If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been watching the CYBERPUNK 2077 gameplay video on a loop for several weeks.

After years of silence and secrecy, we’ve finally caught our first glimpse of CDProjektRed’s latest RPG, and it’s even more impressive than I imagined.

But amidst all the hype, you may have missed some important details in that 48-minute video. The gameplay is dense with lore, story, and secrets that breathe life into the world of Night City.

If there’s one thing I learned from all these little details, it’s that the world of CYBERPUNK 2077 is absolutely terrifying. Once you get past the glitz and glamour of Night City, you’ll witness the societal horror that lies beneath the surface.

So what makes CYBERPUNK 2077 such a terrifying world? What did you miss in the 50-minute gameplay video? What can we learn from all this? Well, let’s take a look!

Militarized Healthcare

The video begins with a missing person’s case. The player character, named V, is sent to rescue a rich girl kidnapped for her cybernetics. What follows is a shootout worthy of any modern FPS, but it’s the worldbuilding in this scene that really got me intrigued.

Turns out, if you’re one of the super-rich, you get access to a militarized “platinum” health care plan. You receive a chip in your brain that tracks your location at all times, and should you ever suffer serious illness or injury, a “Trauma Team” will be flown to your location.

CYBERPUNK 2077
Healthcare of the future. Image courtesy of CDProjektRed

These medics are armed and authorized to kill anyone who gets in their way. After the player fixes the tracking device in the victim’s head, the Trauma Team arrives in minutes. Once they land on the scene, they treat the player like garbage and threaten to shoot her if she gets too close.

The way they dehumanize the life of the player while treating their client like a queen is one of the most impactful moments of the video. We learn so much about this world in the first few minutes.

In Night City, your life is worthless unless you’re wealthy. Crime is so widespread that even the doctors carry assault rifles. The concept of privacy is an afterthought, with people willingly plugging tracking devices into their brains. This is the world of CYBERPUNK, and it’s not a pretty place.

Barely A Cop In Sight

But let’s back up for a moment. We just found a naked woman in a bathtub. Gangsters were about to strip her for parts like a used car. Why would the super rich hire two mercenaries to find her? Where the hell are the police?

If you paid close attention to the video, you were probably asking this question a lot.

At no point in this initial quest are the police even referenced. No one bothers to call them, no one is afraid of them barging in on a shootout in an apartment complex. When the paramedics arrive, there’s no SWAT team or even a beat cop to support them. Hell, even a drive-by shooting in broad daylight isn’t enough to get the cops on your tail.

Whether its shady mercenaries, armed paramedics, or private security, it seems the “free market” has largely replaced the police. Sure, we see one or two cops in the video, but they’re barely a factor. Not only that, but according to the lore, most police forces are funded by private entities.

In the world of CYBERPUNK 2077, the cops don’t answer to the people or even the government. They answer to the highest bidder.

Even at the end of the video, after a major shootout in an abandoned warehouse, there isn’t a cop in sight. Instead, we meet the city’s true masters.

Corporations Rule The World Of CYBERPUNK 2077

So, with this apparent vacuum left by the government, whose running things? Well, the rich of course!

CYBERPUNK 2077
What could possibly go wrong? Image courtesy of The Washington Examiner.

Night City is a plutocracy. While this is a common trope in the Cyberpunk genre, the video made sure to hammer this in at every turn. Corporations control industry, the government, and most importantly: the law.

Not only that, but according to the lore, The Corporations funded the construction of Night City. This town is their playground.

When the player first encounters the “Corpos“, they’re equipped with armored cars, advanced cybernetics, and a small army of guards. We later learn that Corpo tech is even more advanced than the militaries.

They immediately interrogate the player and even threaten to murder her if she doesn’t cooperate. They’ve also kidnapped one of their co-workers who they suspect has double-crossed them. The entire time, the woman in charge appears anxious, strung out, and terrified.

She’s not afraid of the law. She’s afraid of her bosses.

CYBERPUNK 2077
Don’t screw with a Corpo agent. Image courtesy of CDProjektRed

After they effortlessly hack the player’s brain to detect if she’s lying, they form an uneasy “truce”. The Corpo boss sends you into a death trap, which results in dozens of casualties. After the bloodbath, she appears with an armed convoy to “congratulate” you.

She encourages you to work with The Corporations in the future. If you do then, one day, you might be as successful as her. The boss leaves the player with some parting words that sum up the world of CYBERPUNK 2077, “Only The Corp gets what it wants”.

The Point

The amount of lore in this video is staggering. I could go on about advertisements wired to your brain, graphic depictions of sex and violence on billboards, and the ubiquity of military-style weapons on the streets. But the fact remains: CYBERPUNK 2077 is a dark, satirical vision of our future. This IP is just as relevant today as it was in the 80s.

If they can pack this much story into a 50-minute vertical slice, imagine how rich and deep the game will be once we get our hands on it.

One Comment

  1. TJ C

    January 22, 2019 at 3:00 am

    I like plutocracy. Night City sounds like a freaking paradise.

    Reply

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