The Cyberpunk world has been around since well before Cyberpunk 2077, with fans of the games and literature frequently citing the source material when discussing Night City, the characters therein, and what dealings are going on between the businesses and the inhabitants.
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But V is a new variable to this existing equation. As the player, you're given control of someone really just opening their eyes for the first time in this world. While V is examining the world, you need to examine V, flaws and all, and understand V's character inconsistencies. While you're at it, take a look at some of the fan theories that try to make sense of the enigmatic protagonist.
Warning: Spoilers do need to be discussed to do a complete analysis, so turn back if you haven't yet run through the game.
Despite so many customization options, once you've made V, that is how V is going to look. You can't even get so much as a haircut afterward. This is a shocking development, considering how Geralt from The Witcher 3 at least grew facial hair over time.
You can change out your weapons, your cybernetics (some of which have real-life inspiration), and your car, but can't get a new tattoo or put on makeup. That sounds pretty fishy.
Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby, Pearl in The Scarlet Letter, Cora Tull in As I Lay Dying; there is a rich history of characters doing work as living symbols in literature and it's not too much to wonder if V is doing something similar in Cyberpunk 2077.
V can become overpowered in the game, but never becomes powerful enough to change the end substantially. No dialogue choice, mission selection, or loadout can save V from an early grave. Fate just doesn't work that way for V, and Vconvinces gamers that they can either accept it or fight it until the end.
In games like Skyrim,NPCs will eat, sleep, and move with purpose between locations of residency and employment. In Night City, the NPCs can spend their entire lives using two different crosswalks.
These characters do not die without food or sleep. Maybegiving them meaningful destinations is one of manyquality of life changes that the game needs, or maybe there is some kind of message being sent here.
Between the duplicate character models, the mindless walking, and the bugs from porting the game onto the console (though several other games did an even worse job), it's easy to remember that this is just a video game... but maybe that's the entire point!
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V is potentially stuck in a simulation with a bunch of prescripted events that make it look like anything is possible, but there is still an invisible treadmill that keeps things controlled and in place.
You don't have to be a biology wizard to know that the concept of a computer software program changing V's neurological composition is pretty far-fetched. Therearea lot of things that don't make sense in the game, but that's high up on the list.
It's the equivalent of downloading a virus that moves around the wires on your computer's motherboard; it's a fun concept, but not realistic. Perhaps if Johnny were a mutagen or some kind of organic matter, it'd be possible, but as a memory shard? No way.
Johnny is uninhibited, violent, self-centered, sexual, and temperamental. He's one of a few constant annoyances in Cyberpunk 2077, but his issues aren't all that bad considering they are primal instincts more than philosophical evils.
It is easily believable that Johnny is who V is when disciplinebecomes lacking. V won't take medicine, drinks too much, is persuaded to smoke, and gets irritated over small indiscretions under Johnny's influence. Really, that's just an inability to overcome one's own nature.
If you follow around the NPCs of Night City, you'll see that while they are prescripted, they still have preferences. They prefer to sleep in one place, walk on one side of the sidewalk, eat their favorite foods, and talk to their friends.
V isactually lessopinionated than the NPCs. V will eat gas station escargot or kabobs and never say if it's good or bad. V knows a lot about cars, but somehow doesn't care about owning a clunker or a luxury vehicle. Personal input is rejected entirely.
V has essentially been stripped of all humanity. V can go for days without eating or sleeping, is constantly asked to do hundreds of tasks at once, and, regardless of how much effort is given, is cursed to die young no matter what.
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Could there possibly be a better analogy for the dev team? The long hours and excessive demands on them have manifested in the protagonist they created. It could be on purpose, but even if it isn't, it's certainly a Freudian slip at the least.
Much like how V's fate is set in stone, so is Night City and its inhabitants. Your partner can't be saved. Panam will always split. You can't destroy the city. And Arasaka tower will always be rebuilt no matter how often it gets destroyed.
It's one thing to have all personal choices lead to a similar path, but no being able to change anything at all for almost anyone of note is another thing entirely.
So what if V was dead? Not being able to change anything or taste food would make sense. Night City is the perfect metaphor for the "free" soul where nothing is illegal, but freedom seems further away than ever.
Indeed, this is what seems to make the most sense for the endings. V can try to struggle against thisjudgment forever or simply accept it. It's better than hell, but Night City is definitely no heaven.
NEXT: 10 Things Only Pro Players Know You Can Do In Cyberpunk 2077
Next The 10 Longest Console Games Of The Generation
Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He's had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.
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