Oh Goodness: Cloudbuilt Looks Heavenly

By Nathan Grayson on July 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

And by that, I of course mean that it kinda vaguely reminds me of Mirror’s Edge – which is the highest praise I can give to just about anything with a running component, upward motion, or legs. Cloudbuilt is, however, also quite fond of the good old days before 3D graphics and gravity were invented, so double-jumping, air-dashing, and wall-running add some 16-bit flair to your fancy modern hop ‘n’ boppery. Basically, though, even a brief glimpse – which you’ll be able to glimpse briefly if you head southward of the break – has the part of my brain that’s faultily wired to salivate in relation to games instead of food doing its horrendously counterproductive thing.

And oh do the actual nitty gritty specifics of gameplay – you know, beyond “go real fast wheeeeeeeeee” – sound promising. For instance, there’s this bit:

“Practice is a central theme of Cloudbuilt. Many modern games seem not to trust you with its potential until you’ve gained its trust, and therefore spoon-feed you new abilities over the course of the game. Cloudbuilt lets you play with all skills from the moment you begin. You won’t need to master them all right away, but to complete the game and beat the records for each level you will be challenged to use what you’ve learned in creative ways. If you feel that the head-shaped hole in the wall is getting to deep there are usually multiple levels unlocked at any time to choose from.”

Meanwhile, Cloudbuilt’s trying to steer clear of hyper-linear paths as much as possible, so there are multiple ways around each obstacle. Developer Coilworks notes that players might even discover “some that we don’t know of yet.” I very much like the sound of that. Also, it all takes place inside the head of a gravely injured future war vet, so my brain is making the perilous conclusion-jump into Psychonauts territory.

So, in short, Cloudbuilt vaguely reminds me of some other really great games, yet looks (and probably plays) absolutely nothing like them, while still managing to seem tremendously promising in its own right. Unfortunately, there’s no release date at the moment, but I’m looking extremely forward to seeing more.

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47 Comments »

  1. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out an uncontrollable aimless mess as inMomentum did. Polarisation, here we go:

    • mbr says:

      You sound like someone who’s never played Quake 3 defrag maps.

  2. Torn says:

    Imagine if SEGA licenced this engine for a new Sonic game!

    Actually.. that’ll never happen. Will Cloudbuilt support mods?

  3. maktacular says:

    This should be set in Glasgow and be called clydebuilt.

  4. sonofsanta says:

    I hate that all games have a deep-seated need to make sense these days. Nothing ever made sense on the Amiga, but that didn’t stop it being brilliant.

    Liking the graphics style here as well. Although I predict a raft of complaints about the anime-stylings of the lead character and a suspiciously similarly sized group of people who will therefore miss out on a game for no good reason.

    • Mordsung says:

      It’s not necessarily “no good reason”.

      I need gameplay and immersive visuals for a game to be fun. Not “good” visuals, just immersive and enjoyable.

      Anime art-style just doesn’t do it for me. I have no interest in the character. I don’t care, it’s just another cat-girl, girlish-boy, school-girl etc.

      If I don’t care at all about the character I’m playing, I’m not going to enjoy the game very much.

      Do I play games with anime-esque style? Yes. Do I buy them before they’re on for 5 dollars on Steam? Hell-no. Do I finish them? Very rarely.

      So YOU may not believe it is a valid reason, but some of us do, and I’m sure there are reasons you find valid to not play a game that I do not find valid.

      • Sinomatic says:

        It’s like trying to listen to a well-written song being sung by an artist whose voice you can’t bear. It can make all the difference.

        • sonofsanta says:

          There are plentiful artists who’ve voices have grated on me at first – Joanna Newsom, Hope of the States – but after some initial persistence became accustomed to the voices and find out that the albums are really very excellent. So fair enough if, glancing at a thumbnail as you scroll down Desura, you keep scrolling because at first blush it just doesn’t seem like Your Thing, but if you know more about a game, or even own a game from a bundle but refuse to even try on the basis of the stylings – well, that just seems petty and shallow and a terrible shame all round really.

          • Sinomatic says:

            Imploring people to try things out so that they don’t miss out on anything is one thing (a laudable thing at that), but telling people that they’re petty and shallow and just not trying hard enough for something that they can’t help not liking is another.

