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Cybernetic Augmentations You Don’t Want

With Starbreeze’s Syndicate hitting shelves this week, many gamers will be fantasizing about how cool it would be to become a cyborg.  But if there’s anything we can learn from cyberpunk stories it’s that augmenting the human body with machinery can cause more harm than good.  With that in mind, here are some video game cyborgernetic augmentations that players are better off not getting if they ever become real.

Bionic Commando’s Giant Metal Arm: Nathan Spencer seems like he has a great deal.  After losing his left arm he got a cool bionic arm that shoots a grappling hook.  He can use it to swing around levels, or blast far away enemies.  But the people who put this guy together didn’t seem to have a good grasp on physics, because they put a huge slab of metal on one side of his body with no counterweight on the other side.  If a real person had this augmentation, they’d tip over any time they tried to stand up.  Before you let Army scientists give you an massive arm, make sure it’s Buy One Get One Free.

Deus Ex’s Cranial Spy Drone: 
The first Deus Ex game had tons of useful augmentations; bulletproof skin, invisibility, super speed, x-ray vision.  But there were a few lousy ones too, including a cranial augmentation “Spy Drone” that sent a tiny hovering robot out to snoop around for you.  While that sounds pretty cool, this thing moved slowly, was easily destroyed and drained your precious power cells.  By far the worst choice of augmentation in a game where you had to choose between this, or an “Aggressive Defense System”  that swatted down incoming missiles.  If a real version of this hits the market, choose the anti missile thing!


Metal Gear Series’ Codec:  A tiny device that’s implanted in your ear, and stimulates the bones in your inner ear so that you can hear orders without your enemies being able to listen in?  Sure it sounds like a great idea for an operative on a stealth mission, and it was great in the first Metal Gear Solid game where Mei Ling was purring in your ear the whole time, but when Metal Gear Solid 2 came around, the poor Raiden was stuck listening to his whiny girlfriend Rose nagging him about their relationship.  His only option was to claw his own ear bones out.  In the real world you’re better off just using a Bluetooth headset.

Bioshock Infinite’s Handyman
:  Being a gigantic killer robot is great, but the steampunk technicians who built these guys didn’t think things through.  Rather than putting a human being inside an invulnerable metal body, they decided to leave the two most important body parts exposed.  The Handyman’s head is left completely unprotected  (Not even some safety goggles) and their hearts are prominently displayed in glowing glass containers on the outside of their chests. You’re much better off with your current body than getting this set of augs!


The Syndicate Series’ UTOPIA CHIP:  The new Syndicate game lets you play as an augmented killing machine with a special DART 6 chip in your head that gives you super powers, but in the previous games, almost everyone in the series could have their brain hijacked thanks to a device called the Persuadertron.  Anyone with a UTOPIA CHIP could be zapped with this weapon and would then do your bidding.  When the government starts issuing brain chips for real, stay far away, even if the new chip lets you update your Facebook status faster than an iPhone!


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