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Cyberpunk 2077's manhole covers were too European, so CD Projekt Red is hoping the sequel will be more believably American

Though if you noticed the mahole covers weren't right, you might be focusing on the wrong things.

Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
Image credit: VG247/CD Projekt

Cyberpunk 2077 is obviously set in California, but there were enough off things about it that CD Projekt is looking closely at how the sequel can feel properly American.

On the face of it, Cyberpunk 2077 is a very American-looking game. It's set in America after all, and is meant to essentially be a futuristic version of Los Angeles. In a recent episode of the AnsweRED podcast, acting executive producer Dan Hernberg even said "I think Cyberpunk is obviously a uniquely American story. It's got a lot of like, punk energy, and [the tabletop game] was written by an American, so it just seems right to do it in America." But, of course, the CD Projekt studio that developed it is based in Wrocław, Poland, which apparently led to some parts of the game, parts most people on this side of the pond wouldn't think twice about, being not quite right.

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"There was this post [on Reddit] with the guy saying that there is this immersion-breaking bug in Cyberpunk, and the bug was about the fact that the covers for manholes for a sewer were the manholes that you use normally in Europe, in Germany, for a pavement," associate game director Paweł Sasko said. "Those are not manholes that you normally cover in America on the streets. When you go to America, there's things like [fire] hydrants, where they are placed and how they look like. The street lights, the positions of that, the trash bins, right? They're in the front of the house, right by the street. In Poland, in Europe, you don't see it almost anywhere. There's so much nuance. Dan, when we talk about it, he calls it 'the Americana.'"

Hernberd chimed in again saying "Our curbs are different, our colour is different on all of our signs. Everything's just slightly different. It doesn't break immersion, but it's just that little thing where you're like, 'Well, maybe this wasn't made by people who live here or people who fully understand all of American culture.' I also think that [the studio] being in America, it allows us to have those cultural touchpoints with the larger American, you know, kind of influence with Hollywood. Obviously, Cyberpunk 2077 took place in LA, and so there's just kind of all these cultural touchpoints and things that we can kind of interact with, whether that's from music or story or just different parts of America that are interesting to explore."

Project Orion, the as-of-yet untitled Cyberpunk sequel, is actually being developed at CD Projekt Red's new Boston studio, alongside its Vancouver studio which is helping out a touch, so that should allow for more accurate manholes and signs (if that's something that genuinely annoys you). Of course, while you might be excited by a Cyberpunk sequel, The Witcher 4 is more likely to be up next - though production is only slated to start this year, so don't get your hopes up about a release date.

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