Black Ice is a Hack and Shoot – a Cyberpunk First-Person Shooter / Hack & Slash RPG about hacking. Think Borderlands meets Tron. The cyber-world is procedurally generated, the colors are neon, the loot is randomized, and the lasers are loud. Black Ice is currently in Beta, with updates on the way.
User reviews: Very Positive (118 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Face it - you want Black Ice in your hands as soon as possible, and I need feedback to improve the game and money to pay my contributors. I've priced the game so that it's a good deal now, ask your friends - or play the demo!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“I honestly don't know how long it will take me to get to a 1.0 version, but I am constantly releasing free content updates and I plan to do so for the foreseeable future.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Planned features include plot, quests, specialization options, melee weapons, item trading in multiplayer and of course Moar Enemies! Moar Weapons! Moar Abilities! Moar Explosions!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Black Ice is a functionally complete game with dozens of hours of gameplay and high replay value. Already implemented features include online multiplayer co-op, offline single player, item & ability modding, achievements, billions of items, and some very deadly enemies. (THIS ISN'T EVEN MY FINAL FORM)”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The game will slowly increase in price up to the full version price of $20 as I add more features. This way, the game will always be a good deal and I'm not punishing people for buying early.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“I love hearing feedback and suggestions from my community. You can even see my public to-do list and vote and comment on your favorite potential features!”
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"Black Ice is a Hack and Shoot – a Cyberpunk First-Person Shooter / Hack & Slash RPG about hacking. Think Borderlands meets Tron."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (4)

October 25

Black Ice Major Version 0.5 - Patch Notes

Major Features:
  • PVP - Shoot your friends!
  • LAN Mode - Play offline with reduced latency! Great for LAN parties!
  • Nemesystem - Dying has consequences, but revenge has its reward!
  • Two New Enemies - The Ghost in the Shellfish and the Scorporation
  • Minions - Summon your own combat AI!
  • Reflections - Oooh, Shiny!

Would you like to know more? Keep scrolling! I've got more details on the major features below.

Minor Features:
  • Cloaking Enemies affix - The Predator comes to mind
  • Rebalanced Server Difficulty - Now just look at your player level to figure out what level server to hack!
  • Retooled Level Generation - Easier to find servers of your level!
  • New Unique Item - The Porta Device - A Unique Mod which has a chance to teleport your attackers away
  • H or Q to hack - No matter which slot your Icebreaker is equipped in!
  • Halloween Surprise 2014 - Find your own #HackOLantern, or make one IRL and win a Black Ice T-Shirt!. Don't like the Black & Orange servers? Select "I Hate Halloween" in the top left of the main menu.

Not to mention Bug Fixes and System Enhancements all over the place!

Just select PVP from the Advanced Options when creating a multiplayer match to jump into PVP. You'll be automatically assigned to the Red or Blue team, although you can switch teams at any time by holding Tab and pressing the Switch Team button. Note that all servers and enemies are still active - and not friendly to you - so it's a race for each team to try to outlevel each other via hacking. Damage numbers are enabled for all players, which makes it much harder to hide from your enemies if you're hacking.

LAN Mode:
This takes a little extra work (instructions here!) but the benefit is that you can play multiplayer with no internet connection and with drastically reduced latency. And if you also own Disco Dodgeball, it's the same LAN setup :)

Dying to a server near or below your level will cause it to level up, but also will increase the odds of getting good loot from that server. And of course, the server will taunt you by displaying a large red skull hologram on the roof.

New Enemies:
The megacorps have been busy upgrading their security. First, the Ghost in the Shellfish is a big beefy crab-like enemy who can really knock your socks off (or your ass out of the hacking radius). The other new enemy is called the Scorporation. This high-tech scorpion AI packs a highly-damaging lasgun and can be very accurate, so keep moving!

Ever wanted your own pet AI? Now you can have one! Or eight! Minions are great for distracting enemies and can put out some damage to boot. Grabbing a health powerup will also heal your minions.

The world of Black Ice just got a bit brighter with the addition of high-fidelity raytracing reflections. This does affect performance, but you can turn it down to Simple Reflections mode in the options, or turn reflections completely off. One side effect of the Fancy Reflections mode: enemy death particles look super cool now.

Still want more info? Find me on Twitter! @BlackIceTheGame

5 comments Read more

September 29

Black Ice Devlog - 9/29/14

Hey guys! Here's another update.

