Cyberpunk Edgerunners is here, and it's seemingly aiming to atone for the sins of the controversial video game it’s based on. It’s been more than 20 months since Cyberpunk 2077’s disastrous launch, but Netflix is clearly hoping that viewers will be willing to embrace a new take on this seedy sci-fi universe, and the streamer looks to have made a good bet with this anime series.
While Cyberpunk 2077 has undoubtedly improved since its spectacularly terrible launch in December 2020, it’s fair to say the franchise likely still needs some rehabilitation in the eyes of the general public, and Cyberpunk Edgerunners looks primed to do just that. The series is enjoying some seriously impressive early reviews just 24 hours after it hit the big red streaming service.
The series only debuted yesterday (Tuesday, September 13), so it’s still early days, but on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) Cyberpunk Edgerunners currently has a perfect 100% score from seven reviews. That score will likely go down over time, as less-than-glowing reviews shift the average.
Update: With Netflix recently confirming they will open their own games studio, perhaps one day we could see a CD Projekt Red and Netflix gaming crossover too!
What is Cyberpunk: Edgerunners?
The show is a collaboration between Netflix, video game developer CD Projekt Red and acclaimed Japanese animation house Studio Trigger, and it looks like the three have worked together to create something pretty special. Despite its many technical flaws and missing features, Cyberpunk 2077 always offered a fantastic sense of place, and by most accounts, this 10-episode anime series takes that excellent worldbuilding and further expands upon it.
It's important to note, the show doesn’t follow the protagonist of the 2077 video game but instead focuses on a new character named David (Zach Aguilar). A street kid looking to stay alive, David risks everything on a quest to become a mercenary outlaw known as an Edgerunner in the technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future, Night City. Along the way, he’ll meet an eclectic group of characters some friendly, and some decidedly less so.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners reviews: What critics think
IGN (opens in new tab) was particularly forthcoming with its praise labeling the show “a wild ride” and “worth every blistering second.” Day one viewers appear to be similarly impressed with the anime series pulling a 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an impressive 8.7/10 rating on IMDb (opens in new tab).
Paul Tassi at Forbes (opens in new tab) writes that "Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a phenomenal series, taking the potential of CDPR’s Night City and running wild with it in a gory, sexy, strangely sad and compelling action series that I would recommend to absolutely anyone (uh, anyone over 18, that is)."
Jonathon Wilson at Ready Steady Cut (opens in new tab) notes "Cyberpunk: Edgerunners doesn’t just capture and deliver what was great about a game so rickety that most people had no choice but to avoid it, but even colors between the lines of a setting and story that were underserved by the technical niggles. In many ways, this is the Cyberpunk story the Cyberpunk game wanted to tell and couldn’t."
Should you watch Cyberpunk: Edgerunners?
All of this early buzz is pretty exciting because while Cyberpunk 2077 wasn’t quite the experience gamers were promised, there’s no doubt that the world of Night City is ripe for further exploration. And it appears that Edgerunners is taking the best parts of the video game, and cutting away the less enjoyable bits like bland shooting gameplay and an overwhelming number of bugs and performance issues.
If binge-watching Cyberpunk Edgerunners this week gets you in the mood to give the video game a second chance, you’re in luck because right now is the ideal time to return to Cyberpunk 2077 via its recently-released PS5 and Xbox Series X port. It’s still got plenty of flaws but it’s a far cry from the disastrous video game we were served up almost two years ago.