In 2020, I Have To Be Nervous About Cyberpunk 2077 – Forbes

Cyberpunk 2077

2020 here, and there are some big games on the way. Publishers and platform holders are here to hype the new consoles, others are squeezing in last-gen blockbusters, and everyone is gearing up for a nebulous, profitable future. Many of these games are easy to wrap your head around: The Last of Us Part 2 will feature some major technical improvements over previous Naughty Dog games but retain a core narrative third-person concept. Halo Infinite will be Halo, but probably one geared more towards games as service. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be Animal Crossing, but with some new horizons in the mix. And then theres Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077 comes out in April, before the genuine run-up to the new consoles. Its a big one: the new RPG from The Witcher developers CD Projekt Red , based on the classic tabletop property with a healthy infusion of sky-high promises. In the past, CD Projekt Red found success by amplifying what it was already doing with an absurd amount of ambition. and thats the playbook here with Cyberpunk 2077 to a T: take the reputation the studio developed with The Witcher 3 and use it to make maybe the biggest RPG the world has ever seen.

Cyberpunk 2077 is unwieldy in a way you see with basically no other projects this side of Rockstar. Its an open world RPG with strong elements of immersive sim: something like a Deus Ex Game but with a city-sized level broken into smaller pieces. It promises factions, reputation systems and branching storylines dependent on player choice. It comes with radically different fighting styles that can be mixed and matched at will: guns, stealth, melee, magic(hacking) and exploration, with dialogue skills that can be used to augment or circumvent. Given that we currently live in a cyberpunk dystopia, it will necessarily interact with real-life controversy 1000 times more often than The Witcher 3, and already has. It has crowds of NPCs, cars, motorcycles, skill trees and stats, it has Keanu Reeves.

At a certain point, it really becomes a question of what isnt in the game. Cyberpunk 2077 is meant to have more or less everything that you could put into an action RPG rolled into what are meant to interlocking, complimentary systems.

Will it work? The Witcher 3 was massively ambitious compared to The Witcher 2, and at the time everyone wondered whether or not this developer could pull something that huge off. It did. Its essentially the same story this time around, amplified by the scale of making something even bigger than the The Witcher 3.

Like I said, Im nervous. I badly want it to work, because this is basically everything I like in all kinds of games rolled into one package. The problem and the promise, here, are one and the same. It is the idea of an open world Deus Ex on the scale of The Witcher 3, and thats intoxicating.

But some of what Ive seen so far is dicey. First-person combat is wildly different from third-person combat, and some of what I saw at E3 didnt look quite smooth, and there were some scenarios that didnt seem like they could quite cooperate with the promise of different playstyles or branching narratives. Crowds looked a little wooden, menus looked dense and incomprehensible. I dont know if I was seeing necessary compromises for bringing a game of this scale down to the size of an E3 demo, or necessary compromises for making a game of this scale at all.

I badly want this to be everything CD Projekt Red has promised. But Im just not sure that any developer can nail every single portion of this sprawling project, and the game as described sort of needs that to happen. I hope this is all wrong, but this is game is one of my biggest concerns going into 2020.

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In 2020, I Have To Be Nervous About Cyberpunk 2077 - Forbes

Does Cyberpunk 2077 hold true to the cyberpunk genre? – PC Gamer

Naming your game after the genre of fiction its set in is a funny thing. Imagine if BioWare had spent the last decades peddling its two big RPG series, Space Opera and High Fantasy, before floundering a bit with the release of Mecha-Science-Fantasy. Its especially bold when the genre in question is cyberpunka subcategory of sci-fi that has always been kind of nebulous, its edges as fuzzy as if youd just swallowed a palmful of Dex octagons.

Theres a bulletpoint list of markers you can run through, sure. Cybernetic limbs. Mega-corporations. Hackers. Neon billboards and Japanese kanji. Ethernet cables that go straight into your skull. Neologisms that sounded cool and futuristic in 1984 but now seem a little silly and dated... and, yep, Cyberpunk 2077 has them all.

Ultimately, though, these are empty signifiers. You could cobble together a generic golem out of these things and accurately call it cyberpunkIm looking at you, Netflixs Altered Carbonbut that doesnt get at what made these stories exciting in the first place: the sense of a terrifyingly plausible future. Not in that hard sci-fi way, of future tech so detailed you could probably request a spec sheet for it, but more the way technology warps the society that creates and uses it. And CD Projekt Red seems to agree.

It is deeply fascinating to us to explore the relationship of humanity and technology and how it shapes life in 2077, says 2077 level designer Miles Tost. What does this level of technology mean in a world where rich and poor have basically taken on entirely new meanings in terms of their dimensions?

The open-world RPG is actually a remarkably good fit for cyberpunk. Like the noir detective stories it originally drew inspiration from, cyberpunk is fundamentally a genre of the cityplaces where the population clusters, and subcultures can grow quickest around new technologies. And so it feels natural that most of what weve seen of 2077 hasnt really been about player character V. For now, at least, theyre something of a cipher, and Night City is the undisputed star of the game. Well, except for Keanu, maybe.

Its the promise of Night City that gets you, isnt it? The promise of an open world as crowded with details and vignettes as it is with cybernetically-enhanced bodies. In the gameplay demos weve seen so far, stepping out onto the street means being nearly overwhelmed with chunks of world-building and background dialogue picked out in surtitles that hover over the speakers head.

Side quests, an area in which CD Projekt has pretty thoroughly proved its chops in the past, also provide a great chance to squeeze in a few extra perspectives on how this future is shaping its people. And theyre a great way of pulling you through the world, the same way a lot of cyberpunk fiction uses the thread of a detective story.

Even the first-person perspective youre roaming the city in feels like the right choice. Those soaring, spinners-eye shots of Blade Runners cityscape might be the one image pretty much everyone points to when talking about the genre, but for my money, cyberpunk futures are best viewed from the pavement.

Those stacks of skyscrapers are a way of literalising the rich/poor divide thats so vital to cyberpunks vision of the world. The 1% (or, more accurately, the 0.001%) live clear of the grime, in upper orbit or mega-suburbs or gleaming penthouses. The megacorporations arent just a stock genre elementtheyre a way of showing how access to technology is mediated by our capitalist overlords. What does an obsolescence cycle look like for an ability-boosting implant? What if your bionic eye came as a mandatory part of your job? And what would happen when you left?

If you wanted to sum up cyberpunk in a single handy soundbite, itd be the one that Neuromancer author William Gibson has wheeled out in countless interviews: The future is already hereits just not very evenly distributed.

So if youre not one of the people craning their necks from down on the street, then you most likely deserve the guillotine, or whatever the cyberpunk equivalent is. Probably just a guillotine with a few cables and neon lights stuck on the side, to be honest. Whether all this matching of genre features and game tropes is happy coincidence or careful design, its hard to tell. But CD Projekt certainly seems to understand what has traditionally made cyberpunk interesting.

To us, cyberpunk explores a dystopian world of low life and high tech in which we focus on street-level stories. Our protagonist is not the kind that is out to save the world, Tost says. Its an absolutely textbook definition of the genre, one that takes in the wisdom of cyberpunk scholars like Bruce Sterling, Lawrence Person and especially Mike Pondsmith, creator of the Cyberpunk pen-and-paper RPG, now consulting on 2077.

Everything thats been shown so far promises a faithful adaptation, a game worthy of the label it has stuck on itself. But I said at the outset that cyberpunks main thrill is catching an ugly little glimpse of our own future, and that future surely looks very different now to the way it did two or three decades ago. So, given that CD Projekt clearly knows its cyber-onions, how is the developer intending to spin its own vision out of all those influences?

Its funny because were trying to re-envision how people from the 80s and 90s envisioned the future, and then lace that future with modern nuance, Tost says. Its an issue thats particularly noticeable with the outdated technology that comes packaged with the genretheres nothing less cyberpunk than Wi-Fi, for examplebut it goes deeper than that.

I think theres a degree of truth in assuming that cyberpunk was born out of the fears of people in the 80s and these fears were consciously exaggerated enough to form a separate genre, he says. The image of megacorporations you know from 2020 [the second edition of Pondsmiths Cyberpunk RPG] was born out of fears of privatising the state and asking: What would you do if democracy was a capitalist-controlled farce?

And were adding some contemporary scares to that as well. How has social media, for example, evolved in 2077? What power does it hold?

Outdated technology comes packaged with the genretheres nothing less cyberpunk than Wi-Fi

The games main way of addressing this topic seems to be through Braindances. As Tost explains it, these are, a way of experiencing someone elses past experiences, including their emotions, what they felt, in a virtual reality representationa localised dose of cyberspace. Its an idea with its roots in the tabletop RPGs sourcebooks, which predate the likes of Twitter or Facebook, but its easy to see how it could be extrapolated out into something with more timely social media parallels.

Braindances are presented as a form of escapism from the grim realities of life in Night City, with people using them to play tourist inside celebrities heads and live out staged fantasies that appear to be real. Its Instagram for your frontal lobes, or Twitch by way of the holodeck.

Among the modern fears shaping 2077s world, Tost also namechecks the specter of climate changea fairly inescapable part of our current future. In the game, global warming is apparently the reason for Night Citys large Haitian population, presumably because the island nation is now underwater.

Whether CD Projekt actually has anything interesting to say on either of these topics remains to be seenbut hey, thats what playing the game is for.

There is one aspect of 2077s future that has already raised a few red flags, though: its treatment of body augmentation. Whether in the form of prosthetic limbs or brain mods, this has always been a big theme of cyberpunk stories, and one that can be harmful if not dealt with properly. And all the way back to the original RPG, Cyberpunks handling has always been a little clumsy.

In the original tabletop game, adding modifications to your characters body caused a literal humanity stat to drop (though the most recent edition takes a more nuanced approach). That doesnt seem to be present in 2077, but Tost outlines one of the consequences which has carried over: A mental illness, that in 2077 is still very poorly understood, called Cyberpsychosis can cause people to run amok when they implant themselves with too much cyberware and in the process lose their humanity.

There are no mechanical implications to cyberpsychosisthis cant happen to the player, Tost says, because itd be an instant game overbut its still integral to the games fiction, and the presence of a mental illness thats self-inflicted by too much technology sets alarm bells ringing. Its like CD Projekt talking about the idea of the natural body being sacred, and augmentations profane. This stuff might sound OK, until you apply its logic back to the real-life present and realise the things it says about, for example, disabled and trans people are potentially offensive.

One of the benefits of reconstructing a genre three decades on from its initial peak should be the chance it offers consider, with modern sensitivity, what aspects werent treated well the first time round and address them. Maybe this will play out in the full gamethere might well be a side quest dedicated to exploring the topic more thoughtfully and sensitivelybut the early signs are a little troubling.

But theres no question that 2077 gets the genre, whatever your fuzzy definition. All the cool surface bits are there, presented more lavishly than weve ever seen before: the chrome-and-black style, the nostalgic-meets-futuristic tech, the grime illuminated by bursts of neon. CD Projekt knows the right references to drop, and the studio has demonstrated that its understanding runs a little deeper than that.

For better or worse, the game will likely overwrite the public understanding of what cyberpunk means. This is a genre whose boundaries are defined by precious few textsthe undisputed cyberpunk canon consists of roughly one bookand no straight-up cyberpunk work has reached the audience CD Projekt is going to.

So yes, Cyberpunk 2077 is cyberpunk. Duh, its right there in the title. The important question now is exactly how the developer chooses to define and explore that.