PVP has been released and the word is that it's fun, although I'm waiting to hear back from you all for how I should balance it. Right now, I think the most fun way to play is for everyone to start new characters, then go hunting for each other while trying to get some hacking in. One thing we should talk about is how EMPs should act in PVP - I don't think being stunned would be fun at all, so I was thinking we could turn it into a 90% slow. Also, I think we might need Slowing debuffs to affect the jetpack, so that you can't just jet away. Right now, loot still drops for everyone in PVP - even the opposing team - and I'm not sure if I like that or not.

A quick update on the weapon models - they're still being worked on. My artist has been busy with other work.

One of the things I did over the weekend, which I can hopefully push to the Indev patch tonight, was tweak Hack Difficulty. The way it works now is that a server with Hack Difficulty 5 will spawn enemies appropriate for a level 5 player and drop items requiring player level 5. Item levels on items is no longer listed, since it's now always the same as required level. I did everything I could to preserve exponential enemy HP and mostly linear enemy damage.

Finality is now level 150 instead of 500. Shops are around 100-120, and they sell loot up around the player's level, capping out at the shop's level. I'm going to have to redo the achievements - I don't think anyone's going to get up to level 5000. One thing that might cause trouble here is that players that are exceptionally strong might be able to hack servers above their level, which of course they won't be able to use until they level up a bit. I'm not sure what the best way around this is, but one thing I could do is have servers drop gear a couple levels *below* their level - but that's confusing. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

The other major feature I've been working on is Minions. A lot of people have asked me for an ability to convert an enemy to their side, but I thought it'd be more fun to summon them directly. I can always add the ability to temporarily convert enemies later. Right now, you summon enemies by targeting a position up to 10 squares away, which spawns a minion as if it was being spawned by a server (with all the same particles). It takes one second for the minion to appear, and they last until they die or 30s. They follow you around if they can't find anything to kill.

Currently you can summon as many minions as your RAM supports, but I was thinking a better solution might be to only allow one (Strong!) minion per item, but it would be permanent and you could unsummon it by pressing the item button again. I could also play around with summoning them in packs of 3.

Minions will have more HP and damage based on the item level and rarity of the item, but I'm also thinking about introducing minion-specific item affixes, so that you could build a character that relies entirely on minions. I don't think I want minions to scale with your weapon damage and health because I want you to have to choose what type of character you make instead of being good at everything.

Have suggestions or comments? Let me know!

7 comments Read more
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“It tickles your cyberfancy.”
Alice O'Connor, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Sometimes, you just need to shoot lasers at neon spiders.”
Chris Priestman, Warp Door

“You don’t get much more user-friendly than that. It's worth every penny.”
Bonnie Burgette, Indie Game Mag

About This Game

Black Ice is a Hack and Shoot – a Cyberpunk First-Person Shooter / Hack & Slash RPG about hacking. Think Borderlands meets Tron. The cyber-world is procedurally generated, the colors are neon, the loot is randomized, and the lasers are loud. Black Ice is currently in Beta, with updates on the way.


  • Fast-paced First Person Combat
  • Billions of randomly generated items - Railguns! Rocket shotguns! Jetpacks!
  • Seamless online multiplayer- PVE and PVP!
  • A shiny, procedurally-generated neon world
  • Extremely open development
  • A wonderful original soundtrack (On Sale Here!) by epic composer V-Axys
  • Award-winning, addictive gameplay with high replay value
  • Mod Support
  • Photosensitive Mode

The Promise:

  • Every update for free
  • Zero microtransactions. This game will only ever cost you money once
  • Zero DRM
  • No copyright takedowns on Let's Play videos
  • Bug fixes will always be high priority


Black Ice is only this cheap for a limited time! This is an early access price, the cost will increase as more features are added. Black Ice will sell for $20 at launch. Additional updates will continue post-launch and for the foreseeable future.

I hope you're not afraid of spiders.


You can contact the developer either here on the forums, via email (, or on Twitter

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GTX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OSX
    • Processor: Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GTX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Processor: Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GTX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 10
Early Access Review
It's not perfect yet, but it's pretty damn good, especially for only $10. The dev is super dedicated, super involved with the playerbase, and super nice. If you're like me, and a good loot system will get you into a game, then I'd highly reccomend picking it up. It's not perfect, but then again, I think you should know that buying an early access game.

