Why Cyberpunk 2077’s Hyperrealism Probably isn’t Going Anywhere Any Time Soon


  • Cyberpunk 2077’s hyperrealistic design showcases detailed character models and immersive world-building.
  • Future entries, like Project Orion, are likely to maintain this realistic art style to continue using celebrity likenesses effectively.
  • Deviating from hyperrealism could diminish the impact of celebrity actors and limit the potential for fun character Easter eggs.

Although it may have had its performance issues at launch, Cyberpunk 2077 has come to be known for its vibrant world design and visual fidelity that helps its hyperrealistic graphics immerse players in Night City. The quality of the game’s character models goes to show just how committed CD Projekt Red is to bringing the dystopian world Cyberpunk 2077 to life through immersive design and realistic character movements. As such, it’s unlikely that the series will ditch this hyperrealistic design in future entries, especially because the game’s use of celebrity likenesses would be wasted on more stylized graphics.

Cyberpunk 2077 has dabbled in a stylized art style in the past, with the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners animated series utilizing a flashy 2D animation style to bring its characters to life. While some fans might think this style could translate well to a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel, the next game in the series, codenamed Project Orion, will likely retain the same realism of the first game. Like its predecessor, a game like Project Orion is probably going to utilize similar celebrity cameos, which wouldn’t translate as well if the game didn’t have a hyperrealistic art style to showcase these celebrities.

Cyberpunk 2077’s Celebrity Actors Would be Wasted if the Game Wasn’t Hyperrealistic

One of the biggest draws of Cyberpunk 2077 was the celebrities who appeared in the game, either as major characters or in small cameo roles. Important characters like Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand and Idris Elba’s Solomon Reed bring the game to life in both its main story and the Phantom Liberty DLC. Given the way the game marketed itself around these characters and their portrayal by popular actors, it seems likely that Project Orion will follow the same route, furthering the need for a hyperrealistic art style.

Even though they are not as well-known as actors like Keanu Reeves and Idris Elba, cameos from content creators like Jesse Cox and CohnCarnage, a musical artist like Grimes, and even the legendary game director Hideo Kojima would all fall flat if their characters weren’t easily recognizable from their in-game models. Going a more stylized route with its art design would limit the number of fun character Easter eggs and cameos possible in the series. With CD Projekt Red likely wanting to keep these aspects in future entries, it wouldn’t make sense to move away from this established art style.

Project Orion Will Likely Follow Cyberpunk 2077’s Hyperrealistic Design

Although very little known about Project Orion beyond that it is in development as the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, it’s easy to assume the game will not deviate from its predecessor’s art style in a significant way. In addition to diminishing the impact of celebrity actors, a change in art style would also be a jarring departure for players coming off of Cyberpunk 2077 to experience. With Project Orion likely still several years away from release, CD Projekt Red would also be wise to maintain the series’ hyperrealistic art style as a way to showcase its performance on future hardware as technology advances in the coming years.

There is still room for the franchise to utilize a stylized art direction, as demonstrated by the success of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. If Project Orion is still a ways off, more spin-off projects could be released to tide fans over during the wait between releases, similar to how Cyberpunk: Edgerunners helped fill the gap between Cyberpunk 2077‘s initial release and the Phantom Liberty DLC. These games would have free rein to experiment with different art styles since they would likely not have the same budget or scope as a mainline entry to warrant having big-name actors in starring roles.

cyberpunk 2077 poster

Cyberpunk 2077

December 10, 2020

REDengine 4

M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol

How Long To Beat
25 Hours


PS Plus Availability