Top Critic Average
NEON STRUCT is a game about hide'n'seek as paranoid fear, not superthief glamour. It gives you large, heavily-guarded maze-like spaces and asks you to find your own way around them, whether it's by roof or street, by stolen keycard or opened vent, by planned strikes or pure evasion, by gadget or by wits alone. Welcome back to Liberty Island. You're not safe here.
Neon Struct's greatest achievement though is in its brooding storyline, told through tense phone conversations, brief chats on the streets and, most vividly, through the sense of fear you feel when you're kicked out of a supporting institution of near-omniscient power, to a place of want and hiding. The narrative is told with a light touch (characters have names such as Vinod Chhibber and Director Furtwengler) but it feels weighty and relevant, without tipping into blunt moralising. The best kind of science fiction thriller then: one dressed in the style of the future, but engaged with the pressing issues of the present.
Neon Struct isn't a perfect game, and technically its main gameplay focus of stealth is fairly simplistic. Enemies aren't that smart, darkness is overpowered and once you've learned its rhythms it's very easy to remain undiscovered, or at least not get caught if you're seen.
If the words 'cyberpunk stealth immersive sim' make you weak at the knees - and they ought to, really - you'll find Neon Struct to be a fun little tribute to the games that made those words special.
Neon Struct conceals a modern society engulfed in menacing surveillance programs by drenching itself in the soothing aura of 1985's neon nightlife. It's an unexpected dichotomy—tranquility isn't the sort of evocation expected of extremely topical police-state paranoia—but one that Neon Struct dispenses with plausible seeds of insurrection. Colorful symmetry is the expected outcome, but Neon Struct surprises with plenty of shades of grey, too.