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Here’s how CDPR made the best quest in Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

CDPR's quest director has explained how the team made Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty's best quest, and how it developed the DLC in general.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty best quest: Keanu Reeves as a sci-fi man with a metal left arm, on a railing

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty is quite the redemption arc for CD Projekt Red’s recent foray into Night City. I loved it after swiftly bouncing off the base game, and there were a handful of side and main quests that I really enjoyed above all else. One in particular left a mark on me, and now we know exactly how CDPR made it.

During my own Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty review last year, one quest stood out above the rest. CD Projekt Red delivered a fitting send-off to one of the most maligned triple-A launches of recent years, and this quest in particular stuck with me not just for its simple yet incredibly effective presentation, also but because it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Cyberpunk 2077 turns into Alien Isolation for a brief moment, the open-world game morphs into horror, and it’s incredible.

So how did this quest come together? Well, Phantom Liberty quest director Paweł Sasko has spilled the beans in a new interview – spoilers ahead for Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty, of course.

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Sasko tells Aftermath in their interview that CDPR created content teams, or ‘pods’, of developers across disciplines to work on specific parts of Phantom Liberty, with the ‘Somewhat Damaged’ main quest coming from one of these teams.

“You were hidden in a bunker, and there’s the Cerberus [robot] chasing you. It’s a horror quest. When I was working on it with my designers – at the time I had open-world quest and cinematic design teams – I kept coming back to this,” Sakso explains. “’What is the genre? What is the theme? What are we building? We’re building horror.’ And I kept bringing up this comparison: Imagine you are in a maze with a minotaur chasing you. That is basically the quest we’re building. If you come with any other ideas that do not fit that, we are not doing it. Please stick to this. You cannot imagine how many times I said it to them. But it helped. At some point, they were making better and better decisions, and I had to course correct less and less.”

Somewhat Damaged is, and still remains, one of my favorite surprise turns in any game I’ve played. It’s simple in concept: hide from the giant robot monster while running around an underground facility, but the lighting, sound design, and lack of ways to actually hurt the bot make for some incredibly tense moments. Everything about the quest works in concert with one another, proving that CDPR’s pod system works.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty best quest: shot of a man on a red bike shooting a gun in a city-street, with an armored car to their left.

Sasko adds that quests like Somewhat Damaged could only work as well as they do because of this system, which helped the smaller teams stick to a vision. “[In Somewhat Damaged] when you’re entering the bunker, and there’s that moment when Cerberus appears and is almost hanging over you like Shelob from Lord of the Rings, we called it ‘entering the lair of the monster.’ That was the theme of how it should feel. And then every time the effects artist, the environment artist, the audio designer was working on it, we kept repeating this.”

If this story from Sasko has you wanting to jump back into Night City, maybe some Cyberpunk 2077 mods will have it feeling fresh, while our Cyberpunk 2077 builds guide can help you take on the biggest threats.

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