Well, thanks for coming folks. No but seriously, I keep getting asked this question, and without actually talking about the content of Phantom Liberty, I can talk about the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update and answer the question of whether or not you should start a new character once the expansion launches.
I didn’t do this. But the reason I didn’t do this is that I already have three max level Cyberpunk 2077 characters with different builds across three playthroughs. I wasn’t going to do everything a fourth time, and the advantage of using an existing character is that you will have 50+ skill points and attribute points to instantly make a very powerful build. And if you have cash, you can buy a bunch of good cyberware right at the start. You can also use your existing weapons you like too, as those all carry over.
However, yes, I would recommend starting a new character if you were A) considering doing so already or B) aren’t too attached to your existing V. You do not need to start a new character as Phantom Liberty is fine to play even if you are at the “Meet Hanako at Embers” point in the game, and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing it that way, because it’s a pretty self-contained story.
But I would start a new character on September 21 when update 2.0 launches. Why then? Because you’re not going to get far enough between September 21 and September 26 when Phantom Liberty comes out for it to matter. The main draw of starting a new character is running the entire game, 80% of which is not going to be Phantom Liberty stuff, using the new 2.0 updates which touches almost every single aspect of the game.
Starting from scratch will allow you to experience Cyberpunk 2077 as it should have been when it launched three years ago. It will probably be more fun to slowly build your character up from nothing into a cyberpsycho powerhouse, and experience the old missions with new abilities, new enemy AI and new wildcards like car combat. This is the ideal way to do it, provided you haven’t over-invested in playthroughs already (like me).
No matter how much you play between Sept 21 and 26, it won’t really matter. I am not sure at what point in a new campaign you will get the call to start Phantom Liberty, but you may not even get that far, but if you do, there’s nothing wrong with making it even your last mission before the final ending of the base game.
Doing things in Phantom Liberty will not affect the base game outside of one optional ending, which CDPR has already stated. So you are not screwing anything up by starting when 2.0 hits and getting as far as you want.
So yes, if you were thinking about jumping into Cyberpunk 2077 for the first time or starting over from scratch, this is when you should do that. No more big updates, no more expansions after this. And you can do so starting on Sept 21 with no repercussions, despite the expansion itself not being live yet.