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The worst city to live in, or Night City from Cyberpunk 2077

18 of February '21

December 2020 saw the release of the cult game Cyberpunk 2077, which very quickly found its way onto the list of best-sellers and productions with the highest number of simultaneous players. A team of more than 500 people worked on the amazingly developed storyline and visuals of the game, and its production cost was more than 522 million zlotys. One element in particular that attracts fans and fanboys from all over the world to Cyberpunk is the dystopian and highly visually appealing reality of Night City, i.e. the worst city to live in America - as it is referred to - where the game's action is set.

Night City is the main location of the role-playing games Cyberpunk 2013, 2020, V 3.0 and Red, and Cyberpunk 2077. One of the game's characters briefly and bluntly described the nature of the city: "No one ever leaves Night City. Unless in a black bag." In the world directed by Adam Badowski and produced by CD Project Red, post-apocalyptic horror and every detail, even the smallest, is important. Let's then take a look at how Night City looks aesthetically, urban and socially.

Night City posiada
cykl dobowy, stąd wizualnie zmienia się w zależności od pory dnia

Night City has a diurnal cycle, hence it visually changes depending on the time of day

© CD Projekt Red

violence and corporations

Night City is a megacity in the Free State of Northern California, located on the west coast of the United States. The city's population is about six million spread around several neighborhoods, making it the most populous city in California. It was designed by hero urban planner Richard Night in 1994 and takes its name from him. The city is controlled by corporations, gripped by gang warfare and politicians, as a result of which national and state laws do not apply. Night City's daily operations, such as public transportation and garbage collection, rely on robotics. While homelessness is common here, it does not preclude addiction to aesthetic medicine and violence, which is dealt with by the armed Psycho Squad, while medical assistance is provided by the Trauma Team. Due to the huge crime rate, all residents have the right to own guns.

Architektura Night
City inspirowana jest brutalizmem

Night City's architecture is inspired by brutalism

© CD Projekt Red

brutalism and neo-Kyberpunk

The world of Cyberpunk including Night City was designed in cooperation with urban planners, and its architecture was inspired by brutalism. After elaborating at the pre-production stage, the authors defined four aesthetic styles to characterize the game: raw entropism, colorful kitsch, austere neo-militarism and lavish neo-Cyberpunk. The city has wide streets and is densely dotted with tall skyscrapers. It consists of six districts, which in turn are divided into smaller sub-districts, including, poor, working-class Watson, eclectic Little China, industrial Kabuki, corporate Arasaki Wharf and exclusive Westbrook. Thus illuminated by the glow of ubiquitous neon lights, Night City is the realization of a capitalist-violent nightmare. It provides a fascinating place for tourists and those who want to live there and have the means to do so, while it is a veritable hell for those who are disenfranchised.

Widok na jedną
z dzielnic Night City

A view of one of Night City's neighborhoods

© CD Projekt Red

city on the edge of tomorrow

Night City's slogan is "City on the Edge of Tomorrow." And that's exactly the uncompromising way the game's designers created it, creating a kind of distorted mirror to the present reality. However, is this dystopia just pure fantasy and fiction? As stated by Mike Pondsmith, creator of the Cyberpunk system, the game world is a cautionary tale.

Widok na Night City

A view of Night City

© CD Projekt Red

Katarzyna Oczkowska

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