Behind the Scenes of Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty’s Launch Trailer

Summary

  • CD Projekt Red’s spy-thriller adventure Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is out today for Xbox Series X|S.
  • To celebrate its launch, we created the Official Launch Trailer featuring Dawid Podsiadło’s closing track for the expansion, titled “Phantom Liberty”.
  • Our video artists worked together to reflect the expansion’s spy-thriller atmosphere in a tense, beautifully shot trailer — and now, they’re breaking down how they did it.

We at CD Projekt Red are so excited to finally deliver Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty into the hands of players — and to celebrate its release, we prepared the Official Launch Trailer, packed with moody, spy-thriller vibes and featuring an exclusive new track from Polish chart-topper Dawid Podsiadło. Imbuing the trailer with an atmosphere of mystery and tension that properly reflected the heart-pounding story players are in for was our top priority, which is why we took some time to meet with our video team and break down just how they brought it to life. Haven’t seen it yet? Take a watch before reading on for some exclusive insights.

We joined two of our CD Projekt Red employees, Video Artist Adam Dudek and Senior Video Artist Rafał Bieńko, to learn more about how they approached this final trailer. On paper, their titles may sound similar, but their roles naturally diverged. “In classic film terms, it could best be described that Rafał is the director and I’m the director of photography,” Adam explained. “But at the same time it’s much more than that. Our roles also include editing, designing shots, shotspotting, technical in-engine magic, and figuring out how to capture everything in the best way possible, story- and quality-wise.”

Creating a trailer also involves stages similar to a traditional film production, from ideas and moodboards to actually shooting and locking a final cut. At the idea stage, it’s important to decide on a tone, something that will carry the project all the way through. “Sometimes that can be dictated by the voiceover, but it’s equally important to know what we want to achieve with the trailer,” Rafał said. “Do we want to tease the narrative of the game, explore a certain character, showcase a game feature, or highlight a stunning environment piece? We prefer to do a few things at once because when it comes to trailers, every shot matters. What’s most important, however, is staying true to the game itself.”

And when it comes to the tone of the expansion versus the trailer, according to Rafał, “We like to think it matches perfectly. We played this expansion over and over since its development stages, and I think our awesome devs did such a great job in crafting a really beautiful, extremely engaging story full of twists and turns, a story that we fell in love with and basically sunk so much time into.”

Adam added, “Phantom Liberty has a really strong spy vibe since it was inspired by many classic noir movies and stories itself. So in our work, we wanted to highlight that at much as possible through pacing, music, VOs, framing, composition and lighting — basically, everything we’ve got. Our games have such a wide variety of topics, which means we can always approach the trailer’s narrative from multiple angles. In our previous trailers and teasers we set the stage of the story in Phantom Liberty, so this time around we wanted to make it more personal, more emotional.” And the best way to do that? “Dawid Podsiadło’s song was the obvious choice. It set up the tone we wanted instantly.”

Like every good spy film, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty contains a closing track that plays over the credits — a melancholic, gripping tribute to the narrative that has just run its course. Dawid Podsiadło, who had previously recorded music for Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, was a natural choice to really bring the story home. Together with CD Projekt Red’s Senior Composer P.T. Adamczyk and Music Director Marcin Przybyłowicz, the trio — alongside the Prague National Orchestra — created their own take on a classic spy song.

Rafał noted that “Dawid’s song absolutely had an impact on the shots and scenes we chose. It’s melancholic and emotional at heart with a strong and energetic current, one that steered us to make the choices we did in the type of shots chosen and overall pacing of the trailer. It’s a track that touches your heart and encapsulates the vibe of the game incredibly well.” Players will have to wait a little longer before listening to the full song — it’s set to release on September 29, so the Launch Trailer may be the best place to get a sense of what’s in store. Unless, of course, you speed through your top-secret mission in Dogtown.

Once the tone and song for the trailer is chosen, “we move to in-game scouting of particular moments and places from the game,” said Adam. “At this stage, we record clips, take screenshots, build storyboards, and gather references to create the first raw prototype. The edit is considered locked when we have the timing and the general idea of each shot — only then do we decide on the framing, lighting, and technical way we want to capture each one. Then, every shot is polished step by step until we reach our desired quality. And that can lead to many iterations,” he said.

Every production process has its difficulties — and the hardest part of this one? “Not spoiling too much!” said Rafał. “There’s always an urge to show every amazing beat, and there are a lot of incredible scenes and moments to choose from in Phantom Liberty. But we’re very conscious about not spoiling important plot points or saving cool moments for gamers to discover themselves.” The good news is that players can rewatch the trailer as many times as they want without having to worry about spoiling any twists or turns waiting for them ahead!

Every video like this is a big challenge, with plenty of recording and tweaking to make each shot shine as much as possible. “Thankfully, we’ve been working together for some time now,” Adam said, “So we have a really good understanding of how to work together efficiently — and most importantly, how to have fun during the process!” That care and effort, and maybe even enjoyment, shines through every second. So kick back and give the Launch Trailer another watch, and then jump right into Dogtown — Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is out now on Xbox Series X|S!

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

CD PROJEKT RED

288
$29.99 $25.49
ABOUT THE GAME Phantom Liberty is a new spy-thriller adventure for Cyberpunk 2077. When the orbital shuttle of the President of the New United States of America is shot down over the deadliest district of Night City, there’s only one person who can save her — you. Become V, a cyberpunk for hire, and dive deep into a tangled web of espionage and political intrigue, unraveling a story that connects the highest echelons of power with the brutal world of black-market mercenaries. Infiltrate Dogtown, a city-within-a-city run by a trigger-happy militia and ruled by a leader with an iron fist. With the help of NUSA sleeper agent Solomon Reed (Idris Elba) and the support of Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves), unravel a web of shattered loyalties and use your every skill to survive in a fractured world of desperate hustlers, shadowy netrunners, and ruthless mercenaries. Built with the power of next-gen hardware in mind, Phantom Liberty offers brand-new gameplay mechanics, nail-biting courier jobs, gigs, and missions — and a thrilling main quest where freedom and loyalty always come at a price.

TRAILER LINK