Tales from the Backlog 68: Silicon Dreams | cyberpunk interrogation

Silicon Dreams | cyberpunk interrogation has a killer elevator pitch- "Blade Runner meets Papers, Please". Developer Clockwork Bird have taken the Voight-Kampff test idea from Blade Runner and added the oppressive workplace pressures of Papers, Please to create a really compelling interrogation game, but it may or may not be worth your time if the game was just a shallow mashup of those influences. Silicon Dreams also weaves a greater narrative into your series of interrogations, but that greater narrative is in well-worn territory at this point. The biggest win for the storytelling in Silicon Dreams is that it uses your player character's unique perspective to tell that story in a fresh way.

In Silicon Dreams, you play as an android interrogator tasked with interviewing other androids who are displaying faulty or unwanted behaviors. You use questioning, tone, and emotional manipulation to get the information that you need about each subject, and all the while your employer, Kronos, is observing and judging your every decision. Meanwhile, the greater story is unfolding, but crucially, you are not out on the streets to see what's happening for yourself. You are an android worker who only exists in your work and sleep space. Any information you get about what's happening on the outside is second-hand- a perspective that mirrors our own in the real world. We may try to follow local or world events as closely as we can, but the gravity of those events is only as great as our proximity. For some people, it's easy to just brush them off because they "don't affect me"...until suddenly they do.

Joining me in episode 68 of Tales from the Backlog to discuss Silicon Dreams is Scott Danielson. Scott is a longtime friend of mine and was previously a guest on the Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018) episodes of the show. We had a wonderful conversation about the things I mentioned earlier in the blog, as well as the different paths our stories took and how our individual actions and mindsets led to those outcomes. And a big thank you to Clockwork Bird for reaching out and providing us with Steam codes so we could try this game out!

You can listen to episode 68 of Tales from the Backlog (Silicon Dreams) in the player below, or you can follow the links to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or search "Tales from the Backlog" in your favorite podcast app!