CD Projekt RED finally unleashed their “Night City Wire” stream, showing off new gameplay footage, a new trailer, and other significant announcements like the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime. The trailer, which according to Geoff Keighley on his Summer Game Fest stream, was comprised primarily of shots from the prologue of the game. And if that is the case, then combined with the gameplay footage, we know what’s rooted in the original Cyberpunk 2020 TTRPG and possibly might have a hint at one strand of the main storyline.
From the trailer itself, we can see the main character attempting to infiltrate the corporate offices of Arasaka along with sidekick Jackie Welles. There’s a brief shot (at 1:03) of a full cyborg which CD Projekt RED confirmed is Adam Smasher, a character originally introduced in the “Firestorm” adventures for Cyberpunk 2020. An infamous assassin for Arasaka, it certainly appears he survived the destruction of Arasaka Tower back in 2023, which is probably a lot easier when you’re more metal than meat. Of course, that also suggests that Morgan Blackhand might have survived as well, though he might be just as much of a full cyborg as Smasher if he was still around.
Also, as part of the stream, we saw gameplay captures of the main character and Jackie visiting two different bars. One of them, the Afterlife, is notable for the bar’s owner, a Fixer named Rogue. Jackie mentions that Rogue was running around before Dexter DeShawn was in diapers. If that’s the case, it’s very likely that Rogue is the same character from the Cyberpunk 2020 introductory adventure, “Never Fade Away.” She also appeared in the “Firestorm” adventures as part of the strike team, which ultimately destroyed Arasaka Tower. Assuming it’s the same character, she’s probably changed her career path from gunslinging Solo to the more “customer service” oriented profession of Fixer somewhere in the past fifty years or so.
While it’s tempting to simply mark these up as Easter eggs for long time Cyberpunk 2020 fans, it’s also possible that they’re elements for part of the main storyline. The MacGuffin players are initially tasked to recover a bio-chip, referred to as “The Relic.” If the chip does contain the digitized soul of Johnny Silverhand (played by Keanu Reeves), then the Relic might be a “firmware” refinement of the infamous Soulkiller program, which Arasaka had sitting on its servers before their destruction. Adam Smasher, still being a working stiff for Arasaka, is entirely plausible, which potentially might put the player in an epic boss fight later down the road. Equally likely is the likelihood of Rogue trying to rescue her comrade (and former lover) from Arasaka’s clutches, playing a long game of deniable cutouts, and hired guns on the go board of Night City to save Johnny Silverhand once and for all.
We’ll have to see how these elements come together, if at all when Cyberpunk 2077 comes out in November.