Culture

Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t just a game, it’s a Keanu Reeves powered multimedia pop culture event, baby!

It’s Keanu Reeves, but not as we know him. 

Eagerly awaited new game blockbuster Cyberpunk 2077, from Polish game developer CD Projekt Red, stars the Hollywood star as digital character Johnny Silverhand. More than just another AAA game release, Reeves’ involvement is turning the title into a multimedia pop culture event that reaches beyond the traditional gaming community, into the worlds of music, TV and comic books.

Cyberpunk 2077 features a remarkably familiar looking Keanu Reeves. The star took part in a motion-capture process that has seen his likeness, voiceover and movement bring life to the game’s protagonist.

The star draws comparisons to the motion-capture to his days filming The Matrix.

“Motion Capture, baby! One of the first elements that I was involved in with the game was motion-capture. I’ve done a fair bit of motion capture, I did it in The Matrix films so to start doing motion capture for Johnny was all very familiar to me.”  

“The only difference I think technologically was how close they were going to real-time review. But creatively it was very familiar and the sense of starting a library of gestures and the toolbox for the animators to work with for the character.”

“I’ve done a fair bit of motion capture, I did it in The Matrix films so to start doing motion capture for Johnny was all very familiar to me.” 

Of his character, he adds: “So you get to see Johnny as a rockstar, you hear about his military past, and he’s fighting for his survival. He’s got all these things leading into the moment of this guy. It’s really an interpretation because I think there’s a Johnny Silverhand in all of us. He’s got a lot of energy, he’s got a good sense of humour, if not a little dark at times. He’s very passionate, he cares, he’s kinda naïve but also super experienced in life.”

Music will also play a big part in Cyberpunk 2077’s mainstream appeal. El-P and Killer Mike, known as Run The Jewels (RTJ), have contributed ‘No Save Point’, created specifically for the title. 

Also featured in the game and on the soundtrack are tracks from Grimes, Ratboy, SOPHIE and Shygirl, the Armed, HEALTH, The Armed, Rosa Walton and others. Featured artists have alter egos in the Cyberpunk universe. Grimes is Lizzy Wizzy, SOPHIE and Shygirl play Clockwork Venus.  

The video, which features RTJ, gives a look into the elements and imagery from this dark future world (parental guidance suggested).

Cyberpunk 2077 is even getting its own anime series. Cyberpunk 2077: Edgerunners is heading to Netflix in 2022. It’s not narratively linked to the upcoming game, but is set in the same dystopian universe.  

For those looking for an early look at the world of Cyberpunk 2077, Dark Horse has published Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team, a comic book mini series from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Miguel Valderrama. The book tells the story of Nadia, a citizen of Night City and the sole survivor of a failed rescue mission for the Trauma Team International corporation. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is released December 10, 2020, for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Stadia. The game will also be playable on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles when available. At a later date a free upgrade, taking full advantage of next-gen hardware, will become available for owners of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions respectively.

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