Health of the game
And we’re not talking about the bugs here, but the drugs. After completing the prologue in Cyberpunk 2077, you’re thrown right into the open world with all its mischief and exciting combat – some of it more challenging than other parts. Of course, the harder the challenge, the more damage you sustain from your health bar; and the more damage you take, the more you need to heal.
The first, most common drug you’ll come across is the MaxDoc Mk.1, which instantly restores 40% of the player’s health. There are also rare and epic versions of this consumable item: the MaxDoc Mk.2 and MaxDoc Mk.3, restoring 60% and 80% of the player’s health respectively. Everyone’s playthrough is different, but in mine I found myself inhaling MaxDoc several times per fight, meaning that you might quite literally need drugs to survive in this game.
The Bounce Back drug, on the other hand, is an injector which instantly restores a small amount of health for the player and regenerates more over a short period of time. Normalizing the use of drugs in the form of health makes way for the larger use of drugs within the game.
Reflex boosters are a type of consumable players can use in Cyberpunk 2077 that give them temporary access to specific abilities, such as the Kereznikov ability. The Kereznikov ability can also be acquired through an implant through the Ripperdoc, Viktor Vector for $5,000. It allows the player to aim and shoot while dodging. It slows time by 50% for 1.5 seconds while dodging, aiming or attacking during a slide or dodge. This has a cooldown of 5 seconds.
Implants are a large part of the Cyberpunk drug world, and serve as permanent enhancements (unless upgraded) for common folk in Night City. They overrule reflex boosters in power without as many side effects of the intravenous, oral and nasal delivery methods of other consumables within Cyberpunk. These implants lead to cybernetic abilities, which, just as drugs do, can overload the user and turn them into “Cyberpsychos” which can be investigated and hunted down by the player in the Psycho Killer side mission.
Experimental Cyberpunk drugs
Mega corporations such as Militech and Arasaka distribute more dangerous counterparts of the Cyberpunk 2020 drugs onto the streets of Night City, which are even more highly addictive by nature to leverage control over consumers. These are known as “designer drugs”.
Early in the game, an air hypodermic needle is administered by the player’s character, V, to an unconscious Sandra Dorsett. Sandra is a Corporate Netrunner with a Platinum Trauma Team International membership which proved useful in her rescue. From her Biomonitor Data Panel, the player can ascertain the information of her following medication: N-Hydroxyzine (170), TR2-Tramadol (720), Desvenlafaxine (300), Amoxapine (220), R7-Lactobacillus (400N), Acetaminofen (2500), and Bupropion (540). V’s partner, Jackie remarks that “Trauma shoulda swooped in if she sneezed”, indicating that administered drugs in 2077 were important especially to the Corporate lifestyle.
Low-grade drugs create more psychotic side-effects, and are more harmful to the user as they are often less pure than higher grade drugs that more wealthy users in the drug trade have access to – such as (major spoilers for the main missions and side quests are as follows) the ex-Samurai member, Kerry Eurodyne who openly uses drugs in front of V when you meet him; and lines of cocaine can be seen around his house.
Later in the main storyline, Evelyn Parker – affiliated with The Moxes, Clouds, and The Voodoo Boys – met her demise due to suicide by overdose. The game takes a very mature stance on Cyberpunk drugs in this instance, with side character Judy Alvarez shown to be very shocked at the death of her friend, and is unreachable for a short time due to her grieving.
Cyberpunk drugs in 2020 onwards
Some Cyberpunk drugs in 2077 are home-brewed and dumped on the street, unlike the military-designed combat drugs of the mega corporations as aforementioned. In Cyberpunk 2020, the player is able to make their own drugs and concoctions. All of them are pretty bad no matter where they come from. Common street drugs are as follows:
- SynthCoke – A synthetic replacement for cocaine in its second generation. Much like the original, its side effects include paranoia and psychological addiction. The effects last between 2-7 minutes. They cost 1,000 eurodollars and are difficult to find.
- Stim – An endurance increase, allowing the user to stay alert for long periods of time. Side effects last between 2-7 minutes, and it costs 500 eurodollars. Stims are quite common and easy to find.
- Syncomp 15 – A broad spectrum poison antidote, used to treat biotoxins and nerve. Effects last between 2-7 minutes, and it costs 650 eurodollars. It is fairly easy to find.
- Speedheal – Later known as MaxDoc, Speedheal is designed to enhance the natural healing process. Side effects include reduced reflexes for a period of one week after use. Effects of use last between 2-7 minutes. It costs 1,650 eurodollars. Good luck searching for it though, as it is nearly impossible to find in 2020, but a lot more common in 2077.
- Boost – Increases intelligence between 2-7 hours. For a Boost addict, their intelligence is no longer increased and must take at least one dose every 12 hours otherwise they will be subject to screaming fits and hallucinations. Unfortunately Boost is fairly common and only costs 600 eurodollars.
- Blue Glass – A hallucinogenic, and a powerful one at that. Originally developed as a biological weapon, Blue Glass has a 30% chance of making the user “flash out” under stress. The effects last between 2-7 minutes and it costs 900 eurodollars. Thankfully it is rather rare.
- Smash – As 2020’s version of alcohol, the canned yellow foam makes the user very loose and happy. However, the side effects include psychological suicidal tendencies, catatonia, and severe pain. The effects last between 2-7 minutes and it costs 100 eurodollars per 6-pack. Smash is also very common.
- ‘Dorph – Designed as a combat drug and painkiller, ‘Dorph has endorphins that reduce pain and stress effects. It also reduces the effects of stun or shock but comes with nervous system damage and a 10% chance of receiving permanent nerve damage that lowers reflexes with every dose. The effects last between 5-20 seconds. ‘Dorph costs 250 eurodollars and is extremely common.
- Black Lace – A high powered version of ‘Dorph which imparts an adrenal rush, euphoria, and invulnerability to pain. It also raises coolness and grants resistance to stun or shock effects. However, Black Lace is deadly, and can lead to cyberpsychosis. The effects last between 2-7 hours and it costs 650 eurodollars, and is also unfortunately very easy to find.
Much like real life, drugs are very dangerous and can be fatal, or can mess up your character beyond repair. They are an integral part of Cyberpunk but must be treated with caution as although they give serious buffs to your character, they also make you a lot easier to kill in other ways. Don’t do drugs, folks.