Cyberpunk Review » A.I. Wars: The Awakening

August 2, 2007

A.I. Wars: The Awakening

Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2000

Developed & Published by: Nexus Interactive Studios

Platforms: Windows

Official Site: AI Wars

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Rating: 8 out of 10


Overview: Billing itself as an “action/strategy hybrid,” A.I. Wars is essentially a first-person shooter with a cyberpunk twist. All the action takes place inside computer systems with your avatar and the software installed. Unlike other FPSs like Quake, each system can be visited in any order you wish, and re-visited as often as needed. And re-visit systems you will need to do if you want to find key software upgrades and technological breakthroughs needed to accomplish your selected missions, since the data in those systems is always changing. While you’re “visiting” these systems, there’s other avatars to interact with, markets to trade goods and data, and ICE and viruses to battle. As long as your avatar maintains its integrity all is good. However, if your avatar dies online, your brain is toast.

Welcome to the NET of the future…


The Story: (From the official site) In the 21st century the NET is the new worldwide computer network. It regroups everything from antique copper wire networks to high speed gigabit satellite networks. Every corporation in the world, every military organization, every university, every library, and even every home is now wired-in 24 hours a day. This almost infinite information world is inhabited by hordes of agents in the service of humanity. These agents are expert applications that collect and filter information as well as conduct electronic transactions for their masters. It is rumored that certain high-level agents have escaped from military sites in the early phases of the NET and were never recovered. Beware! These agents may still be around and are evolving. They may even become sentient soon and claim the NET as their own.

Since the advent of ultra fast Virtual Reality engines in the late 20th century, the incredible advances in processors and memory, and the invention of the first direct neural connection system at MIT in the late 2050’s cybernauts have been able to directly project into the NET and control their agents through this more direct interface. Their representations in that electronic world are called avatars. Jason Skinner said it best when he exclaimed after his first try “Damn, it’s like being there!” The advent of those technologies has created serious social, psychological and medical problems. An intense addiction to the NET has been cited more than once has the cause of divorces, bankruptcies, etc. From a medical standpoint, in the beginning it seemed that whenever an avatar was destroyed, the cyberstations would overload the person’s brain with a high-energy electrical burst thus killing them. Cyberstations were quickly modified to safeguard against this. However, it is said that the interaction with the NET is less direct because of these modifications. “A lot of cyberhackers have disabled these safeguards and are at risk,” said Bruno Gaza from Turing, the NET police. “It’s like the Wild West, but a whole lot more dangerous!”


Your Mission(s): One unique feature of A.I. Wars is that you can choose from three missions to complete when you start a game, and you can choose any one, two, or even all three. They are:


Control (Pwn) the NET: Each system you visit will have a core that controls it. To hijack a system, you need to touch the core (the circular thing you see in the background of the above shot), placing a “backdoor” that will make the ICE think you’re the sysadmin. Hijack all the systems to pwn.

Become Immortal: Somewhere in all that data lies important breakthroughs needed to develop key technologies that will allow you to upload your consciousness and memories to the NET and become immortal.

Make Your Avatar Sentient: This requires not only developing technologies, but gathering enough data so your avatar can learn and grow.


MMMMMmmmmm… datablocks!

There are six different endings for the game (other than your death) possible with these missions. What ending you’ll see depends on what missions you choose and how well you perform them.


Skating on thin ICE: Even on the NET of the future, there has to be some law and order. That is provided by the various ICE you will encounter. Wardens act as gatekeepers or doormen, only allowing those with “authorized access” to pass, but you can use your crack software to get that access… just don’t look for sympathy from the other ICE if you brute-force your way past a warden. There are Exterminator ICE who patrol public areas, while Black ICE keep private areas secure and come to the aid of wardens. Turret ICE hang above doorways and portals to stop intruders like you, and if that isn’t enough protection, you may find Hunter/Killers near a core. The H/Ks tend to attack in pairs, one doing a frontal assault while his buddy teleports behind you for a sneaky double team. Nasty.

As if the ICE wasn’t bad enough, some systems have Black Widow and/or Tarantula viruses, left by other hackers to give you grief. Better have a good firewall and anti-virus software if you go into an infected system. Unlike the ICE who wait until you shoot first before retaliating, viruses will attack on sight.

Not all the agents you encounter are hostile. Most of the human-like avatars will go about their own business and leave you alone, unless you start a fight with one then it will defend itself.


You will also encounter retrievers, spider-like netcrawlers (webcrawlers?) that carry datablocks between data stores. In some systems, these retrievers may hold some valuable datablocks like software upgrades or breakthroughs.



