VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action PlayStation 4 Pro Review

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action excels at providing an invigorating adventure full of interesting characters while elaborating on its own cyberpunk world.

By Grayshadow, Posted 10 May 2019

I had low expectations for VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. I anticipated a bartending simulator with a simple narrative but I was mistaken. Yes, you're a bartender and the game is a narrative-driven title but the deep and complex characters along with the well-crafted cyberpunk universe provide a soothing yet exciting environment. Each character has their own personalities whether it's an editor looking to kill time or a working man trying to find meaning in life. VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action excels at providing an invigorating adventure full of interesting characters while elaborating on its own cyberpunk world.

VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action,NoobFeed,

Players take control of Jill, a bartender at a local dive bar called Valhalla. Her job is simple, keep the clients happy with drink requests and speak to them to encourage more purchases. Each patron that enters the bar is a new character with a distinct look and personality. Some openly express what's going on in their lives such as issues and others not so much. Jill herself is an interesting character as well, with opinions about everyone she is talking to. Strong, blunt, and willing to extend a hand Jill is simply doing her job but will sometimes perform the occasion good samaritan act; such as giving a drink to a hysterical woman crying bloody murder. There's no voice acting so prepare for a lot of reading, with some interactions taking around 7 minutes of back and forth.

When you're not talking you'll be mixing drinks. You're given the recipe and what each customer wants is easy to look up. Sometimes they ask for specific changes such as a "double", want something with a distinct taste, or a regular may expect you to know their favorite drink. It takes a while to get used to the various combination but eventually you begin to memorize the various different types of beverages. You are required to read each description carefully as the drinks sometimes require ice or "aged" and will not mix properly if done incorrectly. Every night ends with a score and based on your performance you'll either walk away with enough for rent or not. If you play prudently and budget accordingly you won't experience any financial troubles. 

VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action,NoobFeed,

Outside from work, Jill can purchase items that can benefit her own mental health. Such as decorations or music to limit distractions. If you miss out on one of these or fail to pay your bills on time it adds to Jill's stress. Making it harder for her to focus and sometimes not paying attention to drink orders. There's no real "Game Over" consequences to missing bills or making the wrong drinks over and over, but it does keep you engaged in managing your finances and making your customers happy.

The musical score and 8-bit graphics all complement the overall world. You're given an ample selection of musical tracks to play. Graphically the game looks incredible, with detailed environments and incredible character models. The environmental diversity is limited to your apartment and the bar and the character models don't move much. But these are small issues.

VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action,NoobFeed,

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is definitely not for everyone. The game is a heavily narrative driven game with a lot of reading. However, those who invest in the adventure will find a lot of fascinating characters as you discover not only the personal lives these people live but the world itself.
 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Ysbryd Games, AGM PLAYISM
Developer(s): Sukeban Games
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Cyberpunk
Release Date: 2016-06-21

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