Songbird standing in front of desk
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

10 Reasons to be Hyped for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Preem of the crop.

With the rocky launch and countless updates behind us, the grand finale of CD Projekt Red’s magnum opus draws near. Will Cyberpunk 2077 be known in the annals of gaming history as one of the all-time greats, or will it remain a tragic lesson in overhyping something? Regardless, based on what’s been shown, we couldn’t be more hyped for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Night City was already a blast, but the DLC expansion is about to propel things out of orbit. In particular, these are 10 of the biggest reasons Phantom Liberty might live up to the hype.

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A Spy-Thriller Storyline

Dogtown at night featured in Phantom Liberty
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

The Cyberpunk setting was absolutely made for espionage tales. While we got some snippets of authentic spy narratives in the base game, there weren’t any truly dedicated ones. Most of Cyberpunk’s covert escapades came in the form of Gigs and how you actually played through the game rather than a sweeping spy plot. Sneaking through illicit hideouts and snuffing out security cams with a silencer was a pretty common strategy for me, but it wasn’t necessarily the core story focus.

That all changes in Phantom Liberty. V’s point of contact for the story is an intelligence analyst by the name of Songbird. She’s going to be a major character in the story, guiding V throughout his psuedo-undercover NUS agent career. Songbird was mentioned various times in the base Cyberpunk experience as one of the most adept netrunners around too, so there’s little doubt she’ll prove a powerful ally.

She also has an intimate history with Phantom Liberty’s other star of the show, Solomon Reed. How deep these connections are though, and how they’ll play into the story, won’t become clear until we can all dig into the narrative ourselves.

Idris Elba’s Character, Solomon

Solomon Reed
Image via CD Projekt Red

That brings us to Songbird’s relationship interest, Solomon Reed.

Solomon is played by none other than actor Idris Elba, and if the trailers are any indication, his voice work is going to be phenomenal. CD Projekt Red are clearly going full cinematic mode with this character too: The animations we’ve seen from gameplay footage of the new character are among the best in the industry, and you can see Idris Elba’s mo-cap performances here demonstrating his excellence.

But we’re not just excited for the performance behind Idris Elba’s character. Solomon Reed is also primed to be one of the more fleshed-out characters in the entire game.

The final trailer to Phantom Liberty shows us Solomon getting backstabbed by someone he trusted. It’s impossible to tell which character is in the right and who’s going to end up as an antagonist at the end of the day, but it’s clear that CD Projekt Red is pouring a tremendous amount of effort into this character.

More Johnny Silverhand

Johnny Silverhand chilling out in Phantom Liberty
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

I don’t know about you, but Keanu Reaves’ portrayal as Johnny Silverhand was one of the standout aspects of Cyberpunk 2077.

Some of the most memorable moments in the game featured the wise-cracking Johnny being an antagonizing jerk to V. The roller coaster ride between Johnny and V showed a genuine side to Johnny we’d love to see more of in Phantom Liberty. The opportunity is rife for tons of new memorable Silverhand moments, especially since CDPR brought Keanu Reaves back to reprise his role one last time.

Even though he’s a grade-A jerk, we cannot wait to listen to more rants and quips from Night City’s most notorious rocker boy.

A New District to Explore

Pyramid building in Phantom Liberty
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

Exploration is one of Cyberpunk’s greatest accomplishments. The environments look and feel lived-in and are authentic to the source material. While you cannot enter every building you see, you can certainly climb them and walk under their seedy underbelly.

Luckily, Phantom Liberty is primed to provide even more of that. The DLC features an entirely new district east of Pacifica called Dogtown. This disputed warzone has three subdistricts and its own territorial gang to contend with, as well as a slew of new sights for players to partake in. Expect many new vendors, shops, apartments, characters, and more quests than you probably have time for scattered throughout the large new district.

To add to Dogtown, the spaceport on Morro Rock will also be explorable as a new zone accessible from the City Center district.

Morro Rock is something we haven’t seen much of in the Phantom Liberty coverage, so it’ll be exciting to finally explore that island with the giant rocket ship we kept getting teased with throughout the main game.

New Gigs and Side Jobs

Barghest giving V a gig in Phantom Liberty
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

As long-time fans might have guessed, CD Projekt Red isn’t going to just let the main story take all the glory. Side Jobs and Gigs are going to be a big focus in Phantom Liberty too.

The side jobs in Cyberpunk 2077 were easily some of the best content in the entire game, so we’re eager to see what is in store for Phantom Liberty. All these new characters and factions will inevitably play a role in these side missions too.

One contractor in particular who never really gave V much work in Cyberpunk 2077 was Mr. Hands. He’s in charge of gigs for Pacifica, and it seems he covers the Dogtown region too. We’ve never seen his hideout in the base game, so no doubt we’ll finally be able to explore the elusive contractor’s lair in Phantom Liberty.

More Amazing Vehicles

Vehicle with mounted-weapons
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

The wide range of vehicles in Cyberpunk 2077 was one of my favorite aspects of the entire game. The car designs and sounds were so good that they even sparked my interest in real-life car culture. We can expect that same level of automotive detail to return for Phantom Liberty, and then some added ridiculousness on top.

