One of the biggest surprises of E3 was the appearance of John Wick star Keanu Reeves on-stage at the Xbox conference. Reeves is playing Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077, a digital ghost that haunts the player character.
Before he became this binary brain worm, however, Silverhand was one of the most famous rockerboys in the Cyberpunk mythos – a futuristic superstar. CD Projekt says music is a big part of the game and you’ll be able to mess about with different radio stations as you drive around the city. Does that mean Reeves will be on vocals for some of the tracks, then?
“That’s one of the things that I cannot talk about,” lead quest designer Pawel Sasko told me. “I cannot confirm or deny. Actually the song that you have heard when Keanu walked on the stage, the tune that was playing, the heavy one, that’s part of it, because that’s the music of Johnny Silverhand and that was his voice, what you heard there. But we cannot talk about it yet.”
The song played on the stage was meant to be Johnny Silverhand, but it was actually “Chippin’ In”, created in collaboration with REFUSED. Whether it will be REFUSED doing all the music or Keanu will play a part seems to be up in the air currently. We do know that Reeves’ dialogue is second only to the player, and it took 15 days to record it all.
“But going back to the stations, because in the game we have music score that is like score for a game, so because you solve the quest, it has its own score and so on. But you have also a playlist, or the radio stations with lots of different types of music, that you’ll be able to switch to, and you can listen to the music being on bike or being on motorcycle or in the car. And you can switch them on the fly.”
Some of the music stations are solely music-focused while some are news channels that talk about opportunities in the world, faction conflicts, and, of course, your exploits.
“As a player you can basically switch freely between those and just pick music you want to have, so just play the way you want,” Sasko explained. “We are trying to make it always like it’s freedom for the player. You pick the way you play, you build the character you want, you pick the choices you want, you pick the branches you want, and then you listen to the music you want when you drive the car you want. It’s that thing, it’s my view, my story.”
Cyberpunk 2077 releases April 16, 2020. Cyberpunk 2077 will feature multiple endings, and you’ll be able to see the full extended E3 demo at PAX West. The entire game can be finished without killing anyone.