Video Game: E.Ψ.Ǝ: Divine Cybermancy
Where am I?This weird trope page again, deja vu!
FPS/RPG by Streum On Studio, with a distinct everything-but-the-kitchen-sink sci-fi flavor. Taking notes from nearly every work of Cyber Punk
literature and incorporating classic brutal roleplaying techniques. You play as a member an ancient demon-fighting cult, the E.Y.E., who was afflicted with Laser-Guided Amnesia
and must remember why he was sent on the mission that gave him his amnesia. Along the way you uncover more and more about the incredibly complex backstory and the internal struggle of E.Y.E between his own faction - the Culter Dei - and the Jian Shang Di.
Gameplay wise, it plays like a combination of a modern shooter and Deus Ex
, with all the hilarious ways things can go horribly wrong in a tabletop game
. A player can run through the game run-and-gun, go the route of a cyber-samurai - slaughtering foes with their exploding katana
or laying down a wall of lead, while using implants to vault into the sky
or sprint at 30 miles an hour, hack and possess
enemies to get them to kill their buddies
, cloak and snipe
, or spam mobile turrets while aiding their teammates with medkits, or use psychic powers to fling cars at enemies
and Flash Step
to their enemies... by teleporting inside their buddy and turning them into wet meat.
Players can find technology briefcases which unlock different research items; by selecting a research item and assigning scientists to it, the player can discover new cybernetics, guns, and stat bonuses.
Players doing the main story can find secondary objectives and quests by exploring the large levels, while completing their primary objectives. Between missions, you often stop by the EYE Temple HQ
to purchase new guns, implants, and psychic abilities. While at the Temple, you can also engage in side missions for more money at locations you've previously been to, which have randomly generated objectives (such as assassinating a high-ranking enemy, defending allies, hacking computers, and so on).
Development started in 2006; this is Streum's first video game (their previous work being a board game and an obscure Half-Life 1 mod that EYE serves as a spiritual successor to). It was developed on the Source engine and is now on sale via Steam. Critics praised the game's variety, replay-ability, coop, and style, but criticized the often clumsy translations note
, confusing level layout and interface design.
This game contains examples of:
- Absent Aliens: In an odd variant of the trope, there are aliens, other than the Meta-Streumic Force - just not present at all in the game. The poor translation of the backstory, readable in the library, apparently had a war spring between a humanoid race, indistinguishable from humans, aside from their third eye, and the humans themselves, after a series of misunderstandings. However, the war was quickly quashed when the mistake was realized.
- Alternate Timeline: If you die in combat it costs you a regeneration, and you spring back to life basically on the spot. You only have a limited number of these per mission, and since unless you're playing as a tanking character in heavy armor you're going to die a lot, they are valuable. When you run out of regenerations or otherwise die in a fairly 'permanent' way (such as falling into an area you're not supposed to be, hence cannot be revived in), your character will find himself in the dream hub area that you arrive in upon loading your character, and is informed that the "death" that just occurred was just a premonition of a future in which he failed, allowing you to continue from the start of the mission with all your regenerations restored.
- Altum Videtur: The Facere Mortis katana's name is (bad) Latin for "Maker of death".
- Anachronism Stew: An incredibly strange variant. The game's style is an anachronism of a plethora of sci-fi classics, from The Matrix (referenced by name even), Warhammer 40,000, Fallout, Ghost in the Shell, and a backstory LOST would be proud of.
- The weapons take this further: advanced firearms coexist side-by-side with war hammers and katanas. And those firearms are considered ancient tech!
- And finally we have armor, with Badass Longcoats, military-inspired bulletproof armor, and cyberpunk jumpsuits alongside armor reminiscent of medieval knights and Japanese samurai.
- The best way of putting it is Hardcore Cyberpunk, which is what this setting/genre is called.
- Artificial Brilliance: Mooks intelligently throw grenades to attempt to flush players out of cover. Psychic enemies will often cast polyclones upon seeing the player. Attack helicopters will spam rockets at players in cover, to try and kill them with splash damage. Mooks also bumrush the enemy in an attempt to overwhelm them if they hear the player reloading.
- Artificial Stupidity: Mooks often have "difficulties" opening doors, sometimes won't even notice the player (that is, when their laser vision doesn't work). Mooks sometimes get stuck on each other, and sometimes stand totally in the open, not moving. As such, the game typically kills the player by drowning them in waves of dozens of mooks... and any enemy that's hostile to another faction. Like "giant cyberdemon what fires gatling rockets" or "gunship impervious to small arms fire".