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Does Cyberpunk 2077 hold true to the cyberpunk genre? - PC Gamer

The 10 best cyberpunk games on PC – PC Gamer

Theres an innate joy to a good cyberpunk game; that sense of fighting The Man, of struggling up from the gutter in a world that doesnt care, of being a rebel with a cause and, more importantly, some serious hardware. Sometimes its a depressing odyssey, other times, very tongue in cheek. Here, then, are our pick of the games worth selling your genitals on the black market for.

Released: 2001 Publisher: Eidos InteractiveDeveloper: Ion Storm

Few cyberpunk games have the same indie-rock feel as Anachronox, the game from Ion Storm that wasnt Deus Ex or Daikatana. Its Tom Halls tribute to pretty much everything Tom Hall loves, from the dimension-shifting titular planet to comic book worlds, to the fact that you spend much of the game travelling with a planet as a companion. A literal planet. Shrunk down, hovering next you, its people voting on what they all want to do next. Anachronox is a janky experience to be sure, but an unforgettable one, and its a genuine tragedy well never get the planned sequel.

Released: 1994Publisher: VirginDeveloper: Revolution Software

Beneath A Steel Sky offers a different feel to most cyberpunk; a somewhat low-key, sardonic take, in a city that thrives on cruel mundanity. Its not long before youre digging deeper into cyberpunk tropes, however, as you battle the omnipresent computer system LINC, explore cyberspace in search of clues, and save a city thats Blade Runner by way of Hull. Along the way you get the delightful company of your robot buddy Joey, who mirrors the genres love of transhumanism with his own slow evolution from humble circuit board towell, spoilers. Best of all, its completely free.

Released: 2015Publisher: Wadjet Eye GamesDeveloper: Wadjet Eye Games

It may be a fantastic adventure, but Technobabylon stands out most for having a deep sense of heart. Cyberpunk is often a cold genre, either through pessimism or a focus on the dehumanising nature of technology. Technobabylon flips that, with a story that comes at the usual elements from an entirely human directionfamily, loss, isolation and community. Its icier elements remain brutal, from restaurants that serve cloned human flesh to terrorists whose bones have been turned into bombs, but its the warmth that makes it unforgettable. That and the jingle for T.H.E. Foods, which will, alas, never leave you.

Released: 2016Publisher: Sukeban GamesDeveloper: Ysbyrd Games

Most cyberpunk games have you fighting against a corrupt system in some way. VA-11 HALL-A is more about helping it get drunk. Its a mix of visual novel and bartending simulator, where you bounce between mixing drinks and talking with the bizarre visitors at your seedy bar. The trick is that, by mixing the right drinks, you can make them open up and tell you stories of the harsh world outside. Some of those guests are dogs. Its that kind of bar. VA-11 HALL-As clever ideas and well realised setting are well worth visiting for a round or two.

Released: 2011Publisher: Streum on StudioDeveloper: Streum on Studio

Were meant to give you a pithy summary of EYE at this point, but thats just not going to happen. You wont find many games so devoted to making your brain melt, from its convoluted plot to the way the game works. Youre an amnesiac caught in a dreamscape, and things only get more surreal when you enter the real world and find yourself surrounded by groups with names like the Secreta Secretorum and the Meta-Streumic Force. EYE is every cyberpunk trope thrown into a big futuristic blender and then spiced up with a little LSD. Its endlessly fascinating, especially if you like Deus Ex but find it just a bit too predictable.

Released: 1999Publisher: EADeveloper: Irrational Games

The System Shock series isnt quite the same flavour of cyberpunk as most of the games on this list, but it stands as one of the first truly successful attempts at the genre. Its villain, rogue AI SHODAN, is deservedly considered one of gamings greatest baddies, and the first games take on cyberspace as a surreal maze of wireframe graphics and deadly geometric shapes certainly warrants the series its place. The sequel largely drops that element, but replaces it with a new interest in transhumanism by way of the improvements offered by a more evolved SHODAN, who refuses to be humbled by needing to rely on a mere fleshbag.

Released: 2016 Publisher: UbisoftDeveloper: Ubisoft

The first Watch Dogs was more overtly cyberpunk than its sequel, but its also a far inferior game. Watch Dogs 2 picks up everything it did well, particularly the use of hacking as a primary weapon and a city in which everything can be manipulated, and throws out everything else. While the sequel doesnt have much raw story, it does a great job of making new hero Marcus Holloway feel like part of something important. Watch Dogs 2 puts you at the bottom of the social ladder, then hands you a hacksaw to bring the system crashing down. Doing so makes for great set-pieces and a genuine feeling of power.

Released: 1997Publisher: VirginDeveloper: Westwood Studios

Westwoods Blade Runner absolutely nails the style of the movie, recreating its locations with fully animated backgrounds, and offers a score painstakingly recreated by the composer from the original. Its a brand new story in the Blade Runner universe, playing out concurrently with Deckards. The first act especially is a masterful bit of work, plunging you deep into the world and dripping with atmosphere. You get to perform the Voight-Kampff test, face off with replicants who arent afraid to thrust you into an arcade sequence without warning, and generally live for a while in a more-or-less perfect recreation of LA, 2019.

Released: 2014Publisher: Harebrained SchemesDeveloper: Harebrained Schemes

Its amazing that we had to wait so long for either of the two big cyberpunk tabletop RPGs to make their way to PCif you ignore Microsofts team-based FPS Shadowrun, which everyone really should. Despite both SNES and Mega Drive owners getting Shadowrun games in the early 90s, we had to wait until 2013 for Harebrained Schemes Shadowrun Returns. The original campaign, Dead Mans Switch, is solid enough. The sequel (originally an expansion pack before thankfully being re-released as a standalone game), is phenomenal.

Shadowruns take on cyberpunk is a complex one, mixing in magical and fantasy elements, with the playersshadowrunnersas mercenaries in a world gone mad. Dragonfall absolutely nails this, essentially giving you a team, a general objective to raise enough money for a big mission, and a city of opportunities to pick and choose from. Its not a complex business simulation or anything like that, but it conveys the vibe of being a shadowrunner far more effectively than a series of mandatory missions ever could. You spend time with your team and get to know their personalities and problems, help them out, and slowly improve your gear until youre ready to take on literal dragons.

All of this plays out in two basic modes: RPG exploration, and solid tactical combat that makes good use of your team and their abilities. The magical parts of the setting really help with these, allowing the action to go beyond guns.

The third game, Shadowrun: Hong Kong, was also an excellent RPG, but it was this sense of actually being in control that made Dragonfall stand out, both in its series and the genre in general. Its a structural approach we dont often see, and yet one that doesnt get in the way of a strong main storyline and a satisfying ending. What Dragonfall lacks in raw technology, with its relatively simple engine and graphics, it more than makes up for in scope and heart.

Its one of the best RPGs of the last few years, and one of the best cyberpunk games full stop. Harebrained is now part of strategy behemoth Paradox Interactiveheres hoping its working on something even bigger and better.

Released: 2011Publisher: Square EnixDeveloper: Eidos Montreal

Honestly, the question was never whether Deus Ex would end up topping this list, but whether this or the original would take the crown.

The first game is of course a classic, but time hasnt been especially kind to its technology or some of its ideas, and politically its from a very different era. Human Revolution lacks some of its raw scope and imagination, but is a far sleeker experience that builds on what the original does so well, and what other franchises have brought to the immersive sim genre in the intervening years. Yes, the boss fights suck, and can rightly go and stand in the corner with those copies of Invisible War and Mankind Divideds garbage ending, but in all other respects, Human Revolution still holds up extremely well as a glimpse of a possible future.

It helps that, while the original Deus Ex was largely built around conspiracy theoriesgroups like the Illuminati and so onHuman Revolution concentrates on transhumanism and the societal chasms between the haves and have-nots that are only widened by the addition of technology. As gravelly-voiced, professional not-asker-for- this Adam Jensen, youre in the rare position of being in the middle of the situation, with a body full of fancy toys that isnt exactly yours. Youre neither truly with the rich and powerful in their ivory towers, nor down with the gutter-rats, but perfectly placed to either prop up a failing society or help it come crashing down.

This gives Human Revolution a resonance that many other supercop fantasies struggle with, in a world perfectly set up to explore technology in both its positive and negative forms. The same science that can replace an arm or eyeball can also be abused, or simply demonised, with just a few flicks of a switch. Fancy cyborg gear can elevate the average person, but also make them subject to its creators in both body and soul. Is it a fair trade? What if the people just seize it?

The sequel, Mankind Divided, focuses on the social issues of all this, with questionable success. Human Revolution handles it more elegantly by simply presenting the situation, and allowing you, the player, to decide which path is correct. Admittedly, this boils down to pressing a button and watching a video clip, but still. While it lasts, its a solid shooter, a thought-provoking game, and also it lets you punch people through walls.

Continued here:

The 10 best cyberpunk games on PC - PC Gamer

A guide to Cyberpunk Red, the latest edition of the tabletop game – PC Gamer

In Night City, even the sky glows neon. Radioactive fallout from the Fourth Corporate War has turned dusk and dawn red, some districts are nothing but rubble and abandoned combat tanks, while others have been reclaimed and thrive again.

This is the setting for Cyberpunk Red, a tabletop RPG in the same world as Cyberpunk 2077, but a few decades earlier in the year 2045. Its a pen-and-paper RPG played with dice and character sheets, like Dungeons & Dragons or Call of Cthulhu, a format for games thats seen a popular resurgence in recent years.

The best explanation of tabletop RPGs is still that given by Abed in Community: This is a roleplaying game. It takes place entirely in our collective imagination. I tell a story and you make choices in the story.

Both Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk Red owe their existence to a tabletop RPG designed by Mike Pondsmith and published by R. Talsorian Games in 1988. Its rules have been through several iterations, the most popular version being Cyberpunk 2020, which described a corporate-run Night City in the Free State of Northern California in what was then a hard-to-imagine near future. As the actual year 2020 approaches, Cyberpunk Red moves the setting forward, streamlining rules and assumptions along the way.

Pondsmith describes the relationship between R. Talsorians tabletop RPGs and CD Projekt Reds videogame by comparing them to Star Wars, saying that if his original game was the first movie, right now Talsorian is running The Empire Strikes Back, while 2077 is essentially Return of the Jedi or beyond even.

The first taste of Cyberpunk Red is a Jumpstart Kit, a set of rules aimed at beginners. Theres a worldbook that outlines the setting, complete with an introductory scenario and a set of six ready-made characters with roles like Rockerboy, Tech, and Nomad to choose from. A full-length rulebook is currently being written, with R. Talsorian running on Valve Time: Itll be done when its done. Right now, the jumpstart kit is enough to get your first game of Cyberpunk Red going.

Night City as portrayed here is the same place weve seen in footage of Cyberpunk 2077, with districts such as beachfront Pacifica and details like the elite paramedics of Trauma Team very much in evidence. Yet this version of the city is being rebuilt after a warits skyline full of cranes and its radioactive corporate zone only visited by desperate scavs.

Nomad packs, road warriors from the hellscape between cities, have been recruited to help with the reclamationpresumably if you can drive an armoured battletruck you can handle bulldozers.

The internets broken too, thanks to future wars being fought online as wells as in meatspace. Jacking directly into cyberspace can cook your brain, so people rely on lower-tech solutions, airgapped local networks and a CitiNet thats geographically restricted and only slightly more advanced than the modern web. The worlds most advanced AIs have all taken the opportunity to flee to a secure Ghost World on a system in the abandoned ruins of Hong Kong run by a ghost in the machine named Alt Cunningham, which sounds like something the videogame could well follow up on.

