Cloudpunk – City of Ghosts is a story expansion for last years surprisingly good cyberpunk adventure – Cloudpunk. A fresh adventure in Nivalis is on the cards for new and returning characters, with city changing implications on the horizon depending on how things play out. Worth stepping out onto those rain soaked streets again? Let’s find out.
Set several months after the events of the base game, you now play as both Rania and new character Hayse in a more dangerous, more tense city of Nivalis. Rania’s previous delivery work attracts the attention of a rival delivery corporation Curzona, as well as a secret society of AI worshipping zealots. Her night gets worse when the Debt Corps finally track her down, and Rania finds herself trying to outrun her past as well as a homicidal, chimeric cyborg. At the same time Hayse sets out this night to try to clear his gambling debt before morning, but with an appetite for self-destruction and a CorpSec android for company intent on his arrest, it’s no surprise to find himself mixed up in the nights events.
Following on from the base game, the story opens with an introduction to one of the new characters we’ll be playing as in Hayse before moving on quickly to Rania. The multiple characters and sub stories within the overall narrative really help to flesh out some aspects of life in Nivalis, tho Hayse can be a bit insufferable at times, with writing just as good as the base game to keep you hooked till the end. That end can vary here as well with several up for grabs, the occasional choice during a delivery can change up the path you are on, so a few playthroughs will be needed if you want to see them all. The DLC lasts about as long as the base game, maybe a little more, so plenty more deliveries to be done for the price.
With this being just an expansion of the original, there isn’t much different to speak of graphically. It is a treat to return to the rain soaked neon metropolis of Cloudstorm tho, and the great work done with reflections now applies to your Hova for some extra visual sheen. One aspect I didn’t mention much in the base review as it was added later is the cockpit view. Whilst I played Cloudpunk mainly third person, I kept with the cockpit view this time for the added immersion and the surprising sense of speed that it has.
The audio is just as good too, with the new soundtrack not sounding out of place for those returning as it doesn’t really try to mix things up too much. Stellar voice acting is the highlight again, only expanded here with more characters and grandiose implications. Another area not changed is the game performance. On my system (R51600/16GB/RTX2080 ti) it was the same as before, pretty much 4K/60 with the occasional drop into the mid 50’s for seemingly no reason. I should also mention the games booting quirk, as I could only seem to access the DLC if in big picture mode, and trying to load any other way just booted the base game instead.
Given the nature of this release, as with the base game you’ll be tasked with completing deliveries for CloudPunk, go to point A to collect the package and deliver to point B – with the odd point C or D thrown in for good measure. How you get there is up to you as there’s almost free reign to where you can drive, so shortcuts through the cityscape can add some excitement. Sometimes when you reach your destination you may also have to complete a puzzle or fetch something for an NPC, but its nothing too taxing so you’ll be onto the next delivery in a jiffy. Micro managing your vehicles damage & fuel is also something to be mindful of if you want to stay in the air.
As this is just DLC for the main game, gameplay itself hasn’t changed much, if at all, and you’ll be doing most of the same things you did before – tho we do get some new areas to explore that fit seamlessly into the world. Probably the most noticeable inclusion is that you can now fully customise your own Hova vehicle, cosmetic and the returning performance options are available. You can fund this with your delivery work of course, but there are also street races that you can now take part in. These are a good source of income, as well as something to break up the monotony of work!
Whilst the story here seems more fitting to a sequel, it’s easy to forget when playing that it’s just a story expansion for the base game. Granted not much has changed really, gameplay and performance is pretty much the same, but this is expected and what counts is if the new narrative can carry the day. It sure does. Expanding on numerous aspects of life in Nivalis and offering several endings means you can get your money’s worth, priced less than the base game too is a no-brainer for interested fans given it adds another games worth of content to play if more Cloudpunk is what you need ahead of Nivalis.
Dig out that return ticket to Nivalis as you’re given a new reason to explore its rain & neon drenched cityscape