Do you remember the very first Grand Theft Auto games? Imagine them in a cyberpunk world where everything is chaos. GlitchPunk is exactly that… with a lot of neon. It’s all done from a top down perspective like the original GTA games, and whilst this may put some people off, if you like this style then you’re at home here. The game drops you in as a fresh faced android, who has broken their programming. You get questioned right at the start, but are essentially just treated like crap. In this world that people and androids are inhabiting, it’s very much a crime filled, unhappy place to be and your aim is simply to survive. There are multiple factions in the city and multiple cities planned in the future, though the Early Access build in its current form only has two cities – New Baltia and Outpost Texas. You will take missions on for each faction that hit the staples such as a delivery or a killing spree, and then comes the variation. As you do multiple missions for each faction it leads to more trouble as it won’t land well with the others, essentially resulting in gang wars with you stuck in the middle.
As it’s cyberpunk you will probably be wanting to upgrade yourself? Well good news is that you can! Purchasing mods will improve your skills and character traits. You’ll need this as GlitchPunk encourages you to cause chaos by killing hapless citizens or hacking them and making them go nuts, though this will of course cause heat and the cops will eventually come. Get beyond the basic alert stages and at level 3 they are certainly more than a challenge, almost unfairly so as they just seem to be on every road making the timer for escape feel like it’s not going down. This is especially annoying as certain missions want your wanted level to be low, and this can trigger a fail if you accidently kill civilians, which in turn increases the heat. The resulting loss of progress as the mission has to be restarted from the beginning doesn’t make for the smoothest of experiences.
Being a familiar setup, you’d be put out if the soundtrack of GlitchPunk didn’t delight, and as it’s got a radio system when driving very much like GTA2, it’s certainly making sure the audio is on point. There’s no denying that you hear some interesting stuff on there to say the least. The map in its current form needs some work as it seems messy and cluttered. It’s not very varied in its sense of direction with the road layout either. That might seem an odd complaint, but it’s like one big square and geometrically precise. The world itself however is very cyberpunk which makes up for it, and I’m hoping the two new cities at launch will vary it up more.
Like its title though, this game is glitchy with one particular mission locking up the system multiple times. GlitchPunk needs to work on its movement as well as it feels too clunky. As an example, the car controls are horrible and you’ll spend more time hitting other cars, buildings etc., on the way to an objective that you will driving the road properly. The setup isn’t user friendly whatsoever, and the mapping of the buttons don’t feel logical to where your hands are on the keyboard. It does still show signs of future potential though, but would I say invest in the Early Access? At the moment only if you’re very used to the process of EA development and gradual feedback improving the title, or unless your a massive fan of the earlier PS1 GTA games and desperate for some top down action. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on it as they have tons of content planned, and there is some great fun to be had being a malfunctioning android.
Early Access to GlitchPunk was provided by Daedalic Entertainment’s PR team and is available now on Steam, with a view to a full release when it’s ready.