So I decided to dust off one of my favourite games today and play through it. Not many games like this exist. In my world the only true cyberpunk games are Shadowrun for the SNES and Snatcher. I prefer to play it on Sega CD since it’s the only version that I own, but it’s also available on Pc-Engine and Playstation. Snatcher is what you get when you merge Blade Runner with Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. A conspiracy filled cyberpunk adventure game by no other than Hideo Kojima.
In Snatcher you are Gillian Seed, cool guy with trench coat and amnesia who’s become a Junker. A junker is pretty much the exact same thing as a Blade Runner. Your mission is to stop robots known as Snatchers from taking control of the city by killing humans and taking their place in society. A skeem very much like the one in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. At the same time you’re trying to remember who you really are so you can save your failing relationship with your wife Jamie, who also suffers from amnesia. To aid you on your mission, you get a huge pistol and a robot sidekick called the Metal Gear Mk II. Yes this is where the little Metal Gear from MGS4 comes from. It’s equipped with several sensors, lockpicking devices and also a handy videophone to call sex lines with when you feel lonely and stuck in the game.
The gameplay is much like old Point-N-Click games except here you are presented with a number of standard options like “Look, Investigate, Talk” etc, there’s also the combat parts where you have to shoot Snatchers and their Insectoids. These can either be controlled by the Justifier light gun (Sega CD) or using the controller to control the cross hair. I’ve tried both methods and they both work fine. The Justifier can be a bit random, but it’s way more fun to play with that than the gamepad. Much of the dialog in the game is progressed by text but there’s very much voiceover work done in it too. So all cutscenes and all important dialoge parts are always voiced while other, less important things like Gillian’s own observations are just presented in text.
The graphics are really nice drawn and the whole game is presented much like a comic book. Fans of Hideo Kojima’s more popular games will recognize the story telling style consisting of long cut scenes and thick back story. All this together with the slow-paced, detective styled gameplay and great music makes for a perfect atmosphere for a cyberpunk game.