- Awesome but Impractical: The Excidium cannon is best described as a BFG9000; it's massive, has a splash damage radius that can kill targets over a dozen meters away, and is perfectly accurate. Unfortunately, because of said huge splash radius, you're as likely to blow yourself to bits as the enemy, making it impractical in most of the mission areas, aside from the Noctis Labyrinth. You even get an achievement from nuking yourself with the Excidium. Melee can be this - due to the game's fondness for throwing hordes of enemies at you with knockback weapons, the only time someone should take a melee weapon is if they're wearing heavy armor and have a medkit.
- Back Stab: Swords can perform a one-hit-kill, silent backstab attack. It sounds fine for the Facere Mortis katana, but when you use the Damocles, the enemy also explodes rather violently when you backstab them. The Arrancadora can also backstab, but it's not like it particularly needs it
- Bad Ass Longcoat: Of the Killzone variety.
- Big Bad Ensemble: The Federation, the Metastreumonic Force, and Rimanah.
- Black and Gray Morality: You are a member of EYE, the militant wing of the Secreta, which is dedicated primarily to protecting humanity from demons (and now, the Meta-Streumic Force) and is divided into two subgroups, the Culters and the Jians. You also have the Federation which is supposedly a totalitarian government. EYE fights them not so much to liberate the masses, but to make a grab for power for itself. Then you start finding out that the monsters of the metastreumonic force are a manifestation of the natural environments across countless planets that have been destroyed by Humanity, and some Humans are even siding with the monsters. The only obviously evil side is the one you're told you're part of, which are a group of fanatical Culters trying to make a power grab for itself, are obsessed with killing off the Jians, and take hold of Federation worlds. Outside of them, it's pretty open to debate on who's the real "good" team.
- In Rimanah's route, a member of the Secreta shows up to berate you for blindly following Rimanah. Mentor was a mole for the Secreta as a whole, trying to stop the civil war and remove Rimanah from power.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: While it's not too bad compared to other examples, there are some examples of sloppy translation, and it notably gets worse as the game goes on. See Guide Dang It below. There is a mod that makes things more clear on the official Steam forum, but some players have derided it for removing some of the charm.
- BFG:The Heavy Weapons department, particularly the Excidium which seems to be a massive semi-automatic cannon that awards an achievement for blowing oneself up with its splash damage.
- BFS: The Damocles sword, which is essentially a claymore with weird energy generators on it to make the sword's blade explode stuff on contact.
- Boom, Headshot: Scoring hits to the heads of enemies do far more damage than anywhere else on their anatomies and rewards you with more Brouzouf. Sometimes, one well-placed headshot with certain powerful guns (such as sniper rifles), especially if they haven't noticed your presence yet, will make their heads asplode.
- Boring but Practical: The S6000 assault rifle and the silenced B.O.S.C.O. sniper rifle. These are bog-standard bullet weapons, but they both have plenty of ammunition (100 rounds per mag for the S6000, and 25 for the BOSCO) and have reasonable accuracy and stopping power for their purposes. This is, in fact, the reason why three incredibly low-tech rifles are issued to Federal forces four hundred years in the future: they're cheap, reliable, and ammo is plentiful.
- Cast From Hitpoints: The Power Converter augment will allow you to convert your blood (health) into energy - using a mechanical device bolted onto your heart
- Chekhov's Gunman: On the mission on Sulaco, you will come across three friendly Synicles. They'll (if you allow them) tell you about a very powerful psyker hunting down and fighting a wolf spirit. All three of them have a spin on it - he was angry, he was evil, he was sad, and so on, but all of them question if he truly defeated the wolf spirit - or fused with him. If you sided with Rimanah, he shows up as a Carnophage, apparently to settle a score with Rimanah and his goons.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The player. You can betray EYE for the Federation, then once you get onboard the Federation cruiser, backstab them.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The player character is very fond of the word in dialogue choices.
- Continuing Is Painful: The game has an odd mix of this and Death Is Cheap. On one hand, when you die, you're immediately resurrected where you stand as long as you have a Resurrector remaining; running out of Resurrectors just sends you back to the last checkpoint (often, but not always, the start of the level) with your Resurrectors replenished. And you start out with the ability to hold 10 resurrectors, and can buy more. The catch? Every time you die, you also have a risk of getting a functionally permanent 'fatal wound', penalizing multiple stats. While it's theoretically possible to cure these penalties (and become immune to further ones), the process is a Guide Dang It that requires multiple rare Random Drop items and costs several orders of magnitude more brouzoufs than you'd be able to afford in the course of a normal playthrough.
- Coop Multiplayer: The game has full online cooperative support for the entire singleplayer and all its side missions. If you're crazy enough, you could have a 32 player coop game running.
- Cool Mask: The intricate horned/halo designs of commander Rimanah and your mentor.
- Corrupt Cop: Corrupt Federals, Secreta members, Culters, Jians, and on and on. Rimanah turns out to be this, playing everyone against the Jians for his own gain. Your mentor was against him.
