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The Point

The Student News Site of Fitchburg State University

The Point

The Student News Site of Fitchburg State University

The Point

Okay, NOW the Game is Fixed: A Review of Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

After nearly three years since launch, the first and final content expansion is here.
Idris Elba’s character Solomon Reed on a train, 2023,


That’s how it started; that’s how Cyberpunk 2077 was revealed to the world. For those of you who don’t know, Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most anticipated and ambitious games of all time with a marketing run like no other. Unfortunately, CD Projekt RED (CDPR), the developers of the game, faced many problems throughout development. Instead of delaying the game, their parent company CD Projekt ignored their pleas to delay the game and made them release it as a buggy, incomplete, borderline unplayable mess. After lengthy apologies, years of free updates and a kick-ass anime on Netflix, Cyberpunk had won back the hearts of gamers everywhere. While they had initially planned multiple additions to the game, including a multiplayer mode, everything was sidelined in order to fix the base game.

Phantom Liberty was meant to be one of two paid story expansions, but CDPR made the decision to change the game engine they used to develop games from their internal REDengine to the widely-used Unreal Engine 5. This massive shift in how their games are developed caused them to cease support for the game beyond Phantom Liberty. Interestingly Phantom Liberty was developed exclusively for next-gen consoles, leaving PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners high and dry. Even on their victory lap, Cyberpunk is still causing controversy.

I avoided watching any story trailers for Phantom Liberty so that I could go in completely blind, and I’m so glad that I did. It really helped me immerse myself in V’s (the player character) position who gets thrust into this spy-thriller. The very first mission in the expansion hits the ground running; my jaw dropped in literally the first five minutes. After that it was an absolute thrillride as I ran around the new Dogtown area protecting [REDACTED]. After about two hours of nonstop action, I realized that I had yet to meet Idris Elba’s character Solomon Reed, who had been the face of the marketing for Phantom Liberty. Realizing that I had just scratched the surface of this expansion, I knew it was going to be something special.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about Idris Elba. I was worried that he was just a marketing gimmick and he was going to disappear after a couple of missions. Similar to Keanu Reeves in the base game, Elba was thankfully here to stay. For someone without many voice acting credits, Elba gives a phenomenal performance. Usually screen actors have a rough transition into voice acting since it requires such a unique and different way of performing, so it’s nice that CDPR chose someone willing to put in that effort. Despite his good performance, it was still really immersion-breaking to see a Hollywood star in a video game. I forget if Keanu Reeves had a similar effect on me when I first played the game, but he definitely doesn’t now. Hopefully Elba follows suit.

There are also multiple endings to Phantom Liberty. At one point in the expansion you reach a fork in the road, and each path splits off into two separate endings (think of the endings like 1a, 1b, 2a and 2b). The ending I chose gives you an alternate ending to the base game. In researching which choices to make in order to unlock this separate ending (I wanted to make an in-depth review, okay?), I found that many people were getting locked out of the rest of the game when they chose this ending. All the other endings for the base game allow you to turn back the clock and return to the open-world, so this is definitely a glitch. Not wanting to get locked out of the rest of the game, I unfortunately can’t review this special ending. This game is just doomed to be broken, isn’t it? On a separate note, the credits for Phantom Liberty were really cool. Since this is a spy-thriller, the credits sequence was very reminiscent of a Bond film with abstract visuals and a very dramatic song accompanying it.

One problem I noticed with the game was some of the returning voice actors. Some of them were fine, but others very clearly forgot what their character sounded like. First of all, the male voice actor for the player character (you can choose between male or female) sounded a lot more gruff than in the base game. That’s not too bad, but it was laughable when one of the characters lost his German accent or when another gained a hint of a Long Island accent. It’s especially noticeable when their new lines are played alongside their old ones. How does something like this happen? For a game filled with little details, this is a pretty glaring flaw.

I give Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty a score of 9/10. Is this the game we were initially promised? No. Is it still one of the best games I’ve ever played? Without a shadow of a doubt. Now get out there, samurai. You’ve got a city to burn.

Cyberpunk 2077 is available on PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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