If you haven’t been keeping track, Cyberpunk 2077 did not have a good launch.
The bun was in the oven for over seven years. And when combined with outstanding trailers, Keanu Reeves’ “breathtaking” role, and previous titles from the developer, like the highly-acclaimed The Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077 was set to be the game of the year.
But those who played it at launch saw the complete opposite: it was buggy, broken, and full of glitches. And if you played it on a console – like most of the 13 million players – it frequently crashed and barely worked at all.
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has released a suite of updates to help fix some of these problems, but the damage has already been done. It’s likely the title will be synonymous with the term ‘bad product launch’.
But while the programming and software performance of Cyberpunk 2077 falls short of even the worst expectations, the video game’s art direction is nothing less than spectacular.
The city’s architecture is dense and compact, the environmental assets are detailed and plentiful, the in-game advertisements are obnoxious, the lighting is amazing, and then there are the Cyberpunk 2077 cars.
Oh yes, are there the cars…
Featured Cyberpunk 2077 cars include hatchbacks, commercial vans, family sedans, sports cars, utes, coupes, supercars – all of which are designed to reflect the world’s current state of technology, socio-political discrepancies, and in-game lore and history. The game is set in a dystopian, cyberpunk-themed sci-fi universe, so expect super-advanced technology, huge gaps between the rich and the poor, and lots and lots of violence. It’s like Akira, but with chrome.
But what does an actual car designer think of its cars? Like, say, Frank Stephenson?
He’s also been the Director of Ferrari-Maserati Concept Design and Development, the head of design at Alfa Romeo, and the Design Director at McLaren Automotive. The latter of which was where he designed the manufacturer’s first mass-produced vehicle, the MP4-12C, the P1 hypercar, and 675LT, 570S and 720S supercars.
No doubting his credentials then!
Following a video critique on the vehicles of Grand Theft Auto V, automotive designer Frank Stephenson recently uploaded his thoughts on the vehicles of Cyberpunk 2077 to YouTube. And while he doesn’t enjoy every single vehicle, he brings some interesting thoughts to the table.
“They’ve certainly dreamt up a lot of interesting directions here,” says Frank.
“These Cyberpunk 2077 cars are actually ’80s cars or even ’70s cars. They’re what we’d call almost an ’80s interpretation of the future … The best description to begin with is retro-futuristic.”
When discussing the game’s hero car, the Quadra Turbo-R V-Tech, Frank reckons “it kinds looks like Detroit’s attempt to do something a little bit Italian. It has a lot of similarities to a Testarossa … the wheels look aggressive, they have those balloon-style tyres on them that were very famous in the ‘70s.”
“I mean, from a design point of view, you could really say it’s a mess. It’s here, there, everywhere. The surfaces are going one way, then they suddenly change and go another way. But let’s appreciate it for that!”
“How do we take something and keep the character of it, yet do it in a way that makes it look like something you’ve had to slap together Mad Max style?”
Nailed it! We won’t spoil the rest of the video for you, so watch the video below to see the rest of Frank’s critiques.