Though there are hints of whats to come, the focus is on describing the world in the Time of the Red so you can run your own games there. Its a setting where designer drugs are legal and people wear armoured jackets down the street, unions dont exist and corporations make employees sign lifetime contracts. Segotari sells interactive braindance games with names like Elflines Online, theres a world currency, and posergangs biosculpt themselves to look like characters from The Brady Bunch and The Wizard of Oz.

Its got a sense of humour even as it bills this as a dark future, but that was true of Cyberpunk 2020 as well, with its clown gangs and red-and-black glowing holozones denoting which areas of the street were no-parking zones in the event of a Free Fire Emergency because vehicles there could legally be used as barricades by police or corporate units.

It may contain some daft jokes and satire, but its still a dystopia. One section of Night City has been abandoned by the police and become a combat zone, where gangs like the cybered-up Iron Sights and neo-fascist Red Chrome Legion rule. Its not a nice place to live, but an exciting place for games.

Cyberpunk 2020 had an elegant central mechanic, but incongruously complicated rules for combat. It was a game that preached style over substance and yet had rules for fighting designed so that over time they would statistically resemble the results of the FBIs Uniform Crime Reports. Those rules were called Friday Night Firefight. Cyberpunk Red calls its combat rules Thursday Night Throwdown, and explains that there will be a fuller version to come in the core rulebook.

These rules combine fiddliness and abstraction, so Im not sure theyll please people who want cinematic, narrative fights or those who want to know the diameter of exit wounds in millimetres.

A nice addition is the rule for what happens before a fight, called the Facedown. Characters add their Reputation and Cool scores to the roll of a d10, and whoever wins intimidates the other. The loser can back down or fight on, but will take a -3 on every roll.

As for netrunning, it was always a pain in Cyberpunk 2020 because, though it took seconds from the hackers perspective, it took ages at the table, and could be done from the couch before a mission even started. Now, netrunning is something you have to do up close, wirelessly but within six meters of an access point, and it plays out in real time. While the netrunner is running Banhammer to defeat Black ICE, the rest of the party can be holding off the guards.

Thats fun, but almost all of the netrunners abilities and programs boil down to their Interface stat versus a difficulty value. If they beat it they move on to another challenge, if they fail then things stall. Still, its an improvement over the old rules.

My players had fun with character creation. The Jumpstart Kit provides six pre-generated characters with names and faces though the rules suggest changing those and I heartily recommend it, just for a sense of ownership. Then you make a lifepath for them. A selling point of the Cyberpunk games, lifepaths present you with tables that delineate your life before the game starts.

Its likely youll have more enemies than friends, and two of my players came out with zero pals, which immediately says something about them as people. Deceased family members are common, along with kidnappings and betrayals. The book explains that the versions of lifepaths presented here are truncated, and the rulebook will give them more substance, but even these miniature lifepaths gave my players rich backstories full of ideas for future plotlines I could run.

The last thing in the Jumpstart Kit is a set of beginner adventures, the first of which is fleshed-out while the rest are left as notes. This intro scenario is called The Apartment, and it casts all the PCs as living together in a building thats about to be violently taken over. The siege can play out in multiple ways, and I appreciate the freedom to mould it to your players with suggestions based on what abilities they have. One of the options is to have the neighbours betray them, but my players immediately bonded with the kooky NPCs, so Im glad I threw that out.

One thing missing is an equipment guide with prices and names. Most of the gear on the character sheets is plain, a Very Heavy Pistol or a Groundcar, but cyberpunks a genre where nameology matters, where you want to be able to whip out a Malorian Arms Flechette Pistol and have it mean something.

Still, all my complaints are minor quibbles. Its effective at creating a mood, and my players immediately understood the vibeones playing a wannabe pro gamer named Zigz, while anothers got a tragic past and calls himself Jack Saturday. The gold standard for beginner RPG products is still the D&D Starter Kit, and the best introduction to roleplaying will always be enthusiastic friends who are already into it, but failing that Cyberpunk Reds Jumpstart Kit and a viewing of Blade Runner or Bubblegum Crisis does the job admirably.

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A guide to Cyberpunk Red, the latest edition of the tabletop game - PC Gamer

Last of Us 2, Final Fantasy 7, Cyberpunk 2077, Ghost of Tsushima: 2020 will be AMAZING – Express

This quartet of games arent the only big releases on the horizon, with other major titles also slated for a 2020 release.

Resident Evil 3, Persona 5 Royal, Doom ETERNAL, Dying Light 2, Halo Infinite, Animal Crossing New Horizons and Half-Life Alyx are also out next year.

As is Marvels Avengers, Bloodlines 2, Nioh 2, Minecraft Dungeons, Tales of Arise, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, Oddworld Soulstorm, Watch Dogs 3 and more.

Plus, already announced titles that dont have a release date yet such as Zelda Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3 and Hellblade 2 could come in 2020.

Besides the great selection of exclusives pencilled in for next year, Sony and Microsoft are also set to launch their next-gen consoles.

The PS5 and Xbox Series X are both set to release in the run-up to next Christmas.

READ MORE: Xbox Series X vs Xbox One and PS4: Microsoft share the specs PS5 will need to match


Last of Us 2, Final Fantasy 7, Cyberpunk 2077, Ghost of Tsushima: 2020 will be AMAZING - Express

Great concept art that celebrates the cyberpunk aesthetic – PC Gamer

Few fictional genres possess such strong stylistic associations as cyberpunk. The word instantly conjures images of cities soaked in neon-lit rain, where glittering glass skyscrapers loom over squalid slums, where the lines between the organic and the synthetic have become blurred beyond recognition, and where virtual worlds are often just as real and just as dangerous as the physical one.

The strength of cyberpunks aesthetic makes games which adopt it easy to identify, but it also makes breaking away from that style a challenge. Here, wed like to celebrate the different shades of cyberpunk gaming has conjured, delving into how these virtual visions of imagined futures reflect the themes their developers wanted to explore.

Shadowrun Returns blends cyberpunk with fantasy to create a world where orcs with prosthetic arms serve you drinks in underground dive taverns, while trenchcoat-wearing elves get into gunfights on the cracked streets of Seattle.

Here, you can see concept art from both the original game and its two expansions/sequels, Dragonfall and Hong Kong. Compared to Mankind Divided and Observer (overleaf ), Shadowrun offers a much broader sense of its own world, depicting how cultures differ and overlap across its various locations.

Much of Shadowruns concept is closely aligned with how the final game looks. Not only does it define the games cel-shaded aesthetic, it also shows us the perspective from which the game is played. See if you can spot the katana-wielding orc sneaking through the dockyards in the image below.

Featuring a sterling performance from the late, great Rutger Hauer, Observer is a sci-fi detective horror created by Bloober Team, the developer of Layers Of Fear. It sees players investigating a murder at an apartment block, hacking directly into the minds of witnesses and victims to solve the case.

Observer is more directly inspired by Blade Runner than any other game mentioned here. As well as featuring one of the movies actors, Observers crumbling apartment block strongly evokes the tenement Roy Batty chases Rick Deckard through in the films climax, where the high-tech society hasnt fixed the dripping pipework and damp-ridden plasterboard that the citys lower echelons call home.

Observer paints an aggressive and invasive vision of technology. Its cobalt-blue holographs spread through the apartment block like a virus, creating barriers that inhibit detective Dan Lazarskis progress. Meanwhile, software in the minds Lazarksi hacks into construct virtual horrors that stalk him right back.

While it clearly owes a debt to the Deus Ex games that preceded it, particularly the sepia streets and skyscrapers of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided nonetheless takes its cyberpunk aesthetic in some interesting new directions. Set in Prague, it cleverly melds medieval architecture with the gaudy holograms and jagged metallic structures of its imagined future. At launch, Mankind Divided stood out particularly for its extreme attention to detail. Its a world in which every desk and alley is cluttered with the detritus of life.

All the art seen here was drawn by Mathieu Latour-Duhaime, a veteran artist currently working at EA Motive. As well as doing general concepts, Duhaime also masterminded Mankind Divideds eye-popping Golem City area, a sprawling slum-metropolis that provides a literal vision of an urban jungle. Electrical wires dangle everywhere like rainforest vines, and the yellowish strip lights give a sense of viewing the sun through a thick canopy of foliage.

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Great concept art that celebrates the cyberpunk aesthetic - PC Gamer

Sideshow Announces More Exclusive The Witcher And CyberPunk 2077 Merchandise Coming Soon – Happy Gamer

CD Projekt Reds The Witcher series is only becoming more popular thanks to the Netflix live-action adaptation. Fans have also been waiting years for the release of the developers next time Cyberpunk 2077.

For fans who want to display pieces of the game world in real life will now have the opportunity to acquire more merchandise.

Sideshow Collectibles develops high-quality statues of licensed characters along with original works. Their figures come with a high level of detail that bring digital characters to life. Theyve previously worked with Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Star Wars, and more.

Sideshow has also worked in collaboration with CD Projekt Red to bring the developers versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to life. Sideshow has created statues of Ciri, Yennefer, Geralt, and Eredin to life. Recently, Sideshow has created Ronin versions of Geralt along with Ciri.

At the start of the new year, Sideshow updated its website to announced they were working on more merchandise with CD Projekt Red. The posts on both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3s pages state: Sideshow is excited to announce that Cyberpunk 2077 license and collectibles will be coming in the future! Stay tuned RSVP for more updates!

From the news posts, Sideshow doesnt plan on stopping the production of The Witcher merchandise yet, especially with the increased interest from the Netflix show. It is news that the company will begin developing new Cyberpunk 2077 statues.

Unfortunately, there was little additional information released regarding the new products. The companies are sure to release more details in 2020, especially since Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on April 15, 2020.

Cyberpunk 2077 is the newest game from CD Projekt Red. The official Steam store summary states: Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your characters cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.

If fans want to know about the newest merchandise as soon as its announced, they can follow Sideshow and CD Projekt Red on social media or sign up for their mailing lists.

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Sideshow Announces More Exclusive The Witcher And CyberPunk 2077 Merchandise Coming Soon - Happy Gamer

20 Games to Look Forward to in 2020 – Attack of the Fanboy

2019 was a great year for video games, but 2020 is shaping up to be a year of truly monumental proportions. Not only is the next-generation of consoles nearly upon us, but this year also marks the release of several of this generations most anticipated titles, including The Last of Us Part 2, Cyberpunk 2077, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. There are so many games coming out this year that its hard to narrow them all down to one definitive list, but these are 20 of the biggest games you can look forward to playing in 2020.

Although Halo is without a doubt the defining franchise for the Xbox, the more recent entries in the series havent been held in the highest regard by fans. While Halo 4 and 5 were still decent games in their own right, they didnt come close to reaching the same highs as the beloved original trilogy. Even though we havent seen too much of Halo Infinite at this point, what we have seen looks incredibly promising, and considering the game is confirmed to be a launch title for Microsofts next-generation Xbox Series X, were tremendously excited to see what Infinite will look and play like. Itll likely be the tentpole release for the Xbox Series Xs launch window, and because itll be available on Xbox Game Pass the day it launches, it will be accessible to a wider audience than ever. Halo Infinite is definitely a game to watch out for this year.

Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced all the way back in early 2013, but something happened between then and now that has people even more excited for this game than they were before: The Witcher 3. CD Projekt Red was already a proven developer when Cyberpunk was originally announced thanks to the first two Witcher games, but The Witcher 3 propelled the studio to new heights. The world of The Witcher 3 was chock full of interesting characters, lengthy quests, and meaningful choices, causing it to win countless awards when it launched in 2015. Now, the studios next project is an RPG set in a sprawling futuristic city that looks to be just as densely packed with things to do, if not more so, than its predecessor, and people are justifiably excited. If the numerous trailers and gameplay demonstrations are even partly representative of the final experience, Cyberpunk 2077 will be an RPG for the ages.

