Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Augmented reality.

Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077 has been a real roller-coaster ride since its (let’s be honest) less than stellar release, but to CD Projekt Red’s credit they have never stopped tweaking and changing it to be a much better game now.  Nothing shows this more than the first real chunk of DLC for the game – Phantom Liberty – which not only adds a new area and tale to the game, but also adds a 2.0 update to the game as a whole that changes a load of things for the better.  Worth noting the 2.0 update is actually free to all players, so everyone will get the core changes… whereas the Phantom Liberty side of it will set you back about £24.99.

Phantom Liberty is a new spy-thriller fuelled adventure for Cyberpunk 2077 that bolts seamlessly into the core game.  It sees V and Silverhand embarking on a high-stakes mission of espionage and intrigue to save the NUS President, and sees the pair of unlikely “heroes” heading to a whole new district called Dogtown, where you will forge new alliances in this mercenary led and often lawless land.  In a lot of ways this is more of the same, if a bit more story focused, as Dogtown serves as a really self-contained experience in a lot of ways.  Beyond the core tale you’ll be doing gigs and jobs for the locals, as well as a new handler – Mr Hand – which breathes life into its rubbish filled streets and shanty town futuristic tones.  It’s not the nicest of places in Night City let’s say, but this is all the gravy on top of the main tale, that sees you being contacted by a net runner called Songbird “Song So Mi” who is on a plane with the NUS President that’s about to crash  From there it all kicks off.  Songbird makes you an offer you can’t refuse, “knowing” how to help you with your Johnny Silverhand “issue” (worth remembering this DLC bolts into the main game, so even if you have a completed game save… you’ll still be dying from the Arasaka relic in your head regardless).

You soon also meet up with Solomon Reed – a fallen from grace agent played by Idris Elba, who adds another layer of Hollywood glitz to proceedings; as well as putting in a hell of a shift at the same time.  It’s a complex tale that is full of intrigue, betrayal, conspiracy and some very grand revelations, as you truly never know who you can and can’t trust.  This is all fuelled by complex character development and extremely rich back stories that you would expect from CD Projekt Red.  It also adds a brand new ending to the full game (once you get to that point that is) it delivers a bit of a gut punch and will bring a tear to even the hardest of augmented mercenaries.  As for gameplay there has been a huge overhaul to the games many systems thanks to the 2.0 update.  This sees the skill system being totally re-worked to be more in key with an RPG.  There is a new dynamic police system, vehicular combat and re-worked enemy AI to be… well smarter especially during combat.

There is a LOT more that has been tweaked here, but the final product feels like the Cyberpunk we were promised way back at the game’s first reveal years ago.  The Phantom Liberty linked update ultimately enriches the full game no end, letting you truly live your wildest chromed out dreams as you can build your ultimate character.  Want to be a badass net runner?  Go for it!  Want to have a fully armed tank that likes shooting first?  Have at it.  Or if you just want to be a stealth cyber ninja… it’s all possible.  There have also been all-round tweaks made to the visuals, stability and overall quality of the game, being a much much less buggy affair now.  Although it’s not 100% perfect, as I had a few missions glitch out in odd ways, however it’s night and day better from where it all began.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty delivers a thrilling new addition that truly enriches the world of Night City; adding in a gripping tale, new characters and fun missions to tackle, while feeling like it’s been part of the landscape from the beginning.  Whereas the free 2.0 update totally changes things up in ways; while refining it in others, to create a much more engaging title that feels like anything is truly possible.  If rumours are true this will be the only DLC that Cyberpunk 2077 will really get, as CD Projekt Red turns their focus to the next instalment in the series.  If it’s correct then it’s safe to say they have gone out with a real bang – though the road may have been long and full of twists and turns, as well as having more than a few huge potholes.  Now some three years on from its release, Cyberpunk 2077 is a truly stellar title that needs to be played.

An Xbox review copy of Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty was provided by CD Projekt Red’s PR team, and the game is out now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation for around £25, whilst the patch will be applied as soon as you update the game.

The Verdict

10Perfect

The Good: Gripping story | Fantastic characters | Top-tier missions

The Bad: Some shallow dialogue choices at times | Some minor bugs

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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