Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty DLC Proves Any Game Can Be Redeemed

Cyberpunk 2077‘s name became synonymous with overhyping and terrible launches when it was released in December 2020, with many believing CD Projekt Red essentially lied about the quality of the product. It did not run well, whatsoever, on PS4 and Xbox One, and while the PC version did well enough, there were more than a few issues with PS5 and Xbox Series X too. Some fans enjoyed the story still, others didn’t, but at the end of the day, its launch was one of the biggest controversies of 2020 in the gaming industry.

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However, thanks to the dedicated work of CD Projekt Red, that reputation has slowly changed. Those who returned or picked up for the first time since then have found a different game. It was not the Cyberpunk 2077 that was promised, and it never will be, but the consensus has clearly shifted from a terrible game to at least a good one. Cyberpunk 2077‘s Edgerunners anime sent players running back to the game, and the recent announcement of its Phantom Liberty DLC has been well-received.

It’s set to release in 2023 and will tell a spy thriller story within Cyberpunk 2077, as well as overhauling the police system, improving vehicle combat, bettering the gameplay loop for melee, adding new actions to the perk tree, and more. It is solid, on paper, and the fact that it has caught many eyes shows how CD Projekt Red did the right thing by not abandoning ship.

RELATED: Cyberpunk Edgerunners Review


Cyberpunk 2077 and the Video Game Redemption Arc

It’s basically impossible to understate how disastrous Cyberpunk 2077′s launch was. Many had believed CD Projekt Red was the definition of customer-friendly coming off The Witcher 3, but the scandals that went down proved it wasn’t. That’s not considering the blowback financially, as many requested refunds and even the PlayStation Store took Cyberpunk 2077 off its platform for an extended time, which was largely unprecedented. None of these were good signs. Yet now, it has broken concurrent player records, has grown a more positive reception, has received tons of support and updates, and more. If Phantom Liberty releases to as positive of a reception, it’ll be fair to say the game has fully redeemed itself; if it can’t hit those high notes, it may lead to a more mixed consensus. But either way, it has come a long way.

This should be a lesson. Many may have expected CD Projekt Red to completely abandon the IP, return to its Witcher roots, and play it safe for the next few releases. (It’s worth noting a new Witcher saga has been announced, but it wasn’t to detract from Cyberpunk 2077, at least not obviously). It’s clear that CD Projekt Red did not play it safe and is all the better as a result, a stark contrast to another title that let fans down drastically. Anthem is up there with Cyberpunk 2077 in terms of overhyping and terrible launches, but EA abandoned Anthem 2.0 as many in its community pleaded for it to push forward.

Now, BioWare has its eyes set on Dragon Age and Mass Effect only. Fans definitely want these to be done right, and shifting its focus here has gone a long way in building up its reputation (especially after Mass Effect: Legendary Edition), but hopefully, BioWare is able to try out a new IP later. Anthem had a ton of promise, but BioWare needed to fix things internally. The management was reportedly the big issue, and should it remain a hurdle, even its safest approach could be a risk. What’s clear is that CD Projekt Red took a different road, and perhaps had BioWare/EA done the same, Anthem 2.0 could have turned the tide just as Cyberpunk has been able to.

Loved sequels are safe bets, but the best games are always gambles.

Cyberpunk 2077‘s Phantom Liberty DLC releases in 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.

MORE: Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty DLC Has to Address The Elephant in the Room

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