Cyberpunk Computer Games

/ Beneath A Steel Sky / Blade Runner / Bloodnet / Deus Ex / Deus Ex 2: Invisible War / Johnny Mnemonic / Neuromancer /
/ Rise of the Dragon / Syndicate / Syndicate Wars / System Shock / System Shock 2 /
/ Neocron / Enter the Matrix / Matrix Online / Matrix: The Path of Neo /



Beneath a Steel Sky Cover

BENEATH A STEEL SKY

I have only now started to play this one so I can't say much about it except it's description.  Basically a puzzle based RPG game set in a very 1984-like future with some of the classic cyberpunk tech thrown in.  I will eventually be able to give more information about this game and it's worth...

A Beneath A Steel Sky Walkthrough (Not Mine)

Beneanth A Steel Sky Screenshot

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Bladerunner Cover

BLADE RUNNER

This game is great.  It really made me want to see the movie all over again.  This game seems to take place shortly after the movie.  You play a blade runner who is assigned to check out a live animal store that was recently attacked by what appeared to be a gang of replicants.  You ultimately discover the true motives of the replicants and eventually start to question your own identity.

The strongest point to this game is the immersive plot line.  The game almost plays like a movie, drawing the player in to the point that they actually care about the characters in the game.  Westwood, the game developer, did call in some Hollywood scriptwriters for this game, and it shows.  You get to revisit many locales from the movie and even some of the original actors lend their voice to this game.

Now for the ugly, and I mean specifically the ugly.  While the surroundings of the game look beautiful, you will find that characters appear blocky.  This blockyness is compounded by how good the backgrounds tend to look.  Another low point to this game is how short it is.  It takes only about an hour or so to complete each of the four discs that make this game up.  However, this is compensated a bit by the fact that the game can be replayed many times with very different outcomes.  All and all, this is a must have for any fan of the movie, and worth the time and money for everyone else.

Some Blade Runner Links:

Blade Runner Official Site
Blade Runner Walkthrough (Not Mine)

Some Blade Runner Downloads:

Blade Runner "Trainer" (Not Mine)
Blade Runner Ending Save Games (Not Mine)

Bladerunner Screenshot



Blade Runner Screenshot




Blade Runner Screenshot

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Bloodnet Cover

BLOODNET

This game was an instant classic.  Many people have at least heard of this game.  Probably the first game to mix vampires and cyberpunk together, and what a great mix it is; blood and chrome.  In this game, you play a character that has waken up after having been bitten by a vampire.  His neural interface frantically tries to hold on to his humanity (the irony!) while he searches for the vampire that bit him, and a way to reverse the effects.  

The Pros:

  • Very creative and at times very funny plot line

  • Many different and diverse characters that can join your party

  • All kinds of neat gadgets and programs to play with.  You can even build a cybernetic body for a person who lost their mind to cyberspace!

The Cons:

  • Cyberspace is very disappointing and dull

  • There are ways to become irreversibly 'stuck' and unable to advance in the game

  • The fighting system sucks.  :)

All and all however, this game is a must play for any cyberpunk fan.  Its virtues far outweigh the flaws.  However, have fun getting it to work on a system running anything above Win98.


A Bloodnet Walkthrough (Not Mine)

Bloodnet Screenshot


Bloodnet Screenshot


Bloodnet Screenshot

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Deus Ex Cover

DEUS EX

This game is actually my favorite on the list, and there isn't even cyberspace in it!  It focuses most on nanotechnology, you play a  government agent that has been fitted with a prototype nanoaugmentation rig.  It is interesting to note that other government soldiers that you work this have older cybernetic rigs and resent your new technology.

What is great about this game is the rich setting.  Not only do they paint a very plausible future, but you get to go all over the globe.  New York, China, France, and even Area 51.

If you are a conspiracy theory kind of guy or an X-Files fan you will get a kick out of the references to Majestic 12 and the Illuminati.  Not to mention the mystery surrounding your birth parents mysterious death...

