Title           Neuromancer
Game Type       Adventure
Players         1
HD Installable	No
Compatibility   All
Submission      D.J.

      My main beef with this game is that the designers did not credit nor
did they (to my knowledge) pay the man whose book they used in its

      Neuromancer is a most excellent SciFi novel by William Gibson, an
early describer of the internet and the man who coined terms like,
cyberspace and virtual reality. It was the first of the Cyber Punk genre,
depicting a dystopia where nations are reduced to pawns of the
multi-national industrialists (just like today) and people are the serfs
in this neo-feudal society (ditto).

     The game is a pale but direct rip off of the novel. You play a
"cowboy", a hacker who plugs directly into and rides his hardware through
the graphic world of virtual reality, where corporate, military and
private computer systems appear as structures and the communications
pathways as roads. These systems are protected by ICE (and I can't
remember what that stands for), which is security software and hardware.
It comes in two flavours, plain and black. The black stuff fights to kill.
To beat it you need ICEbreakers, wares that infiltrate and foil security

      Gibson's dazzling descriptions have a disappointing realization in
the game. Cyberspace is a simple grid with spheres and other simple shapes
representing the target systems. All systems you attack have black ICE of
varying strengths and access codes of varying difficulty. Basically you
fire your wares at each other in a wimpy shooting match.

      Your ability to resist the black ICE and crack the security comes
from the hardware and software you acquire in the main game. Here you walk
the streets, avoiding traps, gathering information, selling body parts,
buying and selling hardware, software and plugins that give you special
abilities, like speaking dub to the Rastas on a space station.

      You need to get into various places, recover objects, find codes,
buy better gear, bust the bank, break the ICE and get into the big bad AI
at the end of the road. I got so frustrated I eventually read the hexcodes
of the game files and extracted the codes from them to accelerate play.

      The VR is pretty lame, only a 2D representation. The street scenes
aren't bad but rather sparse. There are some original moments but for the
most part it's a cheap rip off, especially if you have read the books (and
damnit! you should).

      Too bad it got such shoddy treatment. A licenced remake with modern
(and genuine VR) would be awesome and totally appropriate. Any takers?

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