Cyberpunk 2077 becoming a major TikTok trend was not on my 2022 bingo card, but the power of Edgerunners is seemingly unstoppable. I’ve seen comprehensive guide videos showing me where to find hidden weapons and surprise easter eggs, emotional memes reacting to the series’ most heartbreaking moments, and perhaps most impressive – sick gameplay showcases I could only dream of replicating. TikTok V is a force to be reckoned with.
I’ve written previously about how Cyberpunk 2077 still feels unfinished in its gameplay systems, with its lukewarm stealth mechanics ringing especially hollow compared to the game we were promised so many years ago. It fails to feel like a robust RPG much of the time, but fans have done a spectacular job of bringing it to life regardless of its flaws. The characters of Edgerunners have also provided us with playstyles to replicate. Whether it be David’s Sandevistan cyberware or Lucy’s monowire melee weapon, the game gives us the flexibility to bring these personalities to life in a way that goes far beyond the Netflix show.
CD Projekt Red ensured that Cyberpunk 2077 and Edgerunners would feel like a single universe ahead of the show’s debut with a focused update that saw a number of new weapons, quests, characters, and items added to the game that not only reference the tragic story we’ve come to fall in love with, but make it that much stronger by justifying its presence in an RPG we’ve now spent almost two years with. It could have added a single gun or paid downloadable content and called it a day, but it understood the importance of this synergy and how it would bring the property back into the zeitgeist like never before.
TikTok is normally a place of zoomer dances, cringe memes, and fading trends – but a few weeks ago it suddenly became dominated with Edgerunners content. It began as reactions to its finest moments, but as more and more people began to pick up the game that inspired it the content began to change. I started to see extensive guide videos normally written by websites like TheGamer, or modding compilations where talented creators had recreated characters or spent ages seeking out exact locations and angles from their favourite scenes.
It was a love for Cyberpunk 2077 that I’d never seen before, and as character builds began to replicate the likes of David, Martinez, and Rebecca – this enthusiasm slowly transformed into montages of unparalleled skill. I am okay at video games, especially for a games journo, but TikTok is now making me feel like a direly out of touch millennial. One clip had a player make use of David’s cyberware to slow down time and jump through an intricate complex, using his knowledge of enemy locations to silently murder each of them with systematic efficiency. He’d pull out Lucy’s monowire to slice limbs asunder before mantis blades allowed him to leap into the sky and pierce another unsuspecting victim. Finally, he’d round a corner and blow several gang members away with a single blast of Rebecca’s shotgun.
Like most games out there, moments like this require a supreme amount of practice and skill, but the condensed nature of TikTok makes it seem like all of it was pulled off as part of a reactive dance, with V waltzing around their adversaries with nary a worry as they tore them to pieces. It’s a marvel to watch unfold, and proves that even though many of its finer mechanics remain unpolished, Cyberpunk 2077 is able to make us feel unstoppable if we decide to put the work in. I didn’t, or I’m just not as experimental as players I keep seeing on social media. This has inspired me to jump back into my current playthrough and see what else I’m missing.
I don’t have the mantis blades yet, but the monowire has already become a mainstay when it comes to clearing rooms of weaker enemies. It is bloody spectacular, but since I’m not combining it with other abilities, the spectacle is underwhelming. I am capable of so much more, and Edgerunners has given me the confidence to take on Night City like never before.
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