The cyberpunk art of Benedykt Szneider gave Ruiner a brutal beauty

Ruiner managed something few cyberpunk games do. It took some of the most cliched imagery the genre has and made it feel fresh. This was a game with Akira-style motorbikes, sushi stands, neon signs, katanas, ladies in leather, Japanese and Korean text everywhere, all crammed into a dirty Asian metropolis in the year 2091. What elevated it was the attitude, communicated in slow-mo ultraviolence, the excellent soundtrack, snappy one-liners and quotes—whether barked at the protagonist by his hacker handler or displayed on his distinctive helmet—and the manga visuals drenched in red. Ruiner was as slick as blood.

As Ruiner's creative director, Benedykt Szneider was responsible for a lot of that. Have a look at some of his concept art in the gallery below, including early visualizations of the city of Rengkok as well as characters like the cyber-zombified drained hosts and the shirt-averse gangers called the Creeps. You'll see the foundations of what could have been a great Kenji Kamiyama series, or maybe a Warren Ellis comic.

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Mechanix the cybernetic repairman pinches a cigarette and the hacker known only as Her strikes a pose. A kamikaze Creep bites down on an explosive canister, while the leader of his gang wields a serrated samurai sword. In the finalized art Ruiner's tone is complete, given the red-and-black palette of a moody teenager's bedroom. Ruiner is a top-down game so we can't see the sky, but it's probably the color of a dead television show host. 

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One more treat. Here's the offices of Heaven Inc., the corporation that runs Rengkok City, vertically formatted so that it'll look good if you've got one of those sideways second monitors or you're looking at this on your phone. Hit the button top-right to make it full screen and scroll down from the high-status skyscraper to the grimy undercity beneath.

Ruiner was published by Devolver Digital last year. You can see more of Benedykt Szneider's art here.