Monday, October 23, 2023

Cloud Monday - Cloudpunk - Unclear Checkpoints And Auto-Saves Bring Unwanted Anxiety

This week's Cloud Monday video is is on Cloudpunk. I streamed this game, developed by Ion Lands, via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service on my launch model Japanese PS4.

Going in to this game, i didn't know much about it. over the years i had heard this and that about it so i knew that it was something like a taxi/delivery game with lots of talking. but the specifics were unclear. But one of the reasons for choosing a "Cyberpunk" style game is whether or not the aesthetics of it would hold up being streamed to my PlayStation 4.

For the most part, streaming the game from the cloud doesn't affect the aesthetics of the game. the biggest issue the game has in this regard is with the PS4. the draw distance isn't too far so there is a lot of pop-in. it's hard to get a sense of scale, the fully grasp the whole world, when it's popping in as you drive along. But what you do get to see is some amazing voxel art and some huge buildings.

As the game uses varying sizes of voxels, i never really had an issue with how it looked or with things not being clear due to issues with the streaming. in the video, there was some macro blocking, some stream tears, some small hiccups, but in all these instances i still could understand the world. thankfully, these all happened in the car so it's possible out on foot it could be a little bit more of a distraction. the only issue i had with the cloud stream was an instance where macro-blocking made reading what a character was saying difficult.

Once again, it was the game itself that provided the biggest issue. In this video, i was unable to save my game, nor was i able to workout if the game is auto saving or checkpointing. I'll find out when i start Part 2 next week, but it genuinely adds a bit of anxiety to the experience because if there is an issue with streaming a game from PlayStation Plus, there's only a 20 second warning. I have no idea when the last save was, so i have no idea how much progress is about to be lost. The game's pace is slow and that works well with it being streamed, but that works against it if a lot of progress is about to be lost.

As a streaming experience, i do recommend it. But that comes with a huge asterix over the saving and checkpointing that i won't know the answer to until the second part of this series.