Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team, review of a desperate struggle for life

Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team, review of a desperate struggle for life

Cyberpunk 2077

In these first months of 2021, Cyberpunk 2077 was the leader in the world of video games. The new title of CD Project RED was particularly awaited by gamers, who once set foot in Night City however encountered a series of issues that are penalizing an incredibly fascinating setting. The depth of this megalopolis, in fact, is one of the most fascinating features of the game, which deserves to be explored in other areas as well, a promise of new adventures that has taken the form of Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team.

Miniseries in four issues, Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team demonstrates how a promising narrative context can be expressed in more than one medium. Not a new trend, but one that can boast other similar operations to its credit, which have seen universes such as Star Wars, The Witcher, Mass Effect or Star Trek expand. The interconnection of the different forms of entertainment, in fact, lends itself to being an excellent engine to impart a multifaceted vitality to structured and exciting narrative contexts, capable of reinventing itself and showing new aspects of itself by adapting to different platforms.

Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team, Night City seen from another perspective

Cyberpunk 2077 has put players in front of a well-constructed, vital future reality, which starting from the strong points of the literary genre it is inspired by it involves the player in a fluid and enveloping society, which is only marginally scratched by the title of CD Projetc Red, at least for now. Such a promise of new adventures must find other outlets, seek new frontiers in which to expand, and the comic is one of the best narrative forces to rely on. Above all, if you can use a narrator like Cullen Bunn.

Bunn, in fact, does not limit himself to giving life to a story that can only be used by those who have walked the sidewalks of Night City, but uses the video game megalopolis as the setting for an excellent cyberpunk story, touching on themes dear to iconic writers of the genre, such as William Gibson, without forgetting to pay homage to the moral and humoral aesthetics of cyberpunk. Choosing an agent of the Trauma Team as the protagonist is a witty decision, considering how this particular agency plays an essential role within the company of Night City.

Trauma Team, in fact, guarantees its customers a service of unprecedented protection and rapid intervention. Whether you are involved in a shooting in the slums of Night City or are injured while racing your car through the boulevards of good neighborhoods, if you have enough credits available to afford the expensive Trauma Team fares, you can be sure that in if necessary, a rapid intervention force will be ready to help us. On board armored flying vehicles, teams made up of security guards and paramedics are ready to intervene quickly and without scruples, with only one goal in mind: the safety of their clients. A private army that even Cyberpunk 2077 we had the opportunity to meet, in one of the first missions together with V and Jake.

One of these intervention teams also includes Nadia, who as a doctor is part of a Trauma team Team sent to retrieve a customer. In the first pages of Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team we witness this mission, which ends in tragedy when a mysterious murderer with a lot of chrome on the scene, eliminating Nadia's team, who barely survives while also guaranteeing the safety of her target. An outcome that leaves deep aftermath in the woman's psyche, so much so that her bosses struggle to want to put her back in service, but Nadia has no choice of her. In Night City, to survive, you have to be part of the game and above all you have to play in the winning team, and being part of the Trauma Team is a safety.

Despite the hesitations of her bosses, Nadia is entrusted to a new team, who struggle to trust her because of her past. The doctor's first assignment with her new team is the recovery of a Trauma Team client who was trapped in a shooting inside a building populated by violent members of a rival gang. Nadia and her team, after making their way through with bullets, find their target, but the doctor will have a nasty surprise: the man she has to save is the killer who eliminated her previous team.

Cullen Bunn with Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team proves not only to have understood the cyberpunk worldview, but to have perfectly assimilated its moral connotation. Bunn confronts Nadia with a choice that is not only a crossroads for her life, but is also the result of the social ethics typical of the corporate world of cyberpunk. While the woman has to deal with her emotions, she cannot ignore the obligations towards the Trauma Team and its team, giving rise to an inner dilemma rendered beautifully by Bunn.

A spectacular cyberpunk comic

Nadia's inner ordeal is emphasized by a villain who is not the enemy to be defeated in the traditional sense, but on the contrary is the protagonist's goal: her salvation is the purpose of the mission. A condition that Nadia has to accept despite the brooding and cynical attitude of her client, who in this adrenaline-fueled story seems to do everything to make himself even more hateful, further undermining Nadia's determination. The emotional pressure imposed on the woman is rendered with particular precision, with a credible and authentic construction of narrative times and interpersonal dynamics, a further element of anxiety loaded on the doctor.

Miguel Valderrama manages to capture the nuances in an impeccable way the emotional experience of the characters. Nadia is portrayed with sensitivity and care in conveying her dismay, Valderrama makes her grow emotionally during Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team, bringing out her personality and not relegating her to a simple woman broken by tragedy. A narrative security that extends to the whole work, which is enhanced by a visual story in which the verticality of the spaces finds a convincing characterization, also creating a contrast in the purely horizontal management of the cartoons, an excellent expedient to concentrate the action in a hyperkinetic dimension that catches the eye of the reader, guiding them in this wild escape for life.

To complete the work are the colors of Jason Wordie, unjustly absent from the cover of C yberpunk 2077: Trauma Team. Wordie manages to find a synthesis between the classic aesthetics of cyberpunk, made up of violent lights and shaded areas, and a chromatic identity of the story, which especially in the central part of the volume can count on an emotional exaltation thanks to the prevalence of red shades.

Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team is not only a recommended reading for those who enjoy venturing into the Pixel Night City in the company of V and Panam Carter, but for all those looking for a comic exciting cyberpunk that offers a new and satisfying vision of the prerequisites of the genre. A volume like this could be inserted without disfiguring our library alongside works such as Neuromancer or Cyberpunk: Absolute Anthology.

The graphics of the volume published by Panini Comics obviously recall the identity of the video game to which it is linked, but this story has its own narrative independence, which would have deserved something more in terms of extra content, limited to just the four covers of the original stapled version. A minor flaw, considering that Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team makes us fully breathe the charm of cyberpunk.

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