In the year 2040, a killer is on the loose in New York City, going by the name of "The Ripper." The player takes the role of Jake Quinlan, an investigative reporter for the Virtual Herald. The Ripper makes a habit of sending Quinlan letters after each murder, similarly to the historical figure Jack the Ripper. The game begins as The Ripper takes his third victim, Renee Stein. Quinlan begins his investigation as usual, hindered slightly by Detective Vincent Magnotta, but soon receives another letter from The Ripper indicating that the next victim will be Quinlan's girlfriend, Catherine Powell, as she has come close to discovering The Ripper's true identity. Qunilan rushes to find Catherine before The Ripper can get her, but he finds her badly injured and in a coma.
When Quinlan later visits Tribeca Center Hospital's Meta-Cognition Center, he meets Dr. Clare Burton who believes that she can get an image of Catherine's attacker from Catherine's memory. The attempt is successful, but the image is distorted, leaving Quinlan to find more evidence to provide a clearer picture. By looking at what Catherine has discovered about The Ripper, Quinlan narrows it down to three suspects. He then attempts to download the information into Catherine's brain directly with the help of hacker Joey Falconetti.
By reviewing Catherine's investigation and discovering his own information about The Ripper, Quinlan soon learns that all victims of The Ripper and everyone involved in the investigation, with the obvious exception of Quinlan, were part of an online gaming community, the "Web Runners." Not shockingly, the game the group played focused on Jack the Ripper. It's revealed that playing the game actually killed one of the members, Catherine's mother. Quinlan discovers that players died when The Ripper transmitted a code into their brains during sessions that caused their body temperature to rise to alarming levels.
Eventually, a cyber weapon comes to light, designed by one of the murdered players before his death, that can stop The Ripper during the online sessions. Specifically, the weapon destroys The Ripper in the White Chapel district in London (yet another reference to Jack the Ripper). Quinlan constructs the weapon, enters the game, and kills The Ripper with just enough time to spare to escape the crumbling world.
The identity of The Ripper is randomized and can be one of the four following: Joey Falconetti, Clare Burton, Vincent Magnotta, or Catherine Powell.
Like most other adventure games, Ripper is a point-and-click game. The player travel from one node (fixed location) to the next by clicking where the location. One of the unique things about this game is when travelling to each node, there's a little movie in-between, showing the travel there. While some games add these movies to a few key locations, Ripper has one for every movement made.
Another groundbreaking feature Ripper developed is the randomization of the culprit. Each new game gives the possibility of one of four different murderers. Thus, in-game clues vary between playthroughs, although most clues stay the same.
Scott Cohen ... Jake Quinlan
Christopher Walken ... Det. Vince Magnotta
Karen Allen ... Dr. Clare Burton
David Patrick Kelly ... Joey Falconetti
Tanhee Welch ... Catherine Powell
Ossie Davis ... Ben Dodds
John Rhys-Davis ... Vigo Haham
Jimmie Walker ... Soap Beatty
Paul Giamatti ... Dr. Bud Cable (Uncredited)
- 486/66 Windows
- Minimum Hard Disk Space: 10 MB
- Minimum RAM: 6.5 MB
- Minimum OS: 5.0
- Minimum CPU Type: 486DX
- Graphics Type: VGA