You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sick of Cyberpunk 2077 Delays? Pass the Time With These Cyberpunk Classics

SPY logo SPY 11/28/2020 Adrian Covert
a person wearing a mask: johnny mnemonic cyberpunk © Courtesy of CD Projekt Red johnny mnemonic cyberpunk

Falling victim to a number of delays, the epic action RPG Cyberpunk 2077 still hasn’t hit store shelves yet, and it will be even longer before the enhanced PS5 and Xbox Series X versions drop. As of now, it’s scheduled for a December 10 release on PS4 and Xbox One, but we’re not betting the farm on that one.

Developed by CD Projekt Red, who also made The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 drops you smack dab in the middle of Night City, a futuristic dystopia full of crimelords, corrupt elites and the most advanced technology this side of Andromeda. Equipped with advanced weaponry and the ability to add cybernetic upgrades to your body, you get to choose how you interact with the world, and the decisions you make will shape your experience as the game progresses.

Without question, it will be the biggest game of the year (even if it comes out next year).

But there’s still some time to go before you can get your hands on Cyberpunk 2077, and if you’re jonesing for some seedy technocratic material to consume, we’ve compiled a whole list of novels, graphic novels, movies, video games, albums and more for you to chew on until December 10 finally arrives.

  

Before You Do Anything Else…

Maybe you should pre-order Cyberpunk 2077? If you want to make sure that you have it on Day 1 and don’t have to experience any further delays, the best thing you can do is to pre-order the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 PS4 © Provided by SPY Cyberpunk 2077 PS4 Buy: Cyberpunk 2077 $49.94

But once you do that, feel free to keep scrolling to check out some of the greatest cyberpunk works ever created.

  

1. Neuromancer

Chances are you’ve probably heard of William Gibson’s 1984 debut novel Neuromancer. After all, it is the best-known piece of cyberpunk fiction and has influenced countless works that came after it, including Cyberpunk 2077. If you’ve never read it, it has everything you would want and expect from a cyberpunk-themed story: digital consciousness, body modification, nefarious corporations, high-tech weapons, futuristic drugs and one down-and-out protagonist who’s just trying to survive. And by survive, we mean take out an evil empire.

a close up of a logo: Neuromancer cyberpunk © Provided by SPY Neuromancer cyberpunk Buy: Neuromancer $8.99   

2. Blade Runner: The Final Cut

If Neuromancer is the definitive piece of cyberpunk literature, Blade Runner is the definitive film, which is based on Philip K. D***’s proto-Cyberpunk novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Ridley Scott’s mega-budget blockbuster was a box office flop when it released in 1982, but in the years since, it has amassed an army of devotees and stands as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. Set against the backdrop of a dystopic Los Angeles in 2084, Blade Runner is an exploration of consciousness and free will. Even if you’ve already seen this film five times, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t watch it a sixth.

a screen shot of a person: Blade Runner: The Final Cut © Provided by SPY Blade Runner: The Final Cut Buy: Blade Runner: The Final Cut $24.99   

3. Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit

Just because cyberpunk largely concerns itself with technology doesn’t mean that the tropes of the genre don’t translate over to the world of pen and paper games. And whether you’re a veteran Dungeons & Dragons player, or just a Cyberpunk 2077 fanboy trying to kill time, Cyberpunk Red is the perfect distraction, especially since it’s intended to serve as a prequel to the videogame. Billed as “the roleplaying game of the dark future,” you and a few friends will find yourself in a world without rules, following the defeat of the tower-dwelling elites in the 4th Corporate War, which previously played out over the course of Cyberpunk 2020. If you love exploring the lore of your favorite video games, picking up a copy of Cyberpunk Red is obligatory.

a blackboard sign next to a book: cyberpunk red pen and paper game © Provided by SPY cyberpunk red pen and paper game Buy: Cyberpunk Red $34.99   

4. Ghost In The Shell Deluxe Manga Set

While every device in the real world is essentially hackable, we can at least be thankful that our bodies aren’t. Unfortunately for Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist in the classic manga Ghost In The Shell (which later became an even more classic anime), she susceptible to hackers who want to take control of cyborg bodies such as hers, even as she tries to take them down. But this manga is more than just an action thriller, it’s a meditation on the aspects of humanity and consciousness which make us unique from the rest of the natural world. This manga has been beloved since the day it was first released, and its influence can be felt throughout the last 25 years of pop culture, including movies such as The Matrix.

calendar: Ghost In The Shell Manga Set Cyberpunk © Provided by SPY Ghost In The Shell Manga Set Cyberpunk Buy: Ghost In The Shell Deluxe Manga Set $54.67   

5. Frank Miller’s Ronin

If you’ve ever noticed that samurai are commonplace in cyberpunk works, there’s a reason for that. Frank Miller’s 1983 graphic novel Ronin managed to place a master-less swordsman from feudal Japan smack dab in the middle of a futuristic New York overrun by crime. Deftly blending fantasy tropes into a cyberpunk universe, you’ll not only find Ronin’s fingerprints all over Cyberpunk 2077, but in other games, such as the upcoming Ghostrunner.

