Cloudpunk - Butler

Cloudpunk takes place is the city of Nivalis, which is a dense, if not quite disjointed, open-world metropolitan area. As you tool around the city over the course of the main story, you will oftentimes run into random characters scattered around the individual floating city blocks. And these characters, let me tell you, really run the gamut of quirk, from outright bizarre to endearing to somewhat hostile.

Most are quite whimsical, some just downright idiotic, but all are memorable. My two favorite characters that I have run into so far (twice now, in two different locales) are the Robot Gang members. These two buckets of bolts, cockney accents and all, have determined that the best way to stick it to their corporate overlords is to destroy the structured world around them and create chaos. And also build playgrounds for area children.

Another denizen you meet is a dominatrix who is waiting for her next client to arrive, who is apparently late. There is a pretty funny exchange between Rania and this character when Rania comments on how savvy latex clothing is, since it seems to be perpetually raining in Nivalis. The dominatrix then goes on to explain how she performs her duties with the technology of the time — surprise surprise, it’s mostly done by augments rather than chains and whips.

Another fella I met along my journey in Cloudpunk was an old codger selling cherry pies at a stand — the aptly named Cherry Pie Vendor. While inquiring about whether or not the cherries in the pie are real, he seemed defensive and cagey and not 100% willing to divulge where he got them from. It was a pretty humorous little exchange that I would have otherwise missed had I not happened up him.

Not all of these interactions are along the beaten path, and some you really have to go out of your way to happen upon. Of course, the opposite is also true, and a good number of these these characters happen to be milling around in the areas near mission points or areas of interest.

For example, there’s a 71-year-old man who looks like a teenager because he drank so much coffee it stunted his growth. I met him next to the coffee stand, where I was supposed to get a cup of Joe for a mission. Although he failed to convince me to go out for pizza with him, he did put a smile on my face.

Cloudpunk - Engineer

My one gripe with these interactions is that the in-game character models (which can best be described as background actors from the Dire Straights music video “Money for Nothing”) look absolutely nothing like the character images in the dialogue boxes.

This can be a little jarring, as the person in the box might resemble a droid from Star Wars, yet the character model looks like a droid from Minecraft. But this also lends some DYI charm that somehow works in this cyberpunk indie darling.

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