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Keylocker game director reveals its connections to Guitar Hero and Bong Joon-Ho

(Image credit: Moonana)

Keylocker is an upcoming cyberpunk RPG with an emphasis on the punk, with influences that range from plastic-instrument rhythm to anti-capitalist satire.

The Kickstarter campaign for Keylocker finished with just under $60,000 raised in October, and game director Nana Moon recently spoke with PLAY Magazine to explain how it's the kind of game that never could have happened without crowdfunding: "Keylocker makes investors run for the hills; the same goes for publishers as well," Moon said.

In Play's latest Insider segment (you can pick up latest issue of PLAY here for even more from the interview), Moon explains how Keylocker is meant to be a kind of cyberpunk that doesn't just cast a wary eye toward the future, and instead coexists with technology of the past and even mythological beings. You play as "a powerless girl with a bad attitude and anger issues about to burst" and, to be fair, her anger is justified - she just broke out of jail after being imprisoned for playing guitar too well in a society where music is illegal.

"It's about social mobility, of going up from the lowest point to the upper layers, and fighting your way across the system which tries to shove you back down at every minute," Moon says. "Keylocker is about a huge struggle in which you must make the most use of your resources and push yourself upwards in this social pyramid."

Your struggle will include both metaphorical and literal clashes against the powers that be and those whose interests align with them. The latter type of struggle plays out in turn-based combat, with many of your moves infused with rhythm-based minigames, including one directly inspired by Guitar Hero. Did we mention main character Bobo fights with her guitar?

Keylocker is set to be released on PS4 and PS5, as well as PC and Switch, sometime in the latter half of 2023. Until then, you could get in the proper mood with some of the cinematic inspiration that's driven the game - and we don't mean the usual cyberpunk assortment of Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell.

"I've been a huge fan of Bong Joon-Ho (director of Parasite) ever since his 2000's movie Barking Dogs Never Bite," Moon says. "I think both me and him are always talking about capitalism and societal classes while kind of seeing it all as a big joke. I think we are both fed up with how the system works."

Find even more to look forward to with our guide to upcoming PS5 games.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.