The nanotech is a way overeggagerated (it's brand new technology but is capable of some extremely complex stuff) and the main character is very one dimensional.  However, you tend not notice this as you become immersed in the setting.  Below are some links with plenty of resources.

  

Some Deus Ex Links:

Deus Ex Official Site
DeusEx-Machina
Planet Deus Ex
Deus-Ex Dot Org

Deus Ex Screenshot

Deus Ex Screenshot

Deus Ex Screenshot

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Deus Ex: Invisible War Cover

DEUS EX 2: INVISIBLE WAR

Wow.  So the sequel to Deus Ex 2 has came around, and this time its on PC and XBOX.  This means good news for XBOX fans, and bad news for PC Gaming fans.  The game looks/works/controls wonderfully on the XBOX.  However, there were many people who have found serious performance issues with the PC version.  I, fortunately, played the XBOX version, so I have nothing to really complain about this game.  It was as fun to play, and as involving as the first one.  The only real problem is that it is a bit shorter. 

There are some changes to the gaming system.  The stats system has been removed from this game, thus it leans closer to a First Person Shooter than an RPG.  The ammunition in this version is universal, unlike the wide variety of ammo types found in the first one.  The games interface has also been streamlined.  It really is optimized specifically for the XBOX.

This game takes off 20 years after the events of the first game.  You play a similarly biomodified soldier, who was raised in the elite Tarsus educational academy.  Right away, a series of terrorist attacks (that start out with the complete destruction of Chicago by a nanite bomb) results in you leaving the gated Tarsus community and dealing with the real world.  During the game, you will act as a sort of free agent mercenary, choosing your loyalties, but the people who hire you are not always as they seem.


Deus Ex 2: Invisible War - Official Website

Planet Deus Ex

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

 

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

 

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

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Johhny Mneominc Cover

JOHNNY MNEMONIC

Like the movie, this game is a big disappointment.  Basically it is another shot at creating an "Interactive Movies", and it failed like every other one.  What is worse is that since this is not a big budget film, it's video quality leaves quite a bit to be desired.  It essentially has the quality of a Soap Opera, and has some ridiculous props.

This is a game that should only be sought after by extreme fans of Gibson.  Don't spend more than $10 on this one...

Below is a two-part review of the game with lots of footage.  The beginning of the video is a wrap up of some other game they were reviewing:


A Johnny Mnemonic Walkthrough (Not Mine)

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

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Neuromancer Cover

NEUROMANCER

This game is wonderful.  And horrible.  Mostly horrible.  However all the horrible bits are simply due to how amazingly OLD this game is.  Actually this game has many flaws.  Aside from its graphics, it tends to want ultra specific commands for just about anything, thus you tend to miss stuff here and there.  What is great about this game was way cyberspace and hacking was handled.  You can do all kinds of very, well , Neuromancer-like things. 

Something that irks me though is that it is sort of parallel to the book.  It doesn't follow the plot line of the book, but then again it sort of does.  You, as someone other than case go through a simplified permutation of case's exploits as if the book Neuromancer never happened.  This is common with other older games I have played, and it always leaves a weird taste in my mouth...


A Neuromancer Walkthrough (Not Mine)

Neuromancer Screenshot

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Rise of the Dragon Cover

RISE OF THE DRAGON

This game is a creation from the almighty god that is known as Sierra games.  Anyone who is familiar with their games will recognize their hand in this RPG detective game.  Set in the usual dark future, except with some differences.  Most notable is the lack of cyberspace, or much reference to the internet other than a retro looking  vidphone rig.

The game, like many Sierra games, has a healthy dose of humor despite the dark setting.  My biggest gripe with this game was that I won it after only a few hours.  Sierra often has games with a healthy degree of trickiness, but this one was a breeze.  However, in it's defense, the artwork was actually quite good, which also is a trait of Sierra.

