These sites are ad—free
The punk style is making its way back. Such many games recently came/coming out with the various themes of punks, like Frostpunk, Cyberpunk 2077, VirtualVerse, Neo Cab, Ghostrunner, Katana ZERO, list of indie games tagged as punk. All these games have different art style, gameplay, story. The main theme and the colour scheme is the same; near or far dystopian future pictured in beautiful neon colours. Biggest of these upcoming games must be Cyberpunk 2077, which you surely know about.
Now it’s time for Cloudpunk!! I wanted to try this game the very instant I saw it. All the pre-released material looked fantastic. Flying cars, dystopian future, all the neon signs and intriguing plot. I had no idea is this gonna be good, bad or just medicore game. What is Cloudpunk all about?
Future dystopian city
There was no reviews published, when I started playing the game, so I had no idea about review scores or anyones opinion. I like starting any game like that, because even though I try to reset my mind from all the critics, they still be there nagging me the whole playthrough.
Cloudpunk tells a story of future dystopian city Nivalis and a young girl who moved there from a far-away place. Rania needs a job and she got her first gig in “kinda-legal” delivery company Cloudpunk as a courier. Her job is very simple; pick up a packet and deliver it promptly to the right person. Never ask what you are delivering and never open any packets!!
Cloudpunk is story-driven with good voice acting, which I liked a lot. It sucks you in to this mysterious vertical world, where poor and outcasts lives at the bottom of the pit, in the Marrows. As going up, the scenery becomes more wealthy and society-like, with shops, nightclubs, neon signs. The cream of the crop lives beyond the rain clouds, in the even more mysterious place.
Rania and the order of a suspiciously ticking box
Rania is thrilled of this new city and all the places, and she won’t stop asking “What’s in the packet?”, “What’s in the box?”, “What’s this? What’s that?” Yeah, it’s not a good start in a job where she deliveres all kinds of suspicious orders. In Cloudpunk, player also have to make choices, sometimes between life and death, not just shaping Rania’s path, but the outcomes of the situations. Few times I had to make decision, which were really hard to make, but I always went with my gut feeling.
Driving and parking the flying car felt awkward at first, but it didn’t took long to master the whole system. The car can be used everywhere, only the blue roadways gave the car more speed like a highway. I like how it’s possible to leave the roadway any given moment and roam the “streets”. Landing only happens in certain areas, that are marked in the map as a parking lot. This might sound restricting, but believe me it is very good restriction. It makes the gameplay so much easier, because then I knew where I can — and had to go. Making it possible to land the flying car anywhere, would make the whole game such a mess!
The map and minimap is filled with everything you need to know. Of course flying around opens up new areas. Even the collectables are marked to the map. The vertical movement is limited on every section, meaning, player have to use exits in the edge of the city to go another area/vertical level. All of these developer decisions benefit the player. I mean, even the vertical moving between areas are much better done with the exits, than giving player the full freedom to fly up and down, left and right as they want. Putting these places in sections doesn’t give any clear picture of the city, though, but it makes things just easier to handle in larger scale.
Ain’t no sunshine in Cloudpunk
Visually I liked Cloudpunk. With some minuses, though. The game was so dark. I had to change my OLED TV setting drastically to make the game look more brighter. It was either completely dark or semi bright. I rarely saw any persons face, or anything other that was standing in the shadows. I still don’t know, was this my TV’s issue, or with the console, or with the game, or all them put together. I did my best to make the game look decent, but it was a stretch.
Another little minus is the controls. The cars can be upgarded to move faster and turn better, but moving Rania was very harsh. Thankfully, it didn’t matter, since there was no skills needed with her, other than just walking around, talk to people, deliver orders, buying/selling, collecting objects… very basic. The camera options are amazing, though. Rania can be controlled from first person or two different third person modes, which actually makes the gameplay and experience so much different. I changed the perspective depending the place I was at.
Beyond the clouds
In the end, the story, all the findable secrets, characters, gameplay, settings and visuals were interesting. There was something exceptional about Cloudpunk and it surely isn’t “just another punk game”. It had this overall mystery around it, not just the twisted corporational world, but the whole place itself and all the secrets lying underneath it all.
Cloudpunk is amazing game, very hooking and full of things you want to uncover. Definitely not just a delivery driving, but much, much more than that. Delivering to all sorts of shady people puts Rania in tough situations, either gaining friends or foes. Not forgetting all the desicions player makes throughout, makes a difference.
Cloudpunk is available on PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows. So, all you need to do, is to pick up your platform and experience the world of Cloudpunk.
(Review copy kindly provided by the publisher Merge Games)
“In Cloudpunk, player have to make choices, sometimes between life and death — ultimately shaping Rania’s path”