First installment of futuristic cyberpunk visual novel series with interactive elements available on Steam
Snatchers and adventure games go way back to at least the late 1980s, when Hideo Kojima and Konami released the cult classic cyberpunk game featuring its namesake humanoid robots who began killing what remained of the human population. By comparison, the Snatchers in Borzon Studios’ newly released visual novel-styled Neon Noir aren’t nearly as deadly, but here too it’ll be up to players to find a way to stop them.
The year is 2169, and in the megalopolis of New Devon, “large private corporations have more power than the government.” Naturally the lust for power leads to unethical means to maintain it and acquire more, so these corporations “heavily rely on gathering and stealing data that can give them the edge over their competitors,” employing Snatchers to do their dirty work. Players control just such a “very talented” Snatcher named Colden, though instead of committing crimes you’ll be investigating the ones perpetrated against your own corporation, Zora, using both your detective skills and quick trigger finger when necessary.
Presented in a slick art style with a blue-tinged monochromatic colour palette, Neon Noir meshes the look of 1950s noir films with a distinct cyberpunk aesthetic. For the most part the game plays out like a cinematic visual novel, with choice-based dialogue driving “compelling crime stories involving new technologies and moral dilemmas.” However, there will also be direct interactive elements, including investigations of crime scenes in search of evidence, a “neuralink mode which allows the player to retrieve data,” and at times even a “shooting mode which puts the player in the middle of gun fights against humans or AI.”
While Neon Noir has been launched on Steam as a standalone product for Windows PC, the first case – subtitled “Gemini” – projects to take less than an hour to complete and represents only the first installment in a planned series. Each new episode will be sold exclusively as DLC, but will tell a standalone story that continues to follow Colden’s exploits in New Devon.