As the world waits for the AAA world of CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077, many may be distancing themselves from the sci-fi sub-genre to try and truly save themselves until their virtual marriage to the massive RPG, but the condensed rain-drenched world of Ion Lands’ Cloudpunk is a game that needs to be explored.
Playing as newbie delivery driver Rania, you’re tasked with transporting packages for the illicit delivery company Cloudpunk around the gorgeous future-dystopian city of Nivalis. You work for a company known for two things: 1) Cloudpunk delivers anything, nothing is too dangerous. 2) Cloudpunk works fast. You work with only one rule: don’t ask questions.
You’ll swoop around the city in a HOVA, your trusty rustbucket hovercar that can traverse the voxel-based plasteel jungle by means of up, down, left and right. It’s a simple movement system, but one that feels effortlessly satisfying. While staying loyal to the game’s laid out highways, dictated by huge glowing blue “roads”, will reward you with a substantial speed boost, you’re allowed to roam Nivalis however you want.
While navigating the world, you’ll be able to park your HOVA and walk around the streets of Nivalis, buy accessories, nick collectibles off the ground and talk to the troubled denizens of the cyberpunk city. You’ll soon discover that almost everyone has a problem: one android by the name of Pete, aka Patchwork, is in heavy disrepair, his emulated flesh dripping from his flesh in faux meaty chunks. How do you help him? Only by buying some fake skin cells from a black market dealer – no Biggie.
[shunno-quote align=”left”] if you want a smaller, condensed narrative within a unique cyberpunk world, Cloudpunk is an amiable adventure with a cast of creative, memorable characters [/shunno-quote]
It may be engaging to roam around the different boroughs of Nivalis, taking in the awesome sights of its technologically distant world full of crime, drugs and (often kinky) sex, but it’s the stories of Cloudpunk that are most engaging.
In your role as an illicit delivery driver, you’ll cross paths with a sizable cast of unique, memorable characters all with their own stories, issues and personalities. Across your primary journey – which we won’t reveal here – you’ll have the option to help or hinder key moments of their lives. While Rania, her AI Camus and your instructional caller known as ‘Control’ will often attempt to push you in a certain direction – often the morally questionable one – you’re able to make Rania’s actions as good or as grey as you wish.
Cloudpunk’s biggest issue doesn’t revolve around its basic gameplay or any of its stories, but instead its lack of a proper map. While your mini map will allow you to see nearby collectibles, vendors and important characters, the lack of a full world map makes it difficult to find your way to some of the game’s more recurring side stories. There’s no worse feeling than finding a side quest collectable but being unable to find the person you need to turn it in to.
However, if you want a smaller, condensed narrative within a unique cyberpunk world, Cloudpunk is an amiable adventure with a cast of creative, memorable characters. It could do with a proper map to allow players to fully discover everything throughout Nivalis’ varied districts, but as it stands, this distinctive sci-fi adventure is an awesome adventure on a budget.
If you enjoyed our Cloudpunk review, check out the game on Steam.