Simply put, an epic science-fiction roleplaying game written with a deep sense of human mind and culture and a sense of what technology does FOR and TO the human race. This is such a fresh and original take on the concept of 'post-apocalypse' that it truly deserves to be set apart from games that fit that description. Indeed, 'Eclipse Phase' is merely leaning on the 'post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror' handle because there's no descriptor for something this innovative, at least for now. Let me try:
'Post-human Survival/Technological Paradigm (sci-fi)'.
Do I really propse such a genre moniker? Well, no, it's rather unweildy. What I attempt to do is make my reader understand that just like the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first album, 'this one makes you wider'. Learning the world of this game introduces you to so many issues, existing and potential, in such a graceful and accessible way, that I believe the authors have succeeded in making the RPG (and here I mean the hobby) a true venue for social discourse and the contemplation of social and technological theories.
I'm sure the writers themselves could explain this better; they all have PhD's or will shortly. This core book could sit next to discussions of technology and society by people like Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and even works, for example, of Noam Chomsky. There is even a tongue-in-cheek reference to Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States', which pleases me to no end.
Have no fear, for while the world created in this book is fully developed, and a highly evolved animal, the gaming mechanics have been kept reasonably simple. The GM and her or his players will be free to explore Transhuman Society post-apocalypse without getting weighted down with too many charts and die rolls. (The game runs on d100 percentiles.)
I'm also impressed that the authors open-sourced the game and encourage players to modify their work to taste.
'Eclipse Phase' is one of the most masterful, powerful classics in gaming, and even succeeds in being a literary touchstone. In the right hands, it will generate contemplation and conversation that will expand minds.
[5 of 5 Stars!]