Cyberpunk 2077 – Night City Wire: Elements of Style

We’ve seen in previous Night City Wire presentations how visual aesthetics are varied in Cyberpunk 2077, how different groups have different looks, and how you as a player will be able to choose your own particular appearance in a highly granular fashion. But today’s Night City Wire decided to help players get a handle on the fashion of the future, and all of its implications.

Night City’s styles can be boiled down to four basic tastes. These are referred to as Kitsch, Entropism, Neomilitarism, and Neokitsch, and they’re likely going to be an important shorthand for when somebody is requesting a certain item be obtained or a certain look needs to be established for a meet.

Kitsch is the stereotypical cyberpunk look. Neon hair, illuminated tattoos, chromed prosthetics, loud colors, it’s everything we expected 2020 to be like back in the 80s. Functionality runs a distant second to looking cool.  For the Edgerunners of 2077, it’s something of a “vintage” style the same way that the modern rockabilly scene adopts slicked-up pompadours, plain white T-shirts with cigarette packs rolled up in the sleeves, and street rods.

Entropism is the polar opposite of Kitsch. Born from the scarcity resulting from the Fourth Corporate War, Entropism’s ethos is one of survival. It may be ugly as sin, it’s quite likely to have been recycled or refurbished (or possibly cannibalized), but it does what it needs to do, whether that’s keep the rain off your head or keep the motor running on your Mad Max-meets-National Lampoon’s Vacation junker. It’s not fancy but it works.

Neomilitarism is, quite simply, the standard corporate style. Much like Entropism, there’s not a lot in the way of “flash” or ostentation, but it’s a conscious choice in this case. Simple without being cheap, subdued without being drab, it’s all about “business.” Expect a lot of matte finishes, complimentary color schemes, and sharp lines. From your suit to your shoes to your sidearm, the ensemble needs to look effective, not pretty.

Neokitsch, meanwhile, goes the other way from Neomilitarism in one important respect. The idea is that you don’t have to give up variety and color to be effective. You can look like you stepped off a Hajime Sorayama print and still be a ruthless bastard in the board room. It’s the sort of look that encourages stupid people to underestimate you and the smart ones to find subtle clues about your personality, a mind game played with your body and your clothes.

Players will undoubtedly be dipping into all four styles in their quest for their own personal aesthetic, and it’ll be interesting to see how they develop when Cyberpunk 2077 drops on November 19th.

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