            Some people strongly dislike things, having come to this conclusion after having tried many such things in their lives before, and probably still try some of them even now anyway (because maybe this time it’ll be different), coming back by and large with the same feeling they had in the first place.

            (Off-topic Case Study: Me and Cats.)

            There are art styles I have had a deep aversion to (bordering on disgust at times) since I was young , and no amount of my trying has changed that fact. I’m not averse to taking on something emotionally challenging, something out of my comfort zone, something uneasy or something I don’t understand, not at all, but there’s a difference between that and trying to persist playing something where the art style is not meant to be challenging. If I’m playing a cutesy, funny RPG but I’m spending my time recoiling (uncontrollably) from the artwork, that is not how the game is meant to be experienced. My emotional relationship with the game is not the same one that other people are having (You: “How great is this?!” Us: ” MY EYES!”). It’s all off-kilter and completely changes the nature of the thing.

            Yes there are times when you come across things you don’t like at first and you manage to get beyond it, but there are clearly a HUGE number of people with an aversion to anime and it is not an unusual, unique or rare thing: it’s all over the place and has been for years. I’m fairly sure that most people will have had their dalliances with the style and will know very much where they stand on the matter. I have no doubt that there might be that special something game, cartoon, something that could perhaps allow me to ignore the art or even change my mind on the style as a whole, but I’m not about to go spending my leisure time trawling through those games when I have scores of others to play that don’t come with a disgust factor attached.

            It’s not something that’s limited to art styles or games, most people have got something that they don’t like and won’t (usually) subject themselves to if they can possibly help it. It’s not necessarily rational to feel this way about something, but it’s perfectly valid not to want to put yourself through something in your leisure-happy-funtime that you really don’t like, just on the off chance that it might be the one thing out of all the things that manages to punch through the veil of disgust. It’s a shame certainly, but hardly petty or shallow.

            TLDR: Sometimes people don’t like things, and they can’t help that. That’s okay, and we can all be sad together that they’re going to miss out on some stuff. Also: cats are evil.

            (For the record, this particular game is still on the good side of where I draw the disgust line, so I’m just talking generally).

      • DrGonzo says:

        It isn’t valid at all. It’s more like not giving a book a chance because you don’t like the front cover. It’s a bit childish, and really a shame that you must end up missing out on some classic games.

        • Mordsung says:

          That’s a terrible analogy. You look at the front cover a book rarely, mostly you’re reading it and your head is creating the imagery.

          I better analogy would be trying to read a book that has a font-type that literally gives you a headache.

          The story could be amazing, but the font-type makes it unreadable.

          I have to stare at the headache-inducing anime character for THE WHOLE GAME.

    • Screwie says:

      I don’t mind the anime-inspired look at all, but that character is huge, takes up too much of the screen and trails a bunch of distracting flashy effects. That’s offputting.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Ohh, what’s really going to bake your noodle later on is, would that discussion still have happened if you hadn’t mentioned it in the first place?

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Hmmm, I can see people’s issue with anime artstyle. I don’t usually mind it, but sometimes it just doesn’t fit. I’m watching Another, which really nails the horror aspect, building up mystery, dread and tension without any jump scares. But the artstyle is too… kawaii? Kind of find it a bit disjointed.

      At any rate, I would ask people to give things with an anime artstyle a chance, you just might find it great regardless of the aesthetics.

  5. db1331 says:

    Looks like Sonic, except fun.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I actually thought the opposite myself. All those open edges, and awkward looking animations tell me that unless you know what you are doing it will be a tedious affair of trial and error.

  6. LukeJHarris says:

    Eww… The developer is called “coilworks”?

    there arty ovum-like logo dosn’t help that much either…

  7. CobraLad says:

    Kawai-kunoichi-turbofart-girl?

  8. Tunips says:

    What I really enjoyed in Mirror’s Edge (apart from the aesthetics) was how deeply it invested in physiologically plausible movement. I like a good WheeEEEEEE! as much as the next man (and certainly this looks like it might scratch that itch), but I find a joy (or, misery) in a game that makes me think “If I were much fitter I could DO that”.

