River has the potential to be one of the most interesting romantic options in Cyberpunk 2077but the tough detective is sadly underutilized in the game. CD Projekt Red’s sci-fi RPG introduces players to a colorful cast of characters as they explore the seedy streets of Night City, and many of those characters can be romanticized by Protagonist V. Many of these potential significant others, like Judy and Panam, are considered the most iconic characters in the entire game. While players can romance River in Cyberpunk 2077the character is sadly aggrieved and underwritten compared to the other novels.
Whereas Cyberpunk 2077 presents various opportunities for romance regardless of the player’s chosen gender, these digital relationships were widely criticized when the game launched. Upon release, the romance system proved to be disappointing with players simply completing the series of a character’s quests to get them to fall in love with V. There was also little interaction once the player character dated someone, aside from an appearance in the game’s final mission and getting ending. Fortunately, this criticism was addressed in the Cyberpunk 2077 Update 1.5, which expanded in-game romances to make them much more realistic. Players now receive text messages from loved ones, engage in additional dialogue with them, and even wake up to their side in the morning. The Cyberpunk 2077 The romance update brought some particular improvements to Judy, arguably Night City’s most popular romance, but River sadly remained largely unchanged.
First encountered during the “I Fought the Law” side job, River Ward is a Night City detective investigating the suspicious death of Mayor Lucius Rhyne. This investigation causes River and V to cross paths, and the player can then initiate a romance with him if he is playing with a female body type. Unfortunately, once V romances River, there’s very little interaction between the two. Players can visit River’s new apartment in the Red Peaks trailer park, but even after the 1.5 update, interactions between the two lovers remain sadly shallow. This disappointing relationship is compounded by the fact that some Cyberpunk 2077 players can’t like River at all if they make the wrong decision in a side job.
How Cyberpunk 2077’s “The Hunt” Side Job Affects River
The river is unfortunately underused as a Cyberpunk 2077 romance, despite his interesting profession, and the fact that he could die permanently further aggravate his mistreatment. A side work called “The Hunt” sees V and River investigating the disappearance of River’s nephew, Randy, who was kidnapped and left in an unknown location by a serial killer. The duo can save Randy if they work together, but if the players choose to give up the search early, River will continue to search for Randy alone and unceremoniously die. This scenario makes River the only romantic choice in Cyberpunk 2077 who can die permanently, which does the nice NCPD detective a disservice.
As a law officer, River had the potential to be a very interesting romantic partner for any version of V. Lawful. Cyberpunk 2077 players could work with him to clean up the streets, while engaging in criminal acts could risk jeopardizing the relationship. Unfortunately, River doesn’t play a major role in the story once players love her, and her untimely death may even end her story before it reaches a romantic climax. Despite its potential, Cyberpunk 2077 fails to give River the romance he deserves.
Next: Every Cyberpunk 2077 Romance, Ranked From Worst To Best
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