Were long overdue for a new Animal Crossing game. In a world filled to the brim with sprawling RPGs, ultraviolent shooters, and tense horror experiences, its nice to have a game where the objective is just to chill out with some animal friends. Animal Crossing is a series that has bounced back and forth between Nintendos home console and handheld offerings, and the Nintendo Switch is the perfect fit for a game like this considering it can do both. Tons of classic Nintendo franchises like Zelda, Mario, and Fire Emblem have had new life breathed into them on the Switch, and hopefully, Animal Crossing wont be any different. Plus, the enhanced online capabilities of the Switch will allow players to play online with their friends much easier than they could on the 3DS.

Doom 2016 is one of the best shooters released this generation, so fans are undoubtedly excited for the follow-up. Doom Eternal looks to maintain the frenetic gameplay that the first game executed so flawlessly while expanding upon it in interesting ways. We didnt think Doom needed a grappling hook, but Eternal features one attached to a shotgun, and now were more excited than before. The sequel also looks to improve in the multiplayer department as well, ditching the traditional deathmatch modes in favor of something more unique. Players will be able to invade other players campaigns as demons, and Battlemode pits three players against one another in an asymmetrical competition where one player is the Doom Slayer and the other two are demons with the ability to summon AI reinforcements. Doom Eternal seems like an ambitious sequel, and youll be able to get your hands on it this year barring another delay.

Watch Dogs: Legions central mechanic is so ambitious that the game has been delayed into the next fiscal year. Rather than having each NPC roaming the streets of London simply serve as set dressing, each and every one of the people you encounter in Watch Dogs: Legion is a playable character. Anyone can be recruited right off the street into the ranks of your resistance, complete with their own unique backstories and traits. Whether these characters end up feeling truly distinct remains to be seen, but one thing is clear with Legion: the team really wants to set this franchise apart from the competition. If the gimmick pays off, then Watch Dogs wont just be a somewhat generic open-world game with a press button to hack schtick, but instead a different beast entirely. Still, keep in mind that weve been promised big things from Watch Dogs in the past. Keep an eye on Watch Dogs: Legion, but be wary of the huge promises.

The original Last of Us launched just months before the PlayStation 4, pushing the PlayStation 3 to its absolute limit to deliver one of that systems defining experiences. The Last of Us Part 2 is in a similar situation, launching only a few months before the PlayStation 5 will hit store shelves. Naughty Dog has proven time and time again that they can squeeze every ounce of power possible out of Sonys hardware, and given what they accomplished in 2016 with Uncharted 4, were incredibly excited to see what they can do with a follow up to The Last of Us. The small amount of gameplay shown off so far looks amazing, not to mention the handful of story trailers and cutscenes weve seen as well. Some were initially hesitant when news of a sequel to The Last of Us first arose considering the first games intentionally ambiguous ending, but The Last of Us Part 2 looks like it will provide even greater insight into Ellie and Joel than the first game ever did.

Although its a remake of the 1997 classic, Final Fantasy VII Remake is practically an entirely new mainline Final Fantasy entry. Sure, it features the same characters, locations, and general plot as the original, but theres so much new content being added that the game is being split into multiple parts because of it. Going off of the leaked demo, which features the opening sequence of the game, Final Fantasy VII remake will include tons of brand new dialogue, combat sequences, and quests that werent in the original PlayStation version. Also, the game ditches the ATB combat of the original in favor of a realtime action combat system ala Kingdom Hearts. Its a complete reimagining of the game for a modern audience, and itll likely have enough changes to keep even the biggest fans of the original surprised.

Last year, Resident Evil 2 provided players with a horrifying trip down memory lane. Capcom not only remade the original survival horror classic, but also modernized and updated it in ways that made it much easier to play without sacrificing any of the scares. This year, Resident Evil fans will get the other side of the Raccoon City story with Resident Evil 3, a complete remake with gorgeous graphics and lighting, improved controls, and a new multiplayer mode called Resident Evil Resistance. It looks just as good as Resident Evil 2, and if you thought avoiding Mr. X in the halls of the RPD was terrifying, just wait until you see Nemesis.

The past decade has given us the best superhero games weve ever seen. The influence of the Batman Arkham games can be seen in just about every third-person brawler released since, and Insomniacs Spider-Man is arguably the wall-crawlers best ever video game outing. Whats surprising, however, is that it took us this long to get a dedicated game centered around the Avengers, especially considering the overwhelming popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Timing aside, its finally happening, though whether or not itll join the superhero game hall of fame remains to be seen. Theres a beta happening prior to launch, so youll at least be able to get your hands on the game for a bit before the full release.

Wasteland 2 was an entertaining return to the age of classic isometric RPGs like Fallout and, well, the first Wasteland, but Wasteland 3 looks to be bigger and better than its predecessor in every way. Ditching the arid desert setting of Wasteland 2, Wasteland 3 is a romp through the frozen wastes of post-apocalyptic Colorado. You can even play it with a friend in online co-op, although you wont have to be together all the time. You and your friend will command your own individual squads and be able to split up whenever you choose. You can even play and complete missions while your friend is offline, although youll have to live with the consequences of whatever decisions you made when your friend returns. Its an interesting take on multiplayer in an RPG, and you hopefully wont have to do too much convincing to get someone to play with you considering the game is on Xbox Game Pass.

The PlayStation 4 is going to go out with a bang. Ghost of Tsushima will arrive only a few months after The Last of Us Part 2, but it seems to be just as strong of an exclusive. Sucker Punch has been working on this game for quite a while, and its striking visuals make it stand out every time its shown at an event. The sword combat is a spectacle with brutal counters and executions, and the gorgeous open world is just begging to be explored. Its definitely one of the most visually impressive games on the PlayStation 4, and it looks like it has the gameplay to match.

Were getting a new Half-Life. That alone should make Half-Life: Alyx one of the landmark titles for 2020, but in true Valve fashion, theres a lot going on with Alyx. Its exclusively playable in VR, which is upsetting for a lot of people. However, Half-Life is a series known for pushing technological boundaries, and Half-Life: Alyx looks like it takes full advantage of the immersion and added level of interactivity that VR provides. As VR becomes more and more commonplace, games like these will continue to pop up. Half-Life: Alyx is the first in a long line of huge VR games, and physically moving things around as you scrounge for ammo or tossing things at an enemy to stun them during combat sounds like a ton of fun. If you have a VR headset, youre probably already going to play this game. If you havent picked one up yet, however, you should strongly consider doing so.

An expanded version of Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal adds a whole bunch of content to the already lengthy 2017 RPG. The original Persona 5 is already excellent, but Royal aims to correct some of the mistakes the team made the first time around as well as add new scenes to the main game that further flesh out the cast. With tons of new story content, a new party member, new confidants, and an entire extra semester tacked onto the original games ending, Persona 5 Royal is going to take well over one hundred hours to complete. That wont be too big of an issue given the strength of the characters, gameplay, and soundtrack, though.

While not a traditional mainline Gears game, Gears Tactics isnt your average spinoff. This strategy game is packing a 40-hour campaign, deep character customization, and a strong focus on story. Its a prequel, so you dont have to have played the other Gears games to know whats going on in Tactics, but considering every Gears game (including Tactics) is on Xbox Game Pass, you might as well give some of them a shot. Gears Tactics is shaping up to be an excellent strategy game, and fans of the series shouldnt turn their backs on it just because its a different genre.

Despite sharing its name and aesthetic with Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons plays nothing like it. Dungeons is more akin to Diablo than anything, an isometric dungeon crawler centered around loot. It likely wont break any boundaries, but being able to explore randomly generated dungeons with friends isnt something we should take for granted. Diablo 4 is still a ways off, so why not delve into some blockier dungeons while you wait?

2015s Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the best games on the Xbox One, so its no surprise that the follow-up is one of the more highly anticipated games of 2020. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is just as gorgeous as its predecessor, and it looks like it will feature an impactful story and beautiful music just like the first game. On the gameplay side, Ori and the Will of the Wisps adds several new abilities for Ori, allowing for tighter and more challenging platforming than ever. Also, the sequel thankfully features autosaves, something which the first game sorely lacked.

The first Dying Light continues to be supported even today, five years post-launch, even getting crossovers with huge franchises like Left 4 Dead. The sequel, however, aims to accomplish much more than the original ever did. Itll still feature the same first-person parkour, but this time, theres a greater emphasis on narrative. Your decisions will not only affect your reputation between factions, but also the city itself. Youll be able to see the city visually change over the course of your playthrough, all thanks to the choices you make during missions. Consequences are at the core of Dying Light 2, and considering the first games story was lacking overall, its a welcome change.

Media Molecules Dreams has technically been out for the majority of 2019, albeit in Early Access, but 2020 marks the full retail release of the game. Dreams Creator Early Access only provided players with the games powerful suite of creation tools, but the full release of Dreams will contain a full story mode similar to LittleBigPlanet. However, because the game will have been out in Early Access for a year by the time Dreams officially launches, new players will have access to a back catalog of player-made creations on day one. Not only does this alleviate the issue of having no community-created levels to play at launch, but it also provides new players with a bevy of assets to use in their own creations. Unlike LittleBigPlanet, you dont have to create levels in Dreams. You can create anything as complex as full games or as simple as an individual asset, and anyone can use that creation in their own creations if you allow it. Doing an Early Access soft launch greatly benefitted Dreams, and if you jump in at launch, therell be no shortage of content.

Despite Rainbow Six: Sieges massive popularity, some still miss having a Rainbow Six game that isnt solely based around PvP. Rainbow Six Quarantine isnt a narrative-driven tactical shooter like the classic games, but its not a PvP experience like Siege, either. Its a middle ground, a three-player cooperative game centered around a viral outbreak. Not much is known about Quarantine, but it does feature some of the operators from Siege and is set sometime in the future. Itll likely play similarly to Sieges limited-time Outbreak event, which tasked players with making their way through Left 4 Dead like levels, killing infected and completing objectives along the way. The Outbreak event did have some cutscenes and story beats, so its possible that Outbreak will have a decent story. If anything, itll provide some additional insight into the operators that Siege players have been playing for years.

The Yakuza series only recently blew up in the west, mostly due to the release of Yakuza 0 in early 2017, but just as the western audience was becoming engrossed in the story of Kazuma Kiryu, it ended with the release of Yakuza 6 just a year later. Now, with the release of Yakuza 7, which is simply titled Yakuza: Like a Dragon here in the west, the series is getting a fresh start. Its sort of a soft reboot of the Yakuza franchise. Theres a new protagonist, a new setting, and an entirely different combat system. Yakuza: Like a Dragon forgoes realtime brawling in favor of a classic turn-based combat system. Its a pretty drastic change, but it signifies that this is a new direction for Yakuza, and its one that people can jump onto without worrying too much about previous entries in the series. The game comes out in just a few days in Japan, but its slated for a western release sometime in 2020, so be on the lookout for it.

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20 Games to Look Forward to in 2020 - Attack of the Fanboy

Adventures of a Gamer Girl: Game play next year and last – Lynchburg News and Advance

This past year I have been ensnared by some old and new titles.

I played a good bit of Two Point Hospital, a single-player hospital building game where you build rooms, solve problems and meet goals to increase your hospitals value and ratings. The game had two expansions release during 2019 to include three haunted and three ski-lodge like hospitals along with a slew of new diseases and ways to cure them. The game was originally released in 2018 but I played, and beat it twice, during 2019. They also added a cooperative mode where players complete missions with friends to solve a larger research project. I am looking forward to what 2020 brings, even if it is replaying the game all over again.

