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Review of Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – The Definitive Version of CD Projekt’s Excellent Game

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty offers enhanced experience in gameplay with engaging story & vibrant NPCs. Excellent experience of exploring revamped Night City. Earlier My experience with Cyberpunk 2077 at launch was one of total frustration. As a long-time fan of The Witcher series, I was so invested that I upgraded my PC with every new franchise release.

I got caught up in the hype only to encounter an unfinished game riddled with technical issues. The result was abandoning the gameplay in less than 30 hours and going into wait mode, hoping that patches and additions would reveal the true potential hidden within the beautiful yet problematic Night City.

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Espionage Thriller

Due to time constraints for starting the campaign from scratch in order to publish the expansion review before the release, I began with the option that throws you directly into Phantom Liberty. The game allows for the creation of a new character, one who starts at a high level shortly after activating the Arasaka chip in the protagonist’s head, with our beloved Silverhand making occasional appearances.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

It’s thanks to this chip that the opportunity for the new mission unfolds. So Mi, or Songbird for the close ones, is a netrunner tasked with protecting the country’s president, and she establishes contact with our character through this implant. The girl warns us that the plane carrying the president and herself has been attacked and is crashing in DogTown, the new explorable area of Night City for the expansion.

DogTown – Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

The location where the action unfolds is so dangerous that not even the police can enter. An amusing scene, in fact, involves a member of a local gang humiliating a police officer who wanted to enter through the isolated neighborhood gate. After breaking into the place in an adrenaline-pumping scene with the plane crashing in the center of the region, an espionage thriller begins. Initially, it may seem like an idea borrowed from a movie you’ve seen thousands of times, but it unfolds in a very interesting way and might be the best story CD Projekt has told individually.

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Night City Refined

The initial steps in DogTown already demonstrate that the studio has learned a great deal from the massive criticisms of the past two years. The first contact with the area is at an outdoor market, with numerous shops to interact with and an NPC density that is unparalleled in the industry. Visually, the game remains a milestone and perhaps the most impressive available, especially on PC with all Ray Tracing effects enabled – which requires a NASA-worthy rig.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

Songbird and Solomon Reed

Songbird guides us to the president, who surprisingly is a former war veteran, adding several extra layers to the character. She is well-written and plays a significant role in the story, going beyond being a burden for the player to carry through the city. Another key character in the plot is Solomon Reed, an agent who was inactive but has more than enough skills to assist in the president’s extraction, along with a troubled history with her. Portraying this agent is actor Idris Elba, who does an excellent job here and features a much more detailed and believable 3D model than Keanu Reeves’. The objective is to extract the president alive, but there are always more surprises along the way.

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Immersive Dialogue System – Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Some moments are elevated by the incredible work of the game’s visual dialogue system, which provides the freedom to control the character and camera without constraints, with realistic NPC movements. Taking a car ride with Idris Elba, for example, gives that amusing sensation of having the actor right by your side due to his reactions and the natural way you can look out the window or elsewhere. Even a simple police encounter with the officer making all the expected moves without the game freezing the camera becomes much more impressive due to this dynamic.

Choices and Consequences

As the adventure unfolds, you can see that some flaws of the game still persist, such as some dialogue options with no practical effect, or choices between only two options that don’t change anything. However, in the climax moments of the plot, there are difficult choices to be made, including the final decision, which can provide a bitter conclusion for the player. The ending of Phantom Liberty also impacts the main story of the base game. The player now has an extra ending to pursue, depending on how their journey through Dogtown was.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Enhanced Gameplay

With the arrival of the 2.0 update, much has been changed in the essence of the game, especially in gameplay and combat, all for the better. Instead of the feeling of playing a looter shooter with dozens of disposable effects and a lackluster and uninspired skill tree, there’s now a denser RPG beneath the systems and abilities that truly alter the gameplay.

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Implants and Combat

Using a melee weapon in combat is now much more engaging, with the ability to block enemy shots and combine various new movement and stealth abilities to quickly take down enemies in combat, just as expected after that trailer that seemed unreal in 2018. There’s a series of other possible builds for all types of weapons and approaches, including implants, making the replay factor much higher.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Armor and Implants

Speaking of implants, they now provide most of the armor points. Common clothes no longer give a single point, as they should. So, you don’t have to make your character look unattractive because of a cap that inexplicably provided more armor points than a ballistic helmet.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

Now, only vests, helmets, and equipment that would actually protect you in real life grant these points, while the rest comes from implants to strengthen your skin or bones. However, one must be cautious, as there’s also a new insanity meter that increases as more implants are added. Anyone who watched the franchise’s Anime knows where your character might end up.

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Night City Reimagined

The city in general seems much more alive now. Not due to the exploration factor, which remains the biggest flaw of the game, but because the NPCs are smarter. The police finally behave as expected, reacting to provocations, pursuing the player, and sometimes exchanging gunfire with criminals on the streets of Night City. Like in GTA, if your wanted level increases, the police deploy more resources to chase you. At the highest level, even Max Tac might arrive to spoil the party.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Richer Gameplay Experience

There’s so much new content that we could spend another ten paragraphs here listing them, including vehicle combat, excellent new sidequests, the new branch of Militech skills that you improve by collecting chips around the city, and much more. The point is, the game now has a lot to offer, with the quality expected from CD Projekt Red and with performance stability that leaves nothing to be desired. It’s time to dive into Night City, whether for the first time or for a new adventure.

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Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Pros and Cons


The espionage story convinces and is well-executed.

Idris Elba is incredible in his role as Solomon Reed.

The cinematic elements are extremely well-executed.

Additions to gameplay enable dozens of builds.

Vehicle combat is fun.

The new police system and smarter NPCs make Night City more vibrant.

Dogtown offers interesting activities.


Dialogue options have little impact on the narrative outside of key points.

There is still little reward for exploration outside of missions.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Analysis Conclusion

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty completes CD Projekt Red’s work cycle, leaving the game in an excellent state and much closer to the initial proposal promised to players years ago. The additions to gameplay are all welcome, and the expansion’s story is one of the studio’s best. The package is now more than recommended for both newcomers and veterans, who should spend dozens or even hundreds of hours exploring and surviving in Night City.

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