- Critical Failure: The most common Critical failure is a failed attack — "Bullshit! Ultra-failed attack!", which does reduced damage. However, it's also possible to get tainted medicine - instantly killing you. Hacking can cause your head to explode if the opponent counterhacks you. And some of the psychic abilities have the change to spontaneously kill you.
- Cyborg: Players are encouraged to augment themselves with appropriate cybernetic components. A hacker might replace parts of his brain with a computer, a swordsman might install a large artificial adrenalin gland near their heart and tear out their nervous system for a much more complex circuit board, a gunman might have their limbs augmented and replaced, et cetera.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Each story arc rewards you with a unique and hyper-lethal "Gate" psychic ability. The Hypnotic Gate instantly and permanently paralyzes an enemy, Triangular Gate warps an enemy out of reality, and Substitution causes the player to be healed if the enemy takes damage, and damage the enemy if the player is hurt. All of the abilities are also hyper-lethal for the user, as they have a very high probability to fling the user towards random directions at lethal speeds, drive them insane, fry their brains, or cause permanent trauma which hurts stats and persist even after resurrector usage.
- Dead All Along: Mentor and Rimanah, but possibly others - and it's very likely others are seeing them as well. Who knows, maybe EYE does not really exist, and you are just a brain in a jar somewhere...
- Difficult but Awesome: A more beneficial way in dealing with Interceptors is by hacking their AI, having control of one will let them sweep the area and kill a whole lot of lightly armored enemies, especially with its missiles. But hacking them is so painfully hard: you have to make them lower their depth of flight just to be able to even start, meanwhile, you're worrying about your stamina draining as you remain cloaked while doing so - and that's if the Interceptor doesn't leave your hacking range while you're fighting a brutal battle to get inside its systems.
- Doppelgänger Attack: The Polyclone ability allows the player (and some mooks) to summon up to 6 clones. The clones typically die in one or two hits from even the weakest gun, but they are capable of using incredibly powerful weaponry. An alternate version of the Polyclone ability can be bought in the library, which instead summons a single, much more durable clone.
- Drop the Hammer: The Arrancadora de Tripas/Warp Hammer, one of the hardest weapons to unlock. It's held in both hands, uses up the entire back weapon slot (equivalent to the Sulfatum), can one-hit-kill almost any enemy, and create an electric arc upon contact with flesh.
- Dueling Games / Follow the Leader: Looks like (and is being released close to) Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but gameplay-wise is basically Hellgate: London.
- Dump Stat: Mental Balance, which reduces the likelihood of insanity. Depending on your playstyle, this may or may not be useful - the Maintenance skill only takes a few seconds and cures all ailments, but as the game prefers Zerg Rushes near constantly, those few seconds may be very, very precious. Late-game research makes the user totally immune to madness, making the stat pointless.
- Electronic Eyes: The Cyber Eyes implant and EYE Vision.
- Evil Is Not Well Lit: The Federation Cruiser which you board if you betray the Secreta, is very badly lit, with the only lighting being a couple spotlights.
- Evil Is Sexy: Deliberately invoked in-universe by the Synicles, attractive women in alluring, nun-like coats who are the most humanoid of the creatures spawned by the Metastruemic Force. A few Culter Dei surmise they're actually creatures taking the form of human women to distract or throw off unsuspecting enemies.
- Expy: The Deus Ex Machina enemy looks an awful lot like a certain iconic ''Doom'' enemy...
- Face-Heel Turn: invoked by your superiors - in one mission, to track down leaked information stolen by pirates, you have to go undercover as a disgraced Jian to work for a bandit group operating in a run-down mall somewhere.
- Your mentor apparently turns on you if you sided with him on Mars during the final battle, but he's invoking it - when you kill him, he leaves a message, saying that you've gained enough strength by absorbing his to take on Rimanah and his goons. There's no change in your attacks, though.
- And finally, you can join the Federation, provided you take the right dialog choices on Mars when a Federation agent offers you a chance.
- Fictional Currency: Brouzouf is essentially the game's version of universal credits.
- Fragile Speedster: Light Armor. Even at high levels, you can be nearly-instagibbed by enemies wielding the Hunting Machine or Bear Killer, and even squads of Federation troopers armed with the humble Rotten Mound will gun you down quite easily. However, you'll also be able to run around at truly ridiculous speeds, once you've leveled up your agility and cyber-legs.
- Gaia's Vengeance: The Metastreumonic Force, the wrathful manifestation of thousands of destroyed ecosystems wrecked by colonization.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat: Federal Police and Light Armor Jian mooks.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The majority of the Federal Police and Federal Special Forces along with Jian Light and Heavy armor.
