The long-awaited release of Cyberpunk 2077 is almost here. The title is due to release globally on December 10 across PS4, Xbox One, and PC while being playable on next-gen via backward compatibility with full graphical upgrades to come in early 2021.
Accessibility in gaming and media has become an increasingly significant factor in the level of praise a game receives in recent years. Advances in technology have allowed developers to implement further mechanics to make games more accessible for those who suffer from a variety of conditions. A key example of this was Naughty Dog's The Last of Us: Part II early this year which broke new ground in this area. The title featured over 60 accessibility settings to allow more users than ever to experience the game in all its glory.
On the eve of Cyberpunk's release in some regions of the world, the review embargo has lifted for the title with critics praising it across the board . However, CD Projekt Red have awoken this morning to mass controversy regarding potential safety issues with Cyberpunk 2077.
A report posted by Liana Ruppert on Game Informer issued a warning for those who may suffer from epilepsy, as Cyberpunk 2077 has been seen to cause seizures among some of those who suffer from the condition.
One of the most common seizure triggers for epileptics is fast blinking red and white lights. Through the article, Ruppert details some key issues within Cyberpunk that may pose a risk for epileptics stating:
Due to the nature of interfacing, there is a lot of red glitching animations seen throughout the game's progression. My monitor has an "eye-saving mode" that dims the blue light in my screen that I often use to help with things like this, and that has helped immensely. During my time with Night City, there were moments when walking into clubs and bars that were immediate "danger zones" for epileptics.
The report goes on to detail further specific cases within the title for users to be careful of, including interactions with Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand. A key mechanic within the story is Braindances, a feature allowing players to view memories of the deceased through a headset given to the main character, V. The animations involved with this involve a rapid sequence and white and red blinking lights, so epileptics should be careful of this.
Various members of the media who have gained early access to the title have commented on this issue across social media, including Liana Ruppert herself on Twitter, who experienced a seizure during her time with the title:
I did have a bad seizure while playing this game but look, I get it. I'm stubborn, I'll push myself for something if the desire is high enough (don't be like me). If you have any sort of epilepsy leanings, here is what you need to know about Cyberpunk 2077. Be safe, friends 💚 https://t.co/ozAGV48hVC
WHAT THIS MEANS
Negative press in an area like this, where these issues in Cyberpunk may pose a significant risk to the health of players, is sure to be a big obstacle for CD Projekt Red heading into launch day. The Direct encourages all those who suffer from epilepsy to take extreme caution if they intend to player Cyberpunk in the coming days.
It's likely CD Projekt Red will comment on this issue in the coming days prior to launch. As of now, it is unknown how the team may respond to the issue, however, it's likely a patch will be released at some point which may include further in-game warnings and potentially an option to disable some of these visuals.
Cyberpunk 2077 launches December 10 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC but will be playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X through backward compatibility until a full next-gen update is released in early 2021.