Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the biggest games of the year, but what's it all about, anyway? This breakdown will help keep you in the loop.
Cyberpunk 2077 is, without a doubt, the biggest game of 2020. It's been tearing up the Steam charts ever since it debuted, with millions of players working their way into the sprawling world of Night City. So many people want to experience what this massive metropolitan has to offer after being announced nearly a decade ago that it's practically mind-boggling. It's hard to believe the game is finally here and in the hands of eager players everywhere, but now that it is, those who haven't begun their journey are likely very curious about what's going on in-game.
Put simply, what's Cyberpunk 2077 about? What kind of storyline does it feature, and what can you expect from it? Is there an overarching narrative that you'll be following throughout the course of the game? These are all valid questions that likely aren't immediate as soon as you jump into the game. If you're trying to parse this for yourself, don't worry. We've got you covered. Here's what the story is all about.
Caution: Cyberpunk 2077 spoilers ahead. If you want to go in fresh, turn back now.
What is Cyberpunk 2077 about?
Cyberpunk 2077 is an action-adventure saga that follows a mercenary named V. V is a customisable protagonist character that players can alter to their liking, with a masculine or feminine form, but the name "V" cannot be changed. They come from one of three different backgrounds, chosen by players: Nomad, Streetkid, or Corpo, all of which determine their past. V can come from a nomadic group of people who breaks away from what they know and enters the massive Night City after a job gone awry. V can come from a life on the streets as part of a gang who enters the big time. Or V can be an ex-member of the corporate world who finds themselves "starting over" in many ways after a job goes sideways.
Whatever path you choose as a player, your storyline will always converge with befriending a man named Jackie Welles, your companion at the start of the game. V and Jackie are mercenaries who run a lot of jobs together. When contracted by a "fixer" (one who arranges jobs) named Dexter Deshawn, they're asked to steal an important device from a company known as the Arasaka Corporation. This megalithic entity in the city has something known as the "Soulkiller," or a chip that's believed to somehow offer immortality. V and Jackie go off on a heist to retrieve the chip, infiltrating the megacorporation with the help of an ex-"doll" (essentially a sex worker) named Evelyn.
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Once V and Jackie successfully make off with the chip, however, things go off the rails. The pair get more than they bargained for when the Arasaka Corporation is clued in on their location. V and Jackie have to find a way out -- fast -- and the only way to do so is jump from a massive skyscraper and slide down the side of another, busting down through glass and to relative safety, or so it seems. Jackie is mortally wounded in the process. The pair must protect the chip they've taken at all costs, and the chip must be kept at a certain temperature at all times, lest it corrupt.
Ultimately, Jackie succumbs to his wounds after placing the chip into his own port without knowing what type of damage it can cause. With Jackie having passed as he and V escape back to Dexter DeShawn's meeting place, V is left in a tight place. V takes the chip themselves and pops it in, unbeknownst to them that things are about to get a lot more complicated.
That's even before Dexter turns on V and leaves them for dead in a landfill after the operation is compromised, under orders of a high-ranking member of the family. The tables soon turn, however, as that family member known as Takemura, ends up saving V from certain death at Dexter's hands and rescuing them from the landfill.
The chip remains in V, and it's soon revealed that it contains the digital ghost of the rockstar Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves), and the two are now essentially sharing the same body. Silverhand died while trying to blow up Arasaka Tower, or at least in the sense that he was no longer a person, thanks to the Soulkiller process. It might be simple enough to try and live in the same vessel as Johnny, but V's self is slowly being overridden by the chip, eventually leaving nothing but Johnny behind.
V must find a way to potentially save themselves while living with Johnny Silverhand within them -- but is there even a way to do that? That's where you come in. Welcome to Night City, and welcome to Cyberpunk 2077. This should get you started, or at the very least offer you some talking points for the next time you're chatting around the virtual watercooler, so to speak.
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Images via CD Projekt RED