Disjunction is next folks. Well, Disjunction and the Cyberpunk sub-genre. But I’ll get to that in a second. First and foremost I’ll focus on the science fiction area in general. And secondly the cyberpunk influence the video game industry. This is a brand new topic for me, and no. I did not choose this topic because of Cyberpunk 2077. Far from it. The CD Projekt’s endeavors have been covered and analyzed enough in the past few months. Indeed. The rise and eventual fall of Cyberpunk 2077 is a topic for a different occasion. And someday I’ll get to that as well. But right now in this particular article, I’m going to focus on one different aspect of the sub-genre. And on one very different cyberpunk game.
Yup. I’m talking about Disjunction.
What’s Disjunction All About?
Developed by Ape Tribe Games and published by Sold Out, Disjunction is a cyberpunk stealth-action RPG. Furthermore, it’s set in the dystopian underworld of 2048’s New York. And in the game, you’ll get to experience a reactive, intertwining story of three playable characters. You’ll also work hard to uncover unfortunate truths that will change the fate of their city forever.
Inspired by tech-noir classics, Disjunction is an intensely atmospheric stealth-action RPG. Furthermore, it follows a trinity of interwoven narratives. And also features a reactive story where your actions have real, persistent consequences. So, choose your play-style and use an arsenal of futuristic tech, cybernetic upgrades, and weapons. Or take a silent approach by using stealth and non-lethal take-downs to leave without a trace. Nobody needs to die… unless you decide they must.
And yes. As you can probably tell by now, Disjunction is available for purchase here at IndieGala. If you’re interested in Cyberpunk RPGs with tech-noir and stealth in the mix… Then you’re in for a treat. Just click here and do your thing.
Disjunction And The Cyberpunk Sub-Genre
Look, although Cyberpunk 2077 and Disjunction are just some of the latest examples of this sub-genre, I think it’s good to take a trip down memory lane. Not just in the origins of the Cyberpunk games, but in the origins of the entire sub-genre. The thing is… Yes. Cyberpunk is having a renaissance now. Yes, Cyberpunk 2077 and Disjunction are part of the video game industry. But other areas are having a resurgence of the Cyberpunk theme as well. For Instance, Upgrade and Alita-: Battle Angel got us to watch cyberpunk movies all over again. And Altered Carbon (as brief as it was) got us hooked on cyberpunk, thanks to Netflix.
But In Essence, What Is Cyberpunk?
Well, as I mentioned earlier Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction. It also a dystopian futuristic setting that tends to focus on a “combination of lowlife and high tech”. So think advanced technological and scientific achievements on the one hand. Such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics. While on the other you have a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order. And yes. You immediately think of Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, John Brunner, J. G. Ballard, Philip José Farmer, and Harlan Ellison here.
Furthermore, Lawrence Person adds Cyberpunk as Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society. And in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change. A ubiquitous data sphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.
Cyberpunk’s Themes And Styles
Cyberpunk plots often center on conflict among artificial intelligence, hackers, and mega-corporations, and tend to be set in a near-future Earth. But what about the theme? Well, they do differ from medium to medium, but the core is more or less the same. Indeed. There’s a distinct style (visually and thematically) in Cyberpunk that transcends mediums. Let’s talk about the settings, the protagonists, the characters and the societies in the Cyberpunk projects.
First and foremost there are distinct and clear elements from crime fiction. Particularly hardboiled detective fiction and film noir with a dash of postmodernist nihilism. Especially in the main character. Next, one of the cyberpunk genre’s prototype characters is Case. A “console cowboy,” a brilliant hacker who has betrayed his organized criminal partners. And last but certainly not least, there’s a sense of rebellion in the societies in question. But there’s also the depiction of the ever-growing evolution of the Internet.
The Very Brief History Of Cyberpunk In Video Games
While the cyberpunk sub-here was prominent in literature, movies and TV as early as the late ’50s… It took some time to gain momentum in the video game industry. And you have the 80’s to thank for that. Moreover, the now-iconic movies and TV shows from that decade, but yeah. The. 80’s. I can’t help but mention the Blade Runner game, and the Max Headroom game from 1986. The former is a video game adaptation from the iconic Ridley Scott movie. While the latter is an adaptation of the original Channel 4 TV movie.
Then there’s Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei. Which was released in the late ’80s. as well. And of course the work of the one and only Mike Pondsmith. His Cyberpunk dystopian tabletop role-playing game is still iconic to this very day. Not to mention it’s the main inspiration for the aforementioned Cyberpunk 2077. But honestly the real boom of Cyberpunk videogames was in the ’90s. Yes, the inception was in the ’80s but the real development came in the very next decade.
Final Fantasy VII, Deus Ex, System Shock, Disjunction….
Indeed, those are some of the most notable cyberpunk games of the ’90s and of course, games that hold the bar to this very day. In terms of longevity and quality as well. Of course, I can’t forget about the 1997 video game adaptation of the Ghost in the Shell anime. But for me, a particular favorite from this bunch is the 2000’s Deus Ex. I’m behind the times for discovering it decades too late, but better late than never. I mean it’s sooo good. However, 1993’s Syndicate is another excellent example of this era and a game that one can call cyberpunk in both concept and content.
But if there’s one cool tabletop cyberpunk game that evolved into a cooler cyberpunk video game… It’s Shadowrun. The first Shadowrun got to the market in 1993, and things have not been the same ever since. You play as Jake Armitage in Shadowrun. An amnesiac protagonist and you are dropped into Seattle in the year 2050. And from that moment on, it’s a mix of film noir detective mystery laced with sci-fi. Beneath a Steel Sky is a great 90’s mix of Cyberpunk and point-and-click adventure. However, System Shock is another ionic 90’s piece of art that’s worth mentioning. Moreover, you play as a nameless security hacker, and you’re blackmailed by a rogue executive from the TriOptimum Corporation. Cool right?
Going Beyond The Cyberpunk Lore
Yes. Although the Cyberpunk themes, mythos and general lore are in the cyberpunk games… Sure, implants, corruption, data smuggling are important themes. And they do belong in the cyberpunk sub-genre. But there are more than a few themes you can find there as well. Most notably the themes of several conspiracy theories are also part of the sub-genre. Area 51, the Illuminati and more of course. But let’s take a look at 2011’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for example.
Over there, the main issue is the ramification of having augmented superhumans. But the thing is, games post-Deus Ex, changed a few things in the core of the cyberpunk genre. Today the cyberpunk lore is more of an aesthetic choice, rather a topical (or dare I say it structural). Mirror’s Edge is one such example, while the Cyberpunk 2077 game is another. Some might call it, „all show and no action“, but the lack of substance is evident. Even for an expensive AAA entertainment project like Cyberpunk 2077.
Are You A Fan Of Disjunction?
Let us know if you are. And please share what’s your favorite Cyberpunk video game of all time. We’d love to know all about it. Don’t be shy.