Frank Miller's Ronin © Provided by SPY Frank Miller's Ronin Buy: Frank Miller's Ronin $15.99   

6. Xbox Game Pass

If you’re an Xbox gamer and you haven’t yet signed up for the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, you’re missing out on a number of great games chock full of cyberpunk and neo-noir influences. Whether you’re talking about the fast-paced 2D action of Katana Zero, the free-flowing parkour-inspired gameplay of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, or the over-the-top action of Crackdown 3, you’ll find that these cyberpunk adjacent games share much in common with the world of Cyberpunk 2077.

But the Xbox Game Pass game you’ll absolutely want to play is Perfect Dark. Originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, and remastered for the Xbox 360 in 2010, the spiritual successor to Goldeneye shifted its gaze from the 007 world of James Bond and onto the cyberpunk spy known as Joanna Dark, who is working to foil the evil plots of a shadowy organization known as the dataDyne Corporation. Although the story kind of goes off the rails towards the end (SPOILER: You literally go to Area 51 and rescue an alien), the narrative build-up before that is a visual cyberpunk feast that offers a taste of what the early first-person shooters were like.

text: perfect dark xbox live game pass cyberpunk © Provided by SPY perfect dark xbox live game pass cyberpunk Buy: Xbox Game Pass 3 Month Membership $14.99   

7. Snow Crash

Neil Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash is another essential piece of cyberpunk literature, but instead of adopting the more earnest noir themes of the works before it, this story descends into satire which borders on parody. Set in a future Los Angeles that’s run by unchecked corporate entities, you follow hacker and pizza delivery guy Hiro Protagonist as he navigates a world full of mob bosses, intelligence operatives and viruses that infect computers and human brains alike. Set to be turned into an Amazon Prime TV series sometime in the future, Snow Crash will not only satiate your Cyberpunk 2077 cravings but also ensure you’ll be among the first to declare that ‘the book was better than the TV show.’

a circuit board: snow crash cyberpunk © Provided by SPY snow crash cyberpunk Buy: Snow Crash $6.99   

8. Ack-Ack Macaque: The Complete Trilogy

Ack-Ack Macaque is a more-recent and lesser-known entry into the cyberpunk canon, but its premise is so outlandish that we had to include it on this list. We don’t know how Gareth L. Powell managed to combine WWII, a sentient monkey fighter pilot and a unified France and England into a cyberpunk narrative, but he did it (and then turned it into a trilogy). We’re also not sure that Cyberpunk 2077 will explore much of the same territory, but it’s a good way to enter the right mindstate nonetheless.

a man holding a book: ack-ack macaque cyberpunk © Provided by SPY ack-ack macaque cyberpunk Buy: Ack-Ack Macaque $6.99   

9. Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology

If you’re searching for the ultimate sampler of cyberpunk lit, look no further than the 1988, Bruce Sterling-curated anthology Mirrorshades, which includes short stories from the likes of William Gibson, Rudy Rucker and Sterling himself. Sterling intended the collection to be a cyberpunk mission statement of sorts, collecting works that he felt best embodied the spirit of the genre. Read this before you fire up Cyberpunk 2077 and you’ll be discovering thematic parallels left and right once you finally get to play the game.

Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology © Provided by SPY Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology Buy: Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology   

10. The Red Strings Club (Switch Version)

As much as flashy cityscapes and violent combat are dominant tropes in many works of cyberpunk, the quiet, brooding moments are just as common across the genre. And in The Red Strings Club, you take a break from the overstimulation of a cyberpunk metropolis to assume the role of a bartender, make a few drinks for weary patrons and gather a few clues in order to stop a nefarious conglomerate known as Supercontinent. Offering up a top-notch narrative somewhat resembling a retro point-and-click adventure, The Red Strings Club requires close attention to detail as you unlock the mystery of Supercontinent, one cocktail at a time.

The Red Strings Club © Provided by SPY The Red Strings Club Buy: The Red Strings Club (Switch Version) $14.99   

11. Astral Chain

Cyberpunk 2077 might not be coming to the Nintendo Switch, but Nintendo loyalists aren’t completely out in the cold when it comes to AAA cyberpunk titles. After all, there’s 2019’s Astral Chain, which was made by the same people responsible for Devil May Cry, Nier: Automata and Bayonetta. You’ll play as a recent recruit to the Neuron Police Department who fights the creeping threat of powerful interdimensional creatures by capturing and summoning beings from the same world, which is known as the Astral Plane. Over the course of 20 hours, you’ll partake in detective work as you explore the world of the Ark, and engage in fast-paced hack-and-slash combat as new threats arise. Equal parts visually striking and well-designed, Astral Chain offers up a world that you’ll want to get lost in.

astral chain cyberpunk © Provided by SPY astral chain cyberpunk Buy: Astral Chain $59.35   

12. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cyberpunk, but fire up the remake of Final Fantasy VII and you’ll realize that there are many of the same themes running through the redesigned Cloud City. Human experimentation, body modifications, corrupt organizations and a dystopic atmosphere all run through this game, which was updated this year with all-new 4K HDR graphics and a modern, real-time battle system. Critics loved it, fans loved it, and we’d be shocked if you didn’t love it too.