- Gatling Good: The Sulfatum minigun. Fires a solid wall of bullets from a 500 round drum.
- Genius Bruiser: The protagonist can be this, quoting Sun Tzu and the like.
- Glass Cannon: A hit-or-miss variant; Polyclones are copies of yourself that are under your orders. They die in less than 2-3 shots. What makes this a hit or miss is that the weapons they get are relevant to your PSI-Force (And they don't get the appropriate weapons for the situation either); they earn weapons which are either good for crowd control, or are only good at single targets.
- Goomba Stomp: You can do this if you can jump high enough, and it does damage your enemies.
- Grenade Launcher: The Spiculum Ovum. It fires manually detonated Kinder grenades in a nearly straight trajectory, which will stick to any surface.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: While you cannot carry dead enemies, you can pick up their dismembered pieces. So if you exploded a bandit with the Damocles, you can then pick his head up and psychically hurl it at other looters to kill them.
- Guide Dang It: The penultimate level, if you choose to spare your Mentor; he sends you to find someone called Akmal. This is undoubtedly one of the most annoying levels of the game, and it gives you no hints on how to complete it; you have to solve it by Trying Everything. The level is made even worse by the translations of dubious quality - the game mentions that you need to destroy a "switch" - said switch is a rusty metal wheel in the top corner of the level, which activates some gas below. What it doesn't mention is that you need to shoot the pipe on the level below twice to actually ignite the gas.
- On the upside, it also doubles as a Breather Level after the long slog on Mars, with no combat whatsoever.
- The process to cure an otherwise permanent fatal wound is long, obscure, and costs several hundred thousand brouzoufs.
- Guns Akimbo: The BK13 pistols. Two rapid fire pistols, one in each hand.
- Guns Are Worthless: Mostly Averted. Most Mooks can be dropped in a couple of well placed shots, but a character possessing high endurance and wearing heavy armor will take next to nil damage from low-caliber weapons.
- Hacking Minigame: A unique example; all hacking attempts are subdivided into what you want to do (Possess, Hack, Destroy, or Steal) at which point a battle minigame is played out where both the player and the object being attacked attempt to gain the stat advantage and reduce their opponents health to 0.
- Hand Blast: If an enemy gets too close, causing the player to lower their weapon, their attack button will make them shoot a psychic blast from their left hand. The blast is capable of causing weak enemies to explode in a shower of blood, while more powerful enemies are violently shoved back. The psychic blast can also be done when sprinting, and it has a chance of setting an enemy on fire.
- Hand Cannon: Nothing but in the pistol department. You start off with a .50 cal and you can also use dual .45s if that's more your style. Later on you unlock a .222 cal revolver, but the king is the .444 cal Bear Killer revolver. It's so damn powerful that you can shoot down gunships with a few shots.
- Heroic BSOD: Gameplay variant. Constantly fighting while damaged or consistently taking damage, especially while suffering an injury (broken bone or laceration) will cause excess stress. Too much and the player character falls into a psychosis, ranging from hallucinating enemies and paranoia, or even the controls locking up and the character freezing in terror. An ability can be used to apply "maintenance" to yourself, and get your mind back in the game.
- Hub Level: The Temple HQ.
- I Have a Family: A random kill message you can get is that "You've killed a good and caring daddy".
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Subverted, you can block any bullets being shot at you using the Facere Mortis katana, Damocles, or the Arrancadora; but it's a result of a nigh-impenetrable force field that drains your stamina for every shot. And while you can still block without stamina, the results are what you'd expect it to be.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The Targeting System implant allows you to temporarily remove all weapon inaccuracy and recoil, allowing you to fire your fully automatic weapons with perfect accuracy while running or jumping through the air. The implant is pretty much required to use the HS010's 3000 rounds-per-minute firing mode.
- Improbable Weapon User:
- Of all the things you can throw... in one level where you assault a Jian Temple after killing your Mentor, you can actually kill a group of them by throwing a porcelain jar.
- On city maps, you won't find jars. But you will find cars. If your PSI force is high enough, they are very throwable cars. Possibilities abound...
- In a Single Bound: High levels of Agility and several levels of Cyber Legs gives the player character an absurdly powerful Cyber Jump ability - jumping several stories into the air.
- Infinite Supplies: The Mobile Armory somehow has a bottomless amount of weapons, armor, and ammo for you to replenish your gear.
- Interface Screw: This has a chance of happening in true Cowboy Bebop fashion if you fail the Hacking Miniga- YOU'VE BEEN HACKED
- Inter-Service Rivalry: The Culters and Jians, both divisions of the demon-fighting EYE foundation, are at each others' throats, mostly struggling for power. There's also Vindico the Corporation, which is supposed to be a front for the Culters, but as of late, has been cutting more deals for the Federation and feeding info to the Jians.
