Citizen Sleeper Review – A Sleeper Hit – Game Informer

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When I first booted up the Citizen Sleeper, it immediately charmed me with its base. Its dystopian transhumanist pitch — living as the digitized consciousness of a human body implanted in a robot designed to work for a mega-corporation — is refreshing in the game’s cyberpunk genre. Its slick, clean, and unique art style, coupled with its score, a Tycho-esque take on sci-fi beats, told me I was in for a good time, assuming the gameplay would click. And at first, I wasn’t sure it was going because its opening moments are overwhelming, with a barrage of new mechanics and systems defining the first hour. I was rewarded for sticking with it because all aspects of Citizen Sleeper, including its gameplay, had me hooked after that introduction. Seven hours later, I rolled the credits on one of my favorite gaming experiences of 2022.

You wake up as Sleeper, a robot powered by someone else’s consciousness. In this example, it’s someone who owed Mega-Corp Essen-ARP money, and to pay off that debt, their brains have been digitized and clearly designed to work for them. is placed inside the machine; This is the normal life of the sleeper. However, you are saved, and the story of Citizen Sleeper begins there as you learn to survive and thrive.

The story of Citizen Sleeper is simple: the bounty hunters of Avade Essen-arp who seek to retrieve you while securing a future for themselves. The Erlins Eye, a space station that served as my refuge before it became my new home, is the background to all this. I love how I became deeply acquainted with quasi-metropolis over time. Citizen Sleeper compelled me to lovingly understand this space station as a map for its purposes and a center to deepen my relationship with its inhabitants. To achieve this, I needed to fulfill a variety of objectives aboard Erlene’s Eye, ranging from paying a bounty hunter to giving me medicine to live another day, which required me to heal my constantly deteriorating body. It was in dire need of a fix.

How this, and nearly every objective, is determined by a unique dice mechanic and is related to your physical condition. Citizen Sleeper’s primary gameplay loop is simple on paper: You’re given six pre-rolled dice in each circle. The healthier you are, the more dice you will get. Six-dice rolls are more likely to yield positive results when attempting something like making money or fixing a ship. A low dice count, like two, comes with an increased likelihood of a negative outcome, which can be very harmful in some cases.

I enjoyed how many times this mechanic put me in the hot seat. Do I use a six-dice roll to guarantee a positive outcome for a purpose that I really need to accomplish, or do I use it on something that will cost me a lot of money because Do I need medicine to refill my position? And on the same note, should I use one of my die on a safe task or risk it on something that could reward me a lot right now? These decisions colored my entire Citizen Sleeper experience. Some were so stressful, especially those that felt like life or death, that I needed to stop for a few minutes and put the controller down. The way the game’s musical score raises the tension level in these situations was also devilishly delightful.

Citizen Sleeper uses these moments to transport me to every realm of capitalism, the true antagonist in the story of developer Jump Over the Ages. When I first arrived, I struggled to make it through a cycle without feeling completely overwhelmed and overlooked. I couldn’t make money, so I wasn’t able to buy food, which was essential to sustain my energy. As a result, my health quickly deteriorated, and because of this struggle, I could not afford medication. It built itself up until I hit rock bottom, which made me display one of my Sleeper’s core abilities on a sleek skill screen. I could only unlock it with one upgrade point, which is earned after completing main objectives. But, to accomplish this, I need some great dice, or at least many dice. With my condition in the dump, either seemed impossible.

Over time, I overcame these challenges. Gradually, I made so much money that I could spend less time getting medicine and food and more actually accomplishing objectives on the horizon. By the end of Citizen Sleeper, I stopped thinking about money, and instead focused solely on helping the NPCs around Erlin Eye who became my friends and, in some cases, my family. . I liked how this narrative arc felt to me personally because whatever happened resulted in me deciding to use my dice to get through my dozens of cycles.

With the various narrative choices, I could have been as terrifying as I was trying to take down, but I didn’t. I appreciated that Citizen Sleeper allowed for so many narrative branches because the more I played it, the more it felt like my own story. It would have been disappointing to end it in a set that didn’t align with my actions. If I failed in one story, I can see those results in another. If I succeed elsewhere, I may open up an entirely new story that affects not only one character but others I’ve met before. On top of all this, I was particularly blown away by how my in-game action connected with the themes of Citizen Sleeper, which, at its core, was an outsider trying to survive under capitalism. A game about.

In the end, however, Citizen Sleeper is less a critique of capitalism itself, which cyberpunk genre has made countless times in its defense, and more of an opportunity to show how those under its thumb persist and succeed in spite of it. There are. Its optimistic and inspiring message is backed by a branching, heartfelt narrative and a great gameplay loop, which makes it hard to put down. Add to that its rich visual style and my favorite musical score of 2022 so far, and Citizen Sleeper is a game I’ll be thinking about for years to come.

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