After “Arcane”, “Cyberpunk” is illustrated in the video game adaptation

After “Arcane”, “Cyberpunk” is illustrated in the video game adaptation

After “Arcane”, “Cyberpunk” is illustrated in the video game adaptation

Players know all the setbacks of the game Cyberpunk 2077 which, upon its release, brought the disappointment to the height of the long years of waiting and the clamor of the public. As CD Projekt RED continues to make improvements to the game, studio Trigger and Netflix are launching its animated adaptation, which achieves the feat of staying true to the original universe by targeting a wider audience. A success.

Cyberpunk: Edge Runners is it a gamer series? Let’s be clear: you don’t need to know the game to appreciate the animated series, although early-stage fans should struggle more. Because if from an aesthetic point of view Trigger brings its own choices, it is generous in winks and other references that refer directly to the starting material. Starting with the sound palette, the ringing of phone calls (recognizable as that of the phones of a legendary series, 24 hour stopwatch) to some titles of the game’s soundtrack, through the design of vehicles and weapons, not to mention the appearance of some characters in the game, intelligently integrated into the narrative.

© Netflix

Benchmark for gamers

We will not name them to preserve the surprise, but there is a big one, given that one of these protagonists plays a decisive role as soon as he enters the scene. Players will find their orientation in the hero’s apartment (the same as in the game), but also in the city itself: Night City.

In this sprawling and ruthless megalopolis, the big corporations are waging a ruthless war against each other, amidst the various clans that abound there. A true character in itself, the city that each player has spent tens of hours inspecting offers the viewer in all its excess.

© CD Project, CD Project RED

The game works on an open world that we discover based on the missions, but here the story takes us by the hand and the guided tour takes place on the adventures of the main characters. They take us to various familiar places, such as Afterlife, this club where we take orders for new contracts, the Arasaka tower, a suitable stage for a final fight, or even the desert that stretches out of the city.

Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll

For the rest, no neophyte will have the sensation of having an adaptation in front of him, but rather a coherent universe, with its codes, its grammar, its cosmogony. What you expect from a work of fiction, especially in the genre of dystopia. He will not realize, for example, that the drug shots that characters send to each other to improve the side effects of each new mechanical enhancement or electronic implant in the body remind players of injections to improve the life indicator of the their avatars. Smart. Because the great strength of the game (despite its many flaws), like that of the series, lies in the writing of the respective scenarios. One resonates with the other.

© Netflix

In the game, the story is extremely dark with its various melancholy and bittersweet endings. Plus, it’s very rock’n’roll. The chapters of its plot are entitled songs from the history of rock, Give me danger (the Stooges) a where is my Mind (Pixies), passing For whom the bell rings (Metallica). When driving around the city, you can zap, in your vehicle, on various radio stations with well-stocked and good quality programming. Finally, one of the main characters, played by Keanu Reeves, is himself the charismatic singer of a famous rock band, the Samurai. In reality it is the Refused group to sign his repertoire.

© CD Project, CD Project RED

The series, in fact, offers the services of Franz Ferdinand for the song of the credits, the rest of the soundtrack being entrusted to Akira Yamaoka, famous for his work on games silent Hill.

Resolutely adult, the adaptation adopts this rock spirit by serving shots of nudity – without ever sinking into vulgarity or easy solicitation – as well as action scenes with explicit graphic violence, in an atmosphere where the tragic is mixed with well-balanced humor. , served by charismatic and tough characters and dialogues with each other. Heads and ribs explode, guts spilled and sunken eyes line the walls, and it all ends up in a colorful mush.

The aesthetic of the Trigger studio is also distinguished by a wide range of bright colors, from yellow to red, passing through the whole range of fluorescent colors and, as the pace of the story is sustained and the fighting and other races- chases follow one another at regular intervals, all these colors mingle in dizzying whirlwinds. Because it’s going fast Cyberpunk: Edge Runners. So much so that the series shows a warning for people prone to epilepsy.

A total success, from the script to the realization

Cyberpunk: Edge Runners tells, in ten episodes of 25 minutes each, the story of David, a street child who intends to make a name for himself by becoming an Edgerunner, an outlawed mercenary, after meeting the beautiful Lucy, a Netrunner (capable of hacking any computer) as seductive as it is mysterious. From the opening scene, the tone is set. A cyberpsic (a man who has become a psychopath by transforming his body by abusing technology) commits a massacre using an experimental military facility. News that will seal David’s fate.

© Netflix

In the game, we embody V, a Night City resident drawn into a tragic spiral. The intelligence of the series lies in particular in the choice to tell a completely different character, created especially for the occasion, using the codes of the game, from its decorations to its clothing styles, passing through the local jargon: it will be taken a bit time to get used to integrating terms like you choose, Charcudoc or Bastard.

If its history has nothing to do with that of the game, we understand the genius of the screenwriters: to exploit the basin of its universe by drawing a destiny among many others from the population of the city. From this narrative choice, nothing prevents showrunners from doing it again, both by looking at the future of the survivors (because not all the protagonists come out unscathed from the adventure), and by staging the life of no one else in Night City.

The world of licensing cyberpunk it implicitly shows us an eternal class struggle that involves the acquisition of plants that are as expensive as they are dangerous for those who use them. Each character who fights for his own survival becomes cogs in a story bigger than his own. The series manages to attach us to one of them.

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