Thursday 23 November 2023

Treachery and treason, there's always an excuse for it

Phantom Liberty, the new expansion for Cyberpunk: 2077, seemed simple enough to begin with, our little band of misfit underdogs against the nasty warlord-type running Dogtown. Sneaking around, infiltrating swanky parties, swapping faces with amoral hackers, all very Mission Impossible. Towards the end things fell apart; betrayal, lies, treason, death… and that was just the teachers, ah!!1! And then I got off the bus!

Having reached an unsatisfactory conclusion the first time I played through the base game I tried to do a little reading around the possible endings of the expansion without completely spoiling them. Melmoth helpfully provided some spoiler-free nudges so I had a bit of an idea of some of the choices I’d have to made, though that didn’t make it any easier to decide who to side with. Everyone had their reasons for behaving as they did and there was no compromise to keep everyone happy. Or indeed alive.

The result was a bittersweet finish, heavy on the bitter with a faint dash of sweet. I wasn’t expecting everyone to tap-dance off into the sunset singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” while fountains of rainbows sprayed hither and yon, but even by Cyberpunk standards it was a bleak, bleak time of my life. Afterwards I did some more detailed reading and it looks like I got the worst ending – except for all the others. A couple of paths even lead to a completely different finish to the main game, an interesting take on things, but not really what I envisage for my V.

I was feeling a little melancholy as the credits rolled, but the game serves up a treat at that point – the titular theme tune, performed by Dawid PodsiadÅ‚o. It’s an absolute banger, as I believe the kids say, that would fit a Bond film extremely well. I think it might be the first end credit song I’ve sat and listened through since Still Alive and I’ve added it to a couple of playlists since. It was a nice way to carry me back to the main game with a renewed purpose, to wrap things up for V more suitably than my first time around.

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