Available now on Netflix, Edgerunners is a new anime series which is set in the same world as Cyberpunk 2077, the video game by CD Projekt Red that launched back in December 2020.
The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is continuing to grow in various ways, with the game’s big Phantom Liberty DLC also on the way. But for now, the Edgerunners anime is very much the centre of attention.
It’s only natural to wonder how Edgerunners connects to Cyberpunk 2077, both in terms of content and when the show is set, but let’s get this out of the way quickly — Edgerunners is described by CD Project Red as being “a standalone, 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in Night City”.
With this anime being billed as a standalone based around a new character, you shouldn’t expect the game’s protagonist V (or key companion characters like Johnny Silverhand and Jackie Welles) to show up in the series. However, despite that disconnect, you will spot familiar locations and background characters in the show. Read on to learn more!
When is Edgerunners set in relation to Cyberpunk 2077?
Although an exact year is not stated in Edgerunners itself, clues in the show make it clear that the anime takes place some time before the events of Cyberpunk 2077.
For example, a villainous character named Adam Smasher is clearly alive and well in Edgerunners. This will be a big, obvious clue to anyone that played the game in recent memory.
Given that the player has the option to kill that very same character in Cyberpunk 2077, it’s clear that Edgerunners happens earlier in the timeline. So the show is taking place before the game, making it a prequel of sorts.
How is Edgerunners connected to Cyberpunk 2077?
The appearance of Adam Smasher in Edgerunners is not the only connection between the anime and the game, either, although you could argue that it’s the biggest parallel (not least because Adam Smasher is effectively the final boss in both the game and the series).
In episode 4, the main characters visit Afterlife, a club that is still going strong when Cyberpunk 2077 the game kicks off. The characters Rogue Amendiares and Claire Russell are seen working there, both in the game and the series.
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Wakako Okada is another character from the game that shows up in Edgerunners, albeit for only a very brief cameo appearance. She’s tied to several quests in the game, so will be a very familiar presence to players.
The show also visits Lizzie’s Bar, another nightspot that players visit in the game, as well as mentioning several criminal gangs that will still be active when the events of the game take place later.
In terms of behind the scenes talent, there are plenty of connections there as well, with writer Bartosz Sztybor having worked across several Cyberpunk 2077 projects at this point (including both the game and Edgerunners), in his position as Narrative Manager at CD Projekt Red.
It’s also worth mentioning that Edgerunners content has now been added to Cyberpunk 2077 itself. The game’s developers declared in a blog post that the 1.6 update has now added “some secrets related to the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime series to be discovered in Night City, including new equipment and new Photo Mode features.”
And there you have it! Cyberpunk 2077 is connected to Edgerunners in plenty of different ways, but it also stands alone as its own story. You don’t need to play the game to understand the show, but you’ll probably spot the Easter eggs if you have enjoyed both of them!
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is available now on Netflix.
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