Cyberpunk 2077 has a knack of knowing when and just how much it needs to be over the top without causing people to roll their eyes too much. I had the chance to check out the sole upcoming DLC, Phantom Liberty, for close to an hour. I think, just as was true with Witcher 3, Cyberpunk’s DLC has the potential to be the best content in the game.
In Phantom Liberty, V must save the president of the New United States of America. It sounds far-fetched at first, but remember in the base game you have a ghost of a dude in your head who bombed the headquarters of one of the biggest tech giants in the world. With a nuke.
The demo I played began with a new character, Songbird, President Myers’ most trusted assistant. Songbird is an extremely skilled netrunner, and it’s not quite clear yet how she gets in contact with V to begin V’s relationship with the president, but she is a guiding voice on what to do and where to go.
While getting to know Songbird, who is aboard Space Force One with President Myers, everything goes to hell when someone fires a missile at their ship. Of course one of them connects and sends the plane in a nosedive straight at a football stadium where I happened to be standing.
This is all set in a new area of Night City we haven’t seen before, Dogtown. Dogtown is like a city within a city with no government at all – the perfect place for the president. In a lawless place with a power vacuum, there is always someone willing to take charge. A warlord of sorts has taken roost to make Dogtown his own little kingdom.
Instead of the NCPD milling about, there are mercs of every kind roaming in armored trucks, mechs, and just walking the streets themselves. Nothing and no one is friendly, and I definitely felt a little out of place compared to other Night City locales.
Dogtown has an interesting feeling in that it is both extremely familiar with the exploitative nature of the rest of Night City, but it lacks a lot of the new and shiny. Everything is rundown or cobbled together from old ruins, with the new tech haphazardly layered throughout.
For V, I imagine it is a bit of a wake up as well, as I’m sure they think they’re tough as hell living on the streets of Night City. I don’t think it compares to what people have to deal with in Dogtown, however.
This is the world I found myself in with President Myers. She doesn’t have anyone she can trust, and she really only trusts V because of Songbird. Myers has no idea who shot Space Force One down, so she can’t call in allies back at the White House, because who knows if someone friendly or not will answer the call.
This is where Solomon Reed comes in, the character portrayed by Idris Elba. He is an elite spy and FIA agent with a ton of experience under his belt. V will team up with him in Phantom Liberty to figure out a way to save the president.
I love the premise in just how whacky and fitting it is for the absurdity of Cyberpunk 2077’s world. Who doesn’t want to team up with a kickass president to shoot up some bad guys while running around trying to figure out a spy thriller with Idris Elba?
Oh and don’t forget Johnny is still in the mix. He obviously has very strong opinions on the president and V’s willingness to help her. At one point, Myers asked V if they would take an oath to essentially become a government agent. You can choose whether or not to take it, and Johnny has strong opinions on whether you should or not. He also has some pretty funny reactions if you do.
Other than getting into the bits of the story of the DLC, I don’t have a ton else to say. It is more Cyberpunk 2077, and it is exciting to see someone like Idris Elba in the game. And while I didn’t get to experience them myself, or at least didn’t notice, Phantom Liberty has a lot of gameplay additions and tweaks as well, like a new skill tree and cyberware.
In the end I suppose the most important thing is that I just wanted to play more. Phantom Liberty is a no brainer for Cyberpunk 2077 fans. The premise is whacky fun, the new setting of Dogtown is full of cool potential, and if you haven’t played in a bit (like myself), you will have the benefit of a ton of patches and updates on top of what Phantom Liberty adds to the game.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty was previewed on a PlayStation 5 at Summer Game Fest Play Days. Screenshots were provided by CD Projekt RED and were captured on a PlayStation 5.