Posted on December 7, 2016
Cloud Pirates – Pros and Cons of My.com’s New Aerial Shooter
In this article we will be looking at a game called Cloud Pirates.
What is Cloud Pirates?
Cloud Pirates is a new MMO being developed by the Allods Team. Allods Team is a Russian game developer and is the company behind Allods Online and Skyforge. Their newest project is Cloud Pirates which is currently in Closed Beta.
Cloud Pirates is a steampunk, fantasy themed, shooting game in which the player assumes the role of an airship captain and his job is to clear the skies from the enemies.
It is not just shooting game with airships though. The game also has RPG and MOBA elements in it. There are many airships to play with, all with different strengths and weaknesses and various degrees of difficulty and all of them customizable. Each ships also has abilities which it can use in combat and depending on the type of ship those abilities differ. For example small, fast ships which are used for attacking have offensive abilities while heavy ships have support or defensive spells to help their teammates.
Personally, I would label this game as a hero shooter game with RPG elements in it.
Is it a clone of Warthunder?
The answer to this is no.
I wouldn’t call this a clone since the only common feature that these two share is the air combat; and even that largely differs between the two.
In Warthunder you pilot a WWII plane and the combat is more realistic and slow; and planes are not the main feature of the game, WWII vehicles are, which includes ships, tanks etc.
In Cloud Pirates, you basically control an airship with all sorts of different weapons: cannons, laser beams etc. and the type of your ship determines your role into the game.
For a better reference , you can see a gameplay video of the game below:
Before I begin with the PROS & CONS of the game. Let me just say that this is a
First-impressions article about this game, not a review. And I would like to ask you to treat it as such.
This means that things that I might say here may or may not be the same in the future when the game releases.
I shall start with the PROS as usual and then move on to the CONS.
Besides Warthunder, this is the only MMO which focuses around aerial combat and it does it pretty well. If you like air-battles and you want to try something different then, you should definitely put this game on your list. After playing it for about 12 hours for test purposes, I am certain that I will surely keep it installed in my computer for a long time.
The customization options are crazy in this game. There are overall three types of ships in the game, light, medium and heavy ships. You start the game with the starting ship of each category. Each ship has its own each tree which unlocks new ships of that category as you keep playing. Ships also have a wide variety of weapons and armors which you can buy in order to improve your ship.
It is not easy to upgrade all the equipment of an airship, thus you will have to decide on what you like the most and specialize in that certain category of ships.
Strategic and tactical combat
The way you fight is one of the big PLUS in the game. It requires both team play and personal skill. The maps are mostly objective based which means you have to work as a team if you want to win. If you run off on your own to capture an objective, you will most likely end up bombarded by the enemy fleet. Advantage in numbers is crucial when you engage an enemy.
Each ship has broadside and front cannons and depending on where you aim the cursor the appropriate weapon will fire. You have to constantly be on the move and attack him from different positions and angles, not only to confuse him, but because the cannons overheat after firing for a while.
Also, the maps’ design promotes its tactical combat feature. For example, there are places to hide and escape enemy fire, nice locations for ambushing enemies who try to cross the map in order to get to the fight after respawning and locations which periodically spawn power ups or heal orbs for you ship which act as secondary control points in the game.
Colorful graphics and locations
The game uses the same graphic engine as Allods Online which has been praised in the past for its beautiful graphics and performance. And the same goes for Cloud Pirares, I experienced no FPS drop in my 12 hours of gameplay and I was satisfied with the game’s aesthetics very much. The graphics may not be realistic, but overall those cartoony, colorful graphics blend together into a very nice looking end result.
I have only one word for this
Good Graphics are one thing, but when you manage to deliver that along with good sound effects which enhance the experience then you have won my approval from me.
The sound of the cannonfire, slowing watching the flames engulf the enemy airships as you bombard them and finally going BOOM with a very powerful sound effect, I can tell you that this is very satisfying.
Limits the player to a certain gameplay-style
As I’ve already said there lots of ships and all kinds of improvements that can be applied to them, however all that takes a lot of grinding.
I’ll give you an example to make things clearer:
In order to unlock a new e.g. heavy category ship, you have to play until you have a certain amount of experience, before you become certified to unlock the new heavy airship. And sometimes you have to play multiple ships until you can unlock the one you want.
There is some versatility among airships of each category, but ultimately I consider this feature very bad, as it limits the player to one airship category which at the end of the day it defines your role in the game.
Trying to unlock high-tier airships from each category would take at least months.
The User Interface wasn’t the best I’ve seen. Especially the customization menu, required a lot of backtrack in order to navigate. Plus, sometimes it felt a little unresponsive. However, the game is still in Closed Beta so problems such as these are expected. That’s why I don’t consider this a big disadvantage.
It is developed by Allods Team
As I’ve mentioned earlier the Allods Team is responsible for two famous MMOs, Skyforge and Allods Online. I have tried both of them, Skyforge especially kept me occupied for some time, but in the end I dropped it a few months after release. This past spring I was thinking of rejoining the game, but before that I did some research to see how the game was holding up.
It turned out that the game had become a horrible P2W abomination. Every post that I’ve looked up had mostly unpleasant things to say for the game, bugs, glitches, hacks and of course P2W features. It was a shame that it ended up like that, because at the start Skyforge looked like a really promising game with a lot of potential. And for the sake of this article, I’ve also checked on Allods Online and the opinions were pretty much the same.
And that’s why my biggest fear for this great game are not its own shortcomings, but its own creators.
Overall, liked this game and I would certainly keep playing it casually in the future and depending on how the company handles their cash policy, I would decide if I would focus on it more or uninstall it.