"Unto the third and fourth generation, General Motors, you have visited your greed on the children. Unto the twentieth, AEC, you have twisted their limbs and closed their eyes. Unto the last dawn of man you have cursed us, O Father. Our Father. Our Father Who Art in Washington, give us this day our daily calcium propionate, sodium diacetate monoglyceride, potassium bromate, calcium phosphate, monobasic chloramine T, aluminium potassium sulphate, sodium benzoate, butylated hydroxyanisole, mono-iso-propyl citrate, axerophthol and calciferol. Include with it a little flour and salt. Amen."
— John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up

The soft putter of a silencer doing its job. The definitive tang in the air after the conclusion of a secret deal. The slight odour of corruption in the offices of the government. These are the sensory impressions of the Neon Twilight world. Governments are in peril yet powerful in their paranoia. Citizens glare suspiciously at foreigners and new technologies. Cities burst with new migrants and old criminals. The energy of youth is tightly controlled by a cabal of elderly statesmen with the security apparatus as their tool. Neon Twilight is gloomy and dank, but sizzles with the energy of power politics and underground resistance.

Whether you're playing a straight-arrow agent or a deranged saboteur, the world needs to be fixed, and you're the one to do it. And almost always outside of the law. In Neon Twilight, every piece of power comes at cost. Want to be a godlike cyborg? Sell your soul to the Apparatus for all the enhancements you desire. Want to crack computer systems for digital treasure? The global infosphere is your oyster, but your brain's for the picking by alien intelligences. Want to hunt and run in the shadows? Welcome to the world of disenfranchisement and be a permanent outsider. Pay the price, no change given.

Neon Twilight is cyberpunkish, but it abandons certain cyberpunk conventions in order to be more realistic and more interesting to mature players. Large intercons span the world, but the megacorps do not control it. Neither has the power of the state eroded; rather, it has increased in the wake of global war and ecological imbalance. The environment is far from dead - it's thriving in a most bizarre and unhealthy fashion in the mutated manner of parasites and chimerics. Cybernetics has been something of a failure, at least compared to the inflated expectations of old-time cyberpunks, not least because people have a natural revulsion to replacing their flesh with machines.

Technological development was blamed for the dirty wars that killed so many in the War. People view new technologies that have no analogy to old gadgets with extreme suspicion, even in the technologically-developed West and East.