The Pitch: Tron-inspired 80's-neon-CGI "hacking" FPS with randomized Borderlands-style loot.

Current State: Steam Early Access

Links: Homepage, PC Demo, Steam, Humble

Black Ice is a procedurally generated FPS with randomized loot that adopts its gameplay and art style from the stereotypical 80's Hollywood's version of what "hacking" is. Your character inhabits a sort of "cyberspace" and hacks companies by breaking into their wireframe, neon obelisks.

Once a hack has been initiated, the corporate defenses kick in, which is represented in-game by waves of angular, sharp, neon colored enemies that attempt to kill you before the hack completes. Further complicating things is that you've got a limited radius around the corporation's obelisk you can stay within, or the hack is over.

Successful hacks give credits and weapons that you can use to upgrade your avatar and prepare him or her for even larger and more difficult hacks. The weapons run the gamut, with all sorts of interesting and randomized loot available as rewards and from shops.

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At PAX, we saw the alpha and played a few rounds. Game creator Garrett Cooper was on hand to explain the controls and show us a few tricks. For instance, hacking two corporations at once caused the enemies from each corp to view the others as attackers, causing some hilarity to quickly ensue while reducing the difficulty of both hacks simultaneously.

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I have to say I'm a sucker for the cyberpunk aesthetic, so I really get a big kick out of the crazy dayglo visuals and "digital" effects. Blasting evil spider countermeasures to literal bits is a ton of fun. There are plans for co-op and competitive multiplayer, which sounds interesting as well.

Bottom Line: Black Ice is a modern FPS take on classic 80's cyberpunk tropes. Crank the synthesizer, jack in your neural interface, and become a l33t h4x0r.

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