First, the story:
Based on the William Gibson story of the same name, Neuromancer is set in a dark, dystopian future world where high technology is valued above human life. You play Case – a hacker* and mercenary who wants to do one last big job and get his life back on track, but why have so many of your fellow hackers been disapearing lately, and what’s going on in the “Matrix”.
If you’ve ever read the book then it WILL give you a head start in the game (if you havn’t then look at the links at the bottom of the screen.) Many characters and concepts are exactly the same, others have been left out completely. Plus the actual plot itself is more of an adaption of the book than a carbon copy, so there are still suprises in store for you.
*William Gibson was the first to coin the term, although in an earlier story.
This is no standard adventure game. Yes, the same elements are there: travel from location to location acquiring the various clues and information needed to progress further, but once you get into the various “hacking* elements then you will understand why this is such a classic. A good example re the various skills that you can acquire in the game. These come in the form of computer chips that are inserted into a port in your head (no, really) and boost your abilities. The Cryptology skill chip will allow you to decode encrypted data and passwords, while “coptalk” gives you the ability to talk like a policeman – which does come in handy at one point. Each skillchip comes in different versions, so a v3.0 skill chip will be more useful than a v2.0, but obviously more expensive.
Then there is cyberspace (or the “Matrix” as it is called in the game.) At various locations there are terminals that allow you to read bulletin boards, or contact your bank and download some much-needed funds. Each of these terminals only has a limited range in cyberspace though, and you need to get your hands on a “deck” before you do anything really fun – and most likely illegal. For instance if your funds are running short then you can just hack your way into a corporations system and add your name to the employee list. Now you get a weekly paycheck for 10000 credits. However, there are obstacles that must be overcome in cyberspace. Besides having to decrypt passwords to enter systems you may encounter “ICE”, which stands for Intruder Countermeasure Electronics, these are tailor made artificial intelligence’s which act as guard dogs in the matrix. You can buy ICE breaker programs and computer viruses from dealerships in the game, but you must make sure that you have the right tools for the job or you could end up brain dead.
The game does have one big failing – the sub standard parser that is used to interrogate characters in the game. Unless you ask EXACTLY the right question then it is possible to be thrown completely off track, abandoning a line of questioning which would have been successful if you had just phrased things differently. Apart from that small thing the game is excellent, thoroughly engrossing and very enjoyable (just make sure you have a notepad ready while playing – you’ll need it.)
- Designed by: Interplay, Cabana Boy
- Published by: Interplay
Size: 632kb (3 min on 56k dial-up)