Nearly three years after its official release in December 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 is back with a complete gameplay overhaul and a sizeable expansion headlined by Idris Elba. Following what was arguably the most troubled launch of a triple-A video game in history, the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update and Phantom Liberty expansion give fans a refreshing reason to revisit this action-adventure RPG.
Cyberpunk 2077 was plagued by a mass of problems at launch; the game was essentially unplayable due to the amount of distracting bugs and unpolished visuals. For those who did stick around, the experience was severely weighed down by clunky and outdated gameplay mechanics, which heavily overshadowed what is actually a compelling main story. In an outstanding display of commitment, developer CD Projekt Red has delivered a thorough renovation including an improved skill tree, enhanced animations, and so much more to be proud of in its 2.0 update.
The ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ 2.0 Update Brings Justice to the Abhorrent Launch from 2020
At the top of a lengthy list of glaring issues that made Cyberpunk 2077 a miserable experience pre-2.0 update was the gameplay. Combat felt dreadfully outdated and repetitive — if you used any ranged or melee weapon for several minutes, you had experienced all it had to offer. Gameplay now feels extraordinarily satisfying across different play styles, with new finisher animations for every variety of melee weapon, and cyberware enhancements that offer many diverse ways to tackle ranged combat.
The cyberware feature before the 2.0 update was another disappointing aspect. Fans were expecting a comprehensive arsenal of modifications and instead received an underwhelming selection of largely passive abilities. Different ripperdocs (vendors who sell and install cyberware) also held limited stock, which led to wasted time searching around the city just to find the piece you were looking for. In the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update, cyberware now offers more active abilities instead of passive bonuses, and ripperdocs around the city all pull from the same inventory. Higher quality cyberware becomes available as the player progresses in level. A vast accessibility improvement.
This leads directly to what is arguably the most significant change: everything in the game, including weapons, clothing, armor, cyberware, and missions no longer scale directly with player level. Pre-2.0 was a nightmare of small windows of missions available based on your level, and constantly having to discard and upgrade or find new gear to keep up. The gear found at level 10 is no longer obsolete by level 20, and certain areas aren’t either vastly over or under-leveled for your current loadout. All areas, missions, and activities now offer a satisfying challenge, regardless of player level.
The skill tree has also received a massive overhaul, similar in structure to the changes in the cyberware category. The Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update replaces all the passive skills with active abilities designed to enhance combat with all new ways to play. Melee combat in particular is far more gratifying, as players can dash around with unparalleled quickness, deflecting bullets with a katana back towards enemies and utilizing all new animations. Ranged combat also benefits from the new skill trees, with unique abilities playing directly into the use of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and more. Each subcategory comes with different skills to offer a plethora of new play styles.
The ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Phantom Liberty Review: An Enthralling Story With Gorgeous Visuals and Shocking Twists
The Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update isn’t CD Projekt Red’s only card to try to reinvigorate fans’ excitement about the franchise. The Phantom Liberty expansion is now available for $30, and it’s worth every penny. After securing Keanu Reeves to play a critical role in the game’s main story as rocker boy/domestic terrorist Johnny Silverhand, developers brought in Elba to headline the DLC. Elba plays the sly but determined government agent, Solomon Reed.
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty immediately throws players into the anarchic new area of Dogtown, which contrasts strongly with the streets of Night City but feels every bit as alive. Players will come across interactive moments and brand-new side missions and gigs that serve to distract from the main story for a bit while exploring the new region. Dogtown is the perfect size for the Phantom Liberty expansion, able to be traversed in mere minutes while still offering hours of new content.
The story inside the Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty DLC struggles with some pacing issues at times, but the minor bumps are overshadowed by some absolutely bewitching highs. This political thriller involving the NUSA (New United States of America) raises the stakes to extreme levels, while also keeping things very personal for the main character, V (Gavin Drea). Fighting against new enemies in uncharted territory, V enlists the help of Solomon Reed and Songbird (Minji Chang) for one final, desperate attempt to save his life and get Johnny Silverhand out of his head.
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty unfolds in a wildly cinematic fashion while allowing the player to respond to the many twists and turns that make this story great. These choices directly affect what happens to both the supporting characters and V, adding an intense layer of investment.
Between the 2.0 Update and ‘Phantom Liberty’ Expansion, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Deserves Another Shot
Perhaps no game has a more checkered past than Cyberpunk 2077, but no game is more worthy of a second chance than this one. Between the 2.0 update and Phantom Liberty expansion, Cyberpunk 2077 now confidently belongs in the ranks of the best single-player RPG games of the last 5–10 years. Whatever your preconceived notions are about this game, leave them at the door and get ready to immerse yourself in a revitalized and revolutionary gaming experience.
The Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update is now live on all platforms and the Phantom Liberty expansion is available for purchase. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest gaming news.
'Cyberpunk 2077' 2.0 Update and 'Phantom Liberty' DLC Review'Cyberpunk 2077' 2.0 Update and 'Phantom Liberty' DLC Review
- Rewarding gameplay
- Comprehensive skill tree
- Satisfying combat
- Captivating story
- Pacing in 'Phantom Liberty' moves a bit slow at times