It's easy to assume that the role of Johnny Silverhand was merely an excuse to recruit Keanu 'Breathtaking' Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077, this character's relevance goes far deeper than that.
Rest assured that CD Projekt Red's insistence on Johnny being a co-protagonist rather than a sidekick is no marketing ploy - he's an iconic character in an iconic tabletop RPG, whose legend is central to the Cyberpunk universe.
Johnny Silverhand was born as Robert John Linder, a somewhat unremarkable name fitting of the young soldier thrust into the Central American Conflict, an unjust war driven by corporate interests disguised as national security.
Eventually realising what the war was really about, Robert's rude awakening produced a disillusioned deserter, whose cybernetic arm replacement served as a reminder of his youthful idealism, as well as the foundation of his new identity. Back in Night City, Silverhand exchanged the rifle for the guitar and formed the band Samurai, yet another mainstay of the Cyberpunk universe.
This is where the seeds of Cyberpunk 2077's story are sown, as the programming skills of Silverhand's girlfriend led to her being kidnapped by Arasaka, all in order to develop the Soulkiller, a program that could download a netrunners mind. Ring a bell?
Silverhand's rescue attempt only found her body, leading him on a chase to retrieve her mind from the Arasaka mainframe. Unfortunately, his final assault on Arasaka HQ went sideways in more ways than one, leaving no trace of poor Johnny, or the entire building for that matter.
So, now you know why Silverhand's co-protagonist description fits the bill, as his motivations are likely to veer away from those of Cyberpunk 2077 players. And we can't wait to see them in action.