While there are plenty of glitzy and flashy places in Cyberpunk 2077 to be cautious of, one part in particular seems intentionally designed to simulate a process used to cause seizures.
Cyberpunk 2077 has officially launched and is starting to get scores across the gaming industry as outlets share opinions on the future dystopian open-world game. General consensus is that it features a striking world and good gameplay, but a pretty problematic story and bugs out the wazoo. Nonetheless, perhaps just problematic is the discovery of a certain sequence that people with epilepsy may need to be warned of, especially since there are no epilepsy warnings or accessibility features in the game.
It was Game Informer that originally reported the sequence in particular in an epilepsy PSA regarding Cyberpunk 2077. In general, the report warns to be cautious of the flashing lights of the clubs and general glitz of Night City, but there’s one point in particular that stood out: a section regarding the Braindance feature of the game that is alarmingly similar to processes real neurologists use to intentionally trigger seizures for medical purposes. Despite this section, Cyberpunk 2077’s review copies apparently didn’t have epileptic warnings anywhere in the game at the time of discovery. Be warned, there are some light spoilers just below.
Braindance in Cyberpunk 2077 is a sort of investigative element used to piece together incidents and discover clues you might need in the main story.
The section as described by Game Informer is as follows:
When “suiting up” for a [Braindance], especially with Judy, V will be given a headset that is meant to onset the instance. The headset fits over both eyes and features a rapid onslaught of white and red blinking LEDs, much like the actual device neurologists use in real life to trigger a seizure when they need to trigger one for diagnosis purposes. If not modeled off of the IRL design, it’s a very spot-on coincidence, and because of that this is one aspect that I would personally advise you to avoid altogether.
Because this instance is part of the core story and nearly unavoidable, it was suggested that those who are affected by such things should look away during the sequence to alleviate any issues. That said, in a time when accessibility options are gaining such traction in video games, it seems strange that CD Projekt RED would not at least warn players of this instance at the front of the game or perhaps closer to the moment itself. It warrants concern that we should be thankful was caught and reported ahead of the game’s launch. Thanks, Game Informer.
As Cyberpunk 2077 heads into launch on December 10, 2020, presumably with a Day 1 patch in mind, hopefully epilepsy and accessibility will be taken into account in an upcoming fix. Stay tuned to Shacknews for updates on the matter.