If there are two things that spell out “risky” more than anything else in gaming right now, they have to be “early access” and “cyberpunk“. With Glitchpunk, developers Dark Lord are taking a huge risk with an early access cyberpunk game. Even in the early stages, it’s clear they have the potential to set themselves apart from the pack. The genre is rife with half-hearted attempts, but Glitchpunk is already setting up to be a real treat for anyone looking to scratch that cyberpunk itch.
A Beautiful and Busy World
The most important thing in any cyberpunk or dystopian media is the world that it creates. Glitchpunk establishes a very brutal and violent future, and each location is very distinct and interesting. There are currently plans for four cities in the world, with the first out at launch and the rest coming later on in the early access period. Visually, the first city is absolutely stunning and really hits the whole cyberpunk vibe. While it’s possible the other cities might not live up to the lofty heights of the first, I highly doubt that will be the case.
The neon lights and dark alleys work well together, and the top-down view makes some of the art design truly pop. There are cars and citizens constantly moving about, and it feels like you are truly immersed in the world of Glitchpunk.
A Surprisingly Interesting Story
I’ll admit I was not expecting the story in Glitchpunk to pull me in as much as it did. I was expecting top-down action and chaos but found there were many moments where I actually enjoyed the quiet intrigue in the background even more. There are contracts throughout the world that help the player immerse themselves deeper into the world. You’ll hunt down bounties and complete jobs to boost your reputation and earn money, all while unraveling the world you’re engaging in. There are violent gangs and police to deal with, and your interactions with them help explain more of the world as well.
The story doesn’t do anything innovative to the genre so far, but it does give us compelling characters and interactions that I can’t wait to see more of. I’m excited to see what Dark Blood does with the story going forward, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
Chaotic and Fun Gameplay
While making the world beautiful and interesting is arguably the most difficult part of making a cyberpunk game, the gameplay is always going to be the most important part. Thankfully, the top-down action in Glitchpunk is incredibly well-done and super fun to play. More than anything, it is absolutely pure chaos at times. I found myself struggling at first to be able to complete contracts without attracting a massive amount of police, but at least I was able to earn some achievements for reviving. You’re going to die, but you’re going to have fun dying in the absolute chaos of Glitchpunk.
Glitchpunk is clearly a work in progress, but there is a lot of promise going forward. I loved what I’ve seen so far, and I think anyone looking for more cyberpunk games is in for a real treat. At the very least, this is something you’ll want to put on your Steam wishlist.
Glitchpunk is out now in Early Access on Steam.