Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty Review: A Change of Fate!
Few titles have been as polarizing as Cyberpunk 2077. Its long-awaited expansion, Phantom Liberty, emerges not merely as an addendum but as a redemption arc, a final bow that attempts to reconcile the game’s fraught past with its undeniable potential. Developed by CD Projekt Red, this expansion is an ambitious endeavor that aims to redefine the narrative and gameplay mechanics of its predecessor. But does it succeed in elevating the original experience or merely add another layer of complexity to an already convoluted landscape?
Phantom Liberty invites players back to Night City, but this time to explore Dogtown, a newly added district that serves as a haunting, post-apocalyptic stage for the game’s cyberpunk-infused techno spy-thriller narrative. The story revolves around rescuing the president of the New United States, adding a layer of political intrigue to the already dense lore of the Cyberpunk universe. The narrative is labyrinthine but paced with a brisk skip, filled with morally grey characters that keep you guessing at every turn. The game’s story doesn’t shy away from presenting players with gut-wrenching choices, making the narrative not just an experience but an ethical dilemma.
The gameplay mechanics have also seen a significant overhaul. The 2.0 update, which accompanies the expansion, refines the original looter-shooter gear system and introduces a more nuanced RPG element that better complements its shooting, slashing, and stealth-ing. The expansion also introduces a new Relic skill tree, offering brand-new perks that can complement existing ones, thus allowing for a more tailored gameplay experience. These changes make Phantom Liberty not just an expansion but a comprehensive reimagining of the original game.
However, it’s not all roses. Phantom Liberty can feel a bit tonally disconnected from the original game. This shift in tone, while not a major detriment, does make the expansion feel like a separate entity rather than a seamless continuation of the original narrative. Moreover, while the expansion does offer a more refined bite of Cyberpunk 2077, it doesn’t fundamentally reinvent the game, so it is tough to live up to the monumental expectations set by its predecessor.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty doesn’t merely tell a story; it immerses you in a complex web of choices and consequences, making you an active participant in its unfolding drama. It’s a fine last hurrah for a game that has taken CD Projekt so long to hone, and it stands as one of the best individual stories the developer has told to date.
RATING: 4.0 out of 5.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is now available for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X.