Cyberpunk 2077 – Who is Johnny Silverhand?

Keanu reeves cyberpunk 2077 johnny silverhand
Keanu reeves cyberpunk 2077 johnny silverhand

It’s easy to see why Johnny Silverhand has become the star of Cyberpunk 2077. With his shiny digits, sweet aviators, and Keanu Reeves face, the enigmatic figure plays a key role in CD Projekt’s upcoming sci-fi roleplaying game. But who exactly is he? That’s what we’re here to find out.

1988 marks Johnny’s arrival on the scene. He appears in a supplementary booklet to the very first Cyberpunk tabletop game. Welcome to Night City is written as an in-universe magazine and fleshes out the legendary setting, detailing its hottest bands, pervading trends, and leading style icons. Icons like Johnny Silverhand.

cyberpunk 2077 logo

It’s easy to see why Johnny Silverhand has become the star of Cyberpunk 2077. With his shiny digits, sweet aviators, and Keanu Reeves face, the enigmatic figure plays a key role in CD Projekt’s upcoming sci-fi roleplaying game. But who exactly is he? That’s what we’re here to find out.

1988 marks Johnny’s arrival on the scene. He appears in a supplementary booklet to the very first Cyberpunk tabletop game. Welcome to Night City is written as an in-universe magazine and fleshes out the legendary setting, detailing its hottest bands, pervading trends, and leading style icons. Icons like Johnny Silverhand.

Cyberpunk 2077 the man with the silver hand

An American war veteran and lead singer of chart-topping band Samurai, Johnny uses rebellious music to fight authority. He goes from rocker to revolutionary in 1997’s Firestorm, a sourcebook to the second Cyberpunk tabletop game, where he and his followers attempt to end the Fourth Corporate War by assaulting the HQ of a world-wide megacorporation. That’s always a dicey move.

Predictably, it ends in disaster, with Johnny sustaining body-ouching damage at the hands of a cyborg hitman named Adam Smasher. Adding insult to traumatic injury, Johnny’s then caught in the blast radius of a massive nuke. If you thought these two events equalled a hefty dose of double death, you’d be wrong, because Johnny emerges looking very much alive in Cyberpunk 2077’s E3 2019 trailer, rescuing the protagonist V from a dump site.

Okay, Johnny sorely needs a shower, but his atoms appear well and truly un-vaporised. Good on him for pulling through. Or did he… Remember, this is the future, a time of downloadable memories and ultra-realistic holograms. The character we see in Cyberpunk 2077 is Johnny Silverhand in essence only, a digital ghost existing on a chip implanted in your brain. He follows your exploits and comments on your actions like a chrome-armed Jiminy Cricket. That explains why other people seem to ignore him – he’s only visible to you. It makes sense: famously, shotgun blasts and atom bombs aren’t good for the old health.

Unravelling the mystery behind Johnny Silverhand’s return likely forms a major part of Cyberpunk 2077. You can spot references in promotional videos for the game, from pieces of graffiti asking ‘Where’s Johnny?’, to shots of V listening to Samurai songs. No flash in the cyber pan, it’s suggested the M.I.A. music man is a presence throughout.

Cyberpunk 2077 where's johnny

And honestly, if you’ve managed to land Keanu Reeves, you’ll look to use him as much as possible. Having starred in three John Wick movies, the Hollywood icon is as adept as anyone playing scorned outlaws on missions of vengeance, perfectly placed to lend both gravitas and complexity to the character. Even more so if you give him a dog to play off. As gameplay videos showcase, every line read is soaked in dark mystique, with Reeves clearing relishing his latest role. Having started out wielding guitars in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure before moving onto epic shootouts in The Matrix, playing an ex-military man turned rocker is essentially the actor’s career in reverse.

Reeves not only lends his voice and face to Johnny, but his entire body through the magic of motion capture. This fully 360-degree performance gives the character a greater sense of physicality. We see it in the way Johnny leans against a wall or puffs on a cigarette, casual and menacing in equal measure. It’s vintage Reeves in all his chill-brood glory. While the precise nature of his contribution to Cyberpunk 2077 remains a delicious mystery, the game’s September 2020 release date means we won’t have long to wait for answers.

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