Days have passed since Keanu Reeves wowed fans by stepping onto Microsoft’s E3 2019 stage during the Cyberpunk 2077 presentation. While a number of questions linger in the air about his role as the game’s Johnny Silverhand, a few have already received an answer. For one, Reeves won’t serve as a mere cameo character. In fact, his part in Cyberpunk 2077 will be quite significant. By the sound of it, his role may bear some similarity to the one the Joker played in Batman: Arkham Knight.
Speaking with Geoff Keighley on CD Projekt RED’s E3 Coliseum panel, CEO Marcin Iwiński explained just how massive of a role Keanu Reeves plays. “He’s the number two character in terms of lines of spoken text… across the entire game,” Iwiński revealed. The actor performed around “15ish days of voice recordings in the studio, so it’s huge.”
It certainly sounds huge, especially since Lead Quest Designer Pawel Sasko spoke of Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand as being a “primary character.” Sasko told GameSpot that Johnny exists as a “digital ghost,” due to the character’s residing in a biochip the protagonist, V, has embedded in their brain. Weird, right? Even weirder is that V will foster a relationship with Johnny, which evolves throughout Cyberpunk 2077. Sasko elaborated, “he ends up as a digital ghost, and your whole relationship starts with him, and it’s really complex. You can develop it through the whole game. So he is absolutely throughout the whole game from beginning almost to the end.”
This seems like it could be reminiscent of Joker’s psychological haunting of Batman due to the Joker Infection in Arkham Knight. Though the Clown Prince of Crime was long deceased, Batman suffered psychological torture at the hands of the rogue’s memory. For every action or inaction, the Joker had a witty, often cruel response. It’s not clear if Johnny will inflict similar damage on V’s psyche. However, because Cyberpunk 2077 is an RPG, the player will have more control over how Johnny’s and V’s union evolves.
Sasko offered the following explanation:
You can develop [your relationship with Johnny] towards different resolutions I would say, and that happens in the late game and finale, and so on… so really important part of the game. One thing I could add is it’s not absolutely completely true that he’s a really nice guy. He has his own agenda. There are things going on between you, and he may not always like what’s going on. I think that’s something that we could emphasize here. There’s this play between [Johnny and V]. This play, I would call fight, slow pushing, one pushing another, seeing where are the boundaries.
Keanu Reeves Cyberpunk 2077 Role Sounds Like Joker in Arkham Knight
Players can come to their own conclusions about the relationship between Johnny and V when Cyberpunk 2077 launches on April 16, 2020.