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Metrocide Review

Out of all the various science fiction sub-genres out there, my favorite has always been cyberpunk. I’ve always found cybernetic augmentations, androids who look almost too human, gangs battling a dystopian government ruled by corporations and much more fascinating and exciting. Cyberpunk comes in all sorts of flavors; from movies and books to TV shows and especially video games.

In video games, cyberpunk usually takes on the form of RPGs, point n’ click adventures, and sometimes first person shooters. Though there are rare times that cyberpunk takes on the elements of rouge-likes and stealth action. Such as the PC game Metrocide.

As cunning as a street samurai

 

Simple yet intriguing cyberpunk story- You play as TJ Trench, a contract killer who somehow pissed off the wrong people. Now you have to try to buy your way out of the city before you get killed. Its pretty much your basic cyberpunk story, yet the hook of who or what wants you dead is intriguing enough for players to rack up contacts to see who put a hit out on you.

 

Takes elements from cyberpunk of the 80’s and current generation of cyberpunk- Cyberpunk in the 80’s was very imaginative for its time. During that decade people were imagining what life would be like in the future and were designing things that seemed out of this world. In today’s interpretation of cyberpunk, developers have taken the designs of cyberpunk’s past and made them more realistic and plausible, while still remaining out of this world. Metrocide takes elements from these two eras of cyberpunk and meshes them together to form the world.

 

 

Immersive sound design- For a retro stylized game, Metrocide has a really immersive sound design. While there might not be much music in the game, the city itself is alive under the watchful eye of “Big Brother” (this is a cyberpunk game after all, it has to have some type of Big Brother government influence). Citizens are bustling about, talking chatting. Ads for the latest product can be heard through the city wide P.A. system, cleaner bots and Police bots are soaring around, either on patrol or on their way to a crime scene to clean up. It makes you feel like you are in the city itself. I’d recommend playing the game with a headset/earbuds to get the most out of the sound design.

 

Tiny details bring locals to life- Just as the sounds of Metrocide bring the game to life, so does the aesthetics of the various levels. When you think of cyberpunk, the colors you think of are dark greys and purples clashing with bright and colorful neon signs and billboards. Mix all of this with the sound design that I mentioned before and this screams 80’s cyberpunk.

 

Mind jacked by a decker

 

Perma-death can be annoying at times- Since there is no progression system in Mertocide, like how most rouge-likes/lites traditionally have, perma-death can be a bit annoying. When you die in Metrocide you have to start over with a clean slate. No keeping weapons, loots or experience. Eventually you learn the lay of the city and the behaviors of each target, but omly have you have died for the 100th time.

 

No controller support….yet- If this sounds a bit bias, that’s because it is: other than RTS and simulation games, I prefer using a controller over a mouse and keyboard. When I was growing up, I was always told that computers are for working and learning only. If I wanted to play a game, it would have to be some type of educational game or I would have to play on my NES/Genesis. To me using a controller feels a bit better and I don’t have to remember each and every single marco key.

 

More kill options- While killing targets with various cyberpunk weaponry in Metrocide is fun, I wish there was more options to take out the target. Like for example, I would like to be able to engage the target and convince him/her into an empty alleyway and take them out, give them poisoned cigarettes, mind jack someone and have them kill the target, start a fight with gang members or even something as simple as pushing them into oncoming traffic. I like to see things like players hacking the police drones and using them to kill targets and targets getting fried by nearby electronics. That’s where the fun in cyberpunk lies in: being able to hijack technology and using it for your own purpose.

 

 

Metrocide is a pretty fun take on the cyberpunk genre. I appreciate the fact that the developers looked to the 80’s and today’s vision of cyberpunk for inspiration. The story was pretty simple and easy to follow unlike most cyberpunk stories that have several plots and twists. The immersive sound design and tiny details really bring to life the various locals that are in the game. However the game’s perma-death system is a bit off, forcing players to go through the same missions over and over again without any type of character progression or leveling system. I wished there were also more kill options rather than just shooting the target. And this is more bias on account of me primarily being a console gamer, but Metrocide’s controls would have been better suited for a gamepad. If you’re looking for something different in the cyberpunk genre, Metrocide is a pretty decent pick.

 

7/10

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