- Inventory Management Puzzle: Players have several slots for carrying equipment - a huge back slot to carry two-handed weapons, and 4 shoulder/thigh holsters for one-handed weapons. Each location has a grid which weapons and ammo is inserted to, and weapons physical size effects the shape and size of their inventory use. A Damocles is very long but narrow, so it uses the entire vertical portion of the back holster, but only uses 1 horizontal space, allowing you to also carry a "tall" weapon like the Rotten Mound in the same slot. Heavy weapons use most or all of the back holster, limiting what you can carry (in addtion to the weight malus imposed by heavy weapons)
- Invisibility Cloak: Cyber cloak, which is an implant you can buy at the Temple. It gives the player a Predator-esque invisibility, which enemies can see close up, but only barely see from afar - they will head to your general direction if they see you running around while invisible.
- Jack of All Stats: Equilibrium Lords, when properly built are able to adapt to any situation while being suited for anything you pack them with. Further developing this particular class into a Grey Master can lead to a character that can use his Medikit effectively, run fairly fast despite wearing heavy armor, hack turrets fairly faster, take considerable amounts of damage, prolong the time it takes to suffer a Heroic BSOD, and cast PSI-Powers VERY effectively (Wherein casting an Invocation commonly spawns a powerful Carnophage).
- Justified Extra Lives: Your character's "Resurrector" revives you from clinical death a limited number of times with a cocktail of drugs. Dying by either falling into a pit or running out of Resurrector charges causes you to wake up in the monolith area again as a character explains that your previous attempt was All Just a Dream.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Energy weapons used to be better, until the humans started to fight the metastreumonic forces. Faced with the fact that energy weapons are nearly ineffective against them but kinetic weapons are effective they began using kinetic weapons from Dark Age again.
- Klingon Promotion: Invoked by your Mentor. He attacks you when you arrive to back him up in the assault on the Culter Dei headquarters if you sided with him at the end of the Mars mission, claiming You Have Outlived Your Usefulness — but only because Rimanah and his goons severely wounded him and that killing him would cause you to absorb his power, which will help you defeat Rimanah.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Notable in that it is very laser-guided: the protagonist remembers practically everything except for plot-relevant information. Though the reason behind this becomes evident if you get the hidden ending.
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Zig-zagged; although PSI-powers are devastating on their own right, they consume a chunk of your stamina enough for you to notice that they aren't always good to use. Endurance (despite being a health increasing stat) reduces stamina costs for Cybernetics (Another way of spending your stamina if you're not into powers though "Stamina" is used for said powers) by a tiny percentage and an implant for the heart increases Stamina recovery rate...with that said, any class has the freedom to choose their armor size and can have any weapon available at the armory with the right carrying weight.
- Lightning Bruiser: Dump enough points into Speed, and you're able to stay reasonably fast in Heavy Armor, packing a Hunting Machine to one-hit-kill enemies or a gatling gun to mow 'em down.
- By the time you hit level 120, you will be fast enough to chase down cars, strong enough to do so with heavy armor on, resilient enough to take rockets to the face without any complaint at all, and deadly enough to kill people just by willing it hard enough. When your energy drops down, you can re-energize yourself completely for a small sliver of your health, then annihilate a group of soldiers by teleporting into them and regain all your health in the process. The only thing that could possibly put you down at this point is other people just like you. In the dozens. You'll still probably win.
- Lost Technology: Technology from the "Dark Ages". Some weapons and technology are relics from it, like the "Medkit" healing system.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Large caliber weapons will often cause enemies to simply explode in a cloud of blood and assorted limbs. The Damocles sword causes enemies to explode (and send arms and other body parts flying), while the Facere Mortis simply lops heads off. Critical killshots may also cause limbs to fly.
- Metaphorically True: The player-character sees a difference between killing his mentor and being his murderer. This is true for two endings - he's either brainwashed into killing his Mentor, or his Mentor tricks him into killing him, sacrificing himself to empower the protagonist to take on Riminiah.
- Mighty Glacier: Heavy Armor is nigh-indestructible, but is slow if you don't put enough points into speed, and has less capacity for heavy guns. Players in Heavy Armor can have a dozen enemies wailing on them and only take a small amount of damage - and given the game's fondness for zerg rushes, this is very useful.
- Mind Screw: The entire game gets progressively weirder the closer you get to the end until it culminates in you waking up in the base and finding out that neither your master nor Rimanah have actually been around, others are having dreams just like yours, and at the end you step into a portal where the Mysterious person tells you some cryptic things along with Rimanah and the Mentor before sending you back to the start of the game. You have no way of knowing what events, if any, actually happened.
