of power to corporations, the bastards of capitalism, the decline of individualism, and the emergence of a society in which the oppressed are pushed into society. They are willing to give up their free will in exchange for survival.

In GTA Online, this ride will make you feel right at home.

Of course, the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer may have moved away from the stereotype of a lingering shot of a gloomy, rainy, rundown, neon hooded city contemplating rude, over-smoking sounds as people suffer . It trades this for features that showcase the gameplay, with an emphasis on body modification, gang violence, and corporate supremacy.

Is it visually similar to GTA, especially GTA 5? Of course, at least to some extent. Is it generic? At least not.

It’s also important to note that GTA isn’t as far from cyberpunk as one might think. Still a top-down 2D game, GTA 2, like the first Grand Theft Auto title, is an outlier in the series in that it doesn’t pursue a realistic setting, but a completely fictional cyberpunk setting. It’s not entirely obvious due to the way it’s presented, but the promotional art, descriptions, and in-game artwork also convey a run-down futuristic aesthetic.

We also think the whole game is getting there on the merits of a single trailer that’s only longer than a minute and a half and doesn’t represent gameplay, but that’s just us.

Is Cyberpunk 2077 just a redesigned GTA clone? No, is Cyberpunk 2077 a game we recommend GTA fans should pay attention to? Absolutely.

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