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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Cyberpsycho in Dogtown

Name: Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty by CD Projekt RED Genre: Role playing game Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S & X

Aritra Mukhopadhyay Published 26.02.24, 05:30 AM

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty comes as an expansion to the already expansive Cyberpunk 2077 after a whopping two-and-a-half years worth of updates to the game following its rocky launch. I have always maintained that Cyberpunk 2077 was an exceptional game despite the technical issues that plagued its surface. Phantom Liberty, however, manages to take the game to the next level, properly expanding it with a new area with its own quests and gameplay changes that make the game much better. It can easily last you 20-30 hours, depending on how you play.

It’s worth mentioning that PL is built upon the massive 2.0 update, which reworked most of the game. It takes place in Dogtown, an expanded part of the Pacifica district. While it may not look big on the game’s map screen, it’s an extremely dense sub-district, with each area having verticality. Every corner hides a new quest, item or secret for you to discover. Relic points can be found that enhance your combat cyberware to be even more lethal, allowing you to feel like a true cyberpsycho.

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In classic CDPR fashion, PL’s side quests are absolutely unmissable, presenting you with difficult choices that cause ripples throughout the game. The gigs prioritise freedom of choice, there always being a multitude of ways to tackle the situation, which has an effect on their stories too.

However, some do feel like they were designed catering to specific playstyles, leading to an imbalance in the amount of content you get from your playstyle.

The more systemic side content includes dynamic airdrops, which reward the player with small fragments of a story, and unique items. These airdrops occur in specific parts of Dogtown, taking full advantage of the intricate level design of the subdistrict, pushing player choice. I did find them to be occurring extremely frequently though, adding to the sensory overstimulation that the density of Dogtown already causes.

The star of the show, however, undeniably has to be the main storyline. It presents an Escape from New York-esque spy thriller storyline that ends up challenging your moral compass to its core. It is not afraid to surprise you with decisions and choices that leave you questioning yourself for hours on end, adding immense replay value, all while backed by an amazing score. It also adds a new ending to the base game. Right as it ended, I found myself itching to restart the expansion, to make different choices, but sure to have a phenomenal time.

VERDICT: If you enjoyed Cyberpunk 2077, Phantom Liberty is absolutely unmissable. It adds a wealth of content to the game, every bit of it lovingly handcrafted to suit the strong identity that Cyberpunk has built for itself. While that does mean that some problems from the base game have carried over, it gives you a story that will recontextualise the story, leaving you in awe. I rate it a nine out of 10.

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