Love Shore, a cyberpunk noir visual novel, is the debut title of developer Perfect Garbage–which, in it of itself, is a wonderful name for a studio. “Essentially, we were brainstorming with our other co-founder, [art design director] Kabo, who is sort of our head, and we were joking around,” narrative director Emmett Nahil told me. “And I think [studio director] Son [M.] said, ‘We just make garbage. It’s all we do, we make garbage,’ and Kabo goes, ‘Yeah, but it’s perfect garbage.'”
It’s an amusing origin for a studio that’s making a game I’m so excited to play. Love Shore takes place in a future metropolis inhabited by both humans and old gods. When the city faces a fertility crisis, a biotech firm steps in, creating fully-formed human beings composed of cybernetic parts save for their biological brains. These cyborgs are called S.Humans, but the company only managed to build 100 before going bankrupt–turns out parents would rather conceive and raise biological offspring that grow naturally than continue to pay for the upkeep of artificial children.
Quite a few games set in cyberpunk or cyberpunk-inspired worlds are scheduled to release in 2021–Anno: Mutationem, The Ascent, Jack Move, and Solace State, among others–but Love Shore stands out due to its approach to storytelling. It stars two different protagonists, Farah and Sam, whose wholly separate journeys through the same city intersect in both foreseen and unforeseen ways, influencing one another. It’s a bit like Claire and Leon in Resident Evil 2.
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