Citizen sleeper, Your new life within the eye…

Citizen sleeper, Your new life within the eye…

Aiden McCullar, Staff Reporter

From the first moment I heard of Citizen Sleeper, I knew it’d soar to my list of top ten favorite games, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Both in terms of gameplay, of which the game followed the dice rolling and narrative action of tabletop RPG’s, alongside the transhumanist premise of a corporate dystopia forcing you to survive as a digitized consciousness of a human slowly decaying on a desolate space station. This, paired with the clean, unique art style made me sure I was in for a good time.

The narrative begins easy to get into, you wake up with humble beginnings as a “Sleeper” an android body running all its systems off a consciousness that is not your own. In your case, your existence is owned by the company “Essen-Arp” your only purpose to work until you’ve earned enough to buy your freedom from your metal prison that is your body… You, however, have escaped. Your only job now is to survive and find meaning behind your “life.”

As you run from Essen-Arp’s corporate sponsored sleeper hunters while you earn money to pay off medicine you need to survive, using Cryo, the currency of the eye, to do this you’ll need to make use of the unique Dice and Clock system and their connections to your degrading condition which, frankly, is one of the best gameplay progressing mechanics I’ve ever experienced.

Usually, the game’s loop follows the same general parameters, you wake up, the physical condition of your body and your hunger degrading slightly. Immediately, you’re provided up to six. Pre rolled die, the healthier you are the more die you earn, the higher the die roll the better chances of success you gain for whatever you wish to do. You can use your dice to complete jobs, hack subsystems, or evade bad consequences, you then may deposit items or money to progress objectives, get food, or buy medicine. Then, simply sleep and repeat.

The mechanic feels simple, but surprises you with how often it forces difficult decisions on you. Do you use the six you rolled to guarantee success on a mission objective that wouldn’t ruin you if you fail? Or do you use it to avoid certain death, risking the failure of an important objective?

Citizen sleeper makes these decisions matter, reminding you that one bullet is all it takes to end you at every corner, one death ending your run. They do make the riskier decisions much more rewarding, however. Giving upgrade points to get abilities and tilt the scales of fate in your favor, giving bonuses to die rolls so you need not worry about money.

As you approach the end of the game, however, my efforts shifted away from moneymaking and my continual survival, towards the game’s enthralling NPC’s that, become friends or, in lucky cases, family! (Mina is baby!)

The game has a beautiful way of showcasing not the dangers of late stage capitalism, rather showing that no matter what you’re up against, you can still fight to make it through, defying the overused topics of the cyberpunk genre in a narrative tale that let you pick the ending

you truly believe in… one of such, being one of the most beautiful moments I’ve experienced throughout my entire gaming experience… Suffice it to say, after my time within the eye, Citizen sleeper is locked in as a game I’ll remember in great detail for years to come.