Cloudpunk Is Like No Other Game I Have Played Before

Cloudpunk

From the voxel-based visual design to the flying cars to the unique character models to the basic gameplay itself, Cloudpunk is like no other game I have played before.

A majority of my time with the game so far has been spent navigating Nivalis, the mega-city setting of Cloudpunk, from the cockpit of my HOVA, or flying car. These flying-car sections — although slightly cumbersome until you learn the controls — are mostly a blast, if not somewhat rote once you get past the initial gleeful appeal of basically playing the flying car sections from the 1997 movie The Fifth Element.

But the on-foot sections (which are kind of my jam) are also fun, while you’re exploring and searching for random items to sell or to fix elevators, which open up sort-of-secret areas.

Cloudpunk even offers various camera modes while hoofing around. There is a wider panned-out, fixed camera option, and a traditional behind-the-character, controllable camera mode, which lets you zoom in all the way to a first-person perspective. Each option feels great, and each has a benefit over the other options in specific instances.

Cloudpunk

The cast of characters is well-rounded, though the voice acting leaves much to be desired. Everything sounds so “meh,” to the point where the tongue-in-cheek bits play out like lazy, annoyed snark rather than playful lampooning. The Camus character (your dog, I guess) is so far the top candidate for “best voice acting in a game, during which that the actor sounded like they were sleepwalking.”

By and large, though, I really enjoy the basic gameplay elements. The driving/flying feels really good, and the city itself is persistently interesting and well-designed. Cloudpunk really nailed what it probably feels like to run around in any number of classic cyberpunk or sci-fi films, from Blade Runner to The Fifth Element, from Ghost in the Shell to The Minority Report. Or, to a lesser extent, from the ill-fated TV show Almost Human to another Karl Urban vehicle, Dredd.

The initial story beats don’t really forecast where the overall main story is headed, unless this really is just a delivery game set in an interesting and striking cyberpunk world (with a casual story that functions more like Taxi: The Game). But even if this is all Cloudpunk has to offer, it’s still more than enough to keep me cruising through the rain-soaked, neon-lit world of Nivalis.

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