Steam Festival brought us a bunch of demos – even for some good games! Now, the strategy offerings were paltry indeed, but
Glitchpunk fulfilled a more rarified need- that of explicitly cyberpunk GTA 2 with mouse aim.
Top down? Check. Missions given via payphones? Check. Gang friendship level trackers? Check. Quest giver being surprised that we’re a woman and not some poor shmuck named Claude Speed? That’s something new!
While the cyberpunk setting of GTA 2 was rather more implicit, it’s in the front and center of Glitchpunk, including the paper doll you’ll be putting the various implants on. The soul meter exists to impact your dialogue choices(!) to the great consternation of grogs who believe that bionics-related humanity loss is, at best, problematic.
It wouldn’t be GTA game without driving. Features not seen in GTA 2: motorcycles (first seen in GTA 1 and then missing from titles prior to Vice City) and the ability to enter the car via the wrong door, thus not being able to drive. Glitchpunk vehicle design draws from the same streamline moderne inspirations as GTA 2, but features some sort of futuristic wheel well covers. The radio stations are there, of course, and the demo tutorial encourages you to listen to all of them.
Glitchpunk’s hacking mode freezes time. You have one hack tied to LMB, the other to RMB. It’s one of those cyberpunk worlds where everyone is running around with ridiculously unsecured systems, so both people and cars can eventually be hacked. A small but fun feature of hacking mode is the short bios that list gender, affiliation, and net worth. No hobby-targeted assassinations a la Watchdogs though.
GTA 2 with mouse aim is bliss! The controls could be a bit tighter, maybe, but it’s already quite fun. Replacing the merciless hearts-and-limited-respawns mechanic with something more modern helps. Also, advances in technology now allow us to beat people to death. However, advances in societal norms will make passers-by comment on you spamming “X” to fart and burp.
Once someone is killed in Glitchpunk, they’re marked by this skull marker. This is your cue to get in and steal their money and guns. No, you don’t get mysterious wire transfers for driving over pedestrians – you need to get out and collect the money yourself. On the other hand, driving over people refills your focus – hacking – bar. I guess the protagonist sees people on the street as potential Twitter posters.
Glitchpunk’s setting is not only cyberpunk, but also somewhat apocalyptic? The toxic red mists outside the city are called out to be deadly even to cyborgs. Texas, our protagonist, is new in town – I guess we’ll have to figure out the other details in the full game. Feels well worth the wait!