Glitchpunk Early Access Review: Pew, Pew — But Futuristic
Glitchpunk is a game that has gone through several iterations since its inception in late 2017. It’s an early access game, meaning it’s still in development and the developers are actively working on it. The game is set to release later this year, but what is there now?
Glitchpunk wants you to think back to when Grand Theft Auto was just a top-down carnage simulator, rather than the internet monster it has become in recent years. Glitchpunk is set in a dark and edgy cyberpunk setting, and it casts you as a newbie to the city who is an android, which means most people detest you right away.
You, on the other hand, are unique. You have the ability to defy your programming, which means you can do anything you choose. In theory, at least…
To progress the narrative, you’ll have to form alliances with other groups and fulfill their objectives. Because this is a cyberpunk world, there are no true good guys, thus you must choose which kind of nasty you will be rather than how heroic you will be.
And every time you accomplish a task for someone, you’ll offend everyone else, so you’ll have to strike a delicate balance.
Early Access Review of Glitchpunk: Pew, Pew — But Futuristic
Because it’s a GTA-style game, you’ll be glad to hear that weapons are available in vending machines all over the place, and you can shoot down just about anybody if you want to. Combat is enjoyable, weapons create pleasant noises, and objects die when shot. Glitchpunk, on the other hand, loses some of the input that makes games stand out in today’s multitude of titles.
Outside simply aiming your pistol at objects and pressing the trigger, or hitting opponents in the head with a stun baton or other melee weapon, there’s little real complexity to its gameplay. It’s all pretty basic stuff, but your ability to hack the objects around you helps.
One of the first augments you receive enables you to instill anger in surrounding individuals, causing them to attack everything, which is a lot of fun.
I’m going to take you on a ride.
Even in its Early Access stage, the universe of Glitchpunk is enormous. Walking from one side of the city to the other takes a long time, and the roads are frequently confusing since they are futuristic. If you’re not paying attention, there are very few locations where you won’t be run over.
You may, of course, go ahead and get yourself a car. Driving is simple, but the cars are never easy to maneuver. I’m not sure whether this is intentional, since the previous GTA games are just as difficult to play. However, if this is the case, it is either very accurate or extremely irritating.
Well, it’s really quite annoying in any case, since driving almost always results in you accidentally colliding with numerous people or crashing. However, it’s possible that it’s just me.
A Game With a Clever Name (At Least So Far)
As you can probably guess, I’m on the fence about Glitchpunk right now. I understand it’s Early Access, so I’m taking that into consideration, but there were a few minor technical glitches and hiccups throughout my time with the game that were unsettling. The frame rate sometimes grinds to a standstill, and I had to Alt+F4 the game many times because it refused to cooperate correctly.
Aside from the technical content, the style is too harsh and abrasive. I get that cyberpunk is a dystopian genre, but it all seems a little too much like everyone is a teenager who is enraged at their parents for sending them to bed too early. These aren’t individuals who have been crushed by the weight of impending capitalism collapse and a total loss of hope. They’re all just a little cranky.
Glitchpunk isn’t something I hate, but it’s also not something I’m really fond of. I’m not sure how I feel about it all, but I do believe that the gaming cycle, although entertaining for a half hour, eventually becomes boring. There isn’t much to suggest that things will get more complicated as the game progresses, but I’m hoping to be proved incorrect in this instance, since I’m sure there are plenty of folks who are eager for a return to the classic GTA games.
[Note: The Early Access copy of Glitchpunk utilized for this EA review was given by Daedalic Entertainment.]