If you’re anything like me, then you are counting the seconds until you’re playing CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077. As you know, though, the game was delayed until September 17th, 2020. So what are dystopian sci-fi lovers to do in those interim months? Here is a list of 6 Cyberpunk games to get you in the mood and help you deal with the remaining wait. This list has a lot of variation in its focus. Some titles are bloody mature sci-fi thrillers, while others encourage players to enjoy a more chill side of cyberpunk. Chip into the network, we’ve got ice to cut.
The Red Strings Club
The Red Strings Club is an adventure game with a focus on narrative and difficult social questions. The Red Strings Club has the player take control of several characters in the story at different times. Sometimes you play a bartender with a mystical ability to alter patrons’ moods and get information out of them. Sometimes you are an android hand shaping augments for human customers. In either case, let’s just say this game “goes places.” Covering topics like existentialism, transhumanism, and late-stage capitalism, this is truly an exploration of classic cyberpunk ideas. If you want to dig deeper into the social issues dealt with in The Red Strings Club, check out this great article from Junkee.com about this cyberpunk world: ‘The Red Strings Club’ Shows The Harsh Reality Of A Cyberpunk Future
Black Future ’88
As 2D indie game trends have shifted in favor of rouge-likes it was inevitable that one would be in a cyberpunk setting. Consequently, Black Future ’88 is a game that fits well into the category of “just one more run…”. Players will be tasked with climbing a tower with a limited total time limit and an array of weapons and tools. Of course, it’s evident from the trailer that the game is dripping with its ’80s fueled neon style. And if you just want to blast through a tower of androids and robots without a lot of dialogue or story to distract you, this game is for you.
Katana Zero is cyberpunk, primarily in aesthetics. Many of the various archetypes and symbols that cyberpunk stories contain are included in Katana Zero. The player character lives in a very small crapy apartment, and rain pours outside. Similarly, there are neon lights with Japanese lettering on them decorating buildings. But the player character uses a katana, not high tech weapons. And many of the enemies feel like crime boss thugs you would KO in a beat ’em up, not far-future cyborgs. The themes and gameplay both feel a lot like Hotline Miami, another game that is dripping with hyperbolic 80’s psychedelic style.
Tales of The Neon Sea
Tales of the Neon Sea is a classic style point and click adventure with charming modern pixel art and lots of puzzles. This is a game with a fair amount of charm put into the characters, art, and even the sound design. If you are not a long time fan of point and click adventures, this title may take some time to get used to. There is a noir detective story to get wrapped up in, but the player will spend a lot of their time solving small puzzles and mini-games. If you are looking for a futuristic setting for a classic style game, this cyberpunk title may be for you. Provided you are willing to persevere in the face of much puzzling.
The second game on this list to feature a katana happy protagonist, Ruiner is an isometric arcade fighter in an overbearing dark future setting. The aesthetics of Ruiner affect the player in a similar way to DOOM. And both games feature high-pace music and an at times, oppressive use of a blood-red color pallet. Also, the gameplay is very fast with quick kills and quick deaths. Though not as rapid as Katana Zero, you will still find yourself stringing dashes and slices together with time slowing abilities in this brawling action game. If Ruiner has one thing, it shines at; it’s style. Every bit of the game is designed to get players lost in its aggressive, punk style. It all adds up to high octane, music enhanced, cyberpunk, high-score chasing ride.
Finally, the last game on the list of cyberpunk games to check out is Neo Cab. Neo Cab is a game that essentially lets you play as an “Uber” driver in a cyberpunk future. Furthermore, Capra, a megacorp, owns the rideshare app that you drive for. There is a bit of a neo-noir mystery to the main story. And in addition to being theme-appropriate, Capra plays into this mystery as well.
You play a woman moving in with an old friend and driving to make cash for housing in the meantime. But your friend goes missing, and you must discover the truth through conversations with eclectic city dwellers using your ride service. The story slowly tells a deeper tale about the problems far-future cities will bring with them, and it’s a story worth experiencing.
Neo Cab is heavy on the cyberpunk themes and has a lot of crisp details and touches to it. Neo Cab is the only game on the list that could be considered chill. And it’s a welcome change of pace for a genre that tends to focus on violence.
Bonus: The Last Night
The Last Night is a bonus game because it is not yet out. However, this project is too impressive to miss. With its a powerful mix of retro pixel-art and modern dynamic lighting, The Last Night will wow you with its unique style. The release date is still TBA, but this title may yet be released before Cyberpunk 2077. Either way, this is a cyberpunk game to keep your eyes on.
Cyberpunk in Fallout 4?
If you like messing around with Fallout 4 mods, there is some cyberpunk mischief to be had there as well. Check out what one modder made to help them wait for Cyberpunk 2077. Additionally, if you want to try some mods to build out your own cyberpunk dystopia in Fallout 4, Spectr Gaming has a great video that will tell you which ones to download.
Extra Cyberpunk Content
And for those still seeking more Cyberpunk 2077 info, check out our articles about multiplayer in cyberpunk 2077, and the official licensed cyberpunk 2077 figurines. If you are still looking for more cyberpunk games to play, this, of course, is not an exhaustive list. With only one repeat game, this list of “The best cyberpunk games on PC in 2020” is very good and features some of the more classic cyberpunk titles.
The terrible wait is just a few months away (assuming it does not get delayed farther). I hope this gives you a few things to play while waiting. Any impressive cyberpunk games I missed? Let me know in the comments!
And of course, Happy Gaming cyborgs.
Games Writer, Indie Enthusiast, Futurist, Global Citizen, Art Lover, Northwest Kid, and Renaissance Man. I live in Portland, OR with my beautiful wife and our small bunny. I’ve been playing video games since I could walk and I’m not stopping now. When I’m not writing you can find me playing obscure art house indie games or talking about sociology/philosophy with friends.