Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty | The spy of the Dark Future
Type of game
Phantom Liberty, a spy-filled noir, throws the players into a cloak-and-dagger thriller where they must always watch their backs as a whirlwind of lies circles around them, allegiances constantly switching. In a plot reminiscent of espionage movies, the quest to save V’s life will meet an international conspiracy.
Phantom Liberty is like a dark Bond movie
The first expansion pack of Cyberpunk 2077, Phantom Liberty is a love letter to spy stories. The classical feeling of James Bond, with high-speed chases and evil lairs meets the oppressing aura of Cyberpunk’s dark future. In fact, Phantom Liberty‘s star Solomon Reed, played by Idris Elba, is a gloomy 007 addicted to his faded ideals of a dead country. An agent of the New USA, this downtrodden spy uses his obsessive loyalty to the country and its corrupted president to hide his own sense of failure. For Reed, sacrificing himself for the cause is the only true purpose for him.
The darkness of the plot is reflected in Dogtown, Cyberpunk’s latest neighborhood. Also called Combat Zone, this degraded section of the city is even more dangerous than the rest. Indeed, Dogtown resembles Manhattan from Escape From New York, with its closed walls and criminals stuffed inside. Just like Snake Plissen in the movie, players have to sneak into Dogtown to rescue the US President. Inside, they face a delicate order of violence and intimidation keeping the entire system barely standing.
Second-guessing and constant lies
I, V, do solemnly swear that I shall faithfully serve the New United States of America.
With this quote, players start their voyage down the rabbit hole of misdirection and double-crossing. The straightforward task of saving the New USA President Rosalind Myers quickly turns into something far more sinister. Alongside enigmatic hacker Songbird, players uncover deep schemes, in which characters act as actors in an ambiguous play. By the same token, characters often withhold information and act sympathetically to make V, the main character, do their bidding. Affectionate pleas, half-truths, and calculated responses transmit a paranoid feeling similar to the 1944 film Gaslight. It is hard to navigate between the lies and players often make important choices based on their intuition alone.
The culmination of such obscure choices is a final act where the veil is lifted for a moment. Shocking revelations reward the careful choices and decisions made during the story, along with the now-usual double-crossing of Phantom Liberty’s characters. The expansion’s final act puts players in front of the hard question of what freedom actually is. Phantom Liberty will make players doubt the existence of the right choice and the addition of a new ending for the game offers another point of view in the main story’s analysis of death, legacy, and morals.
Alongside Phantom Liberty, CDPR relaunched the game with Patch 2.0. The update is a complete rework of skills and features, bug fixes and balance sweeps. Along with it, CDPR added long-awaited systems like police behavior or car combat. The patch breathed new life into the game. In fact, along with the previous success of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Studio Trigger‘s anime rendition of the setting, forwarded the game back into the spotlight. As new and old players came back to Night City, CDPR announced multiple related projects. A sequel is already in the works, for now, dubbed Project: Orion. In addition, CDPR partnered with Anonymous Content to produce a live-action of Mike Pondsmith’s universe.
With a surprise announcement in December 2023 CDPR also released Patch 2.1 introducing long sought/ after content like a fully functioning metro system and hanging out with romantic partners. This continued support led The Game Awards to give Cyberpunk 2077 the Best Ongoing Title award.