Steampunk or Cyberpunk
Hello, my darlings. I hope you’ll enjoy my new set of articles on different styles and settings of games. You are going to find interesting things from popular game universes and decide which game to play or replay next weekend. This won’t be a top(!), games are placed almost randomly in this article.
Steampunk or Cyberpunk? Cybernetic augmentations, laser guns, droids or steam-powered engines, dirigibles and awesome authentic costumes, making an alternative way of human progress? Interesting that Cyberpunk was the first literature flow of science fiction and Steampunk was presented as an opposition to it. These settings have a lot in common: both are about the dystopiс world, both are a combination of progress and decay of the future, both provoke holy wars on forums, in WePlay Discord server and hearts of cosplayers…
There are few games that are focused on cyberpunk settings and style entirely. Usually, cyberpunk acts as a part of a game’s style and gameplay of all kinds and shapes but not the main idea. Neon lights, enhanced artificial intelligence, futuristic wars of gigantic corporations, sense of rebellion and false feeling that one can change the whole world are good reasons to jump into a game and spend hours exploring the world. Unfortunately, there are not a lot AAA games in pure cyberpunk setting that have collected some popularity.
Deus Ex: Franchise
This cyberpunk game doesn’t even need a presentation. 5 games and one pocket edition for mobile devices, starting from 2000 with Deus Ex to 2016 with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. This franchise became a landmark for a whole industry and an icon for cyberpunk culture. The action of the game is set in the nearest future of Earth, during wars of big corporations for the position of the world disposer. Games are full of interesting ideas of transhumanism and conspiracy theories, level design is made by true cyberpunk lovers. Gameplay and level design provide players with an opportunity to choose the way they want to complete missions and tackle faced problems. I love all games of this series but prefer to play modern ones: last two games as they are more RPG focused with awesome graphics, level-up system, grim world settings and deep dialogues that address some serious philosophic dilemmas. Anyway, these series are worth to spend your weekend on.
Remember Me is a third person action game set in Paris, 2084. The game didn’t become highly appreciated and got about 7 out of 10 points from most critics. Maybe, not a masterpiece but surely the game is a landmark of cyberpunk, it will be interesting for its cityscapes and soundtracks. Also, it has an interesting mechanic of building your own combos by adding different types of attacks and attack effects. This is a beautiful and stylish game where real drama takes place. The story is based on the idea of changing human memories, no, that’s not like in Inception of Nolan, well, hum, in a different way. Unfortunately, the game does not let you make your own choices, neither it is challenging. Remember Me is more like a game to relax after another working week.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
The most cyberpunkful game of all Metal Gear franchise. The game originally developed by legendary Kojima Productions and released by PlatinumGames, was well-received by critics. This Metal Gear game is appreciated for its advanced combat system with an ability to slow down the time and slash the hell out of your enemies, storytelling, level design, boss fights, badass character Raiden aka Jack The Ripper and soundtrack, of course. Every game of franchise has an element of cyberpunk and futuristic motives, but this one suits the most for my list. The story this time is focused on the war of private military companies trying to be solved by katana of a cyborg - Raiden. As you can see, I adore this game and the whole series. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not just a great cyberpunk, but an awesome slasher. The only problem I notice is the length of the story mode, I wish it was longer. To sum up, it needs to be said that this game is pretty serious combo-oriented game for skilled players and Asian style lovers. If you are one of us - must try!
Syndicate - awesome game with an interesting story and marvellous gameplay, that was highly rated by critics and gamers. 100% cyberpunk and completely worthy to play, but was published by Electronic Arts. I’m a great hater of making a gaming industry a money making machine in means of loot boxes. Sorry, this is an embargo of mine.
Detroit: Become Human - exclusively made for PS4, the most beautiful interactive movie I’ve ever seen on YouTube. The action takes place in futuristic Detroit with an AI, robots and advanced machines, even main characters are androids. Even my not very powerful PC provides the finest picture, the best possible on YouTube. I’ve played this interactive movie for 2 times broadcasted on YouTube and Twitch streams! So, this game is not in my list because I don’t have PS4. Recommended to play in case you are rich enough to buy wide TV and PS4.
This one is closer to me, as I love Victorian era-like settings. This subgenre of science fiction combines advanced technology and design inspired by 19-th century industrial steam-powered machinery. Often action in these works set in an alternative history where steam-powered machines remained top position in the technical development. Very often we can find steampunk elements in fantasy games like Warcraft(dwarves). I have a couple of masterpiece games to offer you to play.
BioShock is a first-person shooter inspired by works of wonderful Ayn Rand and George Orwell(google if you want to know more about these authors) works. I have played these games for hours exploring beautifully designed levels, enjoying the dynamic gameplay and making hard choices. Philosophical concepts and moral issues(and Emily <3) are reasons why gamers adore this universe. Art-deco styling is compiled with amazing steampunk. All characters are good motivated, act lively so we can believe in a story. I’ve found loads of allusions on real places and real people from real history, I can make a separate article on easter eggs and allusions, if you wish. BioShock became the place cosplayers and DIYers get an inspiration from. Don’t want to tell you a thing about the plot because it is even better than most of Hollywood movies. Absolutely worthy to spend your whole vacation playing Mona Lisa of the industry.
The freshest game in my list - city-building survival strategy and a PC exclusive. We are placed in the alternate history of 19th century where global cataclysm caused global cooling. In response to extremely low-temperature people moved to coal-rich territories and created warmth generators to build cities around. As far as you understand, the atmosphere of despair and doom dominates these cities. Frostpunk has 3 scenarios to play and fourth coming soon, in each player acts as a city leader. Will you be able to survive and save your people from cold death. Have some free time? Why not pass it solving problems of the post-apocalyptic world? Be careful, it is addicting.
Dishonored is a stealth-action first-person perspective game by Arkane Studios and Bethesda. The action is taking place in an industrial steampunk universe where technology and mysterious forces coexist. Style and architecture are, probably, inspired by the 19th century Britain. The Empire of Isles is a place where assassination is the best way of control, where in contemporary cities rats are eating still alive people and where the life of elite contrasts with poverty and illnesses of regular citizens. The world is not divided on “black” and “white”, soon player realizes some loyal people are not that honest and brave, some bad guys have an honour and moral principles. Every action, every move, every decision you make and every kill will influence the storyline and game final. Both games of series are absolute masterpieces of the gaming industry and stealth-action genre. Try this game, if tired of common stealth games and want to test your assassin’s skillz and get to know your human nature.
Syberia Series - a graphic adventure that focuses on the story of American lawyer Kate Walker travelling around the frosty Siberian land, solving riddles and puzzles. The first game collected good reviews and gained some popularity but sequels received mixed or even low marks.
The Order:1886 - third-person perspective action-adventure game. Set in alternate 1886 steampunk London and legendary Knights of the Round Table keeping the world safe from different monsters. With Nikola Tesla on their back, supplying them with authentic weapons. The Order is a story-telling game with a lot of cutscenes and few gameplay moments. However, it is still perfect to play and relax on your sofa as it doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to finish but still has an intriguing story. Basically, it is the same as watching 10 hours-long, awesome action movie. The game got an average and low ranking from critics and publishers for monotonous cover-and-shoot gameplay. Not in my list as I don’t have PS4 and played it on YouTube(just present me PS4, plz).
I hope you found something new to play or maybe wanted to pass a game one more time.
Let me know if you would like me to continue this “versus” articles, or have ideas what to write about!
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