Everyone is waiting on Cyberpunk 2077 to finally release this year but if you just need your cyberpunk genre fix now then publisher Merge Games and developer Ion Lands may have something for you. Cloudpunk is an adventure game from them that released earlier this year on PC and I’ve anxiously been waiting for it to arrive on consoles. That time Is now here so let me tell you why a trip to the neon city of Nivalis is worth your time.
Cloudpunk has you playing the role of a woman named Rania who has just recently moved to the city of Nivalis. Rania is just trying to do like any person and that’s live day to day and work to pay for her place. She takes up a job at a delivery driving company named Cloudpunk which is a little on the shady side as they just want Rania to deliver her packages and not ask any questions. When you are delivering something that is ticking you tend to want to know what exactly is going on.
The entire story of Cloudpunk is set in the time frame of a single night and has you doing a lot of the same thing over and over. That thing is making deliveries as you’ll go to one place, pick something or someone up, take them to the next place, and repeat. You’ll have conversations with the characters in the world, some human, some robotic, and some full-on AI. Doing so will clue you in more and more on some of the darker things going on in this city and what exactly these people are dealing with in their lives. Some characters were more interesting than others and the writing can be both serious and funny at times. At times you can also make decisions on what to do with the packages. Do you do your job and just take it where it’s supposed to go or do you think that would be a bad idea and decide to get rid of the package instead? The decisions are up to you and they will affect things later on in the game.
While flying through the city the controls of the HOVA felt good to me and you can use the cash you earn while playing to buy upgrades for it like speed increases or better armor. Money can also be used to spend on things to decorate Rania’s apartment with. The game can be quite relaxing as you are just cruising around and having conversations with your dispatcher. When you need to pick something up, you’ll have to find a parking spot and get out on foot to get them. Finding things that you need in the world is never hard either as the in-game map clearly marks your objective, people you can talk to, items you may need to pick up and more. Overall, while the game can feel like you are doing a lot of the same thing over and over, I pretty much enjoyed it throughout the roughly 10 hours that it lasted due to the characters and writing.
On the graphics side of things, I thought the art style did a good job of making me feel like I was in a futuristic, grimy, cyberpunk city. Just flying around and seeing all the tall buildings illuminated by neon lights was very satisfying especially as someone looking forward to that other cyberpunk game coming up. Performance isn’t the best at times though as I did encounter some frame-rate issues and there are too many loading screens at times. On the audio side Cloudpunk has a fantastic synth soundtrack that I enjoyed listening to a lot. The voice acting was a bit of a mixed bag though as some characters lines were good while others just felt like they were phoning it in. Those interested in the trophy list will find 31 of them here including a Platinum and it should be an easy one so long as you pretty much do everything.
Cloudpunk is a great sci-fi adventure game that could easily tide you over while you wait for Cyberpunk 2077. The city of Nivalis is full of interesting characters to get to know and the decisions you make during the game matter. I enjoyed just flying around and taking the sights in but some performance and voice-acting quality do hold it back a bit. If this sounds up your alley then hop in your HOVA and punch your ticket to Nivalis.
*Cloudpunk is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
- Great sci-fi story full of interesting characters
- Flying around the city feels good and is relaxing
- Great art style
- Great synth soundtrack
- Meaningful story decisions
- Suffers from some technical issues
- Voice-acting is a mixed bag
- The core loop of just delivering things could get old to some