A Rise of the Dragon Walkthrough (Not Mine)

Rise of the Dragon Screenshot

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Syndicate Cover

SYNDICATE

A game of megacorps!  A game of mercenaries!  This one is for everyone who loves the gung-ho action of cyberpunk.  It is basically a strategy game in which you control some cybernetically augmented  mercenaries complete objectives that further your profit margins.  All in all you get bloodbath missions where you have to kill all the "bad guys".  It still is a rather fun game.  To be honest though, I have only played this game a little bit, I much prefer the sequel Syndicate Wars.


Syndicate Screenshot

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Syndicate Wars Cover

SYNDICATE WARS

A newer version of Syndicate, with one big difference.  You can choose your side.  You can either be an executive of EuroCorp, the major MegaCorp 'de jure; or you can play as a high disciple of the Church of the New Epoch.  Either way, you control a small group of cybernetically augmented mercenaries in a power struggle to control the world's destiny.

The setup is as follows.  EuroCorp is the powerful MegaCorp/World Power that wants to stay on top where it is accustomed.   The Church of the New Epoch wants to topple the MegaCorp through the use of a computer virus.  So each side is struggling to either prevent the use or spread of the virus of proliferate it.

This game is not as strategy oriented as the previous one, which is good for me because I don't care for strategy games so much.  This one is a more action oriented game. 

My biggest gripe is that it becomes quite frantic to control and keep tract of your various characters (the main part of strategy games that I dislike).  Still this game is one of the most addicting games I have ever had on my computer.  It is a shame that my computer can't deal with DOS well enough to play the game anymore (Thank you WinME...really..)

Syndicate Wars Screenshot




Syndicate Wars Screenshot

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System Shock Cover

SYSTEM SHOCK

This game is a milestone for gaming in general.  It was Looking Glass Studio's first attempt at making a First Person Shooter / RPG hybrid.  It featured true 3D environments and quite high resolution graphics for the time it was released.  

You play a hacker that was caught trying to sneak into the R&D network of TriOptimum Corporation.  They abduct you, take you to their space station, and one of their executives strikes you a deal.  It's quite simple really, you remove the ethical constraints on the station's AI and in return you get your freedom and a free military grade neural interface.  After you do this, you get the implant and are put in a healing coma for six months, when you wake up, everyone is dead.  Everyone except SHODAN who has gone mad and decided that she is a goddess destined to reshape the world in her image.

One of the great things about this game is the delivery of the story line.  On one hand it is a first person shooter, but as you proceed with your mission you pick up logs left behind by dead crewmen that allow you to piece together the events of the last six months.  In addition to that you get frequent e-mails from an operative on Earth as well as messages from SHODAN.

This game is one that everyone should try out.  It is a different style of game and many of the characters have enough depth that you care about them (which is frustrating considering that the people leaving the logs are already dead)

System Shock also pulls off the use of Cyberspace as a fluid element of game play.  You are able to use your brand new neural interface to jack in to the station's network where you can open locked doors, gather vital bits of information and upgrade your ICE breakers to protect yourself from system security.

The biggest problem is the horrible interface.  It is extremely awkward because you use the keyboard to move around but the mouse to select all the onscreen options and aiming.  Worse yet is the lack of mouselook.  This game is best played with the enemy difficulty level set to 1.  The cyberspace sections of the game leave a bit to be desired.   It is rather difficult to navigate and maintain your equilibrium.

A System Shock Link:
The System Shock Fansite Hub

System Shock Screenshot



System Shock Screenshot



System Shock Screenshot



System Shock Screenshots

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System Shock 2 Cover

SYSTEM SHOCK 2

The much improved version of System Shock.  Everything that is bad about System Shock is fixed for this second installment.  The main improvement is the overhaul of the system that integrates the RPG elements into the first person shooter.  The system is streamlined and all the controls are much more intuitive.  In addition your character gets stats that can be improved as you progress through the game, giving it the main RPG element missing from the original.

