Cyberpunk 2077 will not allow players to violently attack children or story NPCs who are essential to the narrative, according to recent correspondence between a Reddit user and a representative from developer CD Projekt Red. Cyberpunk 2077 controversy hasn't been difficult to find over the last few months, and players have been routinely broaching sensitive subjects with CD Projekt Red developers in order to get a better feel for what sort of rules are in place for the game's open-world.
As it stands right now, there aren't many player restrictions in-game, with issues instead stemming from the way certain groups are represented. Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith defended CD Projekt Red's representation of Haitian minority groups, suggesting that the attention to detail in their characterization - right down to proper use of Haitian Creole - showed that the developer was paying the proper amount of respect to cultural distinction. Issues over transgender representation also arose briefly before CD Projekt Red committed to, if not actually implementing, at least attempting to develop a Cyberpunk 2077 character creation system that allowed for players to distinguish themselves as transgender if they chose.
Instead of generating another controversy, however, this time CD Projekt Red has completely avoided one. According to an interaction between Reddit user /u/masoncool4566, recent correspondence between them and a CD Projekt Red employee yielded concrete evidence that Cyberpunk 2077 wouldn't allow players to attack children or important story NPCs. The developer was also quick to mention that pretty much every other character will be fair game for aggression, so the restriction is only in place to avoid sensitive subjects like child abuse while also protecting the narrative characters who progress Cyberpunk 2077's adventure.
CD Projekt Red is hardly the first developer to place children off limits in games that allow players to explore an open world and interact with pretty much any NPC they come across. The most obvious example that springs to mind is one from Bethesda: in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, players were unable to kill children, who were inexplicably immortal. It was definitely strange, but helped protect the game from problematic portrayals of violence against children. Cyberpunk 2077 won't allow players to attack children and story NPCs for much the same reason.
Those looking for options in Cyberpunk 2077 won't need to be upset about restrictions on who can be attacked, especially since they're entirely reasonable. The game offers a lot of variety to players that was recently showcased in closed-doors demos at E3 2019, and fans will be able to get a glimpse of the same gameplay when Cyberpunk 2077 comes to PAX West later this year. Although these restrictions do take away from the "freedom" of the play somewhat, it's hard to imagine anyone getting particularly upset over the protection of children - though it's possible some fans will be disappointed that Cyberpunk 2077 story NPCs will receive the same treatment.