Two months after the first Night City Wire Pilot Episode and with four more months to go before the actual launch, the second episode paints a clearer picture of what to expect from the physical world of Night City. This episode takes a closer look at the actual in-game your main character, V, will experience through your distinct choices: both character-wise and through their arsenal.
At the start of the game, V will have to make a choice between three options: Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. Kidding aside, there are three lifepaths to choose from: Nomad, Street Kid, and Corpo as shown on the Lifepaths trailer.
The Street Kid grew up in the mean streets of Night City and has done everything they need to survive the harsh and bitter realities of a hyper-capitalist society. They’ve dodged cops, made deals with gangs, and they know the ins and outs of metropolis. They know the fixer to butter up and they know which gang they don’t want to piss off. Their lifestyle is feast and famine and it’s determined by their next job.
The Nomad hails from the Badlands outside of Night City and grew up with other nomadic tribes. They’ve survived the harsh desert wastes ravaged by global warming through the reliance on their tribal family. However, they value freedom most of all and their life has taken them to seek their fortunes in the new urban jungle of Night City.
The Corpo wage their high stakes cutthroat business deals behind Arasaka boardrooms through corporate espionage and day trading where they must perform and capitalize or die by the deals they’ve failed to secure. They’ve been double-crossed and left to hang and they must now traverse Night City to reverse their bad fortune.
Each backstory is different from each other and will lead you to different paths, dialog choices, and missions.
Your Class Determines Your Choices
As a complete RPG experience, your choice in the Lifepath will determine the pathway to your success in the game. V eventually progresses from being a lowly merc to a legend just like Johnny Silverhand and your origins definitely determine the way you play the game. Besides the obvious three playthroughs to see every choice made and missed in previous playthroughs, the experience will definitely differ with each disparate game experience. Once you’ve made a choice on your Lifepath, the bonuses and drawbacks carry over throughout the game and even beyond the post-game experience.
With the example being the quest of dealing with a gun running Maelstrom Gang, each experience will differ according to which Lifepath you would take. One way your Lifepath choice will matter are the dialogue options that unlock depending on your class.
It gives different classes a variety of options to succeed in different missions. A Corpo would know that the exec dealing with the Maelstrom Gang is Meredith Stout and you will know her interests, motives, and insider knowledge about this deal. A Nomad would know the intricacies of the Maelstrom Gang and with the tribal knowledge from the Badlands, you know what makes the gang tick. A Street Kid may be at a disadvantage with this deal not having the insider knowledge that a Corpo or Nomad would have. However, given their connections with Fixers like Padre, they can have an edge when dealing with nuanced situations like if the gang wanted some substances only a Street Kid can provide. Fixers are also revealed to be territorial with Padre taking on Haywood and other fixer Dexter introduced in the previous episode having his own territory. A Street Kid would have this knowledge and how they use this knowledge would give them an edge depending on the situation.
Lifepaths will matter and Cyberpunk 2077 will make sure that your choices matter as well.
The Music of SAMURAI
Johnny Silverhand makes an appearance with his anti-establishment band SAMURAI in this episode. With a cool blend of synthpop and punk rock, they create the general mood of the game. The general theme of the game is making a mark on Night City either as any Lifepath that you choose and with the aid of Johnny Silverhand and what he represents, the music will be integral for the overall gaming experience.
Swedish hardcore punk band “Refused” brings SAMURAI to life. While they were not gamers in the very sense of the word, they were able to relate to Johnny Silverhand and what they represent in the world of Cyberpunk. The interviews with the band members touch on how they as a band agree with Johnny’s philosophy and with that, their music synchronizes with it.
Three tracks of SAMURAI are now available for streaming with the fourth track out today.
Tools of Destruction
The episode ends with the Tools of Destruction trailer that highlights the arsenal V encounters and utilizes through the game to rise up the ranks in Night City. The arsenal ranges from different gun types to melee weapons featuring thermal katanas, and cybernetic mods, which highlighted arm blades and rockets launched from V’s forearm.
The designers at CD Projekt Red spent a lot of time merging the FPS gameplay with the heavy RPG elements from the tabletop adaptation. While equipment and cybernetic modifications play an important role to the character progression, what separates it from its FPS counterparts is how V progresses in the game with heightened accuracy, reload speed, and power. The increased skill structure readies V in taking on all the challenges in their environment to the highest challenge of the game.
Weapon types are separated by rarity ranging from common, uncommon, rare, and legendary. They are acquired via purchase or through looting through loot caches or from enemies. The more powerful legendary weapons are hinted to be only possessed by certain individuals that must be killed to acquire. As an RPG, I presume they can also give you said legendary weapon if you do them a favor that comes once in a lifetime. Not everything has to be resolved through violence.
Guns, Lots of Guns
As Night City Wire only has thirty minutes in every episode, a lot of focus fell on the guns. There are three gun types that have been specified through the segment:
Power types are more akin to contemporary guns but have an advantage using their firepower to ricochet bullets to catch enemies behind cover. Tech types rely on electromagnetic attributes to shoot through walls, doors, and are great for infiltrator types. Smart guns are strengthened by their guided projectile technology able to take on multiple enemies in hard to reach areas. I’m intrigued by smart weapons as they’ve revealed an eight-barreled shotgun that can target eight separate enemies at once. However, whatever firepower you do possess, your enemies do as well. As much as you’ve rendered cover obsolete for them, they can do the same to you.
Weapon mods such as attachments in the form of a scope and silencers give your guns an edge given a situation but also software mods increase the attribute of the gun as well giving it better accuracy, power, reload time, and firing rate. Ammo types can also be changed from non-lethal types to chemical rounds as well.
Each gun also differs depending on the manufacturer of said weapon. Tsunami Defense Systems, manufacturer of the Tsunami Nekomata sniper rifle focuses on the tech aspect of the said rifle giving it an edge against enemies hiding in opposite rooms waiting for an ambush. Budget Arms’ Carnage, a powerful shotgun provides a more down and dirty feel when taking on enemies head on.
I’m curious what else the next (and probably final) episode of Night City Wire will offer. They’ve already shown the physical aspects of combat as well as other stylized modes of storytelling from the previous episode. For the next episode, I hope they show netrunning and how that factors into an already huge game with crazy amounts of content.
Are you ready to unload your life when Cyberpunk 2077 releases on November 19? We are.