Need a new firewall or updated ICEbreaker software? Want to sell your corporate secrets and obsolete tech? Come to Mr. Roboto’s Virtual Market, where our crew of market bots are ready to make deals! Offer good while supplies last. Not sold in any brick-and-mortar stores.


Bugs In The System? Maybe they’re “features?” Any type of program is bound to have some technical glitches, and A.I. Wars is no different. Of course, since the action takes place inside a computerized environment, some may seem par for the course. Like when you use your last masquerade, only to be left with some 65,000 left. Or when you shoot an ICE and hear its death scream, only to have it continue to attack you while you keep plugging it with your ICEbreaker attacks (I find in this case zapping it with the IRC will shutdown the stubborn ICE).


Conclusion: While it didn’t make the big splash-damage of Doom/Quake proportions, A.I. Wars does make a refreshing change-of-pace from the usual kill-em-all-and-let-god-sort-the-carnage first-person blast-a-thons. While learning the nuances in the NET is a bit tougher than other games, the results in owned systems, sentient agents, and an immortal soul is well worth the effort.

See you on the NET…

This post has been filed under Cyberpunk Games by Mr. Roboto.


July 29, 2008

Ludlow Hutchinson said:

I would like A.I. War The Awaking need Downloads!!

August 16, 2008

michael said:

I’m looking for a copy of this game myself, willing to buy one from anyone willing to sell me a copy.

December 19, 2008

Dwayo said:

Sadly, this game is imposible to find. Game developer is dead and there is no official site. Does someone care to share it on the Net because if I’m not wrong this should be unsupported aka. freeware. Am I wrong?

December 23, 2008

michael said:

I don’t think you’re wrong dwayo. I wish i’d bought it, but i couldn’t find a demo and was put off by the 50$ price tag without having any idea of if i’d actually like it. Having found and completed the demo i can say that i’d be happy go back in time and buy it or even pay collector prices for it now.

Anonymous said:

Try some abandonware game sites, they might have this game for you for free. Like Underdogs abandonware or Abanonia.


January 21, 2009

TheDude5k said:

I’m sorta new to the whole Cyberpunk thing (first got interested in it about a year ago) and now I’m hooked — industrial bands, movies, and of course, games. I already beat Deus Ex twice, and I’m working on my third playthrough, and I’m about to beat System Shock 2 for the first time, but I need MOAR! lol. I can’t seem to find this one anywhere, and it shares that cool cyberpunk art-style of System Shock. I checked both those abandonware sites, and still, nothing.


March 2, 2009

GrimNocturnal said:

I managed to find the game after a long time, downloaded it and all for free but I can’t seem to get it running on Vista.

I’m going to upload it on ThePirateBay and Demenoid in a bit so you guys can get it from there.

March 8, 2009

TD5k said:

Yeah, I found it at BlackCats games. Got it running, but, embarassingly, the framerate was terrible, even in the menus. This is coming from a PC that can handle COD 4 and Left 4 Dead. I tried running Win98/Win2000 compatibility mode, messing around with the video settings in the menu, pretty much everything I could think of. Just weird that such an old game would run so sluggish.

March 9, 2009

TD5k said:

NVM, I got the game working. Perfect framerate and everything. The game itself is really…weird, ha. I played for a minutes and I was completely lost. The art style is pure cyberpunk, definitely reminds me of SS 2.

GrimNocturnal said:

How did you get it working though?

TD5k said:

Well, I’m on XP. During installation, I chose the option to install all drivers, not just glide, or D3D, or whatever. I didn’t have to run in compatibility mode either. I’m guessing your problem is Vista-related.

March 10, 2009

GrimNocturnal said:

I think I just have a bogus download. Bah.

TD5k said:

Try the one at underground-gamer. Comes with patches/updates.

GrimNocturnal said:

That’s the one I have actually and I couldn’t find the one you mentioned.

March 11, 2009

dna 101 said:

if & when ever somebody is saying they received a message from the lord,jesus christ ,god,goddess,demons,satan or a race of inter-dimensional beings,from whatever source of orgin it [the message] is ,it is alot more logical to consider the possibility that this type of information is pre-programmed within our dna that are reflected due to specific electomagnetic do we know what we know,without ever studying for it? how do we know when something happens before it does? logicaly all this information is within our dna? one seen out of the matrix is when trinity requests intructions on how to fly a b-12 helicopter. is it even possible to know something through the interaction of dna? is the language of dna infinite possibility? the blue prints of an entire organisism our contained within the dna,its hair color,skin color etc. so when a christian quotes that in the begining was the word,does this actually refer to the word of a creation signature possibly known as DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID? that is after all the word that is responsible for the instructions of creation?

April 6, 2009

AI_Fortress said:

Can someone please share this game on ThePirateBay or Demenoid!!! I am unable to find it anywhere and after a few hours of searching the only places that I have located are maybe blackcats-games and Underground-Gamer. The problem is that they not accept new registrations in the moment :(

May 3, 2009

Roger said:

Man I should have bought this back in 2006 when I had the chance. I will be watching this page in case anyone uploads it. I have the demo and really want the full game.

June 13, 2009

DreamsofClouds said:

Have any of you tried to download a torrent for this game? I’m sure there would be on laying around somewhere around the net…

TD5k said:

I still can’t understand this game at all. It seems to be almost completely incoherent. Even the tutorial is hard to understand, especially since there’s no text, only a garbled voice-over that’s barely understandable.

July 10, 2009

Dwayo said:

Can anyone be nice and upload it to Rapidshare or similar service? This game is practically impossible to find anywhere…..

August 4, 2009

michael said:

where can i sell corporate secret data?

September 10, 2009

baracoder said:

Didn’t find it anywhere. And the sites like underground-gamer or demonoid are closed for registration. Does anyone knlow if there is still a posibility to get this game? Please send me an email or post a link or a hint.


baracoder said:

Oh no. No email adress is displayed. Here is one:

January 24, 2010

Sir Smythikus said:

Has anyone got the serial to AI Wars - The Awakening.??
Can`t find it anywhere… HELP…

Sir Smythikus said:

Sorry forgot an Email -… THANKS…

January 26, 2010

Lain said:
-this is a torrent of the game my friends… I just got it working on my computer, it’s working perfectly (y) now I just need to learn how to play it…

September 1, 2010

Cristos said:

Anyone have the serial for this?
Looks like fun but sadly I can’t seem to install

January 24, 2011

Anonymous said:

To anyone needing a serial here’s a simple solution (there’s probably a keygen out there but I didn’t bother looking). Download the small freeware program Windows Enabler at

Run it then click on the icon that appears in the system tray to activate it, then run the AI Wars installation. Once you get to the serial entry screen simply click on the greyed out “Next” button to enable it and click it again to proceed with the installation.

March 27, 2011

JFP aka JinMTVT said:

HEY GUYS!! it is sooo weird to be reading this!!!
i worked on this game at Nexus back then ..99-00 i believe!
some time ago!! ahah we had so little budget for the game that we didn’t even have 1 full time coder working on it …maybe 25% of week time ..and were using freeware and or sub 200$ 3d/2d software to do everything( was painfull ) i did ( and redid ) most of the levels, their design, some textures, most 3dmodels and all animations etc …

to point to a few :
there are no serial number if i recall correctly ..just write a few numbers and press enter ..the install will go on
so no real copy protection that i know of

The game has very bad sound, poor graphics, limited animations
( so far from what we orignally planned ) but we had run out of money way before release date. Please give it a try if you like cyberpunk genre, as the gameplay and possibilities within the game are really good!
there are something like 8 different endings based on all of your actions during the game, and the path you’ve choosen

if i recall, there is a quick ending that can be achieved only after 1 hour of playing …but the real 2-3 endings require probably 100hours+ of game

the instructions aren’t very clear, but this is no 1st person shooter
this is much more like deus-ex, and if you just shoot at whatever you see, you won’t last 10 minutes in that game
you need to understand that someone with poor software , will never be able to crank anything or bypass any security
you need to purchase software ASAP and work your way around security ( ICE ) as much as possible]
it is possible to complete the game without having to desactivate anything at all …and also when you shoot at innoncents within a system and are not under a cover ( masquarade i believe ) the system security tags you and then you’ll need to run

i’f some are interested, i could put some original sealed copies for sale on ebay ..i do have a few left
also if required, i will help seed a torrent
but there seems to be 3 seeders on TPB at the moment

let me know i’ve set notify on in case someone needs more info
i’ll try to install the game and play it again soon so i can help better if required

hint: there are MUCH MUCH secrets hidden in some military systems ..make sure to check everything in those

April 21, 2011

_guo said:

Hi JFP, I am very interested in finding a copy of this game. Could you please send me an email at with information either on an ebay auction or a torrent so I can play it? I’m happy to pay $$ if I need to. Thankyou!

April 3, 2012

Nirth said:

Okay, I found this game on TPB. There’s currently one torrent there and I think it’s the same file on a few other trackers so you can combine to, if you’re lucky, download faster and perhaps easier spread it around. It even worked on my Windows 64-bit system, that is weird..

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