- At least, most notable event that may have actually happened (The New Game+ "of sorts" makes it confusing) was the Monolith mission where you can talk to the 2 unimportant Culters. One tells you that you've been talking to yourself lately (Mentor and Rimanah), while the other thought that your Mentor already died on a previous mission with you, but was easily convinced that he wasn't when you denied it.
- Gets even crazier if you side with Rimanah. Apparently, he's had you brainwashed and now you see all your friends in the order as enemies and vice versa. Huan, that guy who has been mocking you like a schoolyard bully from the beginning, was apparently your best friend. Your impossible-to-please mentor? Apparently, he's more like a level-headed father figure.
- If only it just stopped there. Your Recurring Dreams are sometimes triggered by your death and you are told you only saw a glimpse of the future. All of your resurrection charges are replenished afterward. Or maybe in reality your mind was wiped once more; plugged into another body and shipped out on the same mission. Just how many other operatives has Rimanah been doing this to? And the worst part about this, you start realizing that your character was not all too sane to begin with, or just about anybody you meet for that matter.
- And that's all before you unlock the hidden ending. Apparently, you're actually the head of the Secreta and you've been condemned to an endless, multiversal loop of the events of the games for your unspecified crimes. The only way to break out is to attempt to fuse the two timelines - Riminah and Mentor's - together, but as you're sent back to the cave, it failed.
- Lampshaded by the Carnophage who allies with you in the endgame if you sided with Rimanah. You can doubt your own sanity at everything that's happened so far and if anything is even real, at which he'll shrug and say "if it's in your head, you're not really any killing anyone, so no damage done, right?"
- Money Spider: Every enemy you come across drops Brouzouf when killed/destroyed. The money is automatically transferred to your interface once this is done.
- More Dakka: The HS010 submachine gun can be best described as a bullet hose. It already fires faster than most guns in other games - and there's a firemode to triple its fire rate to around 3000 rounds per minute.. The hundred round magazines lets you wildly spray the gun - which you will need to do, since it can't hit the broad side of an aircraft carrier in rapid fire mode. Good thing you can install an implant which removes recoil entirely when activated. The Sulfatum and S6000 are no slouches in this department, either - the former being a giant gatling, and the latter a Dark Age assault rifle that has a hundred bullets in each mag.
- Multiple Endings: 4, all of which are determined by your actions on Mars. The first ending has you siding with your Mentor to kill Rimanah, one where you defect to the Federation and wipe out the Secreta (which also results in Rimanah's death), one where you side with Rimanah and kill your Mentor, and a final, hidden Gainax Ending that's only available when you clear all three previous endings.
- New Game+: Every time you beat the game, you start over from the first mission, but retain all your research, levels, guns, and psychic abilities. It is necessary to play the game three times in order to get each of the Gate abilities, unlocked on the final mission of each story branch.
- Nice Hat: Jian heavy armour.◊ Random looters also sport Picklehaubes, for some reason.
- Nintendo Hard: "Master" and above difficulty, when playing solo, especially after the major nerfs to ammo storage - players need to actually scavenge for ammo now.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Several enemies spawn where you're not looking. Even if this means they spawn directly behind you with no obvious ways to that spot when examined.
- Oh, Crap: As enemy groups get cut down, they start screaming things like "Ai sedai sedai!" (which we hope means 'oh crap' in futurespeak) and general groans of pain and despair.
- One Bullet Clips: A nice and rare aversion of this trope for a shooter... despite being far in the future.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: The Damocles is a 15kg high-tech katana normally held with both hands, but by using the Sword and Gun combo (with a fully automatic .45ACP pistol nonetheless) it can be held one-handed with the only downside being a slower swing speed. Probably helps that the players are heavily augmented
- One-Hit Kill: The Arrancadora, Bear Killer, and Excidium will kill any human-sized enemy with a single hit. Backstabs will kill anything in one hit.
- Psychic Powers: Either they are recruited into dual-government/different government special forces or E.Y.E. Rogue psychers are actively hunted down.
- Rambling Old Man Monologue: Akmal, the supposedly super-powerful traitor of the Culter Dei. Mentor claims he's as dangerous as ever, but he's senile, tends to go off on tangents, is somewhat grumpy, and devolves into gibberish at times. Even the protagonist wonders what he accomplished by talking to him.
- Real Is Brown: Everything is covered with at least 3 layers of grime, in keeping with the cyberpunk setting. Most maps are brown, but some swap brown for alternate colors - cm_wurster has Real is Green, and cm_sheep has Real is Blue.
- Recurring Dreams: "It is true that I killed my mentor... and yet, I am not his murderer."
