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Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red hosted a deep-dive stream and delivered a whole lot of information on the game. Among the deluge of details was a breakdown of what the Netrunner character class will be capable of. The team has made it clear that all of its classes and the gameplay opportunities are flexible and malleable to some degree, but from what we saw the Netrunner definitely looks like one that players who like to cause mischief will enjoy.
On the stream, quest designer Phillip Weber explained what opportunities Netrunners will have open to them, saying that it’s a class that lets players be “very creative in how you play the game.”
He continued: “We have access points and in the world of Cyberpunk they can control all the different devices in the area, which of course as a Netrunner is pretty useful because you can hack that access point.
“If you successfully do that you can now use quick hacks. You can, from a distance, take over different devices like a camera for example. You can do many different things; look through the camera and have a completely different view, or just turn it off if it’s in your way. You can take over a turret and make it fight for you.
“We also tried to come up with nice custom things, depending on where you are–let’s say if you’re in a gym where there are some nice boxing robots. Of course, maybe you can do some fun things with that.”
The gameplay shown during this explanation featured a robot boxer taking on a mostly human opponent in a sparring match but, after the Netrunner had done its thing, the robot delivered a punch so hard that its opponent’s head erupted into a shower of blood.
“If I would use lots of Netrunning skills, it’s also useful to use cool skills that make me really good at stealth and [be] really under control. Netrunner can also be really good at using distractions like, if there’s a vending machine make it spit out some drinks and people may look at that.”
As previously mentioned, flexibility is a key part of Cyberpunk 2077, so netrunners don’t have to be sneaky and use subterfuge if they’d rather bulldoze their way through problems.
“A Netrunner isn’t just a stealth character,” he continued. “There’s also cool aggressive netrunning abilities, because we always want to give you a choice in how you want to play. We have the Nanowire cyberware, which is really good at hacking enemies from a distance and then taking over their cyberware. Most people in the world have cyberware and they’re just like access points so, a good time for Netrunners. As an example, [you can] hack someone’s cyberware in their hand and make them do some things that they might not want to have happen to them. The Nanowire, of course, is very sharp so you can use it as a weapon, a whip. So a Netrunner can be very effective at using skills in combat as well.”
Like the classes, Cyberpunk 2077’s life paths are also quite flexible. Though, at the start of the game, the game will ask you to pick your allegiances–for lack of a better phrase–the decisions you make and actions you undertake will ultimately shape who you are.