Ubisoft's Hyperscape game review - Stylish battle royale lacking in substance
Battle royale, as a genre has felt like it has hit its ceiling. When Player Unknowns battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite were launched, the genre boomed and they both became cultural phenomenons. Then, seeing their successes, other big-name players started entering the fold. Respawn launched its Apex legends, which revolutionised the communication system in these games by introducing pings (which is now in all the major battle royale), and Activision tried it's take with Call of duty Blackouts, which wasn't that big a hit. Then Activision, learning from its mistake, launched Call of duty: Warzone which became a massive hit with its sublime graphics and the famed call of duty locations. It simplified the weapons handling by doing away with the crazy amount of upgrades and giving always the fully kitted weapon in its loadout. Now, Ubisoft is trying for a hand in the pie by launching Hyperscape, a futuristic battle royale. The game is now available to play for everyone as an open beta like we mentioned previously in our article about Ubisoft's forward event. All you have to do is register in uplay and download the roughly 8 gigs of game files to start playing.
We tried our hand in Hyperscape for a couple of hours and this is the initial take on the game for us. Please note that, this is only the beta version and there are a lot of bugs in the game, which maybe corrected in the final release. For me too, while playing, in a couple of games, a bug appeared that took me back to where I started every time I tried to move. It was frankly annoying, but we can't help these in the beta versions. Of all the battle royales, I like apex legends the most, and naturally, my comparisons will be mostly against Apex. Please bear with it.
Hyperscape is set in a futuristic city scape with tall buildings. In the future, a big name tech corporation has created a virtual world where players can battle against each other. It's setting sounds a mix of The Hunger games and Ready player one. The sprawling city is huge for exploring and the game focuses on vertical movement, with battles in rooftops being the norm in almost all the games we played. However, while jumping around the rooftops felt awesome, it was difficult, at least in the initial phases, to get used to the movement animations in the game. Compared to apex, the games characters felt slow when moving through the ground. The animations and the graphics felt smooth and pleasing to the eye, especially the one for swapping your guns. It felt incredibly fluid and aesthetic where you just pick the gun twist it and it fades into existence. But, there is a pitfall in that, as the animation distracts you in tense firefights while you switch weapons.
Speaking of firefights, my biggest gripe with Hyperscape is that the firefights feel flimsy. Sure, they are long drawn out affairs with initial levels of guns atleast taking minutes before completely killing the enemy. But my gripe is with the fact that the firefights never feel substantial in their stakes because of the frankly poor gunplay in Hyperscape. They never feel like guns in the first place with neither the sounds nor the damage being good enough to take you into the mood. Take Apex or COD: warzone for example and whenever you are in a firefight, you feel the stakes being uber-important, even if the firefights barely last more than 30 seconds. That's what made those games so special. A first person shooter that has poor gunplay is a bit oxymoronic, is what I feel personally.
The one feature I liked the most in Hyperscape is that the killed teammate becomes a ghost that can scout ahead for the team. And also combined with the fact that there is no revive timeout. Respawn, take note for the next apex patch.
Overall, Hyperscape is a fun little battle royale to play with it being able to play even in middle level systems without hiccup, and a good weekend entertainment with your squad. However, unless it fixes its few important flaws, it can never match up with the titans of the genre like Fortnite or PUBG, or even comparative newbies like Apex legends or warzone.
Bingeopedia rating: 2.5/5 (for a beta version)
Availability: for free in uplay store