nanO.bytez
Germany
 
 
First Impressions, reviews, high quality rambling and simply gaming for the sake of gaming. i.byte!

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14.2 Hours played
A gripping cyberpunk story of post-human transcendence with a dark, mature and occasionally humourus tone, backed by solid gameplay and a worth-listening-to soundtrack. Though, in the end it leaves you wondering about the ultimate consequences of your choices.

Being pleasantly reminded of Deus Ex and the Shadowrun Franchise I just had to play this in one go. It kept me constantly in the loop and wanting for more with most quests offering you different ways to finish them as well as different outcomes based on your choices or chosen skills, hidden areas, secrets and a few smart logic puzzles scattered through the game. Lots of ethical dilemmas where "good" or "bad" is not so easily distinguishable just like many games with similar settings have them. The story is told by a mixed bag of very skillfull voice actors and some not quite as much as well as bits and pieces of PDAs, emails, notes and a few hand-drawn cutscenes.

The 2D platforming feels tight and responsive which, unfortunately, you can't really say about the combat. While the animations are smooth, there seems to be just that slight input delay with melee attacks and blocks. It's solid enough for an RPG sidescroller but it's definitely not a fighting game. The 2D nature of Dex also limits stealthy approaches. However the right combination of zapping multiple opponents via augmented reality and hand-to-hand combat can make for some very satisfying moments.

Which leads me to the second biggest core gameplay mechanic - hacking, which plays much like a twinstick shooter and while visually rather dull and samey really helps to shake up the core gameplay loop in a fun and challenging way. It's not just a simple mini game like so often but a full grown part of the game itself. It's not punishingly difficult but if you really struggle with twin stick shooters this game might not be for you, as some hacking parts are necessary for the main story to progress or even the sole content of some missions.

In the end I can happily declare this a must have for fans of the cyberpunk genre even if 2D sidescrollers might not be your cup of tea.
And if you happen to be waiting for the new Deus Ex to hit the shelves and just finished every other... mentionable game in the series this the perfect timesink for some relaxed 12-16h of relishing in dystopian future fantasies and pandering the nitty-grit of human nature.