‘Cyberpunk 2077’: all the new info from Night City Wire Episode 5

In the fifth – and hopefully last – episode of Night City Wire, CD Projekt Red dumped a lot of Cyberpunk 2077 info regarding gameplay, the soundtrack, and Keanu Reeves.

Keanu Reeves has been one of the biggest talking points surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, especially considering he’s playing the game’s deuteragonist Johnny Silverhand. Footage of the Canadian actor in the sound booth and in mo-cap sessions accompanied scenes of his in-game persona.

Following the prologue of a botched operation, protagonist V is forced to use a biochip containing the digital ghost of Silverhand. It also appears that the rocker – long thought to be dead following his disappearance in the 2020s – will be playable in certain flashback sequences.

Cyberpunk 2077 V Johnny
Image: CD Projekt Red

Ever since his breathtaking appearance at E3 2019, Reeves has been a much-publicised selling point of Cyberpunk 2077. Reports indicated that his screen time was doubled from initial plans and that his motorcycle company Arch will be usable in the game.

Though this episode of Night City Wire was stated to focus on Reeves and his role as Silverhand, there was plenty of non-Keanu stuff. More of the game’s licensed soundtrack was detailed, namely the artists involved and their in-game pseudonyms.

Following Run the Jewels’ single No Save Point, Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack were revealed. Volume 1 will release 11 December and Volume 2 will come out on 18 December. While previously-mentioned names such as Grimes, Rat Boy, and Gazelle Twin are featured on the track lists, new names including SOPHIE and HEALTH can be seen.

CD Projekt Red stated that the soundtrack will add a ’90s edge to the ’80s-inspired cyberpunk genre. Each of the real-life artists will operate under an in-game pseudonym, including Nina Kraviz who revealed her role as a ripper doc – street doctors with expertise in cybernetic enhancements.

There were several curious omissions from the track lists; A$AP Rocky was previously confirmed to feature on the game’s soundtrack while Refused’s cut is even more puzzling considering that they have already released tracks for the game and are cast as Johnny Silverhand’s band Samurai.

With all the hoo-ha surrounding DMCAs in the streaming community, CDPR assured streamers that the game will come with a mode to turn off the game’s licensed tracks. Upon activation of the mode, the tracks will be replaced with a streaming-friendly alternative.

As for the actual game itself, there was still plenty revealed. The game’s facial animation will be handled by a software known as JALI due to the large amount of NPCs and the ten languages available.

Digital bonuses will also be available to be redeemed, including in-game items based upon CDPR’s previous series The Witcher.

Finally, the gameplay shown demonstrated the many complexities of Cyberpunk 2077 including cybernetics, skill trees, and clothing options. Despite the many controversies regarding crunch, delays, and transphobia, Cyberpunk 2077 is set to change the gaming world for better or worse come 10 December.