On the topic of casual games, Cities:Skylines was another of my favorites for passing time. It is everything Sim Cities should have been. And unlike Sim City, Cities:Skylines allows you to control just about every aspect of your city, from roads, public transportation and now colleges, to parks and entertainment districts. Released in 2014, the game has seen several expansions during the years, with campuses released in the past year. I am ready to soar into new heights with this one in 2020 as well.

Now onto the online multiplayer games.

Sea of Thieves was my 2019 obsession; although not a new game it was originally released in 2018 this game was one that had its ups and downs for me during the past year. While there have been additions to the game that have enhanced the overall experience, the players in the game have continued to be a detriment. Game developer Rare has had to balance community needs with worthwhile gameplay and it has not always gone well. I put the game down finally in November after changes made gameplay more difficult. Maybe 2020 will be a better year, but that remains to be seen.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launched for PC this past year and has been everything an open world game should be. It originally was released exclusively for Playstation and came to PC in November. Though with the launch of its Moonshiners expansion, the game hit a series of issues. They seem to be fixed as the year closes out but, at the same time, Rockstar may not have been ready for the number of PC players who wanted to play the game. Not to mention there were people hacking the game from launch, and crashes and failed launches still plague many players. But this is one I will continue to play and explore in 2020; there is so much to do and, I am hoping, more to come.

And how can I forget the game that has never taken itself seriously? From the creators of Goat Simulator, Deep Rock Galactic has made leaps and bounds in 2019 from beta and barely anything to a game that has so many facets it is hard to keep up. Developer Ghost Ship and publisher Coffee Stain have a winner in the four-player sci-fi co-op that takes dwarves to Hoxxis IV to mine minerals and eggs and fight giant bugs. It is a game enjoyed solo and with a group, and do not worry I will be kicking barrels and killing bugs well into the new year with this one. For Karl!

Finally, this past year saw the long awaited Borderlands 3 land. The game hit hard in September followed by a Halloween event that ran for more than a month and new endgame content was everything and nothing Borderlands players wanted. For me, it lived up to the hype. I was not thrilled with the villains but the storytelling was top notch and the first expansion, which released mid-December, was well worth it. I am looking forward to expansions to come in 2020, especially if they are all going to be as awesome as the December release.

The past year brought us a slew of other new video games like Gears of War 5, Death Stranding, Luigis Mansion 3 and many more. But 2020 brings us a new year of games, some highly anticipated.

Here is the list of games I am looking forward to coming out in the next year:

Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)Announced at E3 what seems like a decade ago, the futuristic adaptation of the 1988 tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020 is FINALLY coming. CD Projekt Red has taken their sweet time getting this one right. The latest trailer even added Keanu Reeves. It is expected to hit consoles and PC in April.

For me, this is a grown up version of the Shadowrun games, which I started playing a few years ago. Shadowrun, a top-down turn-based shooters, takes place in a futuristic socirty, and Cyberpunk jumps back in there minus the fantasy races. The graphics and open world concept are intriguing, I am just hoping it is truly open world. The game reminds me of futuristic Japan as portrayed in Ghost in the Shell, which just adds to the hype and anticipation.

There are a lot of eyes on this one so lets hope it lives up to the hype and is worth the agonizing wait.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)It has been a long time since this game from Square Enix landed on the original PlayStation. Now it is coming back and looks brand new, with updated graphics and new story. It was announced several years ago at E3 and has a release date of March 3 exclusively on PS4. Since I have been disappointed with the past few Final Fantasy games, it will be nice to get back to one that I enjoyed playing. The gameplay looks to be similar to the original games but the updated graphics make it much more enjoyable. The story seems to still be the same sappy anime but from previews, maybe it grew up? That remains to be seen since it is a Japanese role-playing game.

Here is hoping the updated game is better than the original blocky one. I will pick up a Playstation controller for this!

Senuas Saga: Hellblade 2 (Ninja Theory)Talk about hype. The initial trailer for this game, dropped during the video game awards in November, showed a dark world and a stronger female lead. The first game, named Senuas Sacrifice, tackled the topics of depression, loss and psychosis in a way I have never seen before. The game won awards for its depiction of mental health. If Hellblade 2 is anything like that, get ready for a wild and dark ride. The games are rich with Nordic traditions and influence as Senua is a pict warrior, an ancient race of Scottish Celts that lived during the 10th century.

Because of her psychosis there is so much mixed together, be ready to experience it all with her the confusion and disorientation is not for the faint of heart.

There is no definitive plot or release date for the sequel, but could be late 2020, fingers crossed.

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance (Wizards of the Coast and Tuque)Once upon a time, I played Dungeons & Dragons, both the tabletop and the online game that was released way back in 2006. Throwback here for sure. Anyway, the latest announcement from franchise owner Wizard of the Coast has a new four-player co-op coming out in the new year. Needless to say, as long as they dont follow in Turbines footsteps, this game has to be better than the online version. No real story or plot yet, and the trailer leaves much to be desired but as a D&D girl, I am willing to give it a shot.

Halo: Infinite (343 Studios)The next installment from 343 Studio is set to release during the holidays in 2020 hopefully. The previews have not given much away but Master Chief is back and hopefully back to what the Halo games should be. This is a series I used to watch my husband play, mostly because when it comes to console games, I am the absolute worst. I have fallen out of love with the past few games but, given the direction they are taking, I am interested to see how this one will go. I might even learn to use a controller to play it.

Skull & Bones (Ubisoft)After the failures and toxicity of Sea of Thieves, I am going to give this one a chance and see how it goes. The gameplay looks like a lot of what Sea of Thieves is lacking. While touting open world, it seems to be similar to Red Dead Redemption in a way that there are also story missions and non-player enemies to go against. Sea of Thieves relies more on player vs. player interaction. The storytelling in the game looks rich and given the multiple delays the game already has experienced, it better be good when it finally releases.

Of course, there are plenty more games coming to computer and console than just the ones I have listed, but these are the ones I have plans to play.

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Adventures of a Gamer Girl: Game play next year and last - Lynchburg News and Advance

EF Games’ Carl Jones reveals his most anticipated games of 2020 – Entertainment Focus

2019 was a somewhat serviceable year in gaming. A few solid titles may have released and the Nvidia/AMD war raged on but overall, it was a forgettable year in gaming. 2020 is shaping up to be a monster of a year. Several big titles are coming out for the current generation that were pushed back for various reasons and will be a great send-off for this generation. Yes, the PS5 and Xbox will release next Winter (The Xbox Series X has been confirmed but another system may release as well) with their own exclusives but here are a few games you should be keeping your eye on in 2020. Dont freak out, they are in no particular order and feel free to shout at us on Twitter if your favourite is missing.

Despite the first Watch Dogs game getting a lukewarm reception, the sequel lit a beacon of hope for the series. Taking to the streets of London for this third outing, Watch Dogs Legion lets you play as anyone. Yes, any NPC in the entire game. Not sure how Ubisoft will pull it off but you can be sure it will be an entertaining open world.

Coming off the back of the excellent Man of Medan that hit earlier this year, there is a lot of hope for Little Hope. The template is a simple one to follow. A likeable cast I want to protect and murder equally. Cue some obnoxious jump scares and Little Hope should be a blast to play.

Instead of focusing on teen drama like in the excellent Life is Strange, developer Dontnod has opted for a different kind of mystery. Still retaining the episodic structure, Twin Mirror follows investigative journalist, Sam. He solves his cases using his Mind Palace, like Sherlock Holmes and has an inner voice like a Lovecraft character. Sign me up.

Dontnod has another episodic title and this one follows the teen drama angle, explored in Life is Strange. You play as twins, Alyson and Tyler (with Tyler being a transexual), who has just transitioned to male, as you try to piece together their past. An interesting and divisive topic to be sure but it will be certainly interesting to see how Dontnod tackles it.

The most popular thing since sliced bread has a huge AAA videogame version coming out, to nobodies surprise. Crystal Dynamics have a strong track record, so Im certainly not worried about the quality of the game. Visually, it looks tremendous and the combat looks to be a blast. The cynic in me is expecting something to go wrong here but if Im wrong, this will be one hell of a game.

Deadly Premonition was an absolute treat. Its visuals were horrendous and the gameplay was awful. The voice acting was laughable and the writing was shoddy. Yet there was something about it. It exuded charm and its cast were so endearing. A game like this should be thrown in a bargain bin, never to be touched again but it is a powerful argument for So bad, its good. The sequel, a Nintendo Switch exclusive, has a lot to do to appease its rabid fan-base.

Oh there he goes again, banging on about Yakuza, I hear you say. Just give me this, please! After Yakuza 6: The Song of Life closed the chapter of Kazuma Kiryu, Yakuza 7 brings in some new blood. Much like Kiryu, new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga takes the fall for a murder he didnt commit. Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon make the biggest change in the entire series, by going from a brawler to a turn-based RPG. Its a huge shift but a welcome one and may bring in a new generation of fans.

Whats there to say? Capcom absolutely nailed the remake of Resident Evil 2 and there isnt any indication theyll drop the ball here. Admit it, youre already excited.

Much like the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 3, theres already a huge swarm of people foaming at the mouth for this. Its going to a be a jumping in point for new fans as well. Those new fans who were put off by Final Fantasy XV might find this to be a bit easier to digest.

I was very late to the party with the outstanding first title, Ori and the Blind Forest and I remember looking at the trailer for this sequel and thinking this is the best looking game Ive ever seen. Im expecting a heart-breaking story, with jaw-dropping visuals, fun combat and platforming and a stunning musical score. What else does a game need?

From its incredible trailer shown earlier this year, I was hooked. A short scene that takes (you guessed it) 12 minutes to unfold, is meant to be played many times in order to find out what truly happened. This tense-looking mystery is sure to be a talking point when it releases.

Sucker Punch did a fantastic job with their superhero trilogy Infamous and the platformer Sly Cooper but this time they are being serious. Opting for a more grounded and dark tale, Ghost of Tsushima has you play as a mysterious samurai, Ghost. Its an open-world samurai game, come on people!

I loved Dead Island, faults and all. I understand most didnt but its hard to deny 2015s Dying Light wasnt bloody brilliant. The sequel is turning everything to 11 and is prioritising player choice and consequence above all and its looking to nail it. Seeing a game world change around you is a delight and I cant wait to play this one.

When the first game ended, I was completely satisfied. Its a rare feeling to be happy that a story has ended. The rumours of a sequel didnt interest me much but the more that was revealed, the more my interest grew. Now, there is no doubt The Last of Us: Part II will be a knockout but can Naughty Dog recapture the lightning in the bottle? Its a tough follow-up but I have a lot of faith.

Another game I was late to the party to. Despite being released unfinished, the first game earned a major cult following, prompting fans to finish the game themselves. Sure the combat is, well terrible but the characters and the world itself are incredible and seeing a sequel with all this effort put into it, makes my heart pound.

Yeah, Im far from the only one looking forward to this. CD Projekt Red have proved themselves as top tier developers, so theres a lot of hype resting on this game. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was a masterfully created, story-based RPG. Cyberpunk 2077 needs to pull off something major to top that masterpiece.

Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice was a shining example of mid-tier developers knocking it out of the park. Despite its simple gameplay systems, it rallied itself behind an outstanding protagonist and a riveting story, not to mention its perfect use of binaural audio. The sequel is an unexpected tease but a welcome one and a looks to push the upcoming Xbox: Series X to its limit.

