Punch Deck Like Gibson Intended
Lets start off with a clarification, this isn't a games blog, or a gaming blog. This is a place where I recant the things I've seen, thought, read, and noted that are bringing us closer to the metaverse. Within those experiences in music, literature, film, etc, that inspired metaversal ideas and technologies I'm going to find some things more resonant than others. And then, in instances like this one, I find other projects that were spawned out of the minds of others who also found those specific experiences resonant. Black Ice is a project that was inspired but one such an experience.
I started Metaversalist's chronicle of literature with my thoughts on William Gibson's Neruomancer. It's the most logical place to start, and though it isn't my personal introduction to the Metaverse, I still want to use this site as an opportunity to go back and address the things that brought me here. Black Ice was spawned out of a fusion of cyperpunk fiction and first person gaming. And it rocks.
The game sets you up in the Matrix. Not the Wachowski's Matrix, but the original cyberspace concept. (Seriously, if you're reading this site and haven't also read Neuromancer stop reading, go do that, then come back.) The foundation of gameplay centers around first person shooter mechanics while you tear down the ICE (Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics) defending organizations web-based files and storage. The ICE personifies as many monster-like creatures, which you must hack down with your superior cowboy skills. You're abilities to manipulate the matrix manifest in the form of many different weapons that all handle in creative and interesting ways. I was quite partial to the shotgun-like weapon I got to try out because of the close range requirements the hacking mandated.
Though I have not had an opportunity to engage with the game's multiplayer or end-game pieces I must say that the cyberpunk aesthetic is absolutely fantastic. The interfaces feel dated, but in the fantastic MSDOS way that you'd want. It's like terminal windows on your own personal cyberspace deck.
My only lament for the game is that there are currently no projected VR plans for it. The game's floor team at PAX East assured me that this was because the very nature of the games bright flashing colors and speed of gameplay would make it an uncomfortable VR experience but I had a very similar experience with Time Rifters and thought the VR integration really brought it to life. I mean, what would be more fantastic that jacking into cyberspace just like a real jock (minus the trodes) and getting the closest thing yet to what Gibson imagined?
Regardless of that fact if you're a cyberpunk fan or looking for a good time run and gunning through a beautiful black and neon world: check out Black Ice.