- Respawn on the Spot: Resurrectors automatically respawn the player where he died. There's a limited amount of resurrector uses, and they are shared between players in coop mode. Running out of resurrectors or falling into a bottomless pit results in the player being transported back to the dream world.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: The Betty Boom. A sawed off 12 gauge shotgun with iron sights shaped like a cross. Unlike all the other shotguns, it can fit into a hip slot, normally reserved for submachine guns and pistols.
- Scars Are Forever: If your karmic scale is off balance, every time your character dies they'll run the risk of suffering an irreversible stat penalty regardless if they used a resurrector or not.
- However, a late game research tree removes penalties. If your stats have reached the point that it costs double (or even a massive 25 times as much) to increase each level up, this can increase them at the cost of at least 110,000 credits.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: The game doesn't have a difficulty curve, so much as a difficulty mountain range. The difficulty of missions slams up and down to a hilarious degree at random, courtesy of the enemies and enemy types being randomly generated on most missions. One level may play like a milk-run, with only low-level Looters opposing you, while the next has the Federal Police shoving Interceptors down your throat. And even that easy looter level will decide to bury you in hordes of looters.
- Self-Duplication: The Polyclone and Transmutation PSI abilities allow you to make copies of yourself. Polyclone will 1 to 6 clones of you, but they are all individually weak and typically die in one hit. Transmutation makes a single copy of you, but it is far more powerful than the polyclones.
- Short Range Shotgun: The Betty Boom, for obvious reasons, cannot kill past a couple meters. The CAW hammer gets some of this, but not nearly as badly as the Betty Boom. The Deprezador on the other hand, averts this entirely, being effective even at fairly long range due to its small choke - the combination of aiming ease, a huge magazine, and massive damage make it a very practical weapon.
- Legions of elite warriors, belonging to an ancient cult and prone to heresy and civil warfare, stationed all over human space, who are heavily indoctrinated into a cultist mentality, and who have fortresses designed to look like cathedrals. The loading screen quotes are definitely riffs off the "Thought for the day", as well. In the background, a "Dark Age of Technology" happened, which reduced humans to relying on either archaic, lost technology, or using inferior, obsolete weaponry.
- Manducos are totally not scaled-down, less-lethal Genestealers. They're even formerly human.
- Investigating a mysteriously-quiet facility with dark hallways, on the planet Sulaco. The main enemies are totally not Xenomorphs, and you nuke the site (but not from orbit). There's also an achievement called "Corporal Hicks".
- "Doctor Hyde" for teamkilling with a medkit.
- "Dirty Harry", for killing a bandit with the .222.
- "Deckard", for destroying a certain Mecha Mook with the .444.
- Your personal Scrab says "by your command".
- You get the achievement "Stalker" for killing an irradiated man, one of the many random achievements you'll get when blasting random mooks. The game seems to affix random titles to random enemies, giving them some inkling of a backstory:
- "Conan" for killing a... llama.
- "Untouchable" for killing a corrupt goon.
- "Miami Vice" for killing a drug addict.
- "Night Watch" for "killing a strange man".
- "Natural Born Killer" for killing a "good and caring daddy".
- The achievement icon for killing an Adventurer is a fedora.
- Similarly, the icon for the achievement "Paranoid" is a eye hovering over a person.
- The phrase "Laputan Machine" is used as a code-word in one mission.
- There's even an achievement called "Full Metal" if you manage to find and kill a homunculus.
- Sniper Rifle: Three flavors. The BOSCO rifle is the weakest of the bunch, but offers a 25 round magazine, is lightweight, has an easy-to-use scope, and is silenced. The TRK AD is a high-powered .50 cal anti-materiel rifle that can take out attack helicopters in two hits. The Hunting Machine is essentially a Bear Killer in rifle form; it offers extreme damage and an 8 round magazine, but lacks a high-powered scope and is stuck with a very distorted holosight. It's more like a semi-automatic rifle.
- Speaking Simlish: Everyone speaks a corrupted, vaguely Slavic/Russian language, or a corrupted, vaguely Japanese language.
- Stealth-Based Mission: You can play most missions in the game like this, only taking out key targets and avoiding the Mooks.
- However, the enemies have shockingly good eyesight and will open fire if they have a clear line of sight to you. A popular play style has become throwing stealth out the window entirely and instead relying on heavy armor and miniguns.
- The 1.3 patch essentially allows you to choose this in the options menu, since you can now adjust enemy perceptiveness in the difficulty menu.
- Sword and Gun: It's possible to carry a katana or a Damocles in one hand, and a single BK13 pistol in the other. Once you unlock the Bear Killer, you can swap out the piddly fully automatic .45ACP pistol for a .444 rifle round that can kill attack helicopters.
- Take That: "You killed a video game censor!"
- Tech Tree: Players can find research briefcases after killing enemies, which will unlock new items for research, though sometimes other things must be researched first. Research is done via a menu in the character screen; the player selects an item to research, and tells how many scientists the wish to assign to the item which will determine the cost and the speed of the research. Research progress is saved between missions.
