Cloudbuilt | First Impressions
When I first gazed upon the stylized, semi cell shaded CloudBuilt, I had a hard time wrapping my head around just what kind of game I was playing.
Cloudbuilt can best be described as a parkour inspired action platformer in the vain of Prince of Persia (2008) and Mirror’s Edge, with a breakneck, high score posting time trial element, an over the shoulder 3rd person shooter with a style and design nod to MegaMan.
That’s a great deal of play styles all mashed into one game and surprisingly, it seems to all work out okay.
After a small bit of exposition we are thrown into a pseudo virtual world as a digital construct in the mind of a soldier in a coma. It’s a compelling story as you fight your way through levels trying to re-sync your brain. Being able to look down on your real body bandaged up and in tatters. It’s a striking scene that replays ever time you complete a level and leaves you wanting answers while emotionally connecting with your character and wondering how she came to be in this situation.
Cloudbuilt will hit Steam in late March and the build we got time with here in the office was said to be 80% complete. The full retail release will boast twenty levels that will be chock full of alternate routes leading to each stages finish line. There is always a way, always a better way, always a quicker way to reach that elusive high score and see your name adorn the top of the worldwide leaderboards. Running, gunning and shooting aren’t the only tools available in your adventure as you will have some help along the way. Your built-in rocket-powered exoskeleton (no doubt inspired from MegaMan) allows for not only short bursts of dashing speed, but also for short periods of vertical flight. You will have to blast up walls, dash across large gaps and vault back and forth from wall to wall all while avoiding enemies in your path. You will have to learn to bend the laws of physics and think on your toes to avoid the varied fatal hazards and dodge hostile robots enemies.
Speed and precision is key to doing well within the world of Cloudbuilt. Be prepared to suffer multiple, and I mean multiple, deaths while figuring out the best path to take. While the game does have a timer ticking away, it will not penalize you with death after an allotted amount of time. This means you are free, and they encourage, to explore each new stage, learning and discovering new ways to make it to the finish with an even better time than before. It is an incredible amount of fun searching for the perfect line to run and finding ways to shave precious seconds off of your time.
If you are the kind of person that gets frustrated at the drop of a hat then Cloudbuilt may not be your cup of tea, but if you are,like me, the kind of person that loves a challenge with a difficulty level that rises organically, Cloudbuilt is a title you will want to keep your eye on closely.
If you can picture a Mirror’s Edge style game and then crank up the speed to a frantic lightning pace, you will have a pretty good idea of what you can expect from Cloudbuilt. We can’t wait to get our hands on the completed game when it releases in late March and having a writers leaderboard that we can use to rub in each others faces.
Exclusive Cloudbuilt Preview Build Playthough