2064 Read Only Memories is a cyberpunk point and click adventure game that explores the fine line between humans and sapient machines. Set in Neo San Francisco in December 2064, a journalist (the player) is set the task of trying to locate their missing friend Hayden Webber. Along for the ride is Hayden Webber s personal ROM (Relationship Organizational Manager), Turing, who happens to be the first sapient machine.
ROM is a very heavy story based game so getting this and the characters correct is key to keeping the audience’s attention and I can confirm they did so perfectly. Throughout the six hours I was hooked to my screen and when I wasn’t, I couldn’t wait to get sucked back into the world. The story is not over complicated but it is very interesting and the final chapter does a great job at bringing everything together. It is a story about where the human race could be in a few decades time. The story is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout.
What enhances any story to make it much deeper are the characters and ROM is no exception. With the game being set in the near future, the developer could easily create new character types based upon how the world is currently and where it could possibly go. There are people cross sliced with cats, female TV producers with beards and a millionaire with a bear butler. It is amazing to see and with all characters having voice acting, it just cements them more into your mind. I’m still getting over the fact that Jim Stirling voiced the leader of a the protest group, The Human Revolution.
As a point and click adventure, the Gameplay is restricted to reading a lot of on screen text, choosing responses and interacting with objects. There are puzzles mixed in with these actions but they are not very difficult at all.
If anything, the controls can make it frustrating sometimes. On the PS4 you can either use the dpad to select items or use the touchpad as a mouse. The latter’s pounds great at first but I felt it was over sensitive as all you have to do it tap the pad to continue on screen text. The d pad selection is better but you have to scroll through the items on screen to interact. Again very simple, but at times I could not locate which object was selected. This was mainly due to the contrast of colours on screen at the time.
Visually 2064:ROM may not be for everyone. The game is presented in a pixel art style with a layout that resembles early point and click games from Lucas Arts. The main screen of the game sits in the top right, taking up the majority of the screen with the current speaking character to the left of this. Words appear across the bottom half of the screen in a very heavily digitized font and nearly every section is voiced. There is a section near the end where it looks like they forgot to record voices. It does not take anything away from the game but it is very noticeable. The sound track is inspired by 80’s synth-wave and it suits the world perfectly. I myself am I fan of this type of music (most commonly discussed as “Outrun”) so for me it added a lot to the game.
There is some replay value present with 2064 ROM as there are certain decisions that can affect the path of the story or a relationship with one or more characters. This is incredible for the game as you will find yourself become invested in the array of characters in this story and by making one bad choice you can ruin everything you have built. In fact there are five endings to the game and I myself have only seen one but I will dive back in soon to try and reach a few more.
ROM reminds me very much of the adventure games from the 1990s and movies like Bladerunner. The sights, sounds and overall message of the game will make it a must play for fans. Even if you are not fans I can guarantee you that you will find enjoyment – unless you cannot stand a lot of reading of course.
The game brings up some interesting points that we as humans will probably have to discuss at some point in the near future. We strive to better ourselves but sometimes it can be too much.
At the end of the day though, the story and characters are great but I will not delve any deeper into them as I do not want to spoil a thing. The main question you will have when you leave though is this – what really makes us human? And can it be replicated?