5 Games That’ll Scratch Your Cyberpunk 2077 Itch
After years of eager anticipation, countless flashy pre-release trailers and more delays than an airline managed by sloths, the gaming population has finally been let loose upon the neon soaked, grittier-than-gritty world of Cyberpunk 2077. Players in their millions are glued to their screens, hunched over keyboards or curled up with controllers, absorbed by the high-stakes story of V and the legendary Johnny Silverhand. Night City—a world of gangs, mega-corporations and cybernetics—is well and truly alive in bedrooms, living rooms and home offices all over the world. Sure, it might have been the subject of a slew of worrying reports chronicling bugs, glitches and performance issues, but that’s hardly going to change things at this point: Cyberpunk 2077 is a shoe-in for the biggest gaming event of the year.
It might be hard to believe, especially considering the record-breaking sales figures CD Projekt Red is currently enjoying, but not everyone is spending this week walking the dystopian streets of Night City. Whether it’s because the numerous bugs and glitches have scared them off; they’re waiting for the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 releases (planned for 2021); or they just weren’t that interested in the first place, there are people living in the real world right now, completely oblivious to the movings and shakings of Night City's various gangs, mercenaries and corporations. Are you in that number? Are you looking to get a taste of that Cyberpunk 2077 action without… well, actually playing the game itself? Luckily, there's one or two (or dozens) of games out there which aim to do the cyberpunk genre justice, and we've put together a list of our favourites just for you.
Always fancied being a futuristic FedEx driver? Then Cloudpunk is the game for you. It may not bring much in the way of gameplay thrills, but developer ION LANDS’ futuristic open world more than makes up for it in the story, atmosphere and world-building departments. Telling the story of smuggler/delivery driver Rania’s first (and longest) night on the job, the game touches upon themes of artificial consciousness, corporate control and morality while never straying too far from a joke or a lighthearted encounter. In a literal sense, this is the closest entry on this list to Cyberpunk 2077 (in that it shares a portion of a name); in terms of execution, however, there are definitely titles out there which are closer to CD Projekt Red’s vision.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Speaking of games that closely resemble Cyberpunk 2077, Deus Ex: Human Revolution shares so much of its DNA that the two could have been separated at birth. Actually, I take that back: they’re more like cousins, ones who do get along but don’t meet up all that much outside of weddings and funerals. While the two games share a lot in terms of tone, gameplay and mission design, Cyberpunk 2077 has benefitted (or suffered, depending on your perspective) from a few more years spent soaking in the juices of contemporary open world design. The end result? Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a more focused (or small-scale) experience, while Cyberpunk 2077 is more ambitious (or bloated) in size. Which is better? That’s all a matter of perspective, but one thing’s for sure: they’re undeniably similar, but these two cybernetic-filled titles still don’t offer quite the same experience.
Bloober Team’s >observer_ introduces us to a world whose population is reeling from the aftereffects of a cybernetic-based disease and numerous wars. To cope, the surviving masses turn to short-term kicks of every variety: drugs, virtual playspaces and increasingly extreme cybernetic implants. Sound familiar? Yeah, this is certainly ringing some of the same bells as Cyberpunk 2077. Of course, it’s not a mercenary we’re playing as in >observer_, but rather a detective (played by the late Rutger Hauer) tasked with diving into the minds of tormented, cybernetically enhanced individuals. It’s a more horror-focused experience than Cyberpunk 2077, but there’s certainly detective work to be done in both titles
Gangs, corporations and densely populated late-21st century dystopias. That’s more than enough to hit the elusive ‘Cyberpunk 2077 spot’ in your brain, but there are a few more spots Reikon Games’ RUINER aims to hit along the way. Into your fast-paced hack and slash action? Want to dash, slash and shoot your way through an onslaught of lethal foes? Like the colour red? Then RUINER has got exactly what you’re looking for. It might not offer the characterisation or freedom of choice that multi-dozen hour games like Cyberpunk 2077 provide, but it’s got a few aces up its sleeve nevertheless, aces which are sure to get your fingers twitching and heart pumping quicker than your average Night City resident snaps up the offer of a free augmentation.
Blade Runner (The 1997 Videogame)
I tried to stick with relatively modern games on this list—which is why Mankind Divided made the grade over any of the other games in the Deus Ex series—so when I remembered that the classic Blade Runner point and click game from 1997 was recently remastered by Nightdive Studios, I was eager to throw it on this list. After all, what game could be better suited for filling a cyberpunk 2077-shaped hole than one inspired by possibly the most beloved cyberpunk property in existence? Not a direct adaptation of the film/book, the game is instead set at the same time, following (superbly named) detective Ray McCoy as he tracks down replicants, tackles mysteries and faces up to moral and philosophical dilemmas of his own, just like the source material’s Deckard.
Got any other games to share? Any titles which are helping you cope while the internet is awash with Cyberpunk 2077 discussion? Let us know! The latest, hottest titles don’t need to dominate every single conversation; there’s always room on GameGrin to discuss good games—new, old, popular or unknown.