After one hundred and twenty hours roaming about Night City, in a single play through, and executing every quest, heist, and errand that is possible, I just saw the last of the credits roll for the expansion pack to a game that was released in a vulnerable state, and has slowly matured into something sublime, beautiful, and poignant.
The struggle is; that it could be even better than what it was. Still, with the ending; there's a lot to say about the way it approaches the passage of time. In my own words, don't be afraid of the end, simply be afraid of all the tiny losses along the way. You won't know when it is your last time you'll hug a loved one, touch the leaves of a tree as you pass, or fill the thrill of adrenaline as you embark on some risky endeavour.
I hope that you'll have a Cyberpunk 2077 playthrough filled with such moments; because it will make you appreciate all the little things so much more, especially when you have them taken away from you. Everything will always get taken away from you, and at some point, you'll not have enough power or strength to take it back.
Some background about my character, V: She was a stealthy assassin, normally toting around a silenced pistol, and using quick hacks to fell her enemies from a distance, and resorting only to a sub machine gun when she got detected.
She hacked through corporate mainframes, helped the Night City Police Department bring to justice hundreds of outlaws, and rode a motorcycle everywhere she went, weaving in and out of traffic on her way from job to job.
Most of all, she just loved to explore the full spectrum of what Night City and its jobs had to offer.
In Cyberpunk 2077, you get a chip in your head, which introduces you to the persona of a bygone revolutionary rocker, Johhny Silverhand, played by Keanu Reeves. This is a death sentence, and I think Mr Reeves did an impressive job of playing an unlikeable character, at least to my tastes; on the basis of the fact that is universally adored and loved by most people.
Cyberpunk might be the only role where that isn't the case, because he is literally an annoying, complaining old-man; who is going to kill you due to the neuro-toxicity of the implant; and the fact that two personae cannot occupy the same human husk, no matter the years of scientific developments.
Towards the end of Phantom Liberty, after you go off and save the president, unveil a multilayered conspiracy of depressed old spies; who have no business in continuing to cling to the years of service that has defined their vitriol and sense of justice, you get a choice - remove the Relic implant, and Johhny Silverhand's incessant narration, or just say no.
As I despised Silverhand, I opted to have the surgery. What followed was a poignant 35 minutes of story telling where every single person that ever loved V, or "had fun" with her throughout my campaign; had categorically moved on, following a two year coma and complications from the surgery.
V then goes back to Night City, to meet up with her old ripper doc, Viktor, to simply get mugged by two common street thugs at the end, defenceless.
She becomes another face in the crowd, and the game ends, cutting to the credits.
For a game that truly puts you in the shoes of the character you inhabit, it is an ending that evokes sadness, misery, and an acute sense of loneliness. It is a personal, moving experience, and one that I haven't quite had in gaming for quite some time.
The last game that impacted me in this way was BioShock: Infinite, and I'm happy to place Cyberpunk 2077 right up there on the pedestal with it. A brilliant game, a sad ending, and a satisfying, emotional journey that made me feel something, which is something that can be said for the increasingly maturing genre of entertainment we all love and enjoy - interactive games.
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