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Friday, September 29, 2023

Citizen Sleeper 2 is inbound, and this time you have a spaceship

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Announced in the June 11 PC Gaming Show, the cherished cyberpunk game Citizen Sleeper is getting a sequel. 

In the dystopian role-playing game, you play a Sleeper, a digitized human brain piloting a robotic body owned by a corporation. You’re an imitation of life, an artificial intelligence outlawed in this sci-fi future, built to bypass the pesky legal limitations that restrict a corporation’s ability to make money. 

Last year Citizen Sleeper was critically acclaimed for its writing and characterization of those eking out an existence on the space station Erlin’s Eye, where it explored the fluidity of identity, failings of capitalism, and whether hope is possible. I won’t spoil what happens in the original game and its potential endings, but the second installment is set beyond the space station and some time into the future of the unstable Helion System.  

In Citizen Sleeper 2: Starward Vector, you are caught up in a corporate war, and your already precarious position as an escaped asset is made worse by factions who will do anything for an advantage. However, this time you are free to carve out your path. You have a ship and a crew, and you’ve broken out from under the corporation and gang that owned you. You’re autonomous—for as long as your decaying body keeps functioning and the hunters on your heels don’t catch you.

“Your ship will be your haven, your tool, and your primary means of survival,” developer Jump Over the Age says. “You’ll need to maintain it and use it to navigate the habitats of the belt. Take on contracts, improvise solutions, and gather a crew of richly drawn characters to help you create a refuge for the lost among the stars.” 

This sounds much loftier than the focus on the mundane futuristic lives in the original, which Jody highlighted in his Citizen Sleeper review. However, I’m willing to see how those pertinent data threads from the first game wind their way into this one. 

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