Cloudpunk’s release on consoles comes at a time when the gaming world’s interest in cyberpunk is going through the roof. With the release of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 in a few weeks, fans are craving for other offerings. The genre itself has some very hard hitters out there, from masterpieces such as Beneath a Steel Sky and Blade Runner to the long-running Deus Ex series. Cloudpunk tries to carve out a name for itself in this space and manages to impress to some extent.
AT A GLANCE
GENRE: Adventure, RPG
DEVELOPER: ION LANDS
PUBLISHER: ION LANDS, Maple Whispering Limited
RELEASE DATE: 23 April 2020(PC), October 15, 2020 (PS4, XO, Switch)
PLATFORMS: PC, PS4(Reviewed), Xbox One, Switch
FINAL SCORE: 7/10
Cloudpunk takes place in Nivalis, a sprawling city built on several levels, with towering structures and a neon-lit cityscape. Nivalis appears as a maze of streets dedicated to flying vehicles, or HOVA, as they are called in the game, moving from one point of the city. We play as Rania, a courier dealing with their first night of work for Cloudpunk, an illicit delivery company. No parcel is refused and couriers do not ask questions.
After starting with some simple warm-up assignments, Rania finds herself in the midst of situations that prompt her to make decisions that can have a potential impact not only on her work but also on the city of Nivalis itself. From corrupt corporations that seem to control everything and everyone, androids, to human beings, poverty, and corporate espionage, Cloudpunk touches on all the aspects that make the cyberpunk genre so interesting.
The plot can tend to be a slow paced but managers to hold it’s own most of the time.
Most of the time spent in Cloudpunk will be spent driving your HOVA and delivering packages. The goal is to travel from one point to another in the city to make deliveries on Cloudpunk’s behalf, and that is pretty much the bulk of the game. There are missions where instead of a package you might have to ferry people or take a couple of detours to get from point A to point B, but the main objective always remains the same.
Monotony is broken by the need to repair the HOVA if collide with other vehicles and buildings and to refuel. You can often get out of your HOVA to walk around and interact with shops and other citizens.
Roaming around your HOVA feels thrilling, as you zoom around the futuristic landscape, and navigate through the maze of floating traffic.
Visuals, Audio and Technical Performance
From a strictly visual and audio perspective, Cloudpunk ticks all the correct boxes. It manages to faithfully recreate the atmosphere and visual design of its source materials. In face of all the cyberpunk games I have played, Cloudpunk is one of the best interpretations of a dystopian cyberpunk city of the future. Some of its areas are a bit too similar to each other but the overall design of the city is appreciable.
The game looks beautiful at times but it suffers greatly at times due to the poor technical performance. Constant hiccups, jagged edges and pop ups detract from the overall experience.
The soundtrack on the other hand is simply amazing, but the voice acting could have been a bit better.