**Warning For Mild Mature Themes**
Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t hold back when it comes to mature themes and adult content. Before players have even gained control of V, they’ve been through an intense character creation process in which they can pick from a wide range of genitals that they’ll see again later when sleeping their way through Night City’s occupants.
However, it’s possible to tone down that NSFW content with censors or simply by not dragging JoyToys and other characters back to V’s apartment to sleep with them. It’s so easy to avoid all of that, but I can’t help but admire that it’s there, immediately accessible for those who want that in their game.
Even though I believe developers should be allowed and empowered to create a game that fits their artistic vision, I can’t forgive CD Projekt Red for making me sit through what felt like the longest and most graphically and audibly intense scene of intimacy between two videogame characters I’ve ever seen whilst my plumber was mere feet away from the screen.
Real Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties
My wife and I are right at the end of having an extension built on our house. The kitchen has been ‘almost there’ for months while we’ve lived with a tiny oven and the run-down units that were in the dilapidated old kitchen when we moved in 3 years ago. The new kitchen is opposite the old one, around the corner from the temporary dining room where I have a desk and screens that you can see very clearly from either kitchen.
The plumber was here to do the last job before the new kitchen was fully functional, plumb in the tap and dishwasher. The sink is in the opposite corner of the kitchen, so there’s a wall where the new and old kitchens meet that blocks your view of where I work if you’re at that sink – where the plumber was most of the day.
I love this plumber, Jay. He’s a great guy and chats me through all the complex pipework he’s doing like I know anything about getting water around a house. Like me, he likes to get to know who he’s working with, which is how he found out I’m a games journalist.
He’s been eager to return to our house ever since he started a few months back because he wants to know what games I’m working on a review for or am actively guiding up. On this day, I was prepping for Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty expansion by reaching the main story mission, Transmission.
Getting to Know You
After getting most of his work out of the way, leaving just some silicone and a few joints for all the maguffin under the sink, Jay came over and chatted to me about the recent Call of Duty eSports tournament his friend had been to. I mentioned to him I’d been at ALGS, and then we got into an EA Sports FC 24 discussion about how good Club matches are but how unrealistic the football is.
Jay eventually went back to the kitchen to crack on because he could see V getting itchy to enter Johnny Silverhand’s memory in Cyberpunk 2077 on my monitor. As soon as I interacted with the wall of code to see what the Voodoo Boys wanted from those memories, things took a pretty intimate turn.
In this scene, Johnny comes off stage after a gig, walks into his dressing room, and chugs down a few pills. His love interest at the time, a brilliant Netrunner by the name of Alt, is in the room and approaches him. The scene starts off quite confrontational, so I had no cause for concern. I did realize I couldn’t pause when Jay asked me a question from the kitchen, and I had to stop everything by pressing the Xbox Button on my controller. Nothing too of the ordinary, though.
After checking out the incredible packing job Jay had done on the sink, hiding the gaping edge around the rim between it and the kitchen surface, I unpaused Cyberpunk 2077. That’s when I started to panic.
The intimate scene that follows in Johnny Silverhand’s memories is pretty graphic. We see him and Alt all over each other, moving through a few suggestive positions while still mostly clothed. Then, Alt pours alcohol over herself, and suddenly, she’s naked.
Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t give you the full backstory between Johnny and Alt, but based on the things they do and the places players are taken through Johnny’s eyes, it’s safe to say these two are extremely comfortable with one another.
With each new scene, I was quickly looking back over my shoulder to see where Jay was. If he’d come round to ask me about a game or my sink, I’d have been speechless and thoughtless. I literally couldn’t form words in my head or think past the point of wanting to pause the game, which would just stop it mid-intimacy and allow me to jump in front of the screen.
My screen is 32 inches wide, and there’s no chance I’d have been able to hide the whole thing, so I was trying to decide whether it was better for Jay to see me standing in front of Johnny, occasionally looking up at Alt’s face or the back of her head. It took no time at all to realize there was no socially acceptable part of this scene to allow it to peek out around my body as my hands tried to cover what the bulk of me couldn’t.
While all this was racing through my head, I finally heard the audio. It had obviously been going the whole time, but now I was putting it into the context of someone else listening to me from around a corner. I quickly turned the audio off, but if Jay heard any of it, he must have thought I’d been checking out dodgy websites while he wasn’t looking.
I’m genuinely unsure if he heard any of what happened.
Put Some Clothes on
When the intimate scene was over, I started to relax a little. If Jay walked around now, he wouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary for a videogame. At least, that’s what I thought. Then I realized that CD Projekt Red has cleverly choreographed the position of Johnny and Alt’s hands and her personal business in the aftermath of the scene in an attempt to provide Alt some modesty.
The thing is, the choreography is awful. Johnny’s hand sits just to the side of where it should be if you’re trying to detract a player’s attention or hide what it’s millimeters from being in front of. The way Alt sits for most of this scene, coupled with where Johnny’s looking, also highlights how naked Alt is for an extended period.
While Johnny and Alt were first cuddling and then fighting, still completely naked, Jay shouted to me and started to walk over. My stomach dropped; I had no idea what to do. My hands flew to the controller to pause the screen so I might have time to throw it on the floor or quickly assemble a pillow fortress in front of it.
That’s when my fingers brushed the joystick, and Johnny’s gaze shifted. I thanked the universe and moved Johnny’s eyes up so high that all he could see was Alt’s face. Jay was none the wiser when he turned the corner and checked out what I was doing.
At this point, I paused, in-game eyes to the ceiling so that we could chat, and I’m so glad I did. When he went back to pack up his things, the game moved where Johnny was looking to watch Alt pick up her clothes, still completely naked, and walk away.
Never Play a CD Projekt Red Game When Someone Might See You
As Jay left my life, possibly forever, I made a mental note only to play games I knew didn’t have nudity or this level of intimacy when I had people I didn’t know extremely well in the house. I don’t think Jay would have minded if he’d caught any of the intimacy, but I would have died from the inside out of embarrassment and melted into a Jamie-shaped puddle of something that used to be flesh on the floor if I’d seen him look past me to my monitor, then back at me.
He didn’t rush off once he was done and was very polite as he did leave but wasn’t keen to return anytime soon. He said it was because it’s an hour and a half each way to my house in the middle of nowhere, UK. I’m still not sure what he did or didn’t see or hear.