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May 30, 2024

Mato Anomalies – An Atmospheric Cyberpunk Noir

Role-playing games have come a long way since the golden era of gaming, merely having a simple foundation of a story, usually, a group tasked to save the world from a menacing wizard or a threatening dragon while respecting turn order. Since then, it’s not always a “dragon” that a player must face. Sometimes it’s a larger-than-life villain who needs to be knocked down a peg. Other games tend to combine action and role-playing games, some more “action” than others, like Star Ocean. Then there are games in which I don’t have a specific genre to tie it to, outside of what makes an “RPG,” an “RPG.” This is what I felt when playing Mato Anomalies, but before I dive a bit deeper I want to give thanks to Prime Matter and the developers at Arrowiz for giving me a chance to review this interesting piece of media.

Beginning with its namesake, the city of Mato evokes feelings of nostalgia as well as futurism. The protagonist, Doe, is dressed up like the best “Herlock Sholmes” I’ve ever seen, with environments being run-down neighborhoods, seedy wealthy high-class venues, and the working class who must endure it all. The technology certainly screams “cyberpunk,” but everything else is a more mellow mid-1900s-style appearance. The music for each section of Mato adds to the wonderous appeal, with soft muted background music that gives off a feeling of elevation. While Doe is relatively safe above ground, I couldn’t help but feel as if turning a corner I would be met by a ruffian or other unpleasantries.

By gamers for gamers