Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty Expansion Review – Game Is Truly Fixed
ED note: This review may contain spoilers for the main Cyberpunk campaign and the Phantom Liberty expansion, so beware!
Is it weird to start a Cyberpunk Expansion review with a quote from my favorite game ever, Fallout New Vegas? It’s from the end of the Dead Money DLC where after all that is said and done within this first expansion for the game, one of the companions asks you to promise her to “Change your fortune and begin again.”
This is a poignant quote that I remembered as I finished up Phantom Liberty, after crossing through the rain of fire, and even beyond the Mainframe to save a friend once again. But before we talk about one of the best expansions in years, let us wander around the 2.0 Update, shall we?
You Only Live Twice
The new update 2.0 (as the devs call it) is a revamping of some aspects of the main core gameplay, specifically the areas of stealth and weapon usage, mainly on the melee side which I remember that I wrote back in 2020, feels not as engaging as the gunplay.
They went and changed up the perk system to get rid of the unused ones (goodbye instant junk removal perk) and streamlined it into the game systems built in, so before 2.0, you would need a stealth perk to do drop-down takedowns, now it’s part of the game built in and makes stuff like Takemura’s quest line and the starting quest lines for Phantom Liberty easy if you have the perfect build. And if you have seen the Edgerunner show, you may see some more references within the new perks as well.
Health also gets a bit of a tweak with certain perks allowing you to gain back your health without relying on the stimpaks that you might have horde during the previous playthroughs. It adds more to the dimension of combat in which you can get hit a bit more so that you can do more damage if you so desire.
Finally, after all this time, CDPR has added car-combat for the final bits of Ghost In The Shell vibes the game was missing. They have added a few cars with built-in guns, but getting to open the Quandra’s door to shoot down goons is always fun.
And that about does it for Update 2.0. It’s in the perfect state to recommend newcomers to try out Cyberpunk and enjoy the story that I still feel is one of the best in the modern era of gaming. Now that the prerequisites have been done, let’s talk about Phantom Liberty.
Now, I will preface this lightly but this has got to be one of the best expansions that I have played in any game, ever. Full stop.
This whole expansion is CD Projekt RED at its finest, with how well it’s designed to hook the player in, and neatly ties back into the main quest line with some hints and nods of your action across your playthrough, it’s a pretty neat bow towards the game that tried to recuperate after it’s disastrous launch.
From meeting the President of the NUSA, Myers to joining forces with Idris Alba’s character, Reed, it does feel like you’re playing along in a James Bond thriller and that’s on purpose. I mean, the one quest where you get to meet the main villain and gamble actual money is named after the song that was played in 2006’s Casino Royale (You Know My Name by Chris Cornell), so the dev team knows their stuff.
And without going into details for the ending (because no words can describe the sadness without turning it into a long-form report), it’s a real tear-jerker, which fits and ties the message of the whole series, be it the games, anime, and even the many books they have published over the last three years.
A great swansong for the game after years of work, even made more bitter for the fact that CDPR is also moving away from the REDEngine to the more robust Unreal Engine for the Witcher remake and Cyberpunk Orion. In any case, this serves as a great farewell to both the game and engine in one neat package.
Is Cyberpunk Phantom Liberty Worth It?
In short answer? Yes. Get both on a sale on your favorite console or PC of choice and just enjoy the ride of a lifetime. It may or not be your instant fav or you might hate this genre fully, but play it to enjoy the lore and crafted world-building that CD Projekt RED has created, now better than ever.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Played on Xbox Series S, Expansion purchased by Reviewer.