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Johnny Silverhand may completely change what we know about Cyberpunk 2077’s story

One of the biggest names in the Cyberpunk lore is Johnny Silverhand – a Rockerboy singer and guitarist with a cyberlimb and a big grudge against the Arasaka Corporation. He’s referenced several times over in the materials we’ve seen so far for Cyberpunk 2077, and one particular detail in the demo shown at Gamescom presents some notable implications for the story.

It’s the same demo that was shown at E3 – sorry, it’s still not online – but one particular line jumped out at us, with a radio noting that it’s “been a year since Johnny Silverhand’s last ride.” Unusual, since in the existing lore, Johnny died way back in 2024, and if you couldn’t guess, that’s over half a century before 2077 is set to take place.

Of course, sci-fi character deaths are always fungible, particularly when that death occurs as part of an RPG sourcebook. (Maybe 2077 assumes the old player characters were somewhat more competent.) But this does mean we might expect some of the details of the world to change between the 2020 books and CD Projekt’s version of the universe – perhaps we can think of this as more of a soft reboot than a sequel to the original RPG.

We know the upcoming game is building very directly from the original tabletop game – CD Projekt’s gotten heavy input from the original creator, after all – but up to this point we’ve assumed the game would be a direct sequel to that story, taking place many years later. Perhaps we should instead assume that all that existing lore is being remixed and pushed ahead in time to be more believably futuristic.

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You’ll certainly hear a lot about Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077, since his band will provide parts of the in-game soundtrack. We’ve got a long wait until the Cyberpunk 2077 release date, so let your speculation fuel you in the meantime.

PCGN

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