disjointed
News

The disjointed Prague of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by writer and artist Gareth Damian Martin. /// To me, Prague has always felt like a city uniquely in communion with the past and future versions of itself. I remember my first visit, a local friend taking me to the once mysterious, now legendary Cross Club: an amorphous labyrinth of scrap metal occupying the lower floors and basement of a decaying, communist-era panelák. Stumbling past the ubiquitous leather-clad and shorn-headed bouncers into one of its dancefloors was like wandering into a William Gibson wonderland, bubbling tubes of mysterious green liquid and angular metal…

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Review

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided can’t wait to be interrupted

There’s an apartment in Golem City littered with dead bodies. Normally, I’d be the one to put them there, but not this time. One of them was probably named Ana, at least according to the emails in a computer nearby. The messages are from her doctor informing her that she’s pregnant. This would normally be good news. But Golem City’s daycare was recently shut down, the doctor informs her, and infant mortality is through the roof. Without actually coming out and saying it, the doctor seems to suggest that Ana should get an abortion. Given what I’ve seen so far…

IOTx
Feature

The cyberpunk dystopia we were warned about is already here

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// It’s the Sunday morning following a busy week, and my wife and I are attempting a calm moment. She’s flying out in the afternoon for a week-long company retreat, so these last few hours together are significant, our chance to recharge batteries before entering the world of teleconferences and deadlines. Unfortunately, the routine business of maintaining a household—the multitude of obnoxious little tasks that make up most of our days—has gotten away from us over the course of the week,…

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst
Review

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, a radical city in a failed system

I’ve always been fascinated by the coherence and incoherence of cities. The system and interface of their streets. The network logic of their rooms. In my fifth year in London, buried in basements fashioned to appear as French cafés or Italian bistros, I obsessively traced the shapes of silver ducts and pipes, interwoven along the ceilings as if they were circuit boards. Among the fake leather seating and off-white walls, the large canvas prints of Parisian street scenes and the art-deco light fixtures they stood out as uniquely functional objects, unornamented, hidden in plain sight. I followed them down flights…

01
News

A cyberpunk text adventure explores life outside of the gender binary

“Well, here we are again,” NUGK tell me. The last time I was here, TODN was saying the exact same thing. Usernames here, including my own, are made up of a mixture of four letters, shifting each time. The post-apocalyptic world is dark, fashioned only with unnerving sounds and dimly lit text. This is the world of  _transfer. Selected as part of IndieCade 2016, _transfer, developed by Hyacinth Nil and written by Reed Lewis, of the newly-formed Abyssal Studio, tackles uncomfortable issues of identity and memory. _transfer’s post-apocalyptic theme is more than just a stylistic choice Using a DOS-like interface, the player interacts…

VA-11 Hall-A
News

Play a day in the life of a dystopian bartender

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. VA-11 Hall-A (Windows, Mac, Linux) BY SUKEBAN GAMES If you want to get to know the character of a city quickly, check out its bar scene. There, you’ll find all the community’s hopes and issues under the same roof, sharing a stiff drink. That’s the idea behind VA-11 Hall-A, a dystopian “drink-em-up” where players serve the bar regulars and listen to their personal stories. By developing relationships with your patrons, you learn about the everyday struggles of a consumerist surveillance state. While light on mechanics, VA-11 Hall-A allows you to…

va-11 hall-a
Review

VA-11 Hall-A is how you do modern cyberpunk

“Time to mix drinks and save lives.” Jill lackadaisically jazzes herself up with this line at the start of every shift, unknowing of just who will waltz through the door. But what I soon find out is that Jill is kinda lost. The 27-year-old bartender resides in a run-down apartment, barely scraping by when it comes to bills, rent, and impulsive buys, like cute posters or a plant. Jill is lost in the same way that her regulars—patrons of the dive bar VA-11 Hall-A (colloquially called “Valhalla”)—are lost. She’s caught within an average life, with the only fulfillment she gets…

va-11 hall-a
News

Get ready to play as a cyberpunk bartender later this month

“This is a story about people daring to survive,” reads a title card in the latest and final trailer for VA-11 Hall-A, which could be considered an odd description for a cyberpunk bartending game. Called VA-11 Hall-A, it was originally borne of a cyberpunk game jam in 2014. A couple years, a prototype, and a free prologue chapter later, VA-11 Hall-A is finally on its way to existing on our one-day sentient PCs (for Windows, Mac, and Linux) on June 21st, with PlayStation Vita and iPad versions coming sometime later this year. The titular bar in VA-11 Hall-A—affectionately called Valhalla by its patrons—reflects…

Copper Dreams
News

A cyberpunk RPG that dreams of rust and copper

“How would syndicates abuse their power without the oversight of a government?” asks Hannah Williams, one half of Seattle-based Whalenought Studios. That’s one of the many questions that Copper Dreams, the studio’s second RPG, looks to answer. While RPGs are often set in vast fantasy worlds, Copper Dreams‘ cyberpunk world takes place on an isolated island called Calitana. It’s a place where the uncivilized aspects of humanity can be drawn out,  where food is scarce but copper is cheap, resulting in an economy based on the metal, and a culture obsessed with technological body alterations. “We thought it would be interesting…