Cyberpunk 2077: A Study in Contrasts

For such a visually forward game, Cyberpunk 2077 makes it hard like hell to get any good screenshots.

My Steam overlay refuses to work – it has cheerfully wrapped itself around the launcher, but not the main game. (Maybe a Windows 7 thing.)

It provides a fantastic photo mode with a whole bunch of levers and sliders and poses – that only captures PNG screenshots in 1920×1080 resolution.

Lately, the photo mode has also just been crashing my game when I hit spacebar, and leaving a blank empty 0 byte PNG file in the screenshot folder.

The photo mode allows you to turn off all the UI – except it keeps a dumb rectangular cyan box that acts as your mouse cursor around, so I have to stuff it in a corner somewhere (in an invisible box that borders 1920×1080), hit print screen, alt-tab, paste the result into a paint program and then image crop to the point where the cyan box is no longer visible.

But because there are so many fantastic visual moments in Cyberpunk 2077, I will keep crashing the sh-t out of my system to screen cap some of it.

Take this part of the city I walked past, while on a gig to retrieve some stolen goods for a fixer.

I’d just come out of the grungy high density housing on the right, home to many poor apartment dwellers, when it hit me that these people were literally living in an area where… right across the river, this view greeted them everyday.

Swivel 180 degrees, and this is what you get:

There is a sad little side story in an apartment very similar to the ones above. A cyborg veteran sits around alone, abandoned, angry and bitter, with severe PTSD. He is severely unstable. He pulls a shotgun on your character as you go by, attempting to complete your mission. Suffice to say, whatever you choose to do, it does not end well.

If you check out his computer before you leave, there is a sorrowful email trail of some people trying to reach out to him, get him coming back to some PTSD support group… except he stopped going two months ago and cut off all contact. Just one more number in a city of night…

Which reminds me. Miracle of Sound released a remake of his 2013 song City of Night, with new Cyberpunk 2077 visuals. It is eerie how the lyrics composed seven years ago so closely match some of the visual themes of this game.

Perhaps some game designers were listening to the song on repeat loop while making it. (Ha!)

The chorus gives me chills.

Just like the casual ease the game throws you in situations where you get to see lifestyles of the rich and famous…

…and then a couple minutes drive away, areas distinctly much less rich and famous.

Then, since two faction games are always less complex than three factions… if you escape the pull of Night City proper, why not throw in some post-apocalyptic cowboy themes to boot?

The moment you really regret playing female V for your first playthrough.
(Boy, do I miss those multi-romance mods I used decades ago for Baldur’s Gate II. One can only hope it’s just a matter of time…)