Despite this being its console debut, Super Cloudbuilt has actually been available on PC for the last few years, albeit in its ‘vanilla’ form without ‘super’ added to the title. It proved to be quite popular too, with the game generally receiving positive reviews from its audience. With its new release though it has been fancied up a bit and had all of its post-release content included, giving those who played it when it first released a bit of an incentive to return to the parkour-focused adventure once more. Those who haven’t played the game before should try it out too; not only is Super Cloudbuilt stunning to look at, but a lot of fun to play.
Super Cloudbuilt puts you into the shoes of Demi, a female soldier who has been left injured in a hospital bed after sustaining life threatening injuries during a brutal war. Whilst in this comatose state, her subconscious takes on a life of its own and ventures across a broken reality based upon the things she has faced or fears. It’s all part of the healing process, with each trial she overcomes putting her a step closer to a full and healthy recovery.
It makes for quite a peculiar set up, but one I was actually quite fond of. The fact you were almost living through Demi’s trauma all over again within this alternate representation of her PTSD felt incredibly unique. It really drew me in, which is quite surprising as from my initial impressions I simply saw Super Cloudbuilt as a gameplay-focused title. There’s a heck of a lot more to it than that though, with the game’s narrative hooking me in almost immediately.
That doesn’t mean the gameplay doesn’t take centre stage though, with Demi’s parkour capabilities making up the bulk of the experience. You’ll be running, jumping, gliding, and boosting your way across the ground, walls, and air as you bounce through each level with acrobatic finesse. Levels have been designed as open playgrounds too, so there are always multiple ways to get from point A to B with the player able to figure new pathways out by themselves. It makes for a really fun experience and something I didn’t tire off even by the time I reached the end – there was just a real satisfaction to be found from playing the game.
We’ve seen a lot of games utilise parkour elements these days, with titles like Mirrors Edge and even the more recent Call of Dutys featuring free-running elements in some shape or form, but it felt a lot more liberating in Super Cloudbuilt. You’re never simply pressing a button at the right time, but actually carefully manoeuvring across walls and trying to work out the perfect amount of momentum to reach each target. Even using the boost requires a bit of care and attention otherwise you’ll find yourself quickly shooting out of reach of any safe platform. You’re in full control of everything Demi does and if you’re not careful you’ll see her fall to her doom time and time again. Whilst there’s no doubting Super Cloudbuilt is fun, it can be pretty tough too, so mastering the controls is pretty vital if you’re going to get to the end.
The game isn’t all about running and jumping though, with plenty of enemies coming along that want to take Demi out. Whilst their presence is common though, I wouldn’t say Super Cloudbuilt focuses too much on combat, with just basic mechanics in place to take out any foes. It’s effective, sure, but it doesn’t provide too many thrills during the game. Those looking for a third person shooter might be better off with a different title, because Super Cloudbuilt’s meat and bones is within it’s super fun level traversal; it’s certainly more of a platformer than anything else.
Visually, Super Cloudbuilt looks absolutely sublime, with the cel-shaded visual style looking like it’s literally being drawn right in front of you. It looks really impressive in-game and has this unique sketched look that really makes it stand out. You’re able to customise it too, applying different aesthetic styles that completely change up the palette. I’m not giving it justice to just describe it in words, but let’s just say the visuals are both incredibly varied and incredibly pretty. Add to that the fact that the game runs at a steady 60fps and you’ll find it a pleasure to both play and look at.
Once you’re done with the game there’s plenty of extra content to get absorbed into, with Rush Mode offering a series of extra challenges for you to complete and Ranked Mode challenging you to complete levels as quickly as possible to beat the times of other players all around the world. I never thought it’d be something I took too keen an interest in, but it’s surprising how much the intense parkour elements of the game will draw you in for more post-completion.
With its unique story, stunning art style, and fantastic parkour gameplay, Super Cloudbuilt makes for an incredibly fun and super stylish experience. It kinda came out of nowhere for me, but it’s already ended up being one of the more enjoyable platformers I’ve played through this year. The tough difficulty of the later levels may be off putting for some, but anyone who sticks with it is going to have a good time right until the very end.
Publisher: Double Eleven
Release Date: 25/07/2017
Format(s): Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC