The AIs are at it again. VirtuaVerse is a point-and-click adventure set in a moody cyberpunk future where one AI has become more powerful than any government. Everyone's connected to a neural network and kept under control through augmented reality. It rains a lot. Check out the intense, aggressively cyberpunk trailer above.
'Cyberpunk adventure game' is my favourite combination of words, and while VirtuaVerse's setup—evil AI controlling everyone, missing girlfriend—is pretty familiar, give me some stylish, neon-soaked pixel art and rebellious hackers and I will forgive a lot.
While the trailer only shows off the gloomy city, our hacker and smuggler protagonist, Nathan, will leave eventually leave and start exploring the world as he searches for his AR graffiti artist girlfriend, Jay. I'm all for cyberpunk leaving the confines of imposing metropolises. You can still hack the man while visiting a picturesque waterfall or taking a stroll across a frozen wasteland.
VirtuaVerse's Steam page offers quite a few story details, but what you'll actually be doing as you explore the world isn't clear. Digital archaeology in hardware graveyards and dealing with AR technomancers and tribes of cryptoshamans sounds cool and very cyberpunk, but without more context it's also gibberish. Lovely cyberpunk gibberish.
The cyberpunk setting is fertile ground for unusual puzzles, though, so hopefully there will be plenty of them. There were a couple of brilliant puzzles in Wadjet Eye's Technobabylon where you had to reprogram virtual AIs and robots, usually with weird results—I'd love to see more of that.
No release date yet, just the promise that it will come in a "future not so far away".