Many players have been raving about Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty DLC, but when is the perfect time to start the expansion while you play the main story?
CD Projekt Red has done the impossible, managing to earn back the trust of their fans after the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 in 2020. This year saw the release of their DLC expansion Phantom Liberty, and along with the 2.0 update, it gives players a new mission as V, which also takes place in a whole new district dubbed ‘Dogtown.’
In Phantom Liberty, V has been tasked to find the president of the New United States, who has crashed in the middle of Dogtown. While Night City can be considered quite chaotic, Dogtown is on a new level, with more dangerous factions and fewer rules.
Good thing you’ll be accompanied by soldier-turned-merc Solomon Reed (Idris Elba) to help you navigate the place—not to mention your friend Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves) is also along for the ride.
A lot of praise is being thrown Phantom Liberty’s way, with many fans claiming that the game has been ‘fixed’ from its broken state when it was first released. That being said, many fans are now jumping into Night City for the first time, but they are curious as to when they should start the campaign for Phantom Liberty, seeing that the core story of the main game is already pretty extensive in itself.
So when is the right time to jump into the story of Phantom Liberty?
When Does Phantom Liberty Take Place?
If Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is supposed to take place before the events of Cyberpunk 2077, Phantom Liberty is designed to take place in the middle of the core game’s story—this is why Johnny Silverhand is still hanging around in V’s mind throughout the missions.
As it turns out, having Phantom Liberty take place mid-game is part of the narrative design. Talking to PC Gamer, CDPR narrative director Igor Sarzynski reveals that the Phantom Liberty story was placed in the middle of V’s journey because they didn’t want to meddle with the multiple endings that the game comes with. Sarzynski explains:
“We did consider a couple of other scenarios… But none of them were a continuation of the main game story.
“The endings are too diverse to have a single post-main story thread make sense for them all—and you don’t want to pick one and invalidate other people’s choices.”
Should they have decided to write something after the main story, it would seem like they would have to pick an actual canon ending, so it was decided to move PL’s story to the middle to validate everyone’s chosen ending for the character of V.
Phantom Liberty still provides an alternate ending to the main game.
When Should You Start Phantom Liberty in Cyberpunk?
When it comes to playing Phantom Liberty, it will have to depend on how far along you were in the game before the launch of the DLC. If you finished the game before the DLC came out, there is an option to just jump in on the game and start from the first mission of Dogtown.
On the other hand, if you’re entirely new to Cyberpunk 2077, the Phantom Liberty side mission will start automatically in the middle of the game. Take note, it will have to be a while into the game; around the beginning of Act 2, you’ll get a message that reads Dog Eat Dog, and this will mark the start of your entrance to Dogtown and the beginning of the expansion.
If you start a new game, though, you can have the option to skip the main game, and you will be brought to a bookshop where you will receive the first call for the Phantom Liberty expansion—skipping the first Act of the game.
Getting the Phantom Liberty Alternate Ending
Cyberpunk 2077 already has five alternate endings for V, but the Phantom Liberty DLC has a new ending that caps off V’s journey in the game. To get here, you must start the expansion at a specific time and complete several side quests from Act 1 and Act 2.
According to IGN, you will have to hold off on performing the Phantom Liberty missions until you get to the third act mission, Nocturne Op55N1—this is considered a point in the story where there is no turning back. The decisions in this mission will affect the ending you’ll get in the game.
Before you get to this Act 3 point, though, you’ll have to finish these missions from Act 1 and Act 2:
– Playing for Time
– Automatic Love
– Ghost Town
– Down on the Street
– Play it Safe
– Gimme Danger
– Search and Destroy
You can pursue the Phantom Liberty quest once you reach this point of no return. It’s said that since this is already far into the game’s third Act, the missions of Phantom Liberty will then replace the intended final missions for the main game—and it will all culminate in a satisfying alternate ending arc for V.
Even the characters you form relationships with within the main story—like Panam or Judy—will also factor into the ending of Phantom Liberty.
End of the Line
With Cyberpunk having so many alternate endings and requirements to get specific results, it will take a lot of time to fulfill these quests just to get to specific endpoints.
It’s always suggested that you save your game before the Nocturne Op55N1 mission right before it starts, so you don’t have to go back and repeat the entire thing just for a different result.
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