Guns can only get you so far in cyberpunk. To thwart a megacorp in newly-announced adventure game The Red Strings Club, a little more subtlety will be required. It'll have us playing as a bartender mixing drinks to manipulate emotions and squeeze information from people, as a hacker armed with a phone using social engineering to bypass security, and even sculpting genetic implants to whack into executives and change their personalities. Intriguing! It's coming in January from Deconstructeam, the makers of Gods Will Be Watching, and published by Devolver Digital.
Devolver explain the premise:
"The professed altruistic corporation Supercontinent Ltd is on the verge of releasing Social Psyche Welfare: a system that will eliminate depression, anger and fear from society. However, the bartender of a clandestine club and a freelance hacker don't regard this evolution as an improvement but as brainwashing. Alongside unwitting company employees and a rogue empathy android, the duo will pull all the strings they can to bring down this scheme."
You might recognise bits of this from games Deconstructeam made in game jams, the phish 'em up Supercontinent Ltd and cyborg pottery game Zen and the Art of Transhumanism. You can still play those for free if you're curious about some of the building blocks. Gods Will Be Watching started life as a jam game too, of course.
While I know Brendy liked Zen and I quite liked Supercontinent myself, I do wonder how all these bits will come together. I'm interested to see.
And if you're thinking "Hang on, what was... wasn't there another cyberpunk bartending game?" yup, it's VA-11 HALL-A.
The Red Strings Club is due out some time in January 2018. Its Steam page is already up.