While many fans of Cyberpunk 2077 feared the game could not be rescued from its bug-ridden state, many others hoped it could be redeemed with new updates and DLC content. Now may be the developer’s best chance to do so. CD Projekt Red recently released a trailer for the first DLC coming to cyberpunk known as phantom freedomwhich adds an all-new Night City neighborhood to explore, new weapons, cyberware, and an exciting spy story, involving the new United States of America and Militech.
In the world of cyberpunk, the history of the modern United States and the rest of the world has taken a divergence. Rather than the fall of the Soviet Union, it was the United States and NATO, sparked by a global stock market crash in 1994. Within two years, the United States was overwhelmed by homelessness, unemployment, disease, famine and a failing ecosystem due to the climate. change. Many city governments have declared bankruptcy, with streets becoming active war zones due to gang violence. They were forced to turn to mega-corporations in a desperate attempt to save them. Countless families have been disenfranchised and adopted nomadic lifestyles to survive. It is estimated that more than 100 million Americans died during this national disaster.
As the chaos unfolded, the states of Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Utah, North Dakota, and South Dakota all seceded from the United States and declared their independence, becoming known as the Free States. Meanwhile, high-ranking members of the NSA, CIA, FBI, and DEA attempted to seize power by assassinating both the President and Vice President, further destabilizing the nation. They formed a shadowy cabal known as the Gang of Four, and to this day they hold absolute authority within the federal government, with countless secret agents placed across the globe.
To prevent America’s complete collapse, the military suspended the constitution and declared a period of martial law that lasted over a decade. Even after martial law was lifted, many came to see the new government as a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. As a result of these disasters, rampant corruption, and civil war, America is no longer considered a global superpower and has lost much of its influence and standing with other nations. Now reformed as NUSA, they struggle to reclaim their country’s former glory.
In 2023, at the end of the fourth corporate war between Arasaka and Militech, the latter was nationalized by the federal government to control the company. They also used their military-industrial might to bolster their own military and maintain law and order in the territories they controlled. Since Militech’s assets were nationalized, the federal government is almost entirely dependent on its resources, and many of its board members hold high-ranking positions in the national military. It can be difficult to tell where the state ends and society begins.
In 2069, newly elected NUSA President Rosalind Myers presented a program to reunite free states under federal rule under the guise of nation building. Some of these independent states chose to return to the fold, but most refused the proposal, leading the NUSA military and Militech to launch an attack on the western states. This conflict would later be called the Unification War. When war threatened to reach Night City, a councilman named Lucius Rhyne contacted the Arasaka Society and begged them to help defend the metropolis. A few days later, a super carrier arrived near the coast with a large army of Arasaka soldiers, forcing the NUSA and its allies to call off the attack on the city.
Following Arasaka’s intervention, the NUSA and the Free States signed a treaty known as the Unification Treaty, which would ensure that the Free States would maintain their autonomy, but require them to participate in the federal government and cease hostilities between them. During this time, Night City became an internationally free city that was no longer part of Northern California or NUSA. However, this newfound freedom came at a price, as many laws and rights of the Free States and NUSA no longer applied. Corporate interests were again allowed in the city. While the terms of the treaty were unsatisfactory to both sides in the conflict, the Arasaka company benefited the most, as it was again allowed to operate in North America after being banned for decades.
This DLC is still a year away, and it will be a while before more information on what to expect becomes available. While the Unification War is over, the NUSA has not given up on its goals of eventually reunifying all of the Free States under its rule. If there is an indication of phantom freedom teaser, Night City could be the key to realizing this dream. Whether V is sworn to help the feds or try to stop them will likely depend on the players.