System Shock 2 takes place about 40 after the first System Shock.  Within that time, TriOptimum and the MegaCorps that ruled the world were shamed by the events from the first System Shock and were dissolved by the UNN (United National Nominate).  Then TriOptimum got its big break.  One of their scientists figure out how to design a faster than light engine.  The UNN permits TriOp to build it and do a test-drive, provided that a UNN ship piggyback with the ship to keep them from overstepping their boundaries.  You are a UNN operative that wakes up in a cryogenic tube with outlawed cybernetic implants and a gap in your memory.  Like the first game, you find out that everyone is dead, and it is your job to figure out what has happened and fix it.

I do have gripes with this game, despite all my glowing praise.  First off is the presence of Psionic abilities.  I hate psionics!  It is a cheesy sci-fi element that cheapens the game.  Also they decided to ditch cyberspace for this installment, aside from some brief encounters.  

I am a little bias on this game due to the fact that I am part of a project (Called 'The Shock Project') that is making an un-official sequel to the game.  I am heading up the music end of the game as well as writing the news on the web site.

Some System Shock 2 Links:

System Shock Official Site
SShock2.com Unofficial Supersite
The Shock Project

Some System Shock 2 Downloads:

System Shock Icons (By Me!)
System Shock Screensaver (By Me!)
System Shock QuickNotes Skin (By Me!)

System Shock 2 Screenshot


System Shock 2 Screenshot


System Shock 2 Screenshot


System Shock 2 Screenshot

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Neocron Cover

NEOCRON

I do not know all that much about this game.  All I know is that it is the first cyberpunk Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (MMORPG) that I know of.  Since this game requires a regular fee to play, I have not played it myself.  So I will let their little blurb do the talking:

By the end of the third millennium, Earth has changed... Global pollution, excessive wars and a perforated atmosphere have turned the planet into an almost lifeless sphere of toxic mud. Radiation is everywhere and most animals have either gone extinct or have mutated into bizarre monstrous creatures. The remnants of mankind seek protection from the desolate, scorched world and gathered behind the protective walls of giant cities. These few mega cities became the last lights of hope, in the darkness of Earth's final dusk...

The Neocron - Official Webpage

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

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Enter the Matrix Cover

ENTER THE MATRIX

Man oh man.  I had high hopes for this one.  Too bad for me that I bought it for $49.99.  This game was released for Playstation 2, XBOX, and PC.  The game suffers from many problems.  The gameplay during most of the game is actually very fun, but then there are driving sequences that pop up here and there, and they are just horrible.  The worst driving physics I have ever attempted to navigate in.  It literally brings the action to a grinding half.  Also, despite all of the attempts to make this game unique from Matrix: Reloaded, the game still feels just like a rehash of the movie.

 

The game takes place a little while before Matrix: Reloaded, and centers around two of the side characters of the movie: Niobe and her sidekick Ghost.  You can choose to play either one.  A very cool feature of this game is the fact that about an hour of footage was shot specifically for the game using all of the principal actors, crew and directors.  This game is quite fun at many times, but it would be best to just rent this one.

Enter the Matrix - Official Website

An Enter the Matrix Forum on Matrixfans.net

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

 

 

 Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

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Matrix Online Cover

THE MATRIX ONLINE

 

This is a MMPORPG that takes place after the events of the Matrix Trilogy of movies.  It is mainly concerned with relations in the Matrix following the truce between the humans and the machines.  You get to choose which side you are on, you can be fighting for Zion or the Machines.  Major characters from the movie are involed in the storyline.

 

Click HERE for a summery of the game's storyline so far...

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

Johnny Mnemonic Screenshot

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Matrix: Path of Neo Cover

THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO

The (seemingly) last Matrix videogame.  Released for PC, XBOX, and PS2, it is the Matrix game most people had wanted in the first place.  You play Neo and follow through the story line of all three movies from his perspective.

 

The ending is changed from the movies to something more humourous and to avoid what the Wachowski brothers would have considered a "lame" ending for a video game.

CLICK HERE for a Wikipedia article on Path of Neo

Matrix: Path of Neo Screenshot

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Many of the screen shots and cover shots on this page were obtained from The Underdogs .  Also, many of the games I played here were downloaded from them.  Check them out if you like classic games.  Basically, if the game is no longer commercially available, you can usually download it from them....