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Opinions 12 June 2023, 17:50

author: Karol Laska

Interview With CDPR Devs About CP2077: Phantom Liberty

What will Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty be like? The best way to find out is from the source, so we met with representatives of CD Projekt RED in Los Angeles and talked about the details of the upcoming expansion.

It's been two and a half years since the release of Cyberpunk 2077, and we're still waiting for the first expansion to the game. Mike Manka, our envoy to the Summer Games Fest 2023, had the opportunity to spend an hour with the upcoming Phantom Liberty expansion. About his impressions you can read here, below we're giving you a short conversation with two developers from CD Projekt RED.

Wiktoria Stachowska - Senior Environment Artist.

Kacper Niepokolczycki - Lead Environment Artist.

Mike Manka: What's the deal with this Dogtown? What kind of district is it and what is the idea behind it?

Wiktoria Stachowska: Dogtown officially operates as a part of Pacifica and Night City, but in terms of identity and legal status, it is not a part of the city. The typical Night City citizen cannot enter there and usually has no reason to go in there. This place is secluded, well-guarded, kind of like a ghetto. We are talking about a completely different vibe and environment. It is a dark spot on the map of Night City and human nature as well. We enter as V not only into an unknown district, but also we're getting familiar with various stories and characters.

Our goal was to make the city dense, vertical, organic - it has various shades. It also has different sub-areas, the appearance of which depends mainly on the use of a given location and the population living within. In the central district, for example, used to be a lot of casinos, competing advertisements, large sculptures, colorful and exhibitionistic buildings - it was supposed to be such a glamorous district. Now, this area is a decadent, ruined, covered in graffiti, and neglected place. Besides, dereliction, ruination and abandonment are the salt of Dogtown.

The next district in turn is built on the remains of an unfinished construction, like a local Roman Forum. The area is populated and used creatively by the working class, managing this place to live for themselves. So it's not the case that you simply come to Dogtown and buy an apartment from a developer - there was no Marshall Plan after the unification war. The only way it to make use of the surrounding space there. The residents have personalized, private flats connected by a network of hung walkways. We have done a lot to make this district vertical - exploration is possible up, down, and across.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, CD Projekt RED, 2023

When this district was being created, we collected many references and descriptions about South America. There was a migration crisis in the second half of the 20th century. People were moving from rural areas to urbanized ones, which resulted in a housing crisis and illegal constructions. So we were studying how people behave in conditions like the ones in Dogtown.

We also have the upper districts, which are completely different climates - more reminiscent of the Wild West. There is no community here anymore, just wild nature. It was our goal to show that the areas inhabited by people are trampled, full of dirt and filth, while the green part is a place where someone can find something, can expect something. It is a site where nature has taken the place of humankind. Earlier, this native greenery from the Badlands was supposed to be given for the use of the citizens. Now it's a hideout for gangs, it's not the Shire with twittering birds. This is where people without their place in the world gather.

One of my favorite locations, which can be seen at the beginning of the demo, is inspired by a real polish place, and it's a kind of mega-bazaar. There are remnants of a digital civilization, large piles of electronic waste. You want something illegal - you can get it here. The whole Dogtown is actually something like a separate state, shady businesses and under-the-table arrangements are quite usual here.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, CD Projekt RED, 2023

How big is Dogtown in relation to the rest of the game and other districts?

Kacper Niepokolczycki: It's very difficult to determine because Dogtown is vertical and full of content, so it's pointless to measure it in square meters. We believe that the amount of fun offered by Dogtown is very broad.

Does the expansion itself begin as a new storyline in the game world or is it a separate adventure?

Wiktoria Stachowska: Of course, if you've never played the base game you can play it independently. But we recommend playing the original game, as the add-on is a kind of continuation taking place during the story events.

Kacper Niepokolczycki: But yes, it is possible to play Phantom Liberty as a standalone experience.

How long is the DLC, if you can tell?

Kacper Niepokolczycki: We wouldn't want to provide any measurable value in terms of time or hours. Everyone plays this game differently. However, this is a high-quality add-on. The kind we are known for and we feel proud of our results.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, CD Projekt RED, 2023

Will the new features coming with the add-on be adapted to the core version of the game? Does the game receive so-called 2.0 version?

Kacper Niepokolczycki: In Phantom Liberty you have access to a new Relic skill, which enriches the gameplay possibilities. The expansion itself was a platform to improve things in the basic game. Our internal goal was to achieve a continuous balance of production. As a result, players will get many new features in gameplay or skill trees. Number of perks has been limited, but they are much more specific and stronger. We have introduced huge gameplay improvements, including, for example, vehicle combat - you can shoot from cars and there are cars equipped with weapons. Moving forward, we have invested a significant amount of time and heart in improving the AI system, which I hope will be noticed. The police wanted system has benefited from this – the fight against police is now more interesting and credible. Besides we added a lot of minor content.

Are there any new activities, like tasks for fixers, included in the main Cyberpunk 2077 game?

Wiktoria Stachowska: We have added quite a lot to the open world. In addition to the main story, we have side missions and smaller quests, such as the so-called red smoke (which means courier drops). ed.). There are also courier missions, secrets, there's a lot to do and you won't bored.

So now I will ask a question that is open to many interpretations: is there little in the game?

Kacper Niepokolczycki: No, it's a lot.

Wiktoria Stachowska: Yes, that's a good answer (laughter).

Karol Laska

Karol Laska

His adventure with journalism began with a personal blog, the name of which is no longer worth quoting. Then he interpreted Iranian dramas and the Joker, writing for cinematography journal, which, sadly, no longer exists. His writing credentials include a degree in film studies, but his thesis was strictly devoted to video games. He has been writing for Gamepressure since March 2020, first writing a lot about movies, then in the newsroom, and eventually, he became a specialist in everything. He currently edits and writes articles and features. A long-time enthusiast of the most bizarre indie games and arthouse cinema. He idolizes surrealism and postmodernism. He appreciates the power of absurdity. Which is probably why he also tried soccer refereeing for 2 years (with so-so results). He tends to over-philosophize, so watch out.


Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

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