Polish indie studio Black Nest has suspended development on their first-person cyberpunk adventure Retro Synthesis. The game’s Kickstarter campaign has also been canceled, and the game no longer appears on Steam.
While the game had raised less than 12 percent of its $61,500 crowdfunding goal, it appears that disagreements with publishing company PlayWay might have also had a role in the game’s Steam disappearance, according to response to a comment on the Black Nest Facebook page.
Lost…Like Tears in Rain
Here at IGR, we’re disappointed. Based on the demo we had the opportunity to try out, Retro Synthesis looked to be a compelling if fairly familiar take on narrative-driven adventure, with straightforward inventory and environmental puzzles in service to a detective story set in a futuristic urban dystopia inspired by the likes of Akira and – of course – Blade Runner.
What set Retro Synthesis apart, though, were its high production values. On top of some unexpectedly solid voice acting (as good as a Wadjet Eye Games release), it featured a semi-realistic but comic book-influenced graphics approach that reminds me a bit of Borderlands. I love traditional adventure game pixel art, but I can’t help but be impressed by this game’s cel-shaded 3D environments.
Similarly, while I recognize the overuse of Blade Runner as a visual reference, my jaw still dropped when the apartment window first opened on the neon-lit, rain-soaked heights of New Venice. Completing the picture, a flying car ascended to my window, opening up to reveal itself to be a massive shipping drone, complete with robotic package-delivery arm.
While the space Retro Synthesis explored might have been a familiar one – both its setting and the way the player interacted with it – it was an exquisitely executed one, and it may well have subverted or expanded on the cyberpunk/noir cliches explored in the demo.
Hopefully, Black Nest can find an alternate method of getting it published; they’ve also discussed releasing the demo as a free download to the public.
In the meantime, you can have a glimpse of New Venice via the Kickstarter trailer: