Cyberia is set in the near future of 2027, five years after a global economic collapse. The planet is under the control of two opposing superpowers, the Free World Alliance in the west, and the Cartel in the east. Devlin, head of FWA security, receives word that a devastating weapon is being produced in a secret base in Siberia, referred to as the Cyberia Complex. Curious to unravel the mysteries of this weapon, Devlin pardons a cyber-hacker named Zak Kingston and charges him with the task of infiltrating the complex and retrieving intel on the weapon being produced there.
Already informed of Cyberia's secret operations, the Cartel seize control of the complex with the same intentions. Zak is scheduled to rendezvous with an oil rig run by a mercenary group to pick up a TF-22 Transfighter that will ensure his arrival at the complex. The rig is attacked by the Cartel and the mercenaries, sensing betrayal, move to kill Zak by hunting him down and sabotaging his ride. Zak eventually steals the TF-22 and travels through several hostile locales en route to his final destination. Eventually, he reaches the Cyberia Complex and proceeds to thwart the Cartel's analysis efforts.
While exploring the complex, Zak is also forced to deal with the Cyberia scientists' experimental virus and Nanites. After purging all threats from the complex, Zak uncovers the Cyberion, an artificial life form that has achieved sentience deep within the complex. He is then contacted by Devlin, who informs him that the cyber-hacker himself has been a weapon this whole time; he had implanted an highly explosive device into Zak's brain, set to detonate upon reaching the Cyberion in order to destroy it. However, the Cyberion promises that it can neutralize the bomb if Zak merges with it. Seeing no other choice, he does just that, becoming a powerful hybrid.
Together, they launch into space to confront Devlin in his FWA space station. They eventually destroy him and the station, the resulting shockwave causing the hybrid to lose consciousness while it plummets back to Earth. Later on, an FWA retrieval team led by a Dr. Corbin salvages their remains, setting the stage for future events.
The overall game of Cyberia is divided into milestones, which the player can return to after having initially completed them. The story is linear for the most part, though there are a couple portions where Zak can choose different paths to take (ultimately reaching the same destination).
There are 3 different modes interwoven throughout the game - Arcade, Action, and Puzzle. The difficulties of the arcade and puzzle portions are both selected at the start of a new game (the action portions remain unchanged).
The arcade portions of the game are mostly rail shooter scenarios, with the game automatically controlling the movement through various environments and leaving you to do the shooting. Scenarios include defending against hostile targets in the TF-22 and operating various machines in the Cyberia Complex. Each arcade sequence must be done in one go, as dying will return you to the beginning of the sequence.
The action portions of the game involve Zak exploring areas of the oil rig and the complex. Similar to the arcade sequences, movement is automated. However, you are given a choice of direction when moving from one point to the next. You are also able to interact with certain objects or consoles while doing this. All puzzles are encountered during action sequences.
At times, Zak will also need to defend himself against enemies with his arm-mounted Plaspistol, with targeting operating the same way as choosing directions. Being able to respond quickly during these instances is crucial, making these encounters one of the harder parts of the game.
The various puzzles in the game can range from requiring the player to figure out the password on a computer to disarming a bomb on an stealth aircraft, sometimes with a time limit. Zak can use his suit's BLADES technology to scan the current puzzle in several ways for help in completing the puzzle, which are sometimes required.
Cyberia was initially released on the PC for both North America and Europe. Over the new few years, it had also been ported to the Playstation, Sega Saturn, and the 3DO (all available in North America, Europe, and Japan).
A partial demo version of the game was also released for PC under the title Cyberia: Mission Norway.
The game was re-release on GoG on January 29th, 2015, and on Steam on May 17th, 2017.
Reviews for Cyberia were generally mixed. For the most part, the game's cinematic, pre-rendered visuals were lauded; according to Philip Jong of Adventure Classic Gaming, Cyberia was "one of the first game titles to combine computer animations and Hollywood film technique to form visually stunning graphics and cut scenes". Similarly, IGN stated that the "use of multiple camera angles, eerie soundtrack, detailed light-sourcing, and short, effective cut-sequences really [sic] pulls the player into the game". Radion Automatic of Sega Saturn Magazine likewise commented that "the graphics remain stylistically constant pretty much throughout (apart from the ropey anti-aircraft concept), displaying solid-looking rendered characters and backgrounds in a cinematic enough fashion to carry the atmosphere".
Despite the praise over the game's aesthetics, reviewers found shortcomings in Cyberia's linear gameplay. In his review, Jong goes on to criticize the game's "weak puzzles ... [that are] not well integrated into the story or gameplay". He concludes by saying that Cyberia is "a classic example of beauty but no substance". In IGN's words, "gameplay does tend to suffer in graphic adventures, which usually consists of doing things over and over until you do it right". Radion Automatic felt that the gameplay was enjoyable, but acknowledged that "it's hard to think who to recommend it to. The role-play element isn't quite deep enough to appeal to solid adventure fans and the action is a bit too simple for super-speed cyber-shoot-'em-up heads".