The good:
-Really good visuals and audio. Very Tron-esque vibe.
-It's very generous with its rewards. You're leveling up and finding loot very frequently. No complaints about that- I think we all prefer that to when you've got to grind it out for ten minutes just to get one or two guns.
-It's obvious this is a labor of love. The dev is very active online promoting this game and getting feedback from people.
-The weaponry has a lot of variations. It really does a good job of encouraging you to mess around with different strategies and loadouts.
-Did I mention it's only ten bucks? It's a hell of a lot of game for that price.

The bad:
-The user interface needs some work. Sorting through your inventory and picking the best stuff is kind of a chore. Also, the menus are kind of small; a lot of them only use up between a third and a half of the space available.
-The economy needs balancing. Anytime I came across a shop, I had enough money to buy whatever I wanted, and then some, even before I unloaded my extra loot.
-The stat bonuses you get when you level up also could use some balancing. An extra 1% to accuracy isn't nearly as enticing to me as getting another 15% bonus to loot for the same value.
-The world feels kinda empty. It's just you, buildings and enemies (which, aside from one spot, only spawn when you're trying to hack buildings.) Some little environmental differences would make a big impact.

Overall, I think it's easily worth the purchase. I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth out of this game, and I'll still keep playing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Early Access Review
I would like to personally thank the developer for following suit with making a demo that is a limited access version of the full game so I could see and feel how the game operates and have any progress (what very little I was allowed) carry over. Brought me from passing on this to buying it the next day.

Oh yeah and the game is pretty fun. The level of complexity isn't that high but being able to swap out literally every slot is great; no item on your hotbar is actually tied to a specific weapon or ability. I also like the extreme simplicity of the game's visual style, which obviously happened to be bright neon colors of the whole spectra on a black backdrop. If more content and variety is added to the game I will recommend it to almost anyone, but hey, for a beta the basegame is very solid.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Early Access Review
Despite being in Early Access, I feel like you already get a lot in Black Ice for the price being asked. The goal is to hack buildings of various difficulty and fend off waves of enemies as you do in order to collect upgrades, new weapons and earn levels. It's quite addictive in short bursts and if you aren't sure about buying in at this point there's a demo to try.

If you'd like to see the game in action, I was asked to take a look at Black Ice by the developer for my first impressions series in the video below.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
Early Access Review
It's one of my favorite games to play.

The multiplayer is the anoying thing though, nobody plays multiplayer.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Early Access Review
Pretty Colors.
Cute animals.

W/10 Best kid-friendly genocide simuator.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
78 of 88 people (89%) found this review helpful
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
Black Ice is a colorful, eye-catching FPS where players will jack into cyberspace and experience it's wide and open world.

The game boasts a combination of Borderlands-like loot addiction, with the retro-future aesthetics of the TRON world or the computer science concepts of Snow Crash. I had to check it out and see if it lived up to these claims and came away more than impressed.

Vibrant and neon minimalist structures sprawled out before you, seemingly endless. The expansive and cluttered glitchy landscapes of Black Ice call for some serious exploration with the promise of great discovery and rewards.

The more you hack, the deeper into the thick of the mainframe you get and the more colorful buildings of various size and level will be found.

You'll start off fighting smaller building you find in order not to overwhelm yourself with hordes of high leveled enemies and your puny starting weapons. As you fight, you'll level. As you level you'll find better loot, and damn does it feel good when you locate that one super rare rainbow rifle with insane DPS.

The amount of randomized loot is massive with stat modifications to each one creating a near infinite array. It seems to scale with your level making the progression feel great, keeping you constantly hunting for that next sweet piece of destruction.

The music from artist V-Axys is rad and it befits the cybernetic nature of the atmosphere perfectly. There's a really good variety of track already with some serious quality and you'll come across different pulse-pounding rhythms with each new structure you hack and battle your way into, keeping the encounters fresh and intense each time.

The addition of these new tracks is one that wasn't in the game last I played and just shows the dedication that will be going into making the game into the most engrossing experience possible, it's already looking fantastic.

Black Ice is just a hell of a lot of fun, especially with a friend. With the amount of procedurally generated cyber-land to scour and the increasingly awesome and empowering loot held within the hackable towers players just won't want to stop playing

You'll always spot something in the distance to check out, some new piece of equipment you'll want to keep leveling a bit more just to try out, and every time you feel like you're about to stop playing you'll get just one more reason to keep going. It's very hard to put down.

