We are now but a month out from the release of Cyberpunk 2077. The massive action RPG finally landed on a November 19th launch date after a couple of delays (any further chance of a date push having apparently been, itself, pushed by developers CD Projekt rolling back their "no mandatory crunch" policy).
Not that we've been bereft of Cyberpunk content in the meantime. In fact, companies have been falling over themselves to bring us high quality neon products as official tie-ins to the game. Which is, in a way, extremely cyberpunk. But are the products cyberpunk? That's the question. We have put them to the test by using sophisticated digital techniques to simulate what these merch tie-ins would look like in the game, and if, therefore they are actually cyberpunk (lower case c).
Please note that some of our images are extremely subtle, so you may need to enhance and zoom by clicking to enlarge, in order to appreciate how accurate and great they are.
First of all, we shall dispense with Cyberpunk's spokesmodel. I'm counting Keanu Reeves as merch rather than a living, breathing human with autonomy because it was revealed that Keanu - sorry, Mr Reeves - was going to be in Cyberpunk 2077 as legendary cyberhero Crispy Aluminiumfoil, he has been popping up in the marketing more and more often. Just as Crispy now exists as as code ghost inside player character V's head, Mr Reeves seems to be becoming part of the machine. Arguably very cyberpunk, and fair enough. If I were CDPR I, too, would have identified that Keanu Reeves's public reputation is for being an extremely nice, cool guy, and I would want people to associate that with my game.
Unfortunately, that public reputation means that I also assume that Mr Reeves is nice and cool, and can do whatever he wants. Therefore, this is not at all cyberpunk, sorry.
The Steelseries Arctis 1 wireless headset is "the official headset" of Cyberpunk 2077, which is a turn of phrase that always makes me laugh a bit. McDonald's is the official nug of Olympic athletes and so on. Sadly, as we can see from the example image showing the headset in question (with the Kang Tao faction cosmetic boosters, which btw cost another 35 shitting quid on top of the headset itself) it does not even fit properly on the Cyberpunk 2077 man. Therefore, this is also not cyberpunk. Rubbish. Insulting, even.
Here we see the limited edition Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox wireless controller in situ, being held by a dirty tough boy sitting on his car. Now we're getting somewhere! It looks natural in his hand, doesn't it? I bet he's hacked it so he can remote control his big rally racer there and everything. It even sorta kinda matches his stars and stripes, faux-army outfit. I bet if this guy was around in 2020 he'd be well into COD. Analysis: could actually be pretty cyberpunk, idk.
I confess I do not understand why you would want or need a GPU that is branded after a game, because it will almost immediately be imprisoned in a black box you keep by your feet and that will, even if you make a glass-sided one that's all Cyberpunk themed at that, eventually just become another hot thing in your house that you have to keep moving your cat off. In a strange turn of events, therefore, I am prepared to say that this GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is actually more at home in the fake world than the real one, where GPUs like this are probably so commonplace that people build houses out of them. "Pls," this woman is saying, "take this goddamn GPU. I have no need of it."
The Rockstar Samurai Cola is probably my personal favourite tie-in just from a, like, design point of view. It is named after a band in the game universe who used music to fight the power, as is traditional for many bands. And nothing is more rebellious than slammin' cans of branded energy drink. So, thematically, very cyberpunk, but only in like a meta way, unfortunately. But props for the best drink/game sponsorship since Monster x Death Stranding.
As you can see, this blue and yellow Cyberpunk branded Seagate drive is virtually indistinguishable from a normal ammo clip. But it is also quite boring and doesn't have any flashing cybernetic bits. Also, could plainly be more yellow, as we are about to see.
Obviously, the most iconic of the cybermerch is the
hideous very yellow Razer Viper mouse, which looks like it can't decide whether to fuck you up or go to a 90s school disco (its date is one of the robots off of Robot Wars that are made of bits of vacuum and have names like sex toys designed by divorced dads).
You know what? 100% works. That's a cyberpunk PC peripheral, alright.
Yes. Let us all stride together in the cyber-shadow of our monolithic Xboxes, into a glorious and bright cyber-future, my friends.
(Thanks to Hardware Queen Katharine for providing most of these digitally enhanced simulations, including the absolute best one).