Skip to main content

What does an architect think of Cyberpunk 2077's Night City?

So much of the work that went into Cyberpunk 2077 is in world design, the sprawling city itself, and the massive buildings that make  it up. How, then, does someone deeply versed in the art and craft of architecture—the creation of spaces and a student of how they're used—feel about Night City? There's one architect who, despite the bugs, feels drawn back toward the fictional city because of the design of its spaces.

Architect Morphologis runs a video series called An Architect Reviews focused on spaces inside of digital worlds, and their latest is about the spaces of Night City. It's an interesting tour of some of the major spaces in the game, starting with V's massive housing block, which Morphologis compares to the output of the 70s Japanese Metabolism movement, which focused on huge, semi-organic structures. They also call out other architecture movements like Brutalism, 1930s Asian art-deco, business architectures—all scattered across the city. 

They go back over and over to the idea of oppressive architecture, the idea that people are cogs in the Cyberpunk machine. There are a lot of interesting insights that only an architect knows, though: Morpholgois points out that as corporations take over in Cyberpunk, it's clear that building regulations have vanished, allowing buildings to overtake each other, build on top, and infringe on public space. There's also the key idea that the roads of Cyberpunk are "spaghettified" and interweaving. They say it's "an accurate depiction of what a future city ruled by corporations might look like."

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.