A Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover launched yesterday, surprising fans with new missions, new cosmetics, and new functional content. What's even more interesting is that this crossover could be hinting at future Cyberpunk 2077 DLC.
If you've missed out on Death Stranding, it's the first big game to come out of Kojima Productions, a new game developer founded by Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hills P.T.). You take on the role of Sam Porter Bridges, a man who must deliver packages in post-apocalyptic America while fighting the supernatural and terrorists. Death Stranding also happens to be a star-studded game; Kojima is an avid movie buff and cast an interesting mix of actors, voice actors, and other people of note in the game.
As for Cyberpunk 2077, this is an open-world RPG based on the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop RPG and was created by CD Projekt Red (The Witcher). Although the game has its fair share of launch troubles, it was nonetheless an ambitious project. It too brought some star power to the table, most notably with Keanu Reeves taking on the role of the famed Rockerboy musician Johnny Silverhand, a stylish man with a collection of cool items in the game.
Cyberpunk 2077 has other internet celebrity roles here and there—YouTubers Ben "CohhCarnage" Cassell, Jesse Cox, and Alanah Pearce all have cameos, and they're not the only ones; Hideo Kojima also happens to have a brief appearance as a voiced NPC. Now, he's returned the favor tenfold with the release of the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover content.
Cyberpunk 2077 and Death Stranding Come Together
The Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover starts off as a simple incoming mail from a mysterious contact. This contact asks you to retrieve a data chip (that looks suspiciously like a Cyberpunk 2077 shard) from a crevasse. After completing that task, you unlock the next mission in the chain and your first piece of cosmetic content: a face mask that puts Cyberpunk 2077 protagonist V's "face lines" on Sam.
From there, you have to move across the Central Region completing jobs for this new contact, largely centered on retrieving more data chips. Completing these missions will unlock the above-mentioned face lines mask, Johnny Silverhand's glasses and prosthetic arm, and a souped-up Defensive Reverse Trike that's painted with Cyberpunk 2077 iconography. Hideo Kojima makes a cameo in the game, too, as a hologram wearing a Cyberpunk 2077 jacket.
That's not all you get, mind; you also get some useful upgrades. The "Compass" function—typically used for navigation or placing holographic signs—gets weaponized just like V's quickhacks in Cyberpunk 2077. Your compass gains the ability to disable enemy pole sensors, vehicles, and more.
At the end of this questline, the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover missions take you all over the main map of the game and give you quite a few cosmetic and functional rewards. It took me about 3.5 hours to play it, but I'd estimate it would take anywhere from two to six hours depending on how far you are in the game.
Finally—and perhaps most critically—the crossover content also gives you some insight into one of the characters from Cyberpunk 2077, and that's where it gets really interesting.
How the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 Crossover Could Hint at Future DLC
Take note: everything past this point will serve as minor spoilers for the first few hours of Cyberpunk 2077.
If you haven't completed the Arasaka Tower job and encountered Johnny Silverhand, you might want to avoid reading the last section and come back later. This also happens to be a spoiler for the ending of the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover.
Remember that mysterious contact I told you about who kicks off these missions? The contact is referred to as "Your Partner 'J'" in every message. J has lost his memory, and recovering these chips gradually has him learn that he is in fact the ghost of Jackie Welles, V's deceased partner from the opening hours of Cyberpunk 2077. Here's what he had to say in his final mail to you in Death Stranding:
As far as I can tell, I'm a ghost. Look at me, choom, a f***in' ghost driftin' between worlds. S***. Chiral network's the only thing I got to hold on to. But thanks to the chips you found, it's all comin' back to me. V and the rest...
Just gotta work out where and when I went wrong, then I'll be able to go home. No reason why I can't. As far as I can tell, ain't got no body to worry about — I'm all data and memory and grudges. Nothin' to lose, everythin' to gain. Worth a shot, y'know? Which means it's time for us to say goodbye.
An interesting little end to the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover, is it not? But what's more interesting is that it could be cheekily hinting at future Cyberpunk 2077 DLC. Consider the following key facts that are revealed in the first 10 or so hours of Cyberpunk 2077:
- Jackie died at the end of the disastrous Arasaka heist.
- You don't see Jackie's body at all after the death scene.
- The "Relic" chip that stores Johnny Silverhand's engram can essentially contain the memories and personality of a now-dead person—in effect, it's their "soul" on a chip.
- A Relic chip can be slotted into anyone and the included personality will gradually manifest.
This final mail has Jackie saying that he is just like Johnny Silverhand: a ghost in the machine, a soul with no body. There are many possible ways to bring Jackie back into the story; it could have something to do with the fact that he had the Relic inside of his body for a good amount of time. Or, someone or something could have copied his brain engram at the last moments and put it into another body. Or heck, even his own body.
Of course, all of this hinges on the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover being canon. No one has said whether it is or isn't either way, and someone coming back from the dead in this fashion has already happened at least once (albeit with a little more preparation). Many people—myself included—loved Jackie as a character and would want to see him return, and this DLC hints that we could have our wishes come true as part of some future Cyberpunk 2077 DLC content.
What did you think of the Death Stranding x Cyberpunk 2077 crossover? Do you think Jackie Welles will make a return in the game at some point? Let us know in the comments below!