In the words of the Night City resident Bes Isis, “Nobody ever leaves Night City. Except in a body bag.”
Now, considering that we will be exploring these streets when the game finally arrives in September, it would be wise to have some idea of where we're heading.
We've created this useful guide for players who are new to Cyberpunk 2077 and want a better understanding of the dystopian RPG's history.
Here we cover the lore of Night City, as well as the gangs and corporations that you will encounter on your journey.
The Rise of Night City
Night City, named after it's founder Richard Night, is situated in Del Coronado Bay in the outskirts of California.
Richard Night envisioned a capitalist utopia, and after a year of construction, he was joined by other megacorporations (Arasaka, EBM and Petrochem) who were equally invested in his vision of no poverty or crime.
Night was murdered in 1998 before he could see his experiment come to completion, and Night City quickly descended into chaos.
With Night out of the picture, the greedy gangs and corporations battled for control of the City's streets, where any sign of a crime-free utopia quickly vanished.
The megacorporations had lost their will to fight, and by 2005, they withdrew from Night City, leaving the gangs to battle it out for control of the districts.
This uneasy time for Night City quickly got worse, as a full-scale turf war was kicked off in 2009, followed by the two deadliest years in the City's short history.
Knowing that warfare would drive down profits, the megacorps quickly retained a grip on the city after the war.
This takes us to 2020 (where the tabletop game begins), which is known as the calm between the storms.
Fast forward to 2077 where we step in, and Night City has been voted as “the worst place to live in America”, foreshadowing a big storm.
The gangs are more threatening than the corporations but are probably less dangerous...
There are so many of them that we are only going to mention the ones with the biggest presence in the game so far.
The Animals are the most heavily featured gang in the gameplay we have seen so far.
The Animals are a melee combat gang addicted to steroids and getting big, but they are big players in the drug racket and the underground fighting rings in Night City.
Expect to see a lot of them.
The Maelstrom is a gang that loves heavy combat.
This gang was formed from the remnants of the Metal Warriors, who disbanded during Night City’s most chaotic times.
In the tabletop game, they ran the Old Downtown zone, but in 2077 they run the Watson District’s All Food pig slaughterhouse.
That's where we’ve seen these guys in the gameplay footage.
Violent and merciless, the Yakuza are everywhere in the city, involved in drugs, guns and money laundering.
Potentially the scariest gang in the tabletop game, the Voodoo Boys make their money from drugs and get their fun from rape, torture and murder.
However, by 2077, they seem to have evolved into guardians of their community, protecting the Haitian community of the Pacifica district.