- The Syndicate: Several, with enough power to contest control of a likely galaxy-spanning empire (background data puts over 1200 worlds in control of the Federation); the main character is a member.
- Too Dumb to Live: Several times you'll have the option to negotiate with a hostile NPC, usually an officer or commander. You can threaten them to do what you ask or die, and they will frequently refuse to believe you can kill them, even if you cut through their entire force to get to them in the first place.
- Dutch, in the fourth area. If a monster gets behind him, he'll let it scratch his back with their foot long claws unless you kill them.
- In addition, EYE agents don't seem to receive sensitivity classes. Its not so much knowing what will tick off a person so much as finding a path through the dialogue tree that does not reduce yourself to declaring to his face that you want to rape his dog, shoot him in the face and use his mother for pipe tobacco. You are just generally not a very nice person, Mr. 100 Karma.
- Unbreakable Weapons: None of the weapons can be destroyed. What makes it especially odd from other Unbreakable weapons in other games is that in this game, you can use your weapons as shields, by holding it up to your chest with the shift and right mouse button depressed. Your gatling gun will happily take several hundred rounds to its receiver and barrel, and keep functioning. The HS010 submachine gun will continue to work perfectly fine even after firing several dozen magazines in its triple fire rate mode, though firing in this mode does make the weapon sound like it's ripping itself apart.
- Useless Useful Stealth: Though it is possible to be used effectively, Steath drains your energy stores and you must periodically take cover and let it recharge. Though you can easily get around while invisible, enemy NPCs have a habit of accidentally stumbling into your out of the way hiding place with machine guns ready whenever you stop to recharge. In addition most attempts of just sneaking past people are made impossible due to the insane sight range of your foes.
- It's a bit better with that latest 1.3 patch. You can tone down the vision distance and hearing sensitivity of enemies, but they still have above-average awareness. You can sneak without cloak now though.
- Was Once a Man: The creatures of the Metastreumonic Force are speculated to be this. The Synicles are speculated to be the opposite: creatures taking the form of human women.
- Weaponized Teleportation: The Dragon and Triangular Gate PSI abilities. They both functional fairly similarly - they teleport the player inside an enemy, killing the enemy regardless of its size or health, but the Gate can be very dangerous to the player casting it.
- Whatevermancy: Cybermancy, Necrocybermancy.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Mentor makes full use of any opportunity to berate you, whether it be for getting caught off guard in the prologue and the amnesia that comes with it, or not using stealth to take down a Federation mole in the second mission. On the other hand, he's also quietly proud if you DO follow instructions.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Psychic abilities have a chance to cause insanity or cripple the user. The Gate abilities are almost guaranteed to drive the user insane or outright kill them.
- Who Forgot the Lights?: The game had extremely dark levels to go hand-in-hand with its Cyber Punk themes at its release, to the point where the flashlight (and sometimes EYE Vision) had to be activate pretty much constantly. An update a few weeks after its release increased the lighting brightness in most areas to be more playable.
- Woman in White: The Synicles, creatures of the Metastreumonic Force that use telepathy to modify the minds of their victims in order to appear as women wearing white clothes.
- The Workhorse: The Rotten Mound and KA93 assault rifles, both of which are centuries old (dating back to the Dark Ages) and extremely simple, but are used heavily by all factions due to their heavy stopping power, low cost, and high accuracy. In-game, they're some of the most common weapons used by enemies, and the preferred weapons for many players due to their versatility.
- Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy: Practically every heavily-populated area. This game is distinguished by showing just how many strip clubs, brothels, etc. would exist in such places.
- You All Look Familiar: There are about five bandit types (each distinct from the headgear they wear, and nothing else), three models for both factions of the Secreta, one model for the federations, two models for their robot goons (one of which is also used by the Secreta), and four Metastreumatic monsters. Not much else.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Overlaps with Videogame Cruelty Potential in that after you possess someone and make them kill their comrades, you still have to dispatch them yourself because they remain hostile when you break the possession. Rimanah also essentially does this to you if you side with him, but the actual EYE shows up to shake you out of it and tell you what you've done before he can really kill you.
- Your Head Asplode: Most weapons will cleanly take off the head, while others, such as the Bear Killer, will just make it explode in a fine red mist.
- Zeerust: In-universe: most of the in-game weapons are horribly outdated - the RK and Rottenmound are both two centuries old and still in service, since everything else was too expensive to make.
- Zerg Rush: In a normal difficulty game, expect the game to throw at least three goons your way every five seconds. At worst, you can get squads of twenty-plus goons coming for you. On normal.
"It's true that I looked at the trope page......and yet, I am not its reader."