Final Fantasy VII Remake © Provided by SPY Final Fantasy VII Remake Buy: Final Fantasy VII Remake   

13. Johnny Mnemonic

Let’s just make this clear now: Johnny Mnemonic is not a good movie. In no way did it do proper justice to William Gibson’s short story of the same name, and it was rated as one of the worst films of 1995. Still, if you want to watch a cybernetically enhanced Keanu Reeves — who will also make a cameo appearance in Cyberpunk 2077 — run around in a future dystopia battling evil corporations and committing absurd feats of heroism, Johnny Mnemonic is a fun time in the right context.

a close up of a man: johnny mnemonic cyberpunk © Provided by SPY johnny mnemonic cyberpunk Buy: Johnny Mnemonic $4.99   

14. Altered Carbon

Based on the Richard K. Morgan novel of the same name, Altered Carbon is a visually striking Netflix series that follows Takeshi Kovacs, a revolutionary soldier whose consciousness was locked away after a failed uprising. 250 years later, Kovacs consciousness was taken off ice and put into a host body by the police who captured him, offering up his freedom if he can solve a murder. While Season 2 was a bit of a letdown, there’s a non-zero chance that you’ll binge Season 1 in a single sitting.

the face of a man: Altered Carbon © Provided by SPY Altered Carbon   

15. Cybotron – Enter (Vinyl LP)

When it comes to seminal electro and Detroit techno albums, Cybotron’s Enter is at the top of the list. This should come as no surprise since Juan Atkins, one of techno’s originators, was a member of the group. While cyberpunk has never been referenced as a direct influence on Enter’s futuristic sound, this 1985 album is a sonic exploration of the ‘80s downfall of Detroit, due to its dying auto industry and the urban blight suffered in the city’s middle-class black neighborhoods. If that doesn’t overlap with many of the themes you’ll encounter in Cyberpunk 2077, then we don’t know what does.

shape, arrow: Cybotron - Enter © Provided by SPY Cybotron - Enter Buy: Cybotron - Enter (Vinyl LP) $21.98   

16. Various Artists – Cyber Grime Division

There is nothing about this EP that isn’t inspired by Neuromancer. From the name to the album art, right down to the record label’s name (Tessier-Ashpool Recordings), Cyber Grime Division wears its cyberpunk influence on its sleeve. But it’s the sound, the gritty, synthetic club rhythms from producers such as Mutual Friend, that really make you feel like you’re exploring the seedy underbelly of a technologically-advanced metropolis. It’s not too far off from the vibe promised on the Cyberpunk 2077 OST, which is set to feature contributions from the likes of Grimes and SOPHIE.

Cyber Grime Division - Cyberpunk © Provided by SPY Cyber Grime Division - Cyberpunk Buy: V/A - Cyber Grime Division $4.99   

17. 2814 – Birth Of A New Day

Floating between microgenres such as vaporwave and dreampunk, 2814’s second LP Birth Of A New Day quickly attracted a cult following after its 2015 release thanks to the dark and gauzy synthesized sounds. Evoking visions of movies such as Blade Runner and Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels, this is the type of album that you throw on when it’s 2 a.m. and all alone, waiting for the day Cyberpunk 2077 will actually drop.

a lit up city at night: 2814 - Birth of a New Day cyberpunk © Provided by SPY 2814 - Birth of a New Day cyberpunk Buy: 2814 - Birth Of A New Day $7.99   

18. ACRONYM J1L-GT Interops Coat

There is no label in the fashion world that’s more cyberpunk than ACRONYM, and if you want to really get into the spirit of Cyberpunk 2077, the ACRONYM J1L-GT Interops Coat is the ultimate way to do that. Made of 3L Gore-Tex Pro waterproof fabric and featuring a detachable hood, this jacket also has a carrying strap integrated into its design for those times when conditions change on the fly. But most of all, we love the asymmetrical pocket in the middle of the jacket, which gives it a feel that is both rough around the edges and sleek at the same time . . . much like many a cyberpunk setting.

a man in a suit and tie: acronym j1l-gt interops coat © Provided by SPY acronym j1l-gt interops coat   
AdChoices

More from Spy

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon