Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is a massive expansion for the main game Cyberpunk 2077 released by game developers CD Projekt Red on 27th September. The expansion now offers up a whole new standalone story to that offered up in Cyberpunk 2077. I got a chance to take a closer look at the expansion and all it has to offer. Be warned, minor spoilers follow:
I grew to love the Cyberpunk 2077 universe fully only in recent months. Initially, I was deterred at first by its rough patch on release. Having followed its roadmap to its present state I’m now eager to play this new expansion. How can it improve and move the story forward? What new things has the developers included in it? If you are the same and love the game comment below!
This addition to the Cyberpunk 2077 story takes place through a random call. A mystery caller called Songbird contacts you and is basically crying out for help. The reason you are picked is that you are the one with the relic (a special chip in your head). This means you are the only one able to help. She also says she is the only one able to cure you of your life-threatening condition. She gives you the location of the newly opened Dogtown where she will meet you. You burn rubber and make your way to a checkpointed area leading into Dogtown. Which, as you discover, is an area created especially for this expansion.
Upon entering Dogtown you are swept up into the action. Songbird clues you in on why she needs your help. She also has opened up a part of your skills tree. This part had been locked during your main playthrough. This is titled Relic and gives you access to new skills, attacks, and moves. The skills tree has been given an overhaul too. It now is easier to navigate and see what is available and what is locked. You also have a change to reallocate all those points you have earned. You follow Songbird into Dogtown and are led on a bit of tour to familiarise yourself with the area. Things soon get a bit chaotic though. Various new missions start springing up in the new area of Dogtown.
ROUGH TIMES IN DOGTOWN
Shortly after entering the newly opened part of town, you are called into action. You discover The President is flying over and will crash land somewhere nearby. It’s down to you to save the day. You team up with the POTUS to work your way to safety in Dogtown. This nail-biting intro had me hooked. Everything from drones and mech robots is thrown at you. The landscape you have to travel through is startlingly different from that in the main game. You are soon tasked to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the president’s assassination. So I set off to do some digging around Dogtown.
As a sort of PI for the president you make the rounds of some notable yet unsavoury characters. In true crime noir fashion, the truth is usually beaten out of them with a stick. It’s safe to say I was having fun in this new area. This area of night city and the totally reworked skills tree has given the game a new lease of life. I was so engrossed in it all I was totally surprised by Idris Elba making an appearance! His character, Reed, makes contact and you both join forces. V and Reed then delve into the sinister underbelly leaving no stone unturned. The likeliness of the well-known British actor was uncanny. The feeling of being a part of a movie was real. Not only Keanu Reeves, but now Idris Elba! I made a renewed effort of looking cool and not the blundering mess I usually am.
GRAPHICS & AUDIO
If you are familiar with Cyberpunk 2077 then you know what you are getting with Phantom Liberty is more of the same. The characters you encounter are all detailed and great to look at. This detail means the characters played by Keanu Reeves and Idris Elba bear an uncanny resemblance to them. The landscape differed too from wasteland of destroyed buildings in parts to a hive of makeshift neon buildings. The contrast between ruins to that of the lived-in neon-lit areas was fun to traverse through. Nothing is lost in the detailed area, however. The police/local thugs are all coloured yellow making them stand out in the bleak landscape. Whereas the climbable surfaces and areas of note are lit and coloured differently to make it easier to navigate.
The sound design is just as brilliant as the graphics. The noises from this part of town are more rowdy and unpredictable. This gives weight to the fact you are in a dangerous territory. There could be spontaneous rumbling of an unseen noise or an argument and gunfire going off nearby setting you on edge. The voice acting is phenomenal too with the performances from the A-list stars. They all sound awesome (even Elba’s American accent which I was nervous about). The NPCs you come across also sound great. The sounds from gunfire, enemies being alerted and melee attacks also sound great.
After playing through approximately nine hours of gameplay it’s evident I’ve not scratched the surface. My gameplay isn’t streamlined however as I like to venture off discovering areas. Often this means getting into trouble and doing plenty of side quests. For those aiming to do main missions alone it will take around 16 hours to complete. For those completionists it can take anywhere up to 20 hours. This is if you want to do everything there is on offer. That’s a fairly large amount of gameplay offered by the game developers. They have totally given us an amazing amount of content in addition to the 60 hours of gameplay on offer from the main game.
Cyberpunk 2077 was an ambitious game on release, maybe too ambitious. It soon became a stable and phenomenal game overall. It was full of great characters with great gameplay and visuals. Phantom Liberty took what Cyberpunk 2077 had already provided and has given us so much more. The game has now incorporated a new area different in style and tone with gameplay to match. The new expansion drags you into the seedy, rough, and ready part of the city. You are bound to get lost in uncovering mysteries full of action and intrigue. I’d recommend anyone buy this if you are already in love with Cyberpunk 2077 as it offers up a new and interesting side to the game’s story.
I award Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Thumb Cultures prestigious Platinum Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.