Kerry Eurodyne’s Bisexual Erasure In Cyberpunk 2077 Just Got Worse

I have never known a game so committed to publicly taking Ls as Cyberpunk 2077. It smashed world records on launch thanks to its impossible-to-maintain hype cycle, and didn’t only fail to live up to those lofty expectations, but crashed and burned almost immediately. It simultaneously had the best and worst launch in gaming history, and since then has worked hard to repair its reputation, but has sabotaged these attempts at every turn. It feels as if it’s doing it on purpose. The latest example of this is the almost completely unsolicited reveal that Kerry Eurodyne, love interest only for male V players, remains canonically bisexual in the game.

Bisexuality is difficult for games to get right. The trope in popular media is that bisexuals are easy, and will sleep with anyone. Because they are attracted to both men and women, they are often portrayed as creatures of proclivity, with exotic tastes, extreme sex drives, and an inability to commit to a long-term relationship. In gaming, this isn’t as big an issue.

Instead, the trouble is bisexual characters are rarely bisexual at all, but instead are playersexual. That is, no matter what gender you play as, they will still be attracted to you. Alex Chen from Life is Strange: True Colors is a rare example of bisexuality done well, with Alex’s behaviour in the game towards other characters clearly displaying bisexual attraction, before settling for one choice and beginning to commit to them.

It should be no surprise that Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t showcase its own characters with quite so much finesse. Clearly the final touches on this game were either rushed or skipped over because of the much-discussed (and much delayed) launch date, but I’m not convinced the game would have ever done right by queer players. The transgender character creator, as it was billed, might have let you slap a penis onto a woman, but pronouns were tied to voice, a they/them option did not exist, there was no attempt to let you play as a trans person beyond the initial creation, and romance (more on that later) was a mess.

The world in which the characters lived was extremely binary, with male/female gender symbols lighting up every street in neon. At an underground brothel, in a cyberpunk dystopian future 50 years from now, the most boundary pushing sexual activity is to be bisexual, resulting in you being offered a choice between a conventionally attractive cis man or a conventionally attractive cis woman. While not an anti-queer world, Night City could have done so much more for queer players, especially as it made a woman with a thick veiny cock the centrepiece of its marketing.

This is where we return to Kerry. He’s one of two male love interests, along with River. Opposite him, Panam and Judy represent the female love interests. The split is, at first, quite simple. Judy and River are your options as a female V, while Panam and Kerry are the choices as a male. It’s simplistic, but it means whatever gender you play as, you get the option to have either a gay relationship or a straight relationship. Except even that isn’t quite straightforward.

Your gender is essentially split into three categories in Cyberpunk 2077: voice, body, and genitals. Despite sex being a genital-based activity, no one cares about the genitals. River just needs a feminine body. If you go by he/him, and therefore you have a male voice, he won’t care. He also won’t care what’s between your legs. Panam is the same but opposite. She needs a male body, but voice, pronouns, and junk have no influence. The scene does heavily imply you have a penis, but this will occur even if you have a vagina.

Judy and Kerry are more complicated. Judy needs a feminine body and a feminine voice, while Kerry needs a male body and a male voice. Why? Answers on a postcard. Anyway, most people had written these romances off as a bit of a mess, even if the narrative within them is worth it after the loopholes.

Now Kerry’s romance has gotten more complicated. Despite being the gay male option who insists on body and voice, Kerry is canonically bisexual. The game mentions his wife. A recent interview on Twitch with quest director Paweł Sasko confirmed that Kerry is indeed bisexual, but will only get with male V as a way to play out his sexual obsession with Johnny, which is a) an absolutely fucking cool story and b) absolutely fucking not what happens. If that’s the angle, so much more could be done with it.

This interview unearthed a tweet from just a week after 2077’s launch two years ago, in which R. Talsorian Games, who make the original tabletop game, confirm that creator Mike Pondsmith was involved in the decision and that Kerry is still considered bisexual by the game, although nothing suggests this in practice. But then, nothing suggests he’s Johnnysexual and using V either, which would have easily been the most compelling story arc. Vertigo, but make it Cyberpunk.

In the end, it’s not the bisexual erasure that gets me, but the fact the game has the perfect justification and still did nothing with it. It seems Cyberpunk 2077 can never win without also losing, and now we can add Kerry’s romance to the list of examples.

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