(Note: This series is a photo-based travelogue set in Night City, the fictional metropolis of the game Cyberpunk 2077. It assumes an in-universe voice as I play through the game’s story, coinciding with the release of the new Phantom Liberty expansion for the game.)
Once you get outside Night City limits, the world turns upside down. You trade in the screaming advertisements, police sirens and gunfire for coyote howls, wind turbines and – actually, yeah, there’s still a whole lot of gunfire. The Badlands are even more lawless than Night City proper, if such a thing is possible. Badges don’t patrol out there, so scavengers and smugglers practically have free reign of the place.
Take the Aldecaldos, a nomad clan. Most of the time, they’re running drugs, guns or people across the border, but every once in a while, you hear of a Militech or Kang Tao convoy getting jacked and next week the ‘Caldos show up sporting freshly-filed corp-grade hardware. To the south you’ve got the landfill where all the packaged and planned-obsolete stuff piles up along with the bodies of snitches and traitors. To the east, you’ve got the Raffen Shiv, rogue nomads keen on pillaging and plundering. To the west, you come straight back to NC, baby, same as you left it.
The Badlands are plenty survivable, as long as you’ve got four-wheel drive and a full clip. Put the petal to the metal and don’t look back.
Thumbnail by Conner Dejecacion, Design by CD Projekt Red