Due to the quick, addictive pacing and progressive nature of the game it's the perfect title to pick up for quick hacking sessions as well as to get immersed in the deep leveling and loot system for hours with a friend.

Black Ice comes highly recommended to anyone who's a fan of Shooters, Co-op, craploads of meaningful loot, or retro and cyberpunk aesthetics in general.
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158 of 229 people (69%) found this review helpful
27.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Early Access Review
Wow, I can't believe this game - it's exactly what I wanted! And it's made by such a handsome developer, too!

Edit: All joking aside, here's a real review. It's biased because I made the game, but then, all reviews are subjective anyway

I made Black Ice because I wanted to experience hacking as described in Neuromancer and Snow Crash. I also wanted to play Diablo 2 and Quake 3 at the same time. You'll be compelled to hack, excited to find your next piece of loot, but hesitant, filled with a moment of dread, because you know that if you make one mistake, you're dead.

You want customization? All the abilities are items you find. All the items are procedurally generated - billions of 'em. Want to fill your bar with 8 guns and a jetpack? Fine by me. Want to stock up on healing items and be an unkillable tank? Do it!

You can take your character from the demo to the full version single player to multiplayer. You can (and people have) spend hundreds of hours jacked in, finding the best loot, hacking ever bigger servers. The enemies (and the loot) scale with difficulty level, which up quite a bit. The game is a complete experience right now, but I'm still adding stuff. I'm adding new enemies soon, but even now, enemies can come with powerups or in different combinations that ensure every hack is different.

It basically boils down to this - do you like blowing things up in first person, but you also love action RPGs that you can really chew on - with approachable but deep mechanics? And then you also love cyberpunk and bright colors? Buy my game. Or at least try the demo! Where else are you going to find a game with a really responsive developer, no DRM, no microtransactions, great multiplayer, and tons of depth to explore?
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33 of 41 people (80%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
Ever read Snow Crash?

Check out a piece of the metaverse in this psycho tron-like eye♥♥♥♥♥ ride with FPS twitch action like Quake.

Jack in and hack servers but beware of the Black Ice entities that will stop at nothing to get rid of your rogue software.

I totally recommend this game for it's fast and interesting cyberpunk gameplay, super neon graphics and it's great if you're itching for a few minutes or a few hours of adrenaline pumping FPS action.
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26 of 35 people (74%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
I have been following this game for quite a while now and I can certainly recommend it to any one who wants a cyberpunk fps multiplayer chaos fueled funfest. grab your keytool and lets get hacking
Was this review helpful? Yes No
17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
Early Access Review
Hey, you. Yes, you. Stop scrolling and read this.

Do you see this game that I'm talking about? It's called Black Ice. It's this cyberpunky hack-and-shoot game thing that's made by an amazing developer who works really hard and cares about his community more than any dev out there ever (seriously, he even makes his plans for world domina... err... for the future of the game completely public). It's also a better game than 90% of the games in early access at the moment and likely better than at least half of those 50 unplayed games you have.

Get this game. Now. Don't make me repeat myself.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Early Access Review
Black Ice is a cyberpunk shooter, which excellently creates grinding less of a chore and turns it into a colourful display creating hours of fun. Black Ice involves you hacking into buildings of various levels which can be indicated by its size. You can hack into multiple buildings at once allowing the user to create a much more challenging experience if they please. For an early access I am very pleased with the results of this game so far and the developer seems to know what he wants to achieve for in the future, and how to get there.

*These are subject to change as the game continues*

- Colourful graphics that will not age at all.
- Fast paced shooter
- Grinding that doesn't feel like a chore.
- Several types of gear for you to grind, with unlimited variation resulting in endless possibilities.
- Large customization to your character through skill points, and different types of items.
- Rewarding gameplay to those who are good at the game.
- Options menu has a large amount of aesthetical value to the game
- Is a pleasing game to the hardcore players, and also casual players.
- Very stable gameplay with minor glitches
- Adjustable difficulty allowing you to have an easy time, or extremely hard time
- Sandbox game with a way to finish the game

- While the grinding isn't a chore, it can get boring since it is the only thing to do in the game at this state.
- Some guns (including shotgun class) the special effects are extremely hard to see.
- AI can be a bit stale at times, since there is only 3 variants of enemy (Spider, Shark, and Tall Tower Thing)
- No peer-to-peer connection

