Beyond a Steel Sky
Linux Format|October 2020
Beyond a Steel Sky
Management loves a totalitarian regime and it loves some nostalgia harking back to when magazines and Ian Evenden used to make a profit…
Ian Evenden

SPECS

Minimum

OS: 18.04.4 LTS, SteamOS

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 (3.1GHz), AMD Phenom X4 945 (3.0GHz)

Memory: 4GB

GPU: GeForce GTX 650, Radeon HD 7770, 2GB video RAM

HDD: 20GB Recommended

CPU: Intel Core i5 3470, (3.20GHz), AMD FX-8350 (4.00GHz)

MEMORY: 6GB RAM

GPU: GeForce GTX 970 4GB, Radeon R9 280X 3GB

The 1994 adventure game Beneath A Steel Sky was considered quite good (like 91 per cent good), and to call it fondly remembered would be to mine giant quantities of understatement from the red Australian sands. A collaboration between Revolution Software and comic-book artist Dave Gibbons, Beneath A Steel Sky addressed social divides, consumerism and totalitarian control through pointing, clicking and solving puzzles. And now, in 2020 of all years, it gets a sequel.

The last time Robert Foster was in Union City it was under the benevolent authority of his pal Joey. Ten years later, he’s dragged back on the trail of a missing child, and rocks up at a vehicle-only entrance to the city (any excuse for a puzzle) to find it’s now under the control of The Council, and that everyone is really happy. They’ve got to be, because their lives hang on their Qdos scores, which quantify their social standing. It’s nudge theory run rampant, as things like turning up for work and taking part in daily votes (you never do this, which is a shame) alter your score, which affects where you can go and how low in the towering arcologies you can live. Industry and recycling are at the top, with the lower levels being a playground for the high-scoring.

Lowlifes and high rollers

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October 2020