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EF Games' Carl Jones reveals his most anticipated games of 2020 - Entertainment Focus

The Notable Video Games Of 2020 – Dark Horizons

Last year proved something of an odd duck for gaming after such a strong showing in 2018, gone were widely acclaimed single-player titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvels Spider-Man and God of War replaced with less high profile but still interesting ones like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Control, Death Stranding and the Resident Evil 2 remake.

2020 is different. Not only are some big high profile titles back on the board, but it also marks a generational switchover point as both Microsoft and PlayStation refresh their consoles at the end of the year. With the new consoles all set to be backwards compatible for current generation games those involved arent slowing down.

Some major titles like The Elder Scrolls VI, Dragon Age 4, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, Metroid Prime 4 and Beyond Good & Evil 2 arent hitting until 2021 or beyond and so heres a list of the games were keen to see this year:

The Last of Us Part IINaughty Dog boasts the best track record for quality gaming product on the planet and has never failed to deliver, I dont expect them to stop now with this sequel to the incredibly acclaimed first title. Set five years later, Ellie and Joel return in a new story which hits May 20th though many will either wait or replay once a PS5 working version is released.

Ghost of TsushimaSucker Punch Productions Infamous: Second Son was the first real notable PS4 exclusive and boasted an excellent open-world design, lush visuals and fun powers tied to a bland story and repetitive gameplay. They return with this third-person stealth/combat game set in an open-world medieval Japan and resembling something out of the classic samurai films of the country. Hopefully a real winner, and at the very least it looks so damn gorgeous.

Cyberpunk 2077After nearly a decade of teasing, The Witcher creators CD Projekt Red deliver their take on a cyberpunk dystopian future with this first-person tale of a massive neo-metropolis run by militarized corporations and criminal gangs all vying for power. Its a rich open world with so much attention to detail and, considering CD Projekt Reds past track record, no doubt a whole lot of playability.

Half Life AlyxIts not the Half-Life 3 we all want, but the VR-only Half-Life: Alyx is something to be celebrated because at least Valve is showing interest in the franchise again. Here, the story follows Alyx Vance and her father Eli as they form a resistance to take on the invasion of the alien force known as the Combine. The usual first-person exploration, combat, and puzzle elements come into play and expect this title to finally push some VR headset sales.

Batman: Arkham Legacy / Untitled Rocksteady GameFor several years now, both Batman: Arkham City developers Rocksteady Games and Batman: Arkham Origins developers WB Games Montreal have separately been working on their own secret projects. Events last year teased some sort of announcement about what at least one of them has been working on will happen soon. Whether it be Batman: Arkham Legacy or an Arkham-style Superman game, who knows but we should hopefully see at least one of these companies coming forward with something later this year.

System Shock RemakeA remake of the iconic 1994 game that served as the spiritual precursor to the BioShock and Deus Ex franchises. Like the original, this is set on a space station in the year 2072 and you play a hacker trying to stop the malevolent artificial intelligence SHODAN. Originally planned for 2018, the game has hit some setbacks and will release no earlier than late 2020, most likely being pushed into 2021.

Final Fantasy VII RemakeThe original is arguably considered to be the most famous role playing game of all time and now were finally getting Square Enixs full remake of it with all new graphics and a new realtime combat system along with the originals classic turn-based system. The only downside is its being released episodically, but one upside is a the possibility of a PC release according to reports from people who have scoured the code of a recently leaked demo.

Halo InfiniteThe biggest launch title for Microsofts Series X console, though very likely coming to PC as well, Master Chief returns in a story that begins when he awakens from sleep to find his forces have already lost the war. Developer 343 Industries promises an emphasis on open exploration this time out, and the hope is it will steer away from the elements that made Guardians such an unmemorable entry.

Microsoft Flight SimulatorA flight sim game with a difference, this eleventh entry in the famed franchise and the first since 2006 is a major upgrade in realism and simulates the entire planet thanks to its use of Bings satellite imagery and Azure cloud services. As a result, the in-game assets will incorporate all of our planets nearly 200 million square miles of land and water, over two million cities and over 40,000 individual airports. It will also sport seasonal weather and other elements to add to the realism, but will depend heavily on a good internet connection.

Oddworld: SoulstormUnlike Oddworld: New n Tasty which was mostly a direct remake, this is a full re-imagining of 1998s franchise-best entry Oddworld: Abes Exoddus with some key changes to the story and gameplay of this second of a planned quintology of titles. Abe the Mudokon is back and ready to lead his people to freedom so long as you can keep him alive.

Doom EternalBethesda and id Softwares sequel to 2016s shooter franchise reboot wants to be even faster and more fluid than its predecessor as the Doom Slayer returns to Earth to save the human race from the monstrous hordes. It also includes what has been dubbed Invasion Mode from games like Watch Dogs allowing players to enter someone elses game as playable demons. For the twitch shooter crowd, this should be a hit.

Resident Evil 3Capcoms full remake of Resident Evil 2 scored much acclaim last year, the title winning several game of the year awards and selling over five million copies outselling the original. Now Capcom is giving the same treatment to the third game from 1999 as Jill Valentine attempts to escape from the infected Raccoon City. Like last years remake, this modernizes the controls and viewpoint and will include the 1-vs-4 multiplayer game Resident Evil Resistance.

Senuas Saga: Hellblade 2A big launch title for the new Xbox, Ninja Theory delivers this follow-up to the acclaimed dark action-adventure Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice in which you play a Pict warrior who believes she is cursed due to the mental health issues she suffers. The new tale is set three years after Senua traveled through Helheim to rescue Dillion. The first trailer released for the title not long ago looks absolutely stunning.

Marvels AvengersCrystal Dynamics did such great work with the Tomb Raider franchise, but oddly excitement for this is notably muted following some not so great early trailers. The game begins with the unveiling of the new Avengers HQ in San Francisco which results in the death of civilians and the Avengers officially disband. Five years later, all superheroes are now outlawed until a recent world event puts humanity at risk. Im a bit Avengers-ed out at this point, but the graphics look great even as I have some serious questions about the gameplay.

Watch Dogs: LegionThis third installment in Ubisofts open-world hacking-themed title shifts the action to a post-Brexit London, one under intense and constant surveillance. You must build up the resistance, and this time you can recruit and play as any NPC in the game world turn that little old lady or that street tramp into a rocket-launching dynamo. Its a new spin on the gameplay that could really open up this title, and mostly it promises to be all sorts of anarchic fun.

Dying Light 2The first-person parkour survival game returns and this time its a much more interesting a varied open world fifteen years later. Theres not only seven different zones with whole different looks, but a map around four times as big as the first one and one with much more height to it. Leap across rooftops with help of hooks and paragliders to try and stay out of danger and make alliances which will change how the NPCs of this world react to you. Theres also some four-player co-op.

SaturnaliaA fascinating looking survival horror tale from Italian company Santa Ragione and done with graphics made to resemble pencil sketch artwork. You follow several characters who are stuck in an abandoned village as they try to both survive and get out. Wonderfully moody piece in its trailers.

The Red LanternWhat could be this years Firewatch, Timberline Studio delivers this survival tale following a woman who enters the Iditarod in Alaska and must use what few resources she has to survive the hazardous obstacles including bear attacks, frostbite and other natural threats. A strong narrative and intriguing setting makes this indie stand out from some bigger budget competitors on the way.

Skull and BonesTake the ship-to-ship combat sequences from Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag and build an entire game out of them and you get Skull & Bones, a lavish-looking sea-faring tale of galleons and cannons, rum and seamen. Its also a game that includes both campaign and multiplayer battles and isnt some always online MMORPG style deal which is nice.

Gods and MonstersUbisoft attempts to blend a look akin to Nintendos Breath of the Wild and Greek mythology elements in this exploration RPG that hails from the same team behind the acclaimed Assassins Creed Odyssey, so you know itll pay attention to the details. Here youll have to help save the gods from the giant serpent Typhon who wants to overthrow Zeus for the supremacy of the universe.


12 Minutes Annapurnas new overhead perspective title has you reliving the same twelve minutes over and over as you try and find ways to stop being beaten to death by a dangerous cop in your home.

Carrion You play the tentacled monster in this Metroidvania-style game as you race through the facility/prison where youre kept, chomping on scientists as you go.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Man of Medan gets a follow-up in this small town set supernatural chiller as a creature lurks in the darkness waiting to pounce.

Empire of Sin A turn-based combat-strategy game lifted by the fact its set in Prohibition-era Chicago and has you vying for control of the cities speakeasies and brothels.

Gears Tactics A turn-based single-player strategy game set in the Gears of War world from The Coalition and Splash Damage. Set during the early parts of the Locust Wars, the top-down game features first-person action sequences.

Ghostrunner Take the cyberpunk tower block setting of the film Dredd, expand it in size and fill it with enemies you have to kill with a Dishonored-style mixture of stealth, parkour and lethal melee.

Godfall The only PS5 exclusive announced thus far looks oddly dull. A multiplayer heavy third-person looting game from Counterplay Games.

Kerbal Space Program 2 The franchise returns with a follow-up with better graphics, enhanced modding ability, and expansions of the first games playability.

Nioh 2 A prequel to the 2017 title continues Team Ninjas hack-and-slash title with fully customizable characters to play with.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps The charming side scroller gets a follow-up in this just as colorful game about a spirit creature exploring their world, with the new entry improving the games upgrade and auto-save systems.

Persona 5 Royal A re-release of Persona 5 with a bunch of new features, a new character and a new area along with some tweaks.

Psychonauts 2 A follow-up to the beloved platformer sees you controlling Raz, a new graduate with powerful psychic powers.

Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated The celebrated 2003 game gets a full remake which will add a whole new multiplayer mode along with a bunch of excised content from the original game.

Tom Clancys Rainbow Six Quarantine A three-player co-op first-person shooter in which you take on a technological parasitic threat.

A Total War Saga: Troy The strategy combat franchise shifts the action to the Bronze Age and the Fall of Troy, can you win the battle and appease the gods?

Way to the Woods Teen developer Anthony Tans indie adventure game has a very Journey style feel to it as we follow two deer who are lost in the world and are trying to find their way home.

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The Notable Video Games Of 2020 - Dark Horizons

The history of cyberpunk on PC – PC Gamer

Although earlier examples do exist, nothing sums up the mood and aesthetic of cyberpunk quite like the opening of William Gibsons 1984 novel Neuromancer: "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." Its a genre of science fiction often marked by its contrasts; low life and high tech, to quote author Bruce Sterling, and a vision of the near future with its feet heavily planted in both the obsessions and pessimism of the 1980s.

Its instantly recognisable, and yet defies neat categorisation, with elements of noir, satire, fetishism and paranoia all typically mixed together. In its stock form, its the near future as seen from the gutterindividualists struggling to live as they choose in the perpetual darkness and driving rain of oppressive future cities where megacorporations rule everything and everyone. Its the antithesis of utopian sci-fi such as the Star Trek series, typically rooted in a sense of nihilism and criminality. Corruption is rife, violence is omnipresent, and law belongs to the highest bidder.

However, like most genres, theres far more to the setting than that. For starters, its a dark view of the future thats also shaped by its creators passions; a strong Asian vibe to the worlds, for instance, from the iconic geisha billboard that introduces us to Blade Runners near-future Los Angeles, to the existence of archetypes like Shadowruns 'street samurai'. The result tends to be worlds that are very cool to visit, but would be hellish to actually live in.

Deeper down though, cyberpunk is a genre thats less interested in the fancy toys and bright lights as the questions that they raise about humanityidentity, sexuality, ethics, memory, freedom, and more. Blade Runner, for example, is nominally a movie about a cop chasing down robots, but in practice is a deeper philosophical work that explores the nature of humanity by contrasting cold protagonist Deckard with the emotional Replicants he hunts.

