Cyberpunk 2077 has had fairly the redemption arc since its hassle launch virtually three years in the past, and Phantom Liberty — the sport’s first and solely enlargement — is supposed to cap off all of the arduous work finished to enhance Evening Metropolis through the years. The sport has come a great distance, and as a lot as revamps of core methods are appreciated, new content material is the easiest way to see what the builders have discovered and brought from participant suggestions since launch and present what the subsequent chapter of Cyberpunk 2077 might seem like. Phantom Liberty is an pleasing romp with some standout moments, however the enlargement sadly leaves lots to be desired.
Phantom Liberty additionally arrives alongside the two.0 replace for Cyberpunk 2077, a free patch obtainable to all gamers that dramatically overhauls the bottom sport and roleplaying expertise. The sport’s total perk system has been reworked to permit for extra numerous builds and playstyles, the stamina bar has been modified to play a bigger function in fight for each melee and ranged fight kinds, and cyberware has undergone a whole overhaul to provide gamers extra freedom for each upgrades and customization since armor and stats aren’t tied to clothes anymore.
The two.0 replace for Cyberpunk 2077 is a large achievement. Whereas CD Projekt Crimson positioned an enormous emphasis on issues like automotive fight and a reworked wished system previous to launch, it can’t be overstated simply how a lot the brand new development system and stamina meter change the sport for the higher.
Perks are way more thrilling than simply small boosts to statistical data now. You possibly can unlock the power to switch the usual dodge with a lightning-fast sprint, for instance, a capability that lets V run as quick as automobiles so long as you’ve the stamina to maintain up. Melee gamers can deflect bullets again at enemies and hacking builds can unfold quickhacks to teams of enemies concurrently or overclock their cyberware to dish out extra injury at the price of well being. You possibly can even create builds centered round beforehand irrelevant weapons like throwing knives, which now have their very own talent nodes with a number of ranges of thrilling upgrades. Everybody’s model of V will appear and feel drastically completely different within the 2.0 model of Cyberpunk 2077, one thing that would not be stated concerning the sport’s unique launch model.
The brand new stamina meter additionally modifications the way you play, encouraging you to stay together with your chosen playstyle and construct as a substitute of being a boring all-rounder. As an alternative of being utilized by sprinting, stamina is now consumed when swinging melee weapons and taking pictures weapons. If you’re out of stamina, you gained’t be capable to carry out melee assaults and your weapon’s hearth price will sluggish dramatically.
A lot of the perks on the revamped talent tree present stamina modifiers, like granting the power to enter Focus or Deadeye mode for pistols and sniper rifles when the bar is full or replenishing your stamina after eliminating an enemy shortly after dashing to them. This transforms fights from senseless taking pictures galleries to calculated fight encounters, making you decelerate and select your pictures to keep up Sharpshooter stacks as an assault rifle consumer or decide probably the most environment friendly path to slice by way of your foes and dismember limbs as a katana-wielding netrunner.
Most of what I loved throughout my time with Phantom Liberty stemmed immediately from the enhancements added in model 2.0. The precise DLC content material itself, nevertheless, isn’t almost nearly as good.
Phantom Liberty is extra Cyberpunk 2077, for higher and for worse. It’s a spy thriller the place no person might be trusted and backstabbings and betrayals are par for the course, a setting that ought to make for extremely participating roleplaying and decision-making. Regardless of this, Phantom Liberty is a principally linear romp with a disappointing lack of selection and participant company.
The enlargement takes place in a walled-off part of Evening Metropolis referred to as Dogtown. A aircraft carrying the president of the New United States of America crash lands within the district and V is contacted by a mysterious Netrunner named Songbird to rescue the president in change for a treatment that would resolve the Relic scenario that the sport’s most important plot revolves round.
It’s an explosive opening, however issues decelerate from there as the sport dives deeper into spy thriller territory. Phantom Liberty has a number of the most spectacular setpieces in all of Cyberpunk 2077, hitting all of the James Bond tropes that you just’d anticipate however with thrilling futuristic twists. Infiltrating an elite social gathering and gathering intel whereas playing is a longtime custom of spy media, however having the ability to observe the gamers’ feelings and ideas whereas doing so is one thing that’s uniquely Cyberpunk. CD Projekt Crimson actually flexed its inventive muscle groups when adapting these cliches into the Cyberpunk setting. Going undercover is made extra thrilling with behavioral implants and digital face masks, and stealing automobiles turns into way more of a problem when netrunners can counterhack and wrestle management again from you.
Sadly, these moments are simply as on-rails as the principle marketing campaign of Cyberpunk 2077, much more so in some circumstances. The sport repeatedly warns you about trusting the incorrect individuals and making the incorrect decisions, however there aren’t any decisions to make exterior of which ending you’d like. It’s all empty set dressing, an unlucky actuality that breaks the phantasm of going undercover at high-stakes blackjack tables or infiltrating a hostile compound with a stolen id. You at all times really feel the invisible hand of CD Projekt Crimson guiding you alongside the principle path so that you see precisely what it desires you to see.
That wouldn’t be as a lot of a difficulty if the forged and plot of Phantom Liberty had been attention-grabbing sufficient to warrant this railroading. The principle trio of Songbird, Alex, and Solomon Reed (performed by Idris Elba) are nowhere close to as attention-grabbing because the supporting forged of the bottom sport. Even Elba’s star energy isn’t sufficient to avoid wasting Reed’s character, the stereotypical unsociable agent who makes the arduous selections due to a job gone dangerous years in the past. It’s such a played-out trope, and never including any important Cyberpunk taste to his characters is a large missed alternative. It looks like an try to duplicate what occurred with Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand from the bottom sport with out realizing why Johnny labored within the first place.
Whereas the narrative components of Phantom Liberty fall brief, there’s nonetheless a lot to get pleasure from on the gameplay entrance. Dogtown is a small district on paper — solely taking on a couple of blocks of Evening Metropolis — nevertheless it’s remarkably dense. Not a single sq. foot is wasted. There are issues to seek out and other people to fulfill round each ugly nook of this unwelcoming place. Dogtown can be stuffed with random occasions like provide drops that make it arduous to hurry by way of the principle story when there are such a lot of attention-grabbing issues occurring on the sidelines. It’s one among Evening Metropolis’s biggest locales.
The gigs and gameplay alternatives additionally supply much more freedom than Phantom Liberty’s most important storyline. Every gig and aspect job has a number of outcomes, and the endings of those aspect quests are depending on extra than simply your dialogue decisions. The sport acknowledges should you selected the nonlethal route when working by way of some gigs, for instance, which is a pleasant contact. There are additionally a number of routes and pathways to succeed in mission aims that reward you for investing in sure stats, one thing that the principle sport was sorely missing. Prying open a door, utilizing cyberware to tremendous soar onto a roof, jacking right into a terminal to realize entry, and even speaking your method in are all viable methods for missions now.
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty is pleasing, however for a next-gen solely enlargement debuting alongside a whole rework of the sport’s RPG mechanics, it feels undercooked. It’s fully outshined by the free 2.0 replace, and also you would possibly simply be higher off replaying the bottom sport with the brand new modifications as a substitute of leaping straight into Phantom Liberty. It’s clear that CD Projekt Crimson took participant suggestions under consideration when designing Dogtown’s aspect content material revamping the core gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077, however the principle storyline of Phantom Liberty and participant selection throughout missions wanted extra of that love, too.
This sport was reviewed utilizing a duplicate of the sport supplied by the sport’s writer,public relations firm, developer or different for the categorical function of a overview.
– This text was up to date on September twentieth, 2023