    PS. I am desperately uncertain about the use of ‘were’ in that sentence. Grammartrons, plz halp

    PPS. WHEEFACE

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Nothing wrong with your use of “were” there. Of course you could just as correctly (if less formally) have said “if I was much fitter”.

    • Dilapinated says:

      WARKAWAII

      To be fair, Mirror’s Edge stretched the limits of plausability and broke them a few times. Plenty of the things Faith did would result in horrific injury and/or death if done in real life (the longer jumps/falls, and the way she slides down cables, from memory). But I agree that there’s an echelon of realism between that and double-jumping rocketpack catgirls.

      IANA Parkour practitioner, so I may be wrong here.

    • syndrome says:

      PS. Don’t kill the trolls.

    • The First Door says:

      I agree, that is exactly what I liked about Mirror’s Edge as well. It always looked and sounded kind of painful when you messed up a roll, or jumped too far to a drainpipe. It was that feeling of constantly being just on the edge of messing or breaking yourself up which was fun!

  9. NightShift says:

    “Many modern games seem not to trust you with its potential until you’ve gained its trust, and therefore spoon-feed you new abilities over the course of the game. Cloudbuilt lets you play with all skills from the moment you begin”
    Count me in.

    • Luke says:

      Even worse is when a game starts this way, giving you all those neat abilities, and then promptly takes them away five minutes later because your character has amnesia.

      • Dilapinated says:

        I think the prize for that still goes to Metroid: Other M.

        “I could beat this boss really easily, with weapons at my disposal.”
        “I order you not to use those weapons!”
        “Oh, righto then.”
        *dies*

        • Aatch says:

          That does seem to be a standard trope for Metroid though.

          Here Samus goes, all powered up. Oops, tripped on a curb and all her power-ups fell down a storm drain…

      • Aatch says:

        Worse still is “You got a new ability, get used to not using any of the previous ones for the rest of the game”.

        Goddammit guys, why do you insist on pseudo-obsoleting my technology on every upgrade!

  10. Sinomatic says:

    I’m getting the feeling of Mirror’s Edge crossed with Nights into Dreams. Strange, but I think I like it.

    • Dilapinated says:

      I’m getting that impression too.

      • mariusmora says:

        I’m not finding any mirror’s edge feeling here. It makes me think more overgrowth and sony than ME :)

    • DrGonzo says:

      I don’t see any Nights here. Not sure what you mean about it.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        All I see is Dayz.
        Incredibly Lame Pun

      • Sinomatic says:

        To be honest, I’m not sure either, it was just something about the movement, maybe the styling. I can’t really put my finger on it.

        I really enjoyed Nights way back when though, so it was a positive comment, even if it was utterly vague.

  11. The Random One says:

    If parkour : this :: skydiving : AAAAAAAaaaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaa I’ll be happy.

    Also, Hey girl, you got legs that remind me of Mirror’s Edge. (“Oh you mean they make you want to vomit? *SLAP* I swear, I can’t go clubbing any more without some bloody idiot negging me.”)

  12. Eclipse says:

    doesn’t look and play anything like Mirror’s Edge, seems a lot more like Prince of Persia (the new series that still lacks a sequel)

  13. fyro11 says:

    FOV. Please. Don’t. Forget.

    EDIT: Oh and, varying scenery wouldn’t go amiss.

  14. d34thm0nk3y says:

    Somehow it really bugs me that the camera isn’t directly behind the player

  15. Urthman says:

    “Taaaake oooon meeeeeee!”

    • Sleepymatt says:

      I have always wanted to play a game with that video’s art style… This is close but not quite it.

  16. Wedge says:

    Hopefully the animeish influence means they understand Japanese play control as well, and this will be suitably tight. Meaning physics that are concerned with responsive and immediate changes, and not based on buggy FPS movement schemes or any other such nonsense. Seems like they have a good idea with how the jet boosting is looking (reminds me of Megaman Legends and Vanquish), but keeping the camera smooth is gonna be a real trick. Still this is a the kind of game I’ve wanted to see done for a while.

  17. TechnicalBen says:

    They might win a purchase here just for not being a shooty game. Well, that and wall running speed chasing gravity defying jetpacks!

  18. Renato84 says:

    Was it only me who thought about how lately almost everything in the gaming industry that oozes originality is not made in the USA?