This type of exploration is part of most major cyberpunk works of the last few decades, regardless of their origins. Be it the title of Ghost In The Shell referring to a spark of soul even when all organic elements have been replaced with machinery, to The Matrix, widely discussed for both its overt themes, such as the nature of reality, and for the many metaphors that can have read into it, most notably its potential to be seen as a transgender coming out story, andrather less positivelythe rise of philosophies such as 'redpilling' within certain online communities.

But lets turn our attention to games. Cyberpunk has been a part of them since the beginning, even if never as popular a setting as you might expect. Neuromancer saw a game conversion as far back as 1988, and many of its elements are still present in cyberspace futures todayhacking as a whole virtual world where the hacker must literally fight against ICE (Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics), upgrades in the form of skill chips, and so on. While not a great game, it was certainly a forward-thinking one, offering adventure/RPG cyberpunk action over a decade before Deus Ex; one where you could go from selling your organs for pocket money, to wandering down the street and finding a religion based on Pong.

As a game though, it made few waves, and this is honestly true for most attempts until the new millennium. Where theyre remembered, its primarily for their oddities. The original Blade Runner game particularly stands out here: an 8-bit outing not technically based on the moviethat would have been expensivebut rather 'inspired by the Vangelis soundtrack'. Needless to say, that inspiration somehow led to you being a cop in a big coat chasing down 'replidroids' in a futuristic city. That was 1985. Westwoods official game wouldnt arrive until 1997.

Not being huge commercial successes didnt mean that these games werent interesting. One of the more ambitious ones was Westwoods Circuits Edgethats Westwood as in the future creator of Command & Conquer. This was a text adventure with very simple graphical elements, based on the novel When Gravity Falls, with Islamic elements instead of the usual Asian ones. While almost entirely forgotten today, its an interesting piece of gaming history both for its technical side, with elements such as NPC scheduling, and for featuring some of the earliest gay/trans characters on PC.

Ideas in general were the genres strength, even if the games they were in drew more overall from Blade Runners aesthetics than cyberpunk philosophy. Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, for example, created Snatcher, a totally original story about a detective with a mysterious past hunting humanoid robots in the futuristic Neo Kobe City. Even more blatant was Sierras Rise Of The Dragon, a Chinese-themed adventure set in Los Angeles that named its hero Blade Hunter. Nothing, however, was ever quite as shameless as Access Softwares Mean Streets, which didnt just lift Blade Runners style, but shamelessly pinched one of its advertising posters.

When games broke free of that, the results could be fascinating. DreamWeb was one of the earliest to make waves, though not so much for the fact that your character was a potentially insane serial killer being guided by his dreams, as for the inclusion of a sex scene showing a few scandalous pixels of penis. It was an interesting game though, at least for the first few missions, before everyone involved unfortunately seemed to get somewhat bored with the concept.

Other prominent games of the '90s included Origins Cybermage: Darklight Awakening, arguably the most '90s name ever, the original System Shock, interactive movies with names like Angel Devoid and BurnCycle, and of course, the opening disc of Final Fantasy VII, which eschewed traditional fantasy for dark alleyways and the evil Shinra corporation. While it wasnt on PC, CD32 game Liberation: Captive II also deserves a mention. It was an RPG about freeing prisoners in a huge, fully explorable city. Almost impossible in scope then, its still impressive to consider today.

Three of the more interesting failed experiments came from creators John Antinori and Laura Kampo: Bloodnet, Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller, and (minus Kampo) Ripper. Theyre not great games, but they represent some of the most earnest attempts to Make Cyberpunk Work. Bloodnet mixed the traditional elements with vampires, in an open-world adventure/RPG in which you regularly had to feed to maintain your sanity, and any NPC was a potential target. Hell was about a future government working with demons to damn their enemies (though it was really a virtual reality scam). Finally, Ripper brought Jack the Ripper into the future, with some hilariously campy FMV, and a huge cast of actors such as Christopher Walken and a pre-fame Paul Giamatti.

Alas, it wouldnt really be until Westwood returned to the genre with its official Blade Runner game, and Ion Storm released Deus Ex, that the genre would truly get its dues on PC.

Even then, its been a bumpy ride. Until CD Projekt, wed never seen an official Cyberpunk game, despite the P&P having been written back in the very Web 1.0 era of 1988. And while there had been pretty good console RPGs based on its main competitor, Shadowrun (cyberpunk, but with elves and trolls and magic), it wouldnt be until over a decade later that Microsoft finally released a PC one. Unfortunately, this one wasnt an RPG, but a mediocre team-based FPS that fans mostly loathed. It wouldnt be for several more years that Shadowrun Returns would save the series reputation with a trilogy of excellent games. The second one, Dragonfall, is especially good.

Despite the struggles, cyberpunk has always been a part of PC gamingelements borrowed, inspiration drawn, cool things cherry-picked, whether something simple, like the anime stylings of Bungies Oni, the cool approach of hacking in Introversions Uplink, or the sprawling dystopia of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars, in which youre the evil corporation instead of the oppressed antihero.

Along with Blade Runner, one particular work has repeatedly cropped up in gaming cultureNeal Stephensons Snow Crash. While part of the genre, it largely satirised cyberpunk tropes, as best summed up by the main character being a hacker pizza delivery boy called Hiro Protagonist. Its central concept, a virtual world called the Metaverse, became an inspiration for what the internet could bepopularising, for instance, the word avatar as a name for a character, and the dream of a user-created space in which code and imagination could craft any landscape. This, alas, never happened, with the best attempt, Second Life, quickly descending from utopian dreams of virtual universities and truly world-wide rock concerts into a virtual universe of porn shops.

Still, the dream defined both an idealised future for the internet and gaming in general, that weve seen explored in everything from MMORPGs to VR. Microsofts Xbox Live was heavily inspired by the novel, for example, with its creators given copies to read as homework.

Theres definitely something endearing about that: while cyberpunk as a genre may have often been marginalised in gaming next to newer, shinier visions of the future, it was helping define the future long before the likes of Deus Ex brought its nihilistic visions mainstream.

Now, in an era of indie creators facing off against huge publishers and platform holders, it has new meaningthe establishment that wants more than just your money, rebels creating art, and the internet as the last battlefield where David can fight Goliath. It may not be dark alleyways and rainy cities, but gaming doesnt really get much more cyberpunk than that. Unless, of course, David finally upgrades to a katana.

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The history of cyberpunk on PC - PC Gamer

McFarlane Toys is creating Cyberpunk 2077 toys – Polygon

Yes, sure ... Baby Yoda is great and all. But hear me out pocket Keanu. Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red and toy manufacturer McFarlane Toys signed a three-year licensing deal to create Cyberpunk 2077 action figures, and the first wave includes two Keanu Reeves figures.

McFarlane Toys is releasing two Johnny Silverhand action figures thats Keanu Reeves character in seven-inch and 12-inch figures. As part of the line, McFarlane Toys is also making a seven-inch male V action figure. Each of the seven-inch figures has 22 points of articulation and will cost $24.99.

12-inch Keanu Reeves will cost $39.99 and isnt really an action figure more of a statue. This version of the character has Silverhand playing a black guitar. You get a guitar, bottle, and Rock-On hand with the seven-inch figure, all of which can be moved to pose Keanu yourself.

Cyberpunk 2077 is expected out on April 16 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Later in the year, itll come to Google Stadia. The last we heard of Cyberpunk 2077 was about its soundtrack, which will feature artists like Run The Jewels, Grimes, and A$AP Rocky. Of course, Keanu Reeves character Johnny Silverhand is the star musician in the Cyberpunk universe, backed by Swedish punk band Refused.

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McFarlane Toys is creating Cyberpunk 2077 toys - Polygon

Best games to play in 2020: Half-Life Alyx, Cyberpunk 2077 and more – The Week UK

It has been another mega year for gaming fans in 2019, with a host of blockbuster titles arriving on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

EAs Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Death Stranding by Hideo Kojima spearheaded the list of great titles that launched over the past 12 months, while the recent arrival of Google Stadia saw the search giant enter the gaming world with its cloud-based subscription service.

But next year is shaping up to be even better.

Microsoft and Sony are expected to release their new systems Xbox Project Scarlett and the PS5 respectively at the end of 2020, and they will be accompanied by a line-up of next-generation titles. Next year will also mark the return of a long-awaited franchise, though not quite in the way fans are expecting.

Here are the new games that are set to see in the new decade in style:

Doomreceived praise among fans and critics when the series was rebooted in 2016, so it comes as little surprise that a follow-up is on the horizon.

The new title,Doom: Eternal, can be summed up as fast-paced, smooth, action-packed gameplay, accompanied by intense, raw, heavy-metal, saysGame RantsNicholas Wilder. The first-person shooter will see players taking on thedemonic forces of Hell, spanning multiple worlds including Earth and Mars.

After playing a brief demo, Wilder says its evident that developer id Software has done a fantastic job creating a game that delivers a step forward for the franchise as a whole.

Release date: 20 March

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia (Nintendo Switch at a later date)

Next generation: possibly

Lego has always had a firm grasp of the toy market, but its also one of the big players in the gaming world as well. This has largely been thanks to Travellers Tales Lego Star Wars, which arguably put the Danish toymaker on the gaming map back in 2005.

With the launch of three new movies over the past five years, along with two spin-offs, it was only a matter of time before Travellers Tales bundled all of them into an all-inclusive Lego adventure.

Details about the new Lego game are scarce, butGamesRadarsays gamers will be able to roam the galaxy at their own pace and locations will adapt depending on what Star Wars era the player is in.

For instance, those visiting planets that were in the film A New Hope can replay them with the characters of a later film, though the worlds will take on a different look to simulate their state in the Star Wars timeline.

Not only does this look like a whole new breed of Lego game, it may well be one of the best Star Wars games of all time, says GamesRadars Sam Loveridge.

Release date: March

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC

Next generation: no

Its been seven years since the original teaser trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was released. But the wait is almost over, as the sci-fi role-playing game (RPG) finally arrives in 2020.

Developed by CD Projekt Red, the Polish games studio behind the acclaimed The Witcher franchise, Cyberpunk 2077 takes the form of a open-world RPG set in the fictional Night City described by Polygonas a coastal metropolis lodged smack dab between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It looks set to become a real game-changer, too. Players can customise their characters using a modular creator system, where body parts, voice and other physical features can be swapped and changed, the tech site adds.

Keanu Reeves has also been confirmed as a character in the game, though its not yet known what his role will be.

Release date: 16 April

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia

Next generation: possibly

The long-awaited sequel to Naughty Dogs survival epicThe Last of Uswill finally arrive on the PS4 in 2020.

Announced at the PlayStation Experience (PSX) back in December 2016,The Last of Us: Part IIpromises to continue the story of Ellie, one of the main characters from the first game, who finds herself in a nightmarish version of Seattle thats swarming with zombie-like creatures known as the infected.

Just about everything fans remember from the original has been adjusted in the sequel, saysGamespot.Ellie, for instance, is much more mobile and agile than Joel, the main playable character from the first game, and shell have a host of new enemies to test her improved combat skills.

Release date: 29 May

Platforms: PS4

Next generation: possibly

Microsofts Flight Simulator franchise has allowed PC gamers to live out their aviation fantasies for over two decades, but the series has never wound up on consoles. That changes next year, though, when an all-new version of the simulator launches on Xbox One and Microsofts next-generation console.

