The last 10 years have been tough for Cyberpunk gamers.
FASA closed their doors in 2001, meaning that Shadowrun seemed to be dead. Guardians of Order, publishers of the Tri-Stat Cyberpunk game Ex Machina, went out of business in 2006. And after four years of silence, R. Talsorian Games, publishers of the classic Cyberpunk 2020, came back with Cyberpunk v3, which was fairly widely acknowledged to be “not a good thing” by genre devotees.
It’s not all bad. The Shadowrun property went from FASA to FanPro and then on to Catalyst, and now the game has a fourth edition out. Both d20 Modern and GURPS have had “cyber” themed supplements released, and there’s an interesting fan conversion of the original Cyberpunk system floating around the internet called Interlock Unlimited.
But recently, something’s changed. Spotted on the website of publisher Cubicle 7 for pre-order, there is a new Cyberpunk game, due out this June, called Genesis Descent. Genesis Descent licenses Interlock, the original Cyberpunk 2020 system, for a new setting using the same themes of corporate greed, political unrest, and high technology. This may be just the thing for people who like the Cyberpunk system, but think the setting’s too dated, or people who just need a change of pace from the elves and dragons in Shadowrun. The site doesn’t provide any information as to whether the game is indeed completely standalone (though at 256 pages, it’s certainly a possibility) or just a setting, but regardless, it will be the first material commercially released using the Interlock system in at least 7 years.
It’s completely unclear how this will turn out, but Cubicle 7, current publishers of the Fuzion-based Victoriana as well as SLA Industries, probably has enough background in the genre to know what they’re doing. The only thing Cyberpunk fans can do is sit on their hands until June, and hope that Genesis Descent doesn’t fall on its face like Cyberpunk v3 did.
From the Cubicle 7 Site:
Genesis Descent is a brand new setting using R. Talsorian’s Cyberpunk Interlock system. Life on Earth in 2054 is tough for many. Climate change and natural disasters have not only torn many from their usual way of life, but have also prompted conflict over scarce resources such as water in some areas. Meanwhile, technology brings more and more comfort to the privileged. Political and civil unrest, as well as outright war in some areas, has seen the geo-political landscape change. The empires of the late 20th and early 21st centuries are falling as new countries take advantage of the upheaval to assert their dominance. Amongst this turmoil, corporations have seized the initiative. In many areas, where governments don’t have the resources or stability to protect, treat or feed their citizens, corporations are the sole providers of law and infrastructure. America may have been the first country to send a man to the Moon, but it was a corporation that sent the first man to Mars.
Genesis Descent has three levels of play: Street, Company and Agent. Allowing players and Gamemasters to tailor the type of campaign they wish to play. From the ghettos and organized crime of shattered Los Angeles or London, through the halls of corporate-controlled states and their near orbit control centres, to UNIS Agents working tirelessly to assist governments and keep corporate power in check.
Genesis Descent is a dark, stark techno-thriller near-future setting where the world is falling apart as mankind reaches out to claim the stars…
Cyberpunk and the Interlock system are licensed from R. Talsorian Games, Inc
[tags]cyberpunk, Role Playing Games[/tags]