So as we can see this game is extremely polished for an early access, with fun gameplay.
I would definately recommend buying the game now, since on full release it will be $20 and not $10, and it will help support this game grow larger much faster in is Early Access stage.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
Early Access Review
This game rocks my socks. Guns, Lazers, Confetti Explosions when people die. What more could you ask for! Buy 4 coppies even if you dont have 3 friends.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Early Access Review
This game is simply incredible. When my friend first approached me about playing it with him, I was skeptical, I admit. I'm not one for FPS games. But Black Ice manages to make weapon collecting a game within itself, and using the weapons is fun and enjoyable. The ideas behind this game are spectacular, and the visuals and graphics can be changed to various styles. Additionally, the soundtrack is phenomenal, always making hackers feel on edge in a world that can sometimes feel very lonely when playing singleplayer. When playing multiplayer, getting better weapons and having the highest DPS feels like trophies in a rivalry with friends. This game makes any player feel like levelling up is worth it and is not just a number.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Early Access Review
Black Ice is. Amazing. 'Nuff said. I would post a longer review, but I'm too busy playing this game!
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Early Access Review
Below you'll find both a video and written impression of the game.
Black Ice may look simple on first impression, but I assure you, the progression and character building system in this game is quite robust and very fulfilling. You can upgrade and customize almost every aspect of your character, including your attacks, traps, and even your jumps and dashes. Almost every aspect of the toon is upgradable. The game draws inspiration from others like Borderlands or Diablo, and the loot system reflects this. There is a giant plethora of items and abilities to collect and upgrade, with various rarity and random stats, and modifiers. It's arguable that Black Ice's robust random loot system is already on par with the game's inspirations, which is saying a lot considering that this is still in early access. I can not praise the progression system of this game enough. It is incredibly addictive.

The aesthetics of the game are striking, and very eye catching, with a pile of visual interest. With that said, it's not perfect and there are room for improvement. The architecture of the digital city is bland, with mostly rectangles with neon outlines. I understand that the game is trying to keep the visuals simple, but that doesn't mean that's an excuse for ignoring all the little details. Bridges, window frames, interesting shaped buildings, street lights, wires, signs, etc, all these sort of accents you would find in any cyber punk city would go a long way for Black Ice, if it wants to keep gamers in awe at it's visuals. The game is not ugly, but once you're past the visual impact of the game, it can get boring to stare at after a while.

As far as game play is concerned, the shooting itself is fairly par. This could also be said about Boarderlands, but like Boarderlands, it's really the progression system, and the loot grind that will keep players interested. It's certainly my main reason to keep playing. Once in combat, out side of a few random boss encounters, you'll run into mostly the same mobs over and over again. This is probably this game's weakest point at the moment. The game does lack a degree of enemy variety, and because of that, also combat variety, and hopefully this will be resolved in the future.

Overall Black Ice is a very strong foundation that features a very well fleshed out progression system, with tons of potential for custom character builds. The loot random generation is some of the best I've ever seen, and will more than likely be your main reason to keep playing. Though not perfect, Black Ice is a great game, that is already a lot of fun, even at it's early stages.

- Fantastic progression system
- Excellent random loot generation
- Addictive gameplay
- Eye catching visuals
- Great music

- Enemy variety is lacking
- Visuals could use some refining with better detailing
- Those sensitive to grinds need to be aware this is fairly grindy (in a good way imo)
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
Don't Let it's Graphics fool you, Black Ice is rouge like twitch-shooting hacker game with awesome content.

On your own it can get a little boring, but its multiplayer is great fun.
The netcode is perfect. Even at 300 ping I was able to hit my mark fine without any visual lag!

As you go around hacking stations, eventulyl hacking multiple at once, you level up, gain new gear and encounter all new viruses to battle!

Even at its current state this game is loads of fun!
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Early Access Review
Super Duper GC has created an excellent way for us to lose track of time! I picked the game up after work and thought I would grind out a few achievements and it was time to go to work again. Too much fun!
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20 of 33 people (61%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
A must have for fans of the Cyberpunk and RPG genres!
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Early Access Review
I can sum this up in one video and two words
The video

Two words: Buy It.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Early Access Review
Just as the game says it's Borderlands meets Tron.

Played 2 hours of the game (took me a bit to get the multiplayer working because of anti-virus software not allowing the game to pass through) and definitely a game I would recommend for the current price it is at.

If you're into FPS Co-Op games I would highly recommend giving this game a chance ^^
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