I took a moment before starting to write this article, contemplating the fantastic world of cyberpunk, a blend of traditional art and modern civilization. I aimed to immerse myself in the right atmosphere to express my thoughts, and I came to the conclusion that this magical world holds a special place in almost all of our hearts.
So, I can’t forget the excitement that gamers felt when Cyberpunk 2077 was released in 2020. We delved into the fantastic artistic state that the game’s world presented. If you’re a fan of movies, you’re in luck, my friend, because you’ve enjoyed some outstanding works that will go down in history, such as The Matrix, Total Recall, and, of course, Ryan Gosling’s masterpiece, Blade Runner 2077. Not to mention the dozens of graphic novels and animated films that have left their mark.
It seems like almost everyone has had their fair share of the cyberpunk world. But what about smartphone users who sit in the quiet corner, eagerly waiting for developers to treat them to a good game from time to time? They dream of their mobile platforms receiving the recognition they deserve, especially with the incredible advancements in smartphone technology.
Well, it looks like this broad category of users won’t have to protest, sign petitions, or envy their counterparts on home platforms when they see “V” strolling through Night City, all thanks to the fantastic role-playing game set in the cyberpunk world: Cyberika.
Cyberpunk Mobile Game – A Dream or Just Fantasy?
Is it possible to have a slice of the cyberpunk world right on our mobile devices? Cyberika, an MMORPG game in the cyberpunk genre designed for mobile platforms, was released almost two years ago. The remarkable thing about it is that it’s entirely free, and it won’t cost players anything at all.
Did the game manage to provide a decent experience that closely mimics the cyberpunk world on mobile phones? Can we truly describe the visual experience as stunning, or is it just a poor attempt to attract a larger user base? These are all valid questions that players ponder and concerns that loom on the horizon. Developing a mobile game set in the cyberpunk world and refining it carefully demands significant effort from the development team. So, did the game succeed in achieving this? Let’s find out.
A Decent Storyline Far from the Usual Clichés
Mobile games are often criticized for their shallow storytelling and the absence of a story altogether in many cases. This is a pitfall that companies are often forced to fall into, as they find themselves between the grindstones of developing a decent game that satisfies users, making it primarily free, with a reasonable file size that won’t drive players away, thus necessitating sacrifices, most often, in the story department.
Cyberika takes a different approach and makes an effort that cannot be ignored to deliver a decent storyline that immerses itself in the cyberpunk world’s context. You’ll step into the shoes of a mercenary in the year 2084, and fate aligns you with a job at a cyberchip company called Makana Biotech. Brain implants are installed in your mind, revealing the “Ghost,” a holographic representation of the deceased company CEO, who assigns you the task of solving his murder! Yes, he died five years ago, and it was recorded as a suicide at the time. If you can solve his murder, he’ll awaken from your mind and reward you with unimaginable riches. Will you accept the mission? Can you succeed in getting justice for him and uncovering the truth behind his death? All of these narrative threads gradually unfold in the game one after the other.
The game starts with character creation, offering customization options that, while not extremely varied, certainly get the job done. Upon receiving your first mission, you’ll go to your apartment and receive a tutorial about the useful tools for your task. This first-person perspective part of the game serves its purpose well, providing you with a complete sense of the environment and interactable objects around you. It bears many similarities to Cyberpunk 2077, doesn’t it?
A Captivating Visual Experience with Gameplay Inspired by the Fallout Series!
All the typical aesthetic vibes of the cyberpunk world you’d expect are here. We’ve got a curated selection of some of the best ’80s-era songs playing in the background of every scene. And in a particularly inspiring move, each soundbite and artist is credited when played. The game’s environments are unique, and the world has a creative artistic touch that’s hard to miss. Although some design aspects of the game might look somewhat similar, there’s no lack of elegance in the design.
Please note that the graphic capabilities of smartphones are somewhat limited compared to home platforms and personal computers. Developers have the necessary hardware, but they can’t just go all out because a significant portion of players own budget and mid-range smartphones that won’t support such high-end graphics. Thus, some concessions had to be made on that front of the game.
The gameplay is somewhat satisfying, with a variety of customizable weapons at your disposal, whether combat is close-quarters or long-range. Suitable enhancements for your character allow you to develop your attack strategy and skill tree. However, similar to its sci-fi predecessors in the Fallout series, most of the game’s appeal lies in the overall atmosphere, dialogue, and characters. Each non-playable character (NPC) is designed with a unique style and dialogue. Although there aren’t many conversation choices, the focus on refining each character with a different style is evident.
Minor flaws don’t detract from the overall experience.
There are only a few glitches in the cohesive Cyberika experience. First, despite having a fair amount of well-designed buildings and objects, they may be somewhat scarce in certain sections of the game. Some areas are fully decked out with glowing neon signs and intriguing characters, while others, unfortunately, have large spaces with a similar appearance that don’t provide any visual variety.
Other than that, my major gripe lies in the tedium of the Crafting system. Many items can be acquired using the in-game market in your characters’ homes. So, what’s the point of scavenging? You not only need to gather different machinery and items to use them but also require resources to build and use them.
When the pursuit of in-game currency and resources (without using microtransaction options) becomes something you must work on to develop your character and weapons, it often ends up being quite frustrating. Naturally, this could be addressed by the developers in the near future, especially with numerous promises of adding more content soon.
Cyberika: A Promising Cyberpunk Game “Straight from Home Platforms”
In general, Cyberika has managed to gather a lot of high-quality content in a game that looks like it’s “escaped” from home platforms. It’s definitely an experience worthy of praise and critical acclaim for its developers. However, there are many details that make this mobile game experience appear as if it’s a massive project from one of the giant studios, but it’s actually the product of a studio that is still making its way onto the global stage.
I believe that smartphone users are now in a better position than before. While their counterparts on home platforms enjoy the expansive Phantom Liberty experience, mobile platform owners now have a taste of the cyberpunk world to brag about! Other mobile game development teams now have a compelling reason to wake up from slumber and start new projects in the enchanting cyberpunk realm.