As artificial intelligence trapped in a human body, players will have fight to survive in this cyberpunk cinematic action-adventure game.
By Lucas Blaine
Published 6 hours ago
In the annual deluge of new game announcements?during?E3, many smaller indie games can get lost in the fray, overshadowed by giant announcements from big-budget studios. However, there are plenty of great titles that deserve more attention, offering unique perspectives and gameplay loops.?One of these smaller games that?shouldn’t be overlooked is Replaced.
Announced at the Xbox Showcase, Replaced is a retro-science fiction action sidescroller that blends a low-tech cyberpunk world with high-energy combat and a story told from a unique perspective. Developed by Sad Cat Studios and published by Catsink, Replaced aims to be a stylish and thrilling action-adventure that explores the idea of what it means to be human in a cruel dystopian world.
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Replaced?is set in Phoenix-City, a dystopian metropolis where crime rules the streets and the downtrodden citizens live in fear and total subjugation.?Much like any good cyberpunk world, a catastrophe (this time a nuclear event) has left society in ruin, vulnerable to those who would take advantage of such a collapse. Greed and corruption are in charge, and the ruling class sees humanity as a tool for its goals, even dealing in human organs for currency. Players take on the role of R.E.A.C.H., an artificial intelligence trapped in a human body against its will, who will?uncover what it means to be human in?a cruel world?while?fighting to survive against all odds.
The world that Replaced presents is as visually stunning as it is depressing and cold. This is?in an alternate history version of 1980s America, and it builds its unique aesthetic and art style around this concept. Sad Cat has combined the decaying old world with fantastical technology of the cyberpunk genre in an effective low-tech style. Replaced’s world is a place where CRT-monitors with monochrome text contain artificial intelligence and a jukeboxes exist alongside murderous cyborgs.
This blend of the past and future tech evokes the worlds of Blade Runner and Ready Player One,?giving?Replaced a grounded and gritty feel. Neon colors dissolve into the grimy neutral tones of the decaying cityscape, with abandoned buildings and homeless citizens providing a hopeless backdrop to the dystopian world. Much like fellow cyberpunk game The Last Night wowed fans when it was shown off in 2017, Replaced looks to be delivering the 2D dystopia fans of the cyberpunk genre are looking for.
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Although Replaced?delivers a striking aesthetic, it isn’t a game that simply relies on its visuals alone.?It combines cinematic platforming with a fluid combat system to attempt to deliver an equally striking gameplay loop. As shown off in the trailer, players will need to navigate Phoenix-City with care as Replaced constantly delivers dangerous scenarios left and right — whether it be traversing a high-speed train, R.E.A.C.H.’s trenchcoat flapping in the wind or battling a group of street thugs who approach from all angles ready to spill blood.
Replaced’s combat?delivers a mixture of melee and ranged styles that can be switched on the fly to deal with attackers. Players can take down a close-ranged enemy with a hand-to-hand move one second, and blast another the next. R.E.A.C.H. is a dangerous combatant, and players can dodge, parry and counter enemies with correct timing and positioning, giving Replaced an almost rhythmic feel to its combat maneuvers.
Altogether, Replaced?aims to deliver a cinematic experience that deftly blends exciting side-scrolling action with a deep cyberpunk narrative — and it looks to be succeeding. By utilizing its unique visual style and combining it with thrilling combat and platforming systems, Replaced carves its own lane in a landscape full of exciting cyberpunk experiences. Players will be able to escape into this dystopian world and learn what it means to be human next year when Replaced launches for?PC and Xbox consoles.
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About The Author
(123 Articles Published)
Lucas has been playing video games his whole life. He is a lifelong writer and lover of all things nerd. When he’s not in front of a screen playing games, you can find him in front of a different screen watching movies. Originally from Cincinnati, he has made his way to England so he can use the rain as an excuse to stay indoors. For hot takes and video game love, you can follow him on Twitter @LucasBlaine and let him know what you think about your favorite games.
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