What we’ve seen of Phantom Liberty’s exclusive vehicles is already tantalizing. Sports car manufacturer Quadra is making another appearance with this new model seemingly inspired by the classic 70s Plymouth Baracuda.

The new Quadra Sport R-7 Vigilante demonstrates just how cool a fictional car can be. The style fits Cyberpunk perfectly, and then there’s the handling and sound. Cyberpunk’s design team goes out to the very best of the best real-world examples and takes notes and sound samples. We know that the devs went out and recorded real-world car symphonies like the Lexus LFA to later mix in their sound booth for the base game’s Rayfield Caliburn.

But that’s not all. Phantom Liberty features the new addition of missile-mounted combat vehicles. If you’ve ever wanted to cause mayhem in your own decked-out tank around Night City, Phantom Liberty has you covered.

A New Faction to Take on

Barghest faction in Dogtown
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

The new district of Dogtown doesn’t just run itself, the territorial Barghest is a powerful faction ready to pounce on any that get in their way. Barghest is a private army of ex-Militech soldiers led by NUSA colonial Kurt Hansen. It’s very clear that Barghest will be the toughest of all the factions yet, thoroughly challenging V’s newfound Relic powers.

Besides the challenging new battles to be had, Barghest delivers a perfect piece of the espionage pie. Comprised of former NUSA personnel and the strongest thugs Dogtown has to offer, Barghest is entangled at the heart of the conflict that V and Solomon find themselves in. They could end up being the most story-relevant faction in all of Cyberpunk 2077, and play a huge role in the stories surrounding Night City.

The Relic Skill Tree

One of the perks in the relic tree
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

Phantom Liberty will finally let us dig into that mysterious locked skill tree at the bottom of V’s character menu, known only as Relic.

V’s collaboration with the NUSA allows the latent Relic powers within to be fully unleashed. While at first glance it looks like there aren’t all that many perks in the new Relic tree, each one can enhance V’s skills past the limit.

Fitting the espionage theme of Phantom Liberty is the Emergency Cloaking tree within Relic. Emergency Cloaking instantaneously forces enemies to lose track of V while invisible, while the Sensory Protocol perk slows time if caught while crouched. These seem like small servings of icing on a giant cake, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but this particular icing goes a long way in this instance.

The perk I’m most excited to try out is Spatial Mapping, which allows V to instantly warp strike to enemies after chaining kills.

There are also several perks dedicated to the arm augmentations you can make to yourself via Cyberware, and the Vulnerability Analytics ability can give players the chance to decimate enemies with guaranteed crits.

Relic seems to be the final capstone in transforming V into a cybernetic powerhouse. Even if it doesn’t really transform the gameplay with all-new mechanics, it should still provide some fun new toys for players to add to their toolkits.

More Lizzy Wizzy

New Lizzy Wizzy design in Phantom Liberty
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

‘Violence’ is a peculiar and fascinating Side Job in Cyberpunk 2077, and it’s the only quest in the game featuring what may just be the wackiest and most deranged character in the entire setting: Lizzy Wizzy.

As Night City’s most famous pop icon, she’s willing to do anything for more publicity. Flatlining herself on stage only to finish the concert off in a new chromed-out body is only one of many stunts she’s pulled.

There was initially supposed to be more Lizzy Wizzy content in the base game before it got cut, so we’re excited CDPR is bringing her back in preem style for Phantom Liberty.

New Radio Stations

Growl fm radio station in Phantom Liberty
Image Source: CD Projekt Red

Last but not least, we’re excited to have some new radio stations to listen to as we drive through Dogtown and the new environs of Phantom Liberty.

Music is an ambient part of any immersive video game, but Cyberpunk’s soundtrack represents Night City itself. Pop icon Lizzy Wizzy and rocker Johnny Silverhand were mentioned earlier, but there’s a host of other musicians the player interacts with in Night City. Their songs play across the different themed radio stations, and their ads are plastered across floating neon billboards. The music played across Night City is a direct representation of Cyberpunk’s immersive and lived-in lore.

To demonstrate how obsessed CDPR is with Cyberpunk’s diegetic music, they even put out a 45-minute documentary on the making of one of Phantom Liberty’s new stations, Growl FM.

Might we get a hot new single from pop trio Us Cracks? Will the ever-enduring Kerry Eurodine release his comeback album, maybe even reference V directly in the song? Cyberpunk 2077 is a living, breathing world, and perhaps nothing helps remind us of this better than the music playing on the radio.

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Image of Matthew Carmosino
Matthew Carmosino
Matthew Carmosino is a freelance writer for Twinfinite. He started gaming in the mid-90s where his love for SquareSoft RPGs like Chrono Trigger changed him forever. Matthew has been working in the game industry for two years covering everything from story-rich RPGs to puzzle-platformers. Listening to piano music on a rainy day is his idea of a really good time, which probably explains his unnatural tolerance for level-grinding.