We’re one week out from the launch of the last big game of 2020, and one that has been steadily building up hype with each passing month.
CD Projekt Red’s next sprawling RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, is due out next week on Dec. 10, after multiple delays and reports of overtime at the company. Cyberpunk 2077 is the long-awaited follow-up to a game as massive and revered as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and it’s also serves as the marker that the year of 2020 in games is, mercifully, over.
Our own News Editor Eric Van Allen has been swimming in a sea of cyberpunk fiction for the past few weeks, and there are many approaches to how to “do” cyberpunk. Neon and futuristic aesthetics, expansive gaps in wealth between the rich and poor, the commodification of human body and soul, and a sprinkle of sick lasers are all markers of cyberpunk. Video games are no stranger to the genre, so we wanted to know: what’s your favorite cyberpunk game?
There are a few obvious answers here like Deus Ex, but let’s ditch the neon city lights and high-tech dystopia. Blendo Games’ 2016 lo-fi heist game Quadrilateral Cowboy is still an experience that sticks with me because it manages to be a relatively low-tech cyberpunk game. The way you slowly plan out a heist, essentially coding the assembly logic you’d need to get in and out, is something that still feels incredibly fresh and interesting today. Also, special shoutouts to this year’s Umurangi Generation, a cyberpunk photography sim that is very, very good.
Because it has such a strong aesthetic of its own, I feel like the Superhot games are something of an underdog in this category. Still, what’s more cyberpunk than downloading a cracked, pirated copy of a game that then jacks you into the minds of what may or may not be other real people? Nothing, I say, and I’ll trade an abundance of neon and rainy alleyways for Superhot’s stark reds and whites on most days.