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Games You Should Play While Waiting For Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is on virtually every gamer's mind. Developed by the legendary team behind all three The Witcher titles, Cyberpunk 2077 is poised to become one of 2020's biggest games, but it's not out just yet. The title has been delayed many times, and not even the constant reminders that Keanu Reeves will star as Johnny Silverhand are enough to comfort prospective players. Many have a cyberpunk itch that needs scratching, so what can they do to pass the time? Play a different cyberpunk game, of course.

Cyberpunk isn't as prominent as some genres, but it isn't a rare either. Plenty of cyberpunk titles are available through different platforms. Some are well-known, while others are hidden gems that might have slipped past your notice. Still, Cyberpunk 2077 isn't the only game in town, and if you can't wait until it releases — or want something that will tide you over until it goes on sale for $40 — you've come to the right place.

Here are four games and series you should play while you wait for Cyberpunk 2077.

Deus Ex

Before Cyberpunk 2077, the Deus Ex franchise was the de facto cyberpunk series. The original entry, simply titled Deus Ex, set the world on digital fire. Even though it released in 2000 and features extremely dated graphics, it continues to top many "Best RPG" lists. Reviewers and audiences praise its sandbox approach to levels, since you can tackle missions by hacking, sneaking, shooting, and everything in between. Plus, the story is packed with enough well-written characters and cyberpunk tropes (such as corporate espionage and government conspiracies) to keep audiences invested from start to finish.

If, however, Deus Ex's graphics are a little too polygonal for your tastes, you can always dive into the more recent entries, such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided. While not as well-received as the original, many still praise these entries for their characters, plot twists, and open-ended approaches to mission structure. The titles continue the proud legacy started by the original Deus Ex, but with more modern graphics.

Best of all, the Deus Ex games are all lengthy RPGs, so you could spend your time waiting for Cyberpunk 2077 with any of them. Virtually any Deus Ex title is worth the investment. Deus Ex: The Fall may be the exception, as it is reportedly buggy and painful to play. The oft-forgotten Deus Ex: Invisible War, meanwhile, is supposed to be good, just not as good as its predecessor.

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy may be one of the best — and weirdest — cyberpunk games you've probably never heard of. It slams together the open mission structure of Deus Ex, eclectic art design, and a narrative that is fifteen flavors of French nuts to create an experience that works in spite of itself.

Divine Cybermancy lives and dies on its open-ended structure. Each mission can be completed any way you want. Need to assassinate a target? Sneak up and stab them in the back, blow them to bits with a psychic blast, or hack into one of their friends' cyberbrains for some puppet master action. However, this comes at the cost of accessibility. Divine Cybermancy is filled with convoluted mechanics, all for the sake of innovation. Hacking, for instance, utilizes a turn-based JRPG battle system, and if you aren't careful, your hacking attempt will backfire. Not every game lets you hack a door that fries your eyes if you fail.

Now, E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy doesn't teach you the ins and outs of its more punishing and novel systems, so going in blind is pretty dangerous. Still, if you take your time, do your research, and have a walkthrough guide within arm's reach, Divine Cybermancy might turn into your next cyberpunk-fueled obsession — just upgrade your legs before anything else.

Shadowrun

If you have ever played a tabletop RPG, then you might have heard about Shadowrun. If the name doesn't sound familiar, picture a near-future cyberpunk world where magic returned, mutated a large chunk of the population into fantasy creatures like trolls and elves, and allowed people to both sling spells and create fantastic new pieces of tech. That's the Shadowrun franchise in a nutshell, and Harebrained Schemes developed three RPG games that take place in the series' universe.

The Shadowrun game trilogy — Returns, Dragonfall, and Hong Kong — all play out the same way. You create your own character from a variety of Shadowrun races and classes, team up with several NPCs, and explore twisting and labyrinthine stories with XCOM-style battles. Many media outlets praise the trilogy for its atmosphere, characters, and combat mechanics.

Each Shadowrun title is overburdened with text, and combat features typical XCOM difficulty (and moments where you swear the hit percentage is lying to you), but the games still deliver lived-in cyberpunk worlds where shotgun-wielding trolls are as common as corporate conspiracies.

Ruiner

Sometimes you may want a cyberpunk game without all the RPG elements. If you've ever had the urge to dash through rooms, corridors, and back alleys as the lovechild of a ninja, a blender, and a neon street sign, then Ruiner might be the title for you.

Unlike many cyberpunk entries, Ruiner is a challenging-but-fair twin-stick shooter where death comes from every angle. The game mostly consists of fighting off waves of enemies, some of whom have no brain power, while others can use your abilities — such as slowing down time and dodging — against you. Moreover, sticking to one strategy will quickly get you killed, so adaptation is the name of the game.

Even though Ruiner features many of the normal cyberpunk tropes such as corrupt corporations and an amnesiac protagonist, the story is threadbare. Characters are well-written, but the narrative and plot threads that link everything and everyone have just too many holes. However, Ruiner focuses on moment to moment action, and you will probably have so much fun pureeing gangs of murderous cyborgs, you won't care why you're doing it in the first place.