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Deus Next: Technolust Is Cyberpunk VR

“Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo,” lamented Juliet’s disembodied cyber-spine from her mechanized gelatinous vat while wistfully tearing the arms from a cleaning droid the way one might pick petals from a flower. That is what the name Technolust makes me think of. The game is not at all about that, but it is about as cyberpunk as cyberpunk gets. It’s got monolithic, neon-glistening structures, drone-eclipsed skies, and copious references to the likes of Blade Runner and Neuromancer. The twist? It’s a made-for-VR experience, and it looks mighty attractive despite its somewhat generic leanings.

The basic gist of the game? Explore an atmospheric cyberpunk world that’s Just Like In The Movies, but you know, in virtual reality. Corporations bought everything, you’re part of The Resistance, etc. I do, however, have to give Technolust props for being a virtual reality videogame in which virtual reality videogames helped bring about the fall of society. Apparently this dystopian world came about in part due to “the rise of fully immersive Virtual Reality, achieved via Neural Implants allowing users to both upgrade their minds with software and to ‘Jack-in’ to a completely virtual world.”

I’ve to say, though, that I’m pretty on board with the idea of this one – if developer Iris VR pulls it off, anyway. There will be an exploration-driven story of mystery and conspiracy, of course, but the living, breathing cyberpunk world (which already looks quite impressive) is what I’m more interested in.

“Our goal is to make everything interactive and enjoyable. Easter eggs and references pepper the world to keep the player interested. Clues are discovered and mysteries solved, guiding the player through the rich world and story. There is also a lot of emergent gameplay as a result of the environment design and interactivity. Collect movies and games to play at home, go to the arcade and experience whole other virtual worlds within the virtual world. TECHNOLUST is more than a game; it’s a living breathing place.”

Admittedly, it’s a bit too heavy on references at the moment, but the sense of place is definitely there. Technolust is currently on Kickstarter, and it’s already made more than a third of its $30,000 CAD goal.

Given that cyberpunk and VR go together like noir and a convenience store big gulp of whiskey, I’m not too surprised that this one a) exists and b) is doing well. There’s definite promise in the presentation here, though. Think you’ll back it?

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Nathan Grayson

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