The simulator looks set to showcase the graphical capabilities of the new games console, using two petabytes worth of geographical data to map out an accurate and detailed reflection of the real world, says Windows Central.To put that into perspective, a typical consumer laptop has 500GB of storage - about 0.0005 of a petabyte.

To manage all that data, Microsoft will employ its Azure cloud systems, the tech site says. This can offload most of the games data, such as airport and surface textures, on to the cloud so that the users console doesnt have to process and store two million gigabytes worth of information.

Its due to launch alongside the next Xbox in late 2020.

Release date: late 2020

Platforms: Xbox Project Scarlett, Xbox One, PC

Next generation: yes

The Master Chief returns once again in 2020 as Halo: Infinite looks set to become a launch title for Microsofts next-generation Xbox.

Little is known about Halo: Infinite, other than it will be the sixth instalment in the sci-fi franchises main-line series and mark the arrival of the so-called Project Scarlett. But Bonnie Ross, head of Halo: Infinite developer 343 Industries, told IGNthat the game would be a spiritual reboot of the franchise.

She describes the series as one of hope, and wonder, and heroism, and humanity, and community, and bringing a community together so its possible the Master Chiefs next adventure could explore these themes.

Well find out when Halo: Infinite arrives at the end of 2020.

Release date: Christmas 2020

Platforms: Xbox Project Scarlett, Xbox One, PC

Next generation: yes

Fans have been waiting well over a decade for a newHalf-Lifegame. In November, developer Valve announced that the series would finally be returning but not in the way that fans were expecting.

Rather than release a direct sequel to 2004sHalf-Life 2, which many consider to be the best video game of all time, the development studio has instead turned its focus to releasing a standalone virtual-reality title calledHalf-Life: Alyx.

The game is set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2and is playable only in VR. David Speyrer, a programmer at Valve, toldThe VergethatHalf Life: Alyxis not a side story, but rather the next part of theHalf-Lifestory, in a game around the same length asHalf-Life 2.

Given that the next generation of games consoles is expected to skirt VR, expect this to be a PC exclusive.

Release date: March 2020

Platforms: PC

Next generation: no

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Best games to play in 2020: Half-Life Alyx, Cyberpunk 2077 and more - The Week UK

Best Cyberpunk Movies, from The Matrix to Ghost in the Shell – Collider.com

Merry Christmas, its Akiras 30th anniversary! And the influential anime film, released in US cinemas December 25, 1989 has everything you need for jolly holiday viewing vicious gangs, telekinetic powers, the eradication of civilized society, psychic children with horrifyingly aged faces, a dystopian view on how technology will consume us all, a viscerally disgusting villain that consumes and absorbs everything in its path, and one of the scariest film scores ever composed. Uh maybe its not so much a wonderful life?

Akira is a chest-grabbing masterpiece, an explosive film that helped usher manga and anime into the Western cultural forefront and has influenced projects as wide-varying as South Park, Stranger Things, and Kanye Wests Stronger. It also gave an expansive, entertaining overview of the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk. First defined and explored by notable sci-fi authors like Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, and William Gibson, cyberpunk works tend to feature a near-future dystopian society that is paradoxically gutted and devolved thanks to the expansion and evolution of technology. Human bodies and cybernetic approximations co-mingle, bleary-eyed protagonists fight their way through noir-tinged conflict, and the cold, steel flesh of industry, from robots to skyscrapers, juts into every facet of life all tinged with the iconoclastic, rebellious spirit of punk. Sounds pretty damn cinematic, no?

So, in honor of Akiras 30th anniversary, and a world which feels more and more cyberpunk every minute, here are some of the best cyberpunk movies for you to watch, enjoy, and further convince you to delete all your social media accounts and live off the grid.

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Best Cyberpunk Movies, from The Matrix to Ghost in the Shell - Collider.com

Beautiful visuals abound in cyberpunk action game Evolutis – PC Gamer

Inspired by the visuals of 80s anime like Akira or Ghost in the Shell, peppered with a healthy dose of Blade Runner, Evolutis is a 2D story-driven action game coming in 2020. Made by Portuguese developers Poke Life Studio, the alpha footage and preview visuals are absolutely gorgeous. Evolutis was initially announced as crowd-funded, but now it looks like the publisher PM Studios is going to put it out. I mean, seriously:

Evolutis revolves around the paths of three protagonists intersecting over a single narrative, interspersed with 2D action combat. Its not clear what the control scheme is, or how precisely the combat plays out, but the real promise here is the gorgeous animation and the detailed characters. I like em because they just look sassy.

Hopefully the game's writing and design do justice to those looks. If youre hankering for more of those gorgeous animations, you can check out an old alpha trailer or go follow the game on Twitter and/or Facebook.

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Beautiful visuals abound in cyberpunk action game Evolutis - PC Gamer

Evolutis is A Stunning Anime Cyberpunk Game Coming in 2020 – GameSpace.com

Evolutis, an upcoming cyberpunk style game is ready to take the genre to new depths as it blows onto the screen in 2020.

Looking like an anime sheet torn straight out of Akira, this action-adventure tale takes place in a stunning cyberpunk city full of mystery, miracles of science, and the same violence that made the gritty animated realism of 80s eastern hits so successful. The aesthetic that brings the neo-noir surroundings to life in Evolutis isnt all that this game has to offer either. Players taking on this 2D tale will weave the streets of Neo Hong-Kong as one of three characters, Damon Watts, Erick Warren, and Chelsea Williams.

Damon is out on the hunt for any signs of his seemingly deceased wife, while Erick is a drug addict seeking vengeance against those he believes to be involved in the murder of his cousin. Finally, Chelsea Williams is a famous but lonely wrestler doing everything she can to keep her non-biological father alive. PM Studios has dropped a stunning trailer featuring the art and action that players can expect to see in Evolutis and the team behind this has leaked a few of the games key features, below

Cutting edge 2D visual story telling inspired by 80s anime and set in Neo Hong Kong, where the city never sleeps. Play as three characters, each with his and her own unique abilities. Discover the mystery of Neo Hong Kong through three deeply intertwined story lines across a dramatic narrative. Engage in futuristic combat with a great variety of skill and methods like hand to hand combat, finishing moves, vehicle chases, gadgets, stealth, hacking, gun fire, and even a hoverboard! Deal with corruption and crime from local gangs and forces, or just relax at the arcade. Just try to stay alive!

While we dont have a final release date or pricing for the adventure, we do know that Evolutis will crack all major platforms when it uploads. Keep your screen on Gamespace for more information when it arrives or check out the official PM website for more info.

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Evolutis is A Stunning Anime Cyberpunk Game Coming in 2020 - GameSpace.com

Top 5 Games to Be Excited About in 2020 – Gamepur

The games released in 2019 have been groundbreaking with the likes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Death Stranding, Resident Evil 2, and many more. 2020 can become a better year with many more upcoming games anticipated by countless gamers. With the year coming around, we are really looking forward to what the upcoming games will offer in terms of gameplay, story, and characters.

While there are many games that have been confirmed for a 2020 release date, here are our picks for five games to be excited about in 2020.

Something that we thought would not happen in a long time eventually did when Square Enix gave an unforgettable presentation at their E3 conferencewith a teaser trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake. The game is looking crisp, and offering an intense experience for fans who grew up with the 1997 original title. It will release in episodic format, meaning we won't have the complete experience for quite some time, but if all goes well, Square Enix will definitely win the hearts of gamers old and new with this title.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was originally planned for a 2019 release, but a delayed game is better than a rushed one. This new entry in the beloved Nintendo series will be coming to Switch, offering up a nice and relaxing gaming experience with old and new features. Fans of Animal Crossing have been eagerly waiting, and they will finally get their new title soon.

Many people have mentioned that Cyberpunk 2077 is their most anticipated game in 2020, and its not hard to see why. For one, CD Projekt Red's most recent AAA release, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, still blows us away. Cyberpunk 2077's setting, gameplay, and concept are all something entirely different to get into. The trailers have given a lot of hype, and deservingly so. Plus, Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand is definitely a role we are looking forward to.

PlayStation hasmany incredible, exclusivetitles that gamers enjoy, and The Last of Us Part II will take them back to the incredible characters and a bleak but beautifully built world of the first game. Similar to Animal Crossing, this game has beendelayed to ensure that the game will have more development time. We can definitely expect some great performances from Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson in this anticipated sequel.

Dont worry Xbox fans, we've got an exclusive for you, too. Microsoft will be having their beloved Halo series have a new title coming at the last quarter of 2020. Halo Infinite will feature the iconic Master Chief in the third chapter of Reclaimer Saga, and give him a more central role. Halo Infinite will also become one of the launch titles for the Xbox Series X, further increasing anticipation both for the title and for the console itself.

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Top 5 Games to Be Excited About in 2020 - Gamepur

A$AP Rocky, Grimes & Run the Jewels to Soundtrack Cyberpunk 2077 – HYPEBEAST

As if anticipation for Cyberpunk 2077 couldnt run any higher, a slew of headline-worthy contributors have been confirmed to bolster the games soundtrack. Slated to release for all major consoles in April of next year, the sci-fi video games soundtrack will include the likes of A$AP Rocky, Grimes and Run The Jewels, to name only a few music industry heavyweights.

Acclaimed video game studio CD PROJEKT RED shared information regarding the soundtrack for Cyberpunk 2077, along with a few behind-the-scenes videos featuring the aforementioned artists who are contributing to the upcoming title, in addition to Refused (portrayed as SAMURAI in the game), Gazelle Twin, Ilan Rubin, Richard Devine, Nina Kraviz, Deadly Hunta, Rat Boy, and Tina Guo.

Check out the videos below to hear how the artist felt to be involved with Cyberpunk 2077.

Additionally, along with contributing to the Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack, each artist will be getting their own in-game character/band. 31-year-old musician Grimes will be portrayed as Lizzy Wizzy, while Samurais lead singer, Johnny Silverhand, will be voiced by Keanu Reeves in the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16, 2020.

In more gaming news, Pokmon Sword and Shield introduces new Gigantamax Sandaconda, Centiskorch and more.

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A$AP Rocky, Grimes & Run the Jewels to Soundtrack Cyberpunk 2077 - HYPEBEAST

Infamy is a digital version of the cyberpunk mafia board game that’s heading into closed beta in January – Pocket Gamer

Daisu Games are a young Brazillian development company which was established in 2015. They specialise in digitising board games for mobile phones. Their latest endeavour is Infamy, a cyber-punk themed mafia game that'll be moving into closed beta in January.

The game is set on a Martian mining colony where three factions are continually tussling for control over it. Players will take on the role of a freelancer who's set on making a profit for themselves, using the conflict to their advantage. They'll establish a network of contacts who will help them carry out their dirty work or with plotting schemes to increase their reputation.

The game is won when a player reaches 15 Infamy points or by hitting the highest reputation level with one of the three factions. It focuses a lot on an auction type system called 'Pay to Play'. Players will sacrifice bidding power to take part in these auctions but will lose currency if they waste too much time doing so. But you can't sit idly by, otherwise, your opponents will quickly gather all the tools they need to succeed in the criminal underworld.

Daisu Games are committed to making their digital version of Infamy as faithful to the board game as possible. This is an ethos that extends to their other projects. They've already released a PC version of Between Two Castles, which they are hoping to bring to mobile next year. Additionally, they're also working on a mobile version of Unearth, which will be hitting beta during Q2 of 2020.

Infamy is set to hit beta at some stage in January and will release for iOS and Android sometime after. We'll be sure to give you more details nearer the time. In the meantime, you can sign up to Daisu Games' newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming betas for all their games.

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Infamy is a digital version of the cyberpunk mafia board game that's heading into closed beta in January - Pocket Gamer