I think the headline I wrote is true. But I think it would also be true if it read, “If you sort-of liked but were also hugely frustrated by The Ascent, similar isometric cyberpunk shooter SlavicPunk: Oldtimer could offer a salve to your gripes.” Bit long, though, as titles go. Watch the trailer below.
I like the look of this. I like the shooting, which seems deadly and gratifying; I like the ability to sneak up on enemies; and I like the mid-combat hacking to disrupt foes.
I’m less sold on the setting, which seems to include all the elements of aesthetic cyberpunk that I’m already tired of, like big holographic naked women and jaded murderous protagonists. You play a private investigator with a “troubled past”, trying to solve a case involving some stolen data while “fighting his own inner demons.” Eesh. Reading deeper into the Steam page does offer some hope, pitching the game as “uniquely, inherently Slavic” in such a way that may give it its own flavor.
I’ve been playing The Ascent in co-op over the past couple of months. Ed’s review got it right: it’s slow to start, it’s filled with jargon that’s not worth investigating, and there’s entirely too much jogging and backtracking. Plus, it breaks all the time. Despite all that, I had fun with it in fleeting moments. By not being a protracted looter shooter, SlavicPunk look like it might deliver those moments with more immediacy.
We’ll apparently find out when it releases sometime in spring 2023.