Deus Ex may be enough Cyberpunk for you between the core games and spin-offs, but there are plenty of other enriching sci-fi worlds to explore if you’re willing.
New and old, here’s a selection of our favourites that you may or may not have visited before.
Anachronox – The oldest on the list, but that makes it no less worthy. Anachronox is one of the few games from Ion Storm and is a deep, involving RPG told from a third-person perspective. Using the Quake 2 engine, players take on the guise of Sylvester Bucelli who is a down and out investigator looking for money and work in the slums of a once abandoned planet. This turn-based RPG pays homage to SNES classics like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy and was planned to be part of a trilogy as the game ends with a major cliffhanger. The chances of a sequel are nigh on impossible now since it’s an all-but-forgotten gem from 2001, and it’s sort of seen as the forgettable cousin of Deus Ex, but it does the game a disserve as it stands well apart. If you can handle the fact the story will never truly be finished, I’d strongly recomend giving this a look as it carries a lot of the charm that made the original Deus Ex so great.
Dex – A 2.5 Side-Scroller Platformer with RPG elements, the enigmatic Dex takes you on a rather compelling journey through a futuristic dystopia. It’s all mysterious to begin with and you’re left trying to discover your purpose and reason for being, but with some well directed voice-acting, an intriguing setting, and some well devised mechanics, Dex isn’t quite as involving as a Deus Ex or Anachronox, but it’s entertaining while it lasts and well worth picking up on the cheap!
Satellite Reign – If you’ve somehow never played the mighty Syndicate then you’re massively missing out. Fortunately, there’s a more current, up-to-date version that’s a wonderful homage to what made those games so great. Seen as a spiritual successor, Satellite Reign started life on Kickstarter and now boasts a four-player co-op campaign, as well as a gripping, tactical single-player experience. Unlike Syndicate though, there is a cover-system and pretty big open-world levels where you can split your team up to explore for sidequests and optional objectives. Satellite Reigns is a fun challenge and well worth a look. Sadly, like pretty much every other game on this list it didn’t sell very well, but it’s the closest to a current-gen Syndicate as we’re likely going to get. so it’s certainly worth the time.
Binary Domain – Another third person game, but this one a shooter from SEGA. Seen as a bit of a cult hit, it released on PS3/Xbox 360 and PC back in 2012. Developed by the creator of the Yakuza series, global warming has taken over a fictional, futuristic Tokyo, Japan. Players must take advantage of a consequence system which decides how your squad react to you and whether they trust you. With an in-depth multiplayer game as well as a gripping story, Binary Domain has been forgotten about by some and beloved by others. Either way, this is a fascinating futuristic world that must be seen to be believed.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – My pick of the bunch. Some of the finest written dialogue I’ve seen in an RPG coupled with well-honed mechanics and slick presentation, this stand-alone story is set in the cyberpunk reimagining of Berlin. While this is actually DLC for Shadowrun Returns, this is far and away superior content to the base game due to the compelling cast of characters, the twists and turns in plot and the way the whole experience gels together. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed an RPG in quite this way
Got a favourite we haven’t mentioned? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!