gamers are dying to get our hands on Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s epic open-world neon dystopian role-playing game follow-up to The Witcher 3, but we’ve got some time to kill until then, so how can we set the mood?It’s probably safe to say that the majority of
Well, Cyberpunk isn’t just one game, it’s a whole genre of fiction, spanning every medium, including the interactive ones. Here are seven cyberpunk games you can play while you’re waiting around for 2077.
Deus Ex (ANY OF THEM, seriously, just pick one)
For a lot of gamers, Deus Ex is the definitive cyberpunk game series, offering a mix of first-person action and role-playing that undoubtedly influenced Cyberpunk 2077. Since the original Deus Ex debuted almost twenty years ago, it’s spawned five additional installments.
The first two are classic, but if you need something more contemporary, the 2011 prequel Human Revolution is excellent. And yes, it’s backwards compatible on Xbox One. Meanwhile, its 2016 sequel Mankind Divided is readily available for current gen consoles.
If you want something on the go, it’s even gotten mobile games in the form of Deus Ex: The Fall and Deus Ex Go.
Observer is a first-person psychological horror game that squarely establishes its cyberpunk setting by taking more than a few cues from Blade Runner; it’s set in a grimy claustrophobic used-future version of Poland, where a hard-boiled detective voiced by Roy Batty himself, Rutger Hauer, must solve a mystery by hacking into the brain augmentations of suspects.
If claustrophobic horror and mystery sounds too slow and scary, and you want some bloody, fast-paced action, look no further than Ruiner — A story-driven top-down shooter set in a gorgeously realized cyberpunk metropolis that takes cues from Akira and Ghost in The Shell, with tough-as-balls combat that takes cues from Hotline Miami and [anything else?], and a pumping soundtrack to boot.
Most cyberpunk is dark, gritty, totally serious, and rooted in the 1980s; if instead you want something bright and colorful, goofy as all hell, and inspired by the 60s, check out Jazzpunk. It still tackles a surprising amount of cyberpunk themes. It’s sort of like if Mad Magazine’s Spy Versus Spy did a spoof of Neuromancer, but as a first-person comedy adventure game.
The thing about cyberpunk dystopias is, realistically, they’re probably awful to live in… So why not get drunk? VA11 HALL-A is a bartending game slash visual novel where you affect the flow of the story by serving characters different concoctions to drown their sorrows, against a neon futuristic backdrop. With cyberpunk classics Blade Runner and Akira both having iconic bar scenes, it’s almost surprising this wasn’t made sooner.
So maybe you want a little less cyber and a little more punk? Watch Dogs 2 is, of course, Ubisoft’s big colorful sandbox action game in which players help a scrappy group of hackers take down an oppressive Social Media surveillance state in the real-life cyberpunk dystopia of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sure, it might be a mainstream AAA action game in a contemporary setting, but it’s about group of high-tech lowlifes taking on a corrupt corporation. That’s pretty textbook cyberpunk.
Finally, if you’re really dying to get lost in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, why not play the game that started all… The pen and paper roleplaying game, Cyberpunk 2020? Get some friends together, roll some dice, and cause some trouble in Night City! Thanks to the hype surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, used copies of Mike Pondsmith’s core 2020 rulebook are at a premium on ebay, but worry not! Legit, legal reprints can be ordered directly from the R. Talsorian Games website!
…Or if that’s too much trouble, here’s a video of Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith running a game with some of IGN’s biggest tabletop nerds.