Whispers Of A Machine by Clifftop Games
Whispers of a Machine doesn’t have all the hallmarks of a cyberpunk game. But it is set in a dystopian future with enhanced cybernetics and a deep-rooted fear of artificial intelligence. So that’s a win for me. You play Vera, a cybernetically augmented special agent tasked with investigating a string of murders. These brutal killings will eventually lead her to a group of fanatics committed to creating an AI superintelligence.
One of the most interesting parts of Whispers of a Machine is the special abilities that you can unlock. In the game’s fiction, the ‘Blue’ you take adapt to suit each user’s needs. In practical terms, the choices you make in action and conversation will pull Vera’s personality in one of three directions—empathetic, analytical, or assertive. This will determine which enhancements she ends up with. Cool right? So in some playthroughs, you may have the ability to become invisible and in others, you may be able to inflict amnesia on an NPC. Whispers of a Machine isn’t a long game but it packs an interesting five to six hours of solid gameplay. We featured this game in our list of best games you might have missed from 2019.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall by Harebrained Schemes
Do you like your cyberpunk games mixed with a whole lot of fantasy? Then Shadowrun: Dragonfall is the right cyberpunk game for you. This is a post-magipocalypse where elves and orcs use both magic and hacking technology. The story starts off like this, in 2012 magic suddenly returned to our world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. 42 years later in 2054 – and the world has changed. Unchecked advances in technology have blurred the line between man and machine. Elves and trolls walk among us and ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. For you and your team of battle-scarred shadowrunners, there’s no better place to earn a quick payday. But whispers to the east talk of a new threat rising. One that could mean untold chaos and devastation. The only clue: whispers of the Dragonfall.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is an amazing cyber-magic world. Which will have you fighting people with firearms, magic, summoned spirits and robots to get where you need to go. It’s the world of Tolkien mixed with Gibson. And it makes a great pen and paper game if you’re here for that too.
Platforms: PC – Steam, Mac, Linux, iOS
Gemini Rue by Joshua Neurnberger
I told you we’d circle back around to Gemini Rue and for very good reason. Now I don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t played so I’ll just keep it simple. Gemini Rue is the story of two characters in two very different settings – former assassin Azriel Odin, searching for the location of his missing brother on a world controlled by the Boryokudan (space yakuza). And an amnesiac prisoner called Delta-Six, whose lack of identity isn’t going to stop him escaping the mysterious Center 7. For much of the game, you get to switch between them at will. Think of it as Azriel acting as a Blade Runner/noir-style detective and Delta-Six in some Prison Break/Dollhouse scenario.
Dead set on fulfilling every detective fantasy you’ve ever had, Gemini Rue may not have the pretty neon lights of the previous entries. But it has the dark cyberpunk rabbit hole story down pat. We featured Gemini Rue in our Mobile Games With Amazing Stories article, you might want to check out too.
Bonus – Omikron: The Nomad Soul by Quantic Dreams
Before there was Heavy Rain there was Omikron. Way before David Cage from Quantic Dreams started assaulting us with his crazy mixed up universes. He gave us something even crazier and more mixed up. In Omikron you play, well rather possess the body of a cop in a future dimension. This supernatural fantasy is chock full of intense themes and stories. It starts off as a detective game but completely spirals out into an eternal battle between good and evil? Complete with powerful demons and a They Live-inspired conspiracy. Is this game kinda messy? Yes. Does it have David Bowie? Also yes. This isn’t the most refined game on the list but boy is it interesting. Play for the music.
Platforms: PC – Steam