Cyberpunk 2077 No_Coincidence by Rafal Kosik

August 18, 2023





In neon-drenched Night City, a ragtag group of strangers have just pulled off a heist, robbing a convoy transporting a mysterious container belonging to Militech. The only thing the group has in common is that they were blackmailed into participating in the heist – and they have no idea just how far their mysterious employer’s reach goes, or the purpose of the artifact they stole.

This newly formed gang – composed of a veteran turned renegade, a sleeper agent for Militech, a computer nerd, a therapist, a ripperdoc, and a techie – must learn how to overcome their differences and work together, lest their secrets be unveiled before they can pull off the next deadly heist.

I’ll begin with an admission; I haven’t played Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a shame, I love CD Projekt Red’s other gaming monolith, The Witcher, but I just can’t do first-person games. They give me terrible motion sickness. That said, I am still a huge fan of near-future cyberpunk dystopias, so when Cyberpunk 2077 No_Coincidence arrived, I dived straight in. 

At first glance, Night City seems like a delightfully sleazy place. As you travel further through it’s streets, you’ll soon realise that this first impression is absolutely right. Like Mega City One or Blade Runner’s grimy interpretation of Los Angeles, this is a society dying a slow death. All glitz and glamour on the surface but rotten at the core. I do not use the phrase tech-noir hell-hole lightly. In Night City you’ll find ganglords and corporate criminals rubbing shoulders with cyber terrorists and body modification obsessives. It’s the perfect breeding ground for wild conspiracy theories and, as it turns out, even wilder truths. 

Everyone has their own agenda. It seems to me you don’t really have friends in Night City. All you have are people who want the same thing as you at any given moment. Allegiances are fluid, shifting in a split second. There are a large ensemble of characters, my personal favourite was Albert. Ground down by the physical world, all he dreams of is escape. Is the net the answer? And if it is, how does he get there? 

I might be wrong but I suspect, if you have played the game, there are likely Easter eggs that I didn’t spot. My lack of knowledge however didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story one bit.  

The translation from the original Polish text appears flawless, and the plot hurtles along at a breakneck pace building towards a suitability climactic standoff. The book ends with some unanswered questions but that’s hardly a surprise. Remember No_Coincidence is a tie-in novel, it is part of something much larger than itself. I’d imagine there will be other books or even game missions that weave in and out of this narrative. 

Over the years I’ve seen plenty of instances where tie-novels have been looked down upon. Apparently, there are those who think that just because an author has to write within the confines of a shared universe, the story must be derivative rubbish. I couldn’t disagree more. Look at the work of authors like Chuck Wendig, Adam Christopher and Tim Lebbon. They’ve all brought something new to well-established genre worlds and enhanced their respective lore. I would say the same is true here. Rafal Kosik knew the assignment and has more than delivered.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cyberpunk 2077 No_Coincidence and I would happily read more stories set in this alternate version of our world. I had a similar experience when I read the Watch_Dogs: Legion tie-in novel a couple of years ago. If you’re a fan of good cyberpunk fiction check No_Coincidence out. If you are a fan of Cyberpunk 2077 check No_Coincidence out. Hell, if you enjoy well-executed science fiction thrillers, check No_Coincidence out. I dont think I can put it any plainer than that. 

Cyberpunk 2077 No_Coincidence is published by Orbit Books and is available now. 

In a break from tradition, rather than just one, I have a multitude of musical recommendations to accompany this novel. Firstly, the most obvious choices are the various Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack albums. At the time of writing, there are eight, so plenty of choice there. Marcin Przybyłowicz’s work features heavily, which can never be a bad thing. In addition, I’d also recommend the soundtrack to The Ascent by Paweł Błaszczak. It seems fitting another Polish author’s work should be read while listening to various Polish composers. The fact that all this music is a perfect fit with the tone of the novel is an added bonus. 

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