Cyberpunk 2077’s first (and only) paid expansion, Phantom Liberty, launches on September 26th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC. It’s the culmination of the CD Projekt RED’s efforts to redeem the futuristic FPS/RPG and offers a lot of new content and features for players to jump into.
Players venture into Dogtown, a new district outside Night City’s jurisdiction where anarchy reigns. Here are 15 new things you should know about the expansion based on details revealed at Gamescom.
“Dozens” of New Story Quests and Gigs
After the spacecraft carrying NUSA president Rosalind Myers crashlands in Dogtown, she becomes a target for Colonel Kurt Hansen and the Barghest. Meanwhile, agents of the Federal Intelligence Agency, like Solomon Reed, move to secure Myers, preferably with V’s help. The length of Phantom Liberty’s storyline hasn’t been outlined, but CD Projekt RED has promised “dozens” of new story quests and side gigs.
It wouldn’t be an expansion without new weapons, and thanks to Dogtown’s Black Market, there are all kinds of new toys to play with. Some illegal weapons outlawed in Night City include the Order shotgun (a Tech-type weapon), the Grit handgun (which looks to be a machine pistol) and the Warden SMG. There are also sniper rifles like the Osprey and Rasetsu; the Hercules, a special weapon that could be a flamethrower, judging by the nozzle; and a new katana.
Over 100 New Items
Overall, there are 100 new items that players can look forward to. New weapons are a given, but there are also new Cyberware and fashion choices. Perhaps you can take some of the Barghest’s military-issue armor for yourself or look as sleek as Reed does. Time will tell.
Perks have undergone a significant overhaul and will be available to all players when Update 2.0 launches alongside Phantom Liberty. Some of these include a new Air Dash, deflecting bullets using your katana, Pull, which tosses a grenade and shoots it out of mid-air, and Deadeye for executing enemies in quick succession with headshots. There are some pretty cool choices here.
All this would be remiss if you couldn’t finish enemies in style, and there are some new brutal Finishers. Chop an enemy to pieces with Bladerunner, brutally chainsaw their heads off, kill an enemy and toss them into another enemy. There are several choices available, and they all look great.
Accommodating Different Playstyles
Cyberpunk 2077 made great strides in encouraging more specialized builds, and Update 2.0 is leaning further toward that. Game Director Gabe Amatangelo recently spoke to Xbox On about how “One of our big inspirations is that: When you think about this world with cyberware, and the dark future, you’ve got certain fantasies in mind of ways you want to play, ways you want to be.” You could be a quick-moving marshall who wields a sword, a top-notch Netrunner, a venerable Terminator and more.
“So now we’ve got these abilities where you can pick up bodies and throw them. You can be right in the middle of the crossfire, and as long as you keep pushing that attack, you’ll be regenerating your life, and you’ll be getting into a fury state.” Said fury state will reduce your health, but as long as you’re attacking, you keep regening health.
Increased Level Cap
With all the new perks available, making choices is tough (which is the point of build-crafting, but I digress). The good news is that the level cap is increasing to 60, so you can have more room for upgrades. The bad news is that it’s exclusive to the expansion and not free for all players.
New Relic Tree Details
The Relic Tree is also exclusive to Phantom Liberty and introduces a brand new skill tree with crazy new abilities. The recent Gamescom Opening Night Live trailer showcased Launch Capacity Override, which quickly fires three explosive shots from your arm cannon, and Spatial Mapping, where you can teleport to an enemy and slay them with Mantis Blades. Limiter Removal allows for super strength while punching and can send heavy foes flying, while Emergency Cloaking lets you activate Optical Camo in combat, providing a chance to escape.
New Vehicular Combat Details
Vehicular combat is another new feature, available for all players, and lets you fire weapons from inside your car or on a bike. You can quick hack and slash tires while on a bike and mod vehicles with weapons like dual machine guns in the front. In Phantom Liberty, you can also equip vehicles with launchers, raining missiles down on enemies.
For those who finish Phantom Liberty’s story, there are “endless” dynamic events to complete. These include new vehicle missions, where you steal vehicles for a fixer named Mama Welles. Some have objectives, like ensuring a vehicle is undamaged, further adding to the challenge. It promises to have “many variants” and “infinitely replayable.” Airdrop missions see caches dropping from the sky that you must race to obtain, fighting off any enemies after the same thing.
New vehicles are also promised in the expansion, with Quadra, Archer and Villefort rides showcased and available for the taking. If you’re looking for something a little more destructive, there’s also an APC equipped with a missile rack. That should certainly be useful during car chases (or when you want to go on a destructive joy ride).
Cyberware has undergone an overhaul and functions more akin to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Players now have a meter for assigning cyberware. While it’s unknown if full Cyberpsychosis will occur, you can get debuffs by going over the limit (as noted by GameSpot in its hands-on time with the Summer Game Fest demo). The cyberware limit will gradually increase over time, so you have more freedom to experiment.
Overhauled Combat AI
Combat AI is also getting an overhaul, though it hasn’t been explicitly detailed. We’re hoping this means that enemies will be more intelligent and less predictable, flanking when they have numbers and rushing when you’re weak. Based on how relentless the Barghest have looked, we may get more than we bargained for.
Overhauled Police AI
Police AI is also getting an overhaul, and CD Projekt RED have detailed how that works. Players now have a Heat level, which increases as they commit crimes and evade arrest. Police will pursue you in vehicles, trying to run you off the road, and even create barricades to stop you. As the Heat rises, they become more aggressive.
You can evade arrest by running away from the crime scene and staying out of sight until the police are gone. Otherwise, they won’t stop. There are different authorities to keep in mind based on your location. Night City PD patrols, well, Night City, while the Barghest patrol Dogtown and the Badlands are presided over by Militech.
What happens when you achieve max Heat? MaxTac becomes involved, initiating a “mini-boss” encounter of sorts. There are several different archetypes for MaxTac, each with unique mechanics, and they should provide a worthwhile challenge for gutsier players.