Cloudpunk is an unpretentious game set in a cyberpunk setting. Together we discover Rania's crazy night.
The night in cloudpunk
The whole “plot” of Cloudpunk is developed in a single night: Rania's first night on duty. Set in a futuristic era very far from the present day in which the integration of machines in the various social strata is now a reality. Rania arrives in Nivalis, trying to survive the metropolis and finds a job in the Cloudpunk company. A delivery company with a very often confused ethical and legal compass. No question about the content of the shipment but it pays very good. Premises that will make you spend a long night in the name of different moral and ethical dilemmas and above all make many, many deliveries.
Rania finds herself in an unknown environment and without any ties, except her faithful little dog in the form of Artificial Intelligence: Camus. The faithful friend finds new physical form in the HOVA (propulsion vehicle used for deliveries) attached to Rania. Such deliveries are in fact the missions that will lead us to try to survive the night and build a new life.
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Rania interacts with Cloudpunk only through a nice individual called just Control, who has the task of entrusting the various deliveries and giving directions. The plot is very simple although not always linear, which we will discover simply by driving Rania from one corner of the city to the other. During these journeys we will have more and more clues about the story of the protagonist, through the iteration with Camus. Clues about the history of the city and the mega corporation that commands it. And information on CORA, an element that seems to be very important for Rania. Not just plot discoveries, but several times there will be moral choices to be made. Sometimes it will be necessary to choose between ethics and common sense or even between life or death but also between death and death.
Cyberpunk or Blade Runner?
The name of the title obviously wants to immediately tell us that the developers would like to ride the media wave that Cyberpunk 2077 has created around itself and around the cyberpunk setting. Trying to propose the theme as the mass identifies it: the graphic style. Surely this aspect is very successful, the atmosphere of Nivalis is eclectic, full of neon and luminous signs. A city built on the clouds, where social life takes place on the roofs of very high structures. The presence of a corporation dominates the territory until it becomes suffocating. Too bad that this, together with the subdued atmosphere, reminds more of Blade Runner than the actual cyberpunk.
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Fortunately Cloudpunk is not just a reference to the film but has managed to be much deeper. The life that swarms on the roofs makes us discover the cyberpunk soul of the title, bringing to light many themes very dear to the movement. Certainly the strength of this title is precisely the writing of the characters and their stories somewhat "special". There are lines of dialogue and really curated plots that deal very well with strong themes such as gender, racism, poverty, addiction and certainly the delicate ethical conflict of the relationship between humans and machines, a bit like what happens in Detroit Become Humans. Obviously all issues related to the cyberpunk context, nothing too original but treated in a way that even those who are beginners can understand and empathize them.
I wouldn't want to upset anyone's life but I'm sorry to tell you that Blade Runner it's not cyberpunk, putting a little smoke and filling every corner with neon is definitely not cyberpunk. Fortunately Cloudpunk is able to understand this difference and re-proposes the themes very dear to the movement.
Cloudpunk: Fed Ex Simulator
Do you remember the controversies about Death Stranding and FedEx simulator? Well you haven't played cloudpunk. Cloudpunk's gameplay is very simple and straightforward, you go from point A to point B. Most of the journey is done in the propulsion vehicle, through highways that increase speed, and then do the delivery in person by landing on one of the platforms. One of the points that I feel like putting into the gameplay is exploration, in fact the only other feasible activity in Cloudpunk.
To this simple mechanic is added the collectible collection, as a side activity, and a minimum of customization. The objects for the apartment are exclusively aesthetic. For the HOVA it is possible to buy both real upgrades, such as the boost, and purely aesthetic objects, such as the change of the color of the trail.
Unfortunately, I must admit that I was soon bored by continuing to flutter around the city. Although at some point you can change the HOVA and there are timed missions, the gameplay is too simple and the artistic choice undertaken does not induce the desire for exploration. The only reason you agree to continue is the stories the developers have created.
Cloupunk's graphics are certainly particular. While it may sound like pixelart, very common in low budget projects, it really isn't. In fact it looks like a world built with legos total in contrast to the visual effects which are very defined. For example, the trail of cars, the "walls" of the highways or the avatars of the characters. A choice that may or may not like. Honestly, I would have preferred more definition for a city built so well that it would stimulate me to discover the views that Nivalis has to offer.
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A very neat department in cloudpunk is the sound department. The background sound effects make the city always alive, a constant companion on every journey. The music helps to create the cyberpunk atmosphere, the idea of including 80's songs or classical music is very popular. Unfortunately the dubbing is not up to par of the audio sector, it gives credit to the excellent writings. There would certainly be a lot of work to be done from this point of view.
The strong point is definitely the writing and the well-characterized characters. It deals with non-trivial issues in such a way that even newbies to the movement can understand them. He manages to create a credible setting thanks to small gems that refer to the past (today's days ed.). Unfortunately, the banal and repetitive gameplay together with the artistic choice make this journey sometimes unnerving and boring.. Definitely a good title to approach the cyberpunk theme or to know what it feels like to work as a pony expressVerdict 6/10 A real shame to have chosen such a simple gameplay, it nullifies all the excellent writing work Comment Cloudpunk is a title with many good intentions and potential. A noteworthy writing with multifaceted stories that draw heavily from the Cyberpunk imagery. The characters are always characterized and recognizable. Unfortunately, however, too repetitive gameplay and the lack of longevity do not allow you to fully enjoy the excellent work done during the writing phase. It certainly deserves a place among the games that manage to deal with the theme and not fall into the usual clique of confusing the cyberpunk artistic style from the real cyberpunk movement. Pros and cons ✓ Writing
✓ Sonoro x Dubbing
x Graphic choice