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Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Despoina Anetaki Interview

We caught up with Cyberpunk 2077's quest designer to talk about the upcoming anticipated expansion and how it will be telling a different story to the main game, on top of what it's like to work with A-list stars like Keanu Reeves and Idris Elba.

Audio transcriptions

"Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Gamereactor.
We are still here in person in Los Angeles.
And, well, I'm standing right next to CD Projekt Red's booth, you could say."

"I guess there's not really booths these days in the way that Summer Game Fest works.
But, yeah, we're standing right outside of CD Projekt Red because I've just taken a look at the Phantom Liberty expansion for Cyberpunk 2077.
Now, I'm standing here with the lovely Despoina from CD Projekt Red, the quest designer on this expansion, to talk a whole bunch about it."

"So, to kick things off, first of all, what makes Phantom Liberty so special?
Why are we going to this place? Why are we going to Dogtown?
Why are we taking this next step in the cyberpunk sort of story?
So, Phantom Liberty is a spy thriller expansion for Cyberpunk 2077."

"That means there's a lot of intrigue, political machinations.
You don't know who to trust. Characters have their own motivations.
They keep secrets from you.
So, I think this really gels very well with the cyberpunk subgenre."

"You know, it's bleak. It's dystopian.
So, it makes for a really nice atmosphere.
We're also adding this new district of Dogtown, and it's packed with a lot of new activities, side content, minor quests, street gigs, and its own history."

"So, it used to be this luxurious development, and it kind of fell apart after the Unification War.
So, there's tons for you to find there.
And, well, obviously, it's a new chapter of the story, as you say, and it's all espionage and whatnot."

"But tell us a little bit about these characters that you're introducing because, you know, Cyberpunk 2077, when it was announced and was first coming out, Keanu Reeves was all the talk of the town."

"And Keanu's back.
But it's not just Keanu who's here this time.
Idris Elba's available.
So, what's it like working with those stars?
It's really great, honestly, to have them on board, both Keanu and Idris Elba."

"I mean, they're amazing actors.
And with Idris Elba, we reached out to him.
We wanted him to portray the character of Solomon Reed.
I mean, because he exudes cool, and he is really able to portray this character that you would see in a quintessential, you know, spy thriller."

"So it was amazing to work with them.
They're great actors.
And Keanu, of course, is returning, you know, and it's awesome to have him."

"And tell me about Dogtown then.
You know, you're the quest designer, so you're part of that team that creates these incredible experiences for people to go and enjoy."

"What does Dogtown allow you to do that potentially, you know, Night City as a whole didn't?
So, for example, you might have been able to see in the demo, we have this new activity."

"It's infinitely repeatable.
It's called Airdrop Loop.
And basically, those are just supplies that are delivered to Dogtown, and you have to reach to rush to find them, because if you don't, basically, someone else will loot them."

"And that's one of many activities.
We have, like, minor quests.
We have street gigs.
Some of them take you outside of Dogtown to the rest of Night City, and they all explore the rich history of Dogtown, their citizens, you know, everything there."

"But also, they reflect the spy thriller theme that we're really creating in the expansion.
Spy thriller theme.
So, it's a little bit different to what we got with the original Cyberpunk, where it was more about sort of streets and urban living and whatnot."

"Why did you decide to go down that route in the first place?
Because, you know, it's very fresh, very new.
Not many games really have explored this genre.
And it works really well with Cyberpunk."

"It's just really cool also to see, you know, to be, you know, a special agent to be getting into these kind of situations.
I think it's just really awesome.
And was there anything that you've, you know, with this being an expansion for the game coming out a couple of years ago, a few years ago nearly at this point, was there anything that you learned from the original Cyberpunk main game that you've taken and added in with Phantom Liberty?
Of course, our quests are always getting better."

"We aim to make them better and better with each release.
And I think the story reflects that and the characters.
But also, we've overhauled, like, a bunch of systems.
Like, I feel like the whole game is just, you know, filled with new stuff for you to find, like perk trees, cyberware, you know, police system."

"It's overhauled, like, vehicle, combat, chases.
Like, there's tons for you to find in this expansion.
And how does it feel then for people to be able to see Cyberpunk as you, you know, originally intended?
You know, after all these years of making the game and bringing it back and, you know, developing it and improving it to where it is today, how does that feel now as a developer and being part of the team that created Cyberpunk?
It was exciting at launch, but I think now it's even more exciting because we've added so much into the game."

"And it's really awesome to get people to see, like, you know, the results of our hard work.
So, yeah, it's an amazing feeling after all these years of work to just be able to show it to people finally."

"And as a final question then, well, this is the only expansion that we're going to be getting for Cyberpunk 2077, but there's more Cyberpunk coming in the future.
That's something that, you know, has already been revealed, but there's going to be more Cyberpunk adventures."

"How is Phantom Liberty going to lead us into that next thing?
Is there going to be a natural step between this expansion and what comes in the future?
I think, you know, I don't want to spoil things."

"I think I'm going to leave things up for you to discover because it's never fun when people tell you how it is.
You know, it's have fun with it, you know, explore Dogtown, explore Phantom Liberty."

"Go from there.
And then actually wrap up, one last thing.
When are we looking to see Phantom Liberty arrive and on what platforms?
We can't really reveal that, you know."

"I can't reveal that information, but, you know, wait and see.
Wait and see.
Well, there you have it.
Phantom Liberty, Cyberpunk 2077 expansion."

"It'll be coming soon, I'll say.
But yeah, for more Cyberpunk news and some more information, be sure to stay tuned to your local Game Rats region.
Until the next time though, guys."

"Take care, everyone."

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