Checkout This Cyberpunk Game We Found
Checkout This Cyberpunk Game We Found
Like just about everyone else, I binge-watched the Cyberpunk anime, Edgerunners, and am now craving anything and everything Cyberpunk all over again. I’ve reinstalled the game, played it all weekend long, and now I need it on my phone so I can play during my lunch breaks at work. Sadly there isn’t an official Cyberpunk game on the Google Play store. There are however some knock-off games and against my better judgment, I decided to give one called Cyberika, a try, and damn, I got lucky. Cyberika is not a perfect game, it has some issues, which I’ll get into later, but overall it is a surprisingly fun game that is very faithful to the Cyberpunk themes we know and love thanks to the Cyberpunk game.
What is this Cyberpika game?
At first glance, it’s a pretty generic mobile ARPG played from a top-down view like Diablo, though a little slower. There is no flying across the screen spamming all of your abilities at once. It has a micro-transaction store of course with some opportunities for freebies, but the real meat of the game and what makes it stand out is just how CYBERPUNK it is. Like seriously, it has most of the guns, the same fashion sense, and IMPLANTS, so many implants. The look and feel of the game are also super close. They even threw in a hacking mini-game. It’s different from the Cyberpunk game but it looks and feels like something I could expect to see in it.
The story for the game is also super similar to Cyberpunk. The main twist is you’re an ex-special force and medical staff saved your life in the past by implanting a chip. You can probably see where this is going. This chip, surprise surprise, has a digital copy of a power CEO on it and it is now misbehaving and threatening to kill you if you don’t fix it. Going down the rabbit hole to fix the chip so you can live is the campaign, just like Cyberpunk. Besides that, the core of the game is farming for better loot so you can get stronger and better.
What Is The Game Play Like
The best way to describe it is a slower-paced APRG. You have to tap the attack button to attack or hold it down to keep attacking, but the amount of special actions you do are limited and once you start attacking, your character kind of starts auto-moving to complete the attack action. Instead of being one big map, the city is broken into small zones that you can run around in. Some zones will always be the same, like the Downtown area, your apartment, some main quest line zones, and some special competitive play zones. For the most part, though, you’ll be dealing with the combat zones, looking for loot to pick up. Outside of the quest line zones, these are procedurally generated and always available, should your level be high enough.
Cyberika Combat And Bad Guys
On average you’ll meet a small variety of bad guys. You got some suped-up attack dogs, which are easy, some basic goons with either a melee weapon or a pistol, and then some cybered-up bad guys who can have anything from a melee weapon to a machine gun or shotgun. Individually, we found that only the big guys with cyber implants are scary. But don’t let your guard down if you see a group of weak guys. They can still hurt you a fair bit before you take them down. I found healing to be weirdly limited and not limited at the same time. You don’t auto-regen health and instead need to use the healing items to heal up, even after you leave a zone or log out. On the bright side though, I found the medium and low-end healing items dropped fairly frequently so it wasn’t a big issue. When I got in scary fights it was also easy to spam attacks plus healing items to stay alive and beat the opponent. However, it is definitely a fight of attrition, where you have to hope your healing cooldown is fast enough to heal again and -if you’re using a gun- you have enough ammo to win or can reload fast enough.
Implants And Special Moves
If you are using a melee weapon, you will be able to do a special move for greater damage. It usually has a 5-9 second cool down so don’t expect to be able to spam it, but it is a great way to open a fight. The game also has lots of implants that you can find via loot or from quests. As you level up you’ll unlock more slots to plug in implants as well. These implants can do everything from increasing your inventory (very much needed) to increasing your average damage, stats, healing, and more. Then to top it off, some implants will give you a special ability or two. It will come at a cost though. As you use the special implant ability, your character will get more “intoxicated” or poisoned from its use and you’ll need to buy some special meds to help detox yourself. You also have a limited number of uses for the special implants and you’ll need to charge it back up, either by taking power from random bad guys or from consoles like ATMs. I didn’t find any issues with finding charge-up opportunities other than not having enough of them. But it felt like a decent trade-off.
You Get To Drive Car!
Something I was totally not expecting is that you get to drive an automated car in a little mini-game when traveling from zone to zone throughout the city. If the default speed is a little slow for you, you can hold down the accelerator and speed up a fair bit, just be sure to dodge the slower-moving cars. It doesn’t hurt you to hit them but it does slow you down a lot and is generally just embarrassing. Driving fast even takes you through this mini-game faster too which is nice since some rides can take a minute or two. There are also little opportunities to hack other cars as you drive by them for a small amount of basic in-game money, a nice little touch to the game I say. Now if playing the mini-game ever gets too tedious, it can be skipped for a small fee of basic in-game money
Now For The Things That Weren’t Fun
And sadly, there are a few.
Inventory Management Turn Inventory Hell
For an ARPG that focuses on you finding loot to not only get better gear but also build stuff, your inventory is TINY! It is painfully obvious that they used the small inventory as one of the ways to get you to spend real-world money on the game because very early on, you fill up your inventory and are then shown in the microtransaction store that you can buy more space. There are some freebie options given to you to mitigate it but they are only bandaid solutions and don’t really help. Unless you spend money, you’re going to be constantly juggling items and struggling to carry everything you want when fighting through a zone.
Durability Systems Can Be Good, This Is Not
Durability systems are kinda old really and have been done in a lot of ways, all to get players to have a small feel of realism and to act as a resource sink. Personally, I don’t like them but for the most part, I don’t hate them. In Cyberika, I hate it. It’s an obvious exploitation of a common mechanic to try and get players to spend money on microtransactions. In Cyberika, the durability of items degrades soooo fast that everything feels like it is made out of cardboard, it’s nuts. I can pick up a perfectly good item from the store and completely break it after just one or two combat zones, so about 20 mins on average. So I’m constantly running around with a backup weapon, taking up precious space in my inventory. I also don’t want to delete the broken weapons I have because I can repair them with resources I can either pay for or pick up as loot. It’s great I can repair them, but the resources I need to repair them are sometimes not that commonly looted, causing me additional headaches.
Very Punishing Death Penalty
Death penalties are a pretty controversial topic among players, some players may like it while others hate it. Personally, I’m ok with some form of Death Penalty but not to the level of Cyberika. In Cyberika, if you die, you lose all the items and gear you had on you and are sent back to your apartment to try and recover from your sudden loss. If you have the special in-game currency you paid real-world money for, you can negate this loss, revive yourself, and continue fighting in the zone you’re in. The first time this happened I was like “well, shit… back to the grind.” The second time it happened though, I instantly turned off the game for a bit to take a break.
Overall, Surprisingly Fun
For a game I admittedly kind of chose to play at random and took a chance on, it is a lot of fun and I think I might keep playing it for a time, at least until I hit some progression wall. That said, there are some OBVIOUS pain points that really dictated how I played the game and took away some of the fun. Hopefully, as the game progresses these will get fixed and the game will get better.
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