Developer: Merge Games and Ion Lands(PC)
Publisher: Merge Games
Available On: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: April 23, 2020 (PC), October 15, 2020 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Version Tested: Xbox One
Cyberpunk 2077 might be the game in this genre that the gaming community is waiting for but if you’re feeling a bit anxious, there is a game out there that can scratch that itch. Cloudpunk actually beat Cyberpunk 2077 to the punch. It first hit PCs in April.
However, other than the fact both games are set in the cyberpunk world, it doesn’t appear they have much in common. Still, there’s some similarities out there. The atmosphere, or perceived atmosphere is one.
You’ll also communicate with your dispatcher and unravel one mystery after another. Even the mysteries aren’t the key to Cloudpunk‘s gameplay.
Cloudpunk‘s Navigation Is A Dream
The key aspect of this game is flying around the city. To do this, you’ll use the futuristic vehicle, the HOVA. The good news here is that this is a very fun aspect. Cloudpunk gives you exactly what you’d expect to see in something like Blade Runner, or The Fifth Element.
You get your directions from your dispatcher and then head to the blips on your mini-map. The flying around the city, either high above the buildings, or down in the marrows, it’s quite a bit of fun to pilot your car.
While it’s quite a bit of fun to fly your car, or more likely, your van in and around the city, there are some things that could use some tweaking. Handling isn’t the best. That’s probably a feature instead of a bug.
After all, you are flying a rather large, rather clunky vehicle around buildings. There are no streets here. There’s not dividing lines, really. You can fly almost wherever you want. There’s going to be some bumping into things from time to time. Whether its other cars or other buildings. You’re going to damage the HOVA plenty. That leads to one of the biggest drawbacks of Cloudpunk.
Missions Are Repetitive And Have Too Many Time Killers
It makes sense that when you collide with enough things, you’re going to need to get repairs. The problem is that both the handling of the HOVA and the damage it can sustain appear to be made to waste a bit of time.
Every now and then, you must find yourself a garage to repair your vehicle. Because the minimap isn’t great when it comes to directing you to different locations, this becomes even more annoying when you’re looking for a pit stop.
There’s also the issue with the missions in general. While the story around those missions is quite interesting, the actual gameplay tends to be “pick something up, drive around a while, drop it off.”
Part of the reason for that is because this isn’t something that’s geared to have combat. The main gamplay is absolutely flying around and talking to people. Unfortunately, that means Cloudpunk might not be a game you’re going to want to sit down and play for hours and hours.
Things get even more tedious the few times you have to get out and walk around.
Cloudpunk Cameras Could Use Tweaking
When you are on foot, the limitations of the camera really show up. It’s hard to see both where you’re going and where you’ve been. When you’re in the car, the camera works about the same way, but it’s not quite as much of an imposition.
Still, if there is ever to be a Cloundpunk 2, the way the camera works is something the developers could spend some serious time on. The good news is, the art style and story outshines what are some technical glitches. When you are truly feeling as though you’re immersed in what Cloudpunk offers, the annoying map is a bit less annoying.
When you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B, it becomes something that can have you grinding your teeth.
Verdict: Cloudpunk does quite a bit well. The atmosphere in the game does a good job of making you feel as though you’re in a cyberpunk world. The idea of flying around the world and making deliveries in this particular world adds quite a bit of fun. The drawbacks, including a map that doesn’t make it all that clear where you’re supposed to go or how to get there, aren’t insubstantial. The good outweighs the bad here. If there is one thing that would have been nice, it would have been if Merge Games fixed some of the more glaring problems, such as the camera in the six months between the PC release and the version that just hit consoles.