Relevant for platform: PC
Amazingly beautiful and truly cyberpunk Cloudpunk received a major addition City of ghosts, which aims to end the story of Rania, a female driver who works for a delivery service in the rainy-neon metropolis of Nivalis. You can already see from the assessment that the same amazing DLC did not work out. Let me explain why.
So, Cloudpunk – City of Ghosts directly continues the story of Rania, who in the original, together with her cybernetic dog Kamus, met with the artificial intelligence KORA and made several important decisions that influenced not only her life. And in addition, she faces the consequences of these decisions, as well as the ghosts of the past, who find her even in such a huge city like Nivalis.
She still works for the Cloudpunk delivery service, but with a new dispatcher, a middle-aged woman who bet with someone that her driver would beat everyone on this night shift. Therefore, we, as usual, deliver parcels and run through the streets in search of food, all kinds of junk that can then be driven to the hucksters, and customers. And it’s especially nice to do it from a first-person perspective.
And flying in your XOBA with a view from the cockpit to the sound of the rain tapping on it is an indescribable pleasure for all cyberpunk fans in general and Blade Runner in particular.
It’s just some kind of holiday!
But at a certain point, events begin to develop very rapidly and dramatically. Rania is hunted by all and sundry, people from a transport monopoly company are trying to hire her, for which she does not want to work for any price, she is set up, lured into traps, pumped with drugs or some kind of gas. And some of her acquaintances from the original either die or fall into a trap.
At the same time, the gameplay changes dramatically in places. More precisely, it appears. Then we, as in a quest with a third-person view, explore locations in search of important items and key cards to open doors, start an elevator, and so on:
Then you have to run away from the sent cyborg killers:
The main thing here is to run in the right direction, to have time to press something and enter the codes.
In parallel, the story of a new character unfolds. Hayes is an unlucky, but cheerful and cheerful bummer and criminal who managed to quarrel with almost everyone he knew and break a bunch of laws. He owes someone, he framed someone, all his friends and strippers left him, but still Hayes returned to the city, where almost everyone hates him.
And he was immediately tried to arrest a novice android policeman named Morpho, who works for the main corporation in Nivalis “Corpsec”. However, the cunning Hayes managed to convince Morpho that he could only be arrested the next morning, at eight o’clock, and while he had to ride with Hayes, help, sponsor his booze – well, so as not to lose sight of him, not to let him escape and immediately attract to responsibility.
As a result, the duet of Hayes and Morpho became an adornment not only Cloudpunk – City of Ghosts Are generally some of the brightest characters I’ve come across in video games lately. Hayes manages not only to get drunk that night, but also to contact all his ex-girlfriends and creditors – as a result, Morpho fixes 17 threats to kill Hayes during the night, 12 of which the android estimates as real.
The policeman himself unwittingly indulges him – he agrees, for example, to impersonate a sexy stripper who calls one of those who sharpen a grudge against Hayes. True, contrary to the request, he does not imitate his voice, but informs him in his usual, with metallic notes: “Hello, I’m a stripper. Oh yeah … sexy stripper “…
Rania and Hayes
Naturally, at some point, the storylines of Rania and Hayes intersect. And all thanks to “Cloudpunk” and the new dispatcher, whom Hayes, unlike Rania, has long known and stubbornly calls Kargoy – she reciprocates, but in the end they, as before, begin to work together.
Hayes also becomes a driver in the service of “Cloudpunk”, albeit for one night shift, and it is he who will intervene in the fate of the main character. And how to intervene, what will happen to her and to him, in what state Rania will approach this meeting – a lot depends on our decisions. At some point, for example, I had the choice to return home to the girl, where she might be trapped, or try to hide in Midtown, in the apartment of a former client who offered her a new job. Ultimately, our decisions will affect not only the fate of key characters, but also the city itself.
Yes, in City of ghosts we got an interesting and sometimes non-linear storyline campaign with vivid characters, sometimes very cool dialogues, difficult decisions and dramatic outcomes. In addition, there has become a little more gameplay itself – for example, more opportunities for pumping a vehicle.
The problem, however, is that these interesting events, difficult decisions and dramatic outcomes still need to be endured. For four hours, or even all five of the approximately 10-hour campaign, the plot does not really move anywhere. They drive us back and forth on the basis for Rania’s work – pick up the package, take it, come back and pick it up again. At the same time, as a rule, you need to carry from one end of the huge city to the other, crossing the borders of the districts many times. And in them, in these areas, I don’t want to stop too much – there are many less interesting secondary characters and situations than in the original.
So you have to endlessly wander from point A to point B under endless dialogues and arguments with the dispatcher, clients or Kamus. As I said, the dialogues here are biting, catchy. But at first there is enough water. At the same time, we always manage to do everything much earlier than these dialogues / reasoning ends. And you can’t skip or speed them up, so we have to wait until the text finally ends and we are allowed to interact with the object / character or a new navigation point is given.
Keeping track of conversations on frequent flights is not easy.
No, it is clear that along the way we meet a lot of interesting characters – either a group of bored rich people will actually force us to take a tour of the lower city, then a glamorous girl will ask us to shop for her and choose her costume for a party, and then she will persistently start stuffing herself into girlfriends, then an extremely funny bandit will try to rob us.
And yet, endless flights begin to tire – in the original they were perceived as something fresh, and it was more interesting to explore the world. And here I would like to just continue the story. One gets the impression that with their statements about a completely new storyline campaign, which is not inferior in duration and intensity to the main game, the authors drove themselves into a trap and were forced to artificially stretch the passage.
Anyway fans of the original Cloudpunk, of course, they will endure and wait in order to end up with a storyline campaign that logically completes the story of Rania, introduces new bright characters and forces them to make decisions that affect the fate of the key characters and the entire city. But we, if anything, warned – the authors City of ghosts harnessed for a very long time.
Pros: an exciting new campaign that completes the story of the original; decisions affecting the plot and endings; new bright characters to play as; a little more interesting gameplay features; chic atmosphere of a cyberpunk metropolis; all key characters and dialogues are perfectly voiced.
Minuses: the campaign seems drawn out – for a long time nothing really happens here; the dialogues are well written, but the fact that they cannot be missed significantly slows down the passage.