Gather around, chooms. Like a cross between Cupid and Cyberpunk 2077’s trash-talking anti-hero Johnny Silverhand, I’ve come to once again read gamers’ romance choices to filth.
As with our Mass Effect and The Witcher 3 romance callout posts, I’ll be running down your list of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in Night City. Think of it like tarot card readings, but with an added dash of brutal honesty.
Before we get started, honorable mention to Rogue. While I’d love to include her on this list, her tryst with Johnny Silverhand (and V by proxy) is less of a choice on the players’ part than the other entries.
P.S., be sure to check out GameSpot’s new video about consent in gaming. They discuss the scene with Rogue in greater detail and it’s a really excellent piece about the relationships between developers, NPCs, and players when it comes to consent in video game mechanics.
Without further ado, let’s roast some Cyberpunk 2077 romance choices, samurai.
If you romanced Militech corpo Meredith Stout (I’m being very generous with the use-case of romance here), chances are you most definitely didn’t take much convincing to give Royce and his Maelstrom buddies her tainted chip in exchange for the Flathead. The jury is still out on whether or not you retained any of the words coming out of Meredith’s mouth. If you’re being honest with yourself, her terms were tantamount to Charlie Brown trombone sounds, but you agreed to her conditions nonetheless. Sure that job went tits up, depending on your stats and crucial decision-making skills, but your streak of bad luck took an S&M detour the moment Meredith hit your line and you, the rizzler, hit her with the casanova reply “Shame. Was starting to like you…” Ah, an ellipse after a risky text, nice touch. What happens in the No-Tell Motel stays in the No-Tell Motel.
Yes, River Ward is a cop. A beefcake with a sensitive soul and a sufficiently enormous body capable of turning you into a pretzel in the bedroom if he wanted, but a cop nonetheless. Which is why you were putty in his hands the moment the game had the two of you playing buddy cops all over Night City. You spent the majority of your time trying to one-up River’s coolness factor by showing off how quick on the draw you are the moment the city’s underbelly reared its ugly head.
But your gung-ho problem-solving skills were worth it in the long run because Daddy Ward would give you a beguiling sigh of disapproval whenever he’d have to clean up your messes. You like yourself a thumb of a man and you’re not ashamed of that, and more power to you.
Kerry Eurodyne is the quintessential example of a tortured artist in the year 2077. He’s weighed down with regret about being an anti-capitalist rockstar who sold out big time to Arasaka and is riddled with anxiety over his career forever being in Johnny Silverhand’s shadow. This made the moment when you broke into his McMansion playing a Silverhand riff on his guitar all the messier because you were never entirely sure if he was with you for closure or living out some Blade Runner 2049 body-snatching fantasy.
In the end the two of you compromised, deciding that it didn’t matter whether or not your spur-of-the-moment kiss came from Johnny’s ghostlike lips or V’s own impulses because you were gonna bone on that yacht no matter what.
You knew you were hooked the moment you first laid eyes on Panam Palmer’s caboose and started spamming your device’s screenshot feature. Whether your initial flirtatious platitudes hit her ear like an overbearing advance from Jim Carrey in The Mask or an endearing jumble of words delivered by Hugh Grant in any rom-com from the early aughts is yet to be determined, but you definitely caught homegirl’s attention.
If you romanced Panam, you’re the type of person that finds a found-family-oriented gal with enough passion in her heart to fuel an entire city sexy as hell. It also doesn’t hurt to be the crash-test dummy for her elaborate hands-on tank demonstrations. Likewise, you dream of the day Panam talks about you in the same breath that she talks about how much she fookin’ loves cars.
Of all the romance options in Cyberpunk 2077, Judy Alvarez’s route is by far the most emotionally resonant. Judy makes it a habit to check up on you often while you’re cruising about Night City, she’s the first person to have your back whenever you need backup on a job, and you’ve got palpable chemistry whenever you’re in the room together, platonic or otherwise.
Judy’s loyalty and dedication to you are made all the more touching when you take into consideration all of the traumatic shit she’s gone through and is going through throughout the course of the game. While you’re more than sure you two would’ve been besties regardless, you’re thankful that she was willing to trust you enough to become lovers. Y’all cute.