From the off, I feel it’s important to note that this game is still in Early Access. With that in mind, I wouldn’t treat this like a preview, merely for the fact that money needs to be paid for the game.
What is GlitchPunk?
GlitchPunk is a top down shooter not unlike GTA 1 and 2, with a futuristic aesthetic applied to it. The aim of the game is to take on as many contracts as possible, and in turn, earn more credits to upgrade yourself. This is actually a pretty cool setup, and has an RPG lite vibe to it.
In it’s current Early Access state, only one out of the four areas is available; New Baltia. It has an extremely gritty and sleazy vibe to it, which in some ways reminds me of the locations in Hotline Miami, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Pretty soon after taking control of my character, I died. To be fair, that’s because I started attacked random passers by and was rightfully attacked back. It did give me a laugh though seeing the NPCs fight back. After that I saw the opportunity to “acquire” a gun from a gangster that was walking around with one. Of course, things didn’t go to plan and I had to quickly jump into a nearby car to flee the scene. So far, so good and it feels like the old GTA games.
The combat does work pretty well, although the aiming of some of the guns can feel a bit haphazard at times. It doesn’t have the polish that the old GTA games do, but it’s certainly something that will improve the more that the game is worked on.
The driving felt good, but not great. This is something that will surely be refined as the game. It was the case that at some points, it felt really sluggish, which is a bit disappointing. Again, it’s important to remember though that this is an Early Access release.
One thing that sets GlitchPunk aside though is the fact that it is possible to hack in the game. This includes altering the mindset of NPCs so that they can attack each other. This is a really nice mechanic and also a great way to cause some destruction.
Whilst it’s not a deal breaker, something missing from the Early Access release is the ability to autosave. Instead, you need to go to your safehouse to do this. It’s a mild inconvenience, but it is something which is being addressed.
Of course, a big draw for a lot of players won’t be the missions, but instead booting the game up and just roaming the streets and causing as much mayhem as possible. It’s this easy, pick up and play mechanic which keeps drawing me back
Graphics and Audio
The visuals are spot on for Glitchpunk. It’s a brilliant mix of old school graphics and also a fresh, futuristic visual style. Even with the dips in performance, the game really does look great.
The player sprites do have a slightly pixelated look to them, but it fits in really well to this game. The art style the team have went for isn’t the easiest to pull off properly, but this is something they have excelled with.
Likewise, the audio is on point as well. The sound effects in particular do have a nice retro charm to them. The music in the game really does add to the atmosphere as well. This is an area the developers have really nailed down and in my opinion, it doesn’t need to be improved upon.
One area that I feel really needs to be improved is the performance. Even on lower settings, the game would slow down to the point it was into single digits for the FPS. Bear in mind that the game is running off of an SSD, so this shouldn’t be happening. The thing is though, it randomly happens when driving about whereas in heated confrontations, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad.
Glitchpunk is available now on on Steam. Despite the issues, it’s a sound Early Access title and it’s going to be exciting to see how the game progresses. The team have been very active on Steam so there’s no doubt that they’ll do everything that can to make it the best possible game it can be.
Glitchpunk is a really fun top down shooter. It’s still in Early Access on Steam and it’s not without its faults. However, these will surely be worked on and even with these issues, the game is still worth the entry price.
Fun, frantic gameplay
Random, drops in performance are really annoying
Only one area out of four is available so far