Cyberpunk 2077 is gaining a board game courtesy of a Kickstarter drive. Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City is a bizarre twist on the high-tech, low-life underbelly of the world got to life by CD Projekt Red and Mike Pondsmith.
The game is being issued by CMON Games, which have put together board game adaptations of God of War and Bloodborne and other existing IPs.
Suppose the slang-ridden synopsis of the game on its Kickstarter page is any indicator. In that case, its creators have some extreme reverence for the original material: “Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City is a competitive match in which 1 to 4 players take on the part of brutal gangs vying for command of the underground in the glittering cesspool that is Night City.
Clash with other units in the meat or on the Net as your driving band of toughs strives to gain prominence over the criminal underworld that rules the streets. But, only the boldest will be remembered, and your Street Cred will pave your way to the top.”
The aesthetics and fiction of this game emerge to be more closely founded on the Cyberpunk 2077 video game posted by CD Projekt Red, as fought to a riff on the source material composed by Mike Pondsmith in the pen-and-paper Cyberpunk RPG. In complement to its trademark crimson and neon-yellow aesthetic, this board game arrives packaged with a pile of colorless plastic miniatures that bear the likeness of prominent characters from the video game.
Players can hope to see Jackie Welles, Johnny Silverhand, and Judy Alvarez among the two dozen plastic minis planned to ship with the game.
At the moment of publishing, the project has more than tripled its funding goal of $100,000 and is shy of its final stretch goal with about ten days remaining in its campaign. Currently, the only funding level functional is set at $110 but nets you access to the core pack and all the replicas.
We comprehend that a hot pile of unpainted plastic is brutal to resist, but it’s worth noting that the current timeline for shipping doesn’t begin until at least eight months after the end of the Kickstarter. And just like Cyberpunk’s digital version, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be delayed.
Night City is a prominent American city in the Free State of North California, controlled by businesses and unassailed by the laws of both nation and state. It sees conflict from uncontrolled gang wars and its ruling entities contending for dominance. The city depends on robotics for everyday aspects like waste collection, supervision, and public transportation. Its visual identity emanated from the four years it underwent—austere Entropism, multicolor Kitsch, setting Neo-Militarism, and opulent Neo-Kitsch. Homelessness abounds but does not intercept cybernetic modification for the poor, providing rise to cosmetic addiction and consequent violence. The armed force deals with these threats, understood as Psycho Squad. In addition, the trauma Team can be employed for quick medical services. Because of the ongoing threat of physical harm, all citizens are allowed to bear firearms in public openly.
The game starts with selecting one of three lifepaths for the player character V (Gavin Drea or Cherami Leigh): Streetkid, Nomad, or Corpo. All three lifepaths involve V starting a new life in Night City with local thug Jackie Welles (Jason Hightower) and having various adventures with a netrunner, T-Bug.
In 2077, local fixer Dexter DeShawn (Michael-Leon Wooley) hires V and Welles to steal a biochip known as “the Relic” from Arasaka Corporation. They acquire the Relic, but the plan goes awry when they witness the murder of the megacorp’s leader Saburo Arasaka (Masane Tsukayama), at the hands of his treacherous son Yorinobu (Hideo Kimura).
Yorinobu covers up the murder as poisoning and triggers a security sweep in which Arasaka’s netrunners kill T-Bug. V and Welles escape, but Welles is fatally hurt in the process, and the Relic’s protective suit is damaged, forcing V to insert the biochip into the cyberware in their head.
DeShawn, mad at the unwanted police attention, shoot V in the head and ditches them dead in a landfill. Upon awakening, V is plagued by the digital ghost of war veteran turned iconic rock star Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves), thought to have died in 2023 during an attempted thermonuclear attack on Arasaka Tower. V learns from their ripper doc Viktor Vector (Michael Gregory) that DeShawn’s bullet triggered resurrection nanotech on the biochip, repairing the damage to V’s brain but starting an irreversible process to overwrite their memories with those of Silverhand, leaving V only a few weeks before the process completes. Unfortunately, the biochip cannot be removed, so V must seek a way to remove Silverhand and survive.
Through reliving Silverhand’s memories, V learns that in 2023, Silverhand’s then-girlfriend Alt Cunningham (Alix Wilton Regan) had created Soulkiller, an artificial intelligence able to copy netrunners’ minds through their neural links. However, the process destroyed the target’s brain.
As a result, Arasaka kidnapped Cunningham and forced her to create their version of Soulkiller, which would store the minds of its targets in Arasaka’s digital fortress, Mikoshi. Silverhand led a rescue effort to save Cunningham but failed to find her before Arasaka used Soulkiller on her; Silverhand’s later thermonuclear attack was a cover to free Alt’s consciousness from Arasaka’s subnet but Arasaka captured him and used Soulkiller on him as well.
By 2077, Arasaka was advertising a “Secure Your Soul” program and conducting personal research into writing a digital copy of a mind into a living human brain, from which the Relic arose. Eventually, V must decide whether to mount an attack on Arasaka Tower to gain physical access to Mikoshi and use Soulkiller to remove Silverhand from their body.
Depending upon player actions throughout the game, V can choose different options to conduct the attack. V can commit suicide, allow Silverhand to stage the attack with his former crew, mount the attack with a network of allies assembled during the game, or mount the attack solo.
After successfully using Soulkiller, it is revealed that the damage to V’s body is irreversible. Depending on player choice, V either remains in their body with an uncertain life expectancy or allows Silverhand to take over permanently. Finally, he pays his respects to his friends and leaves Night City to start a new life.