Video Game Reviews

Hyper Scape: A Beautiful Facade

I first heard about Hyper Scape in a quick online blurb that I’m pretty sure was nestled amongst a bunch of other game release info. The premise seemed great: a battle royale with an urban map and direct links to streaming sites so that fans could get involved. It was even being produced by Ubisoft, a reputable-enough company. I felt reasonably confident that they could pull off everything promised and the result would be amazing.

I missed the release of Hyper Scape by….oh, two months or so?

I actually only realized that the game was out when I saw a YouTube video of someone playing it. I thought, “That looks amazing. I have to get in on this.” 

So, I promptly downloaded the game and–after a lengthy ordeal involving my UPlay account–jumped in . 

Once I got started, I thought that I had found something that would dominate my competitive gaming time. The opening cinematic was beautiful, the training arena gave me a solid feel for the combat, and I absolutely loved the idea of my menu being a literal playspace. I was especially looking forward to a map that doesn’t get smaller with concentric circles but instead drops by sections. Even the idea of the crown rush at the end had me titillated.

What followed was several days of being completely underwhelmed. 

Nerf Combat

One of my biggest complaints about the combat system was that I never felt like I was doing much damage. The Skybreaker, a gun that launches a large electrofied explosive projectile, would routinely fail to obliterate my foes even after lobbing several projectiles directly into their face.

And I’ve shot a lot of projectiles into people’s faces, so I ought to know.

Now, you can fuse (read: upgrade) your guns by picking up multiple iterations of the same weapon, but even that felt underwhelming near the endgame. 

The only gun that was remotely satisfying was the Protocol V, a sniper rifle. I struggled to hit people with it, mostly because my aim was pretty off, but also because Hyper Scape fights can get a little frantic. Not Spellbreak frantic, but still pretty crazy. When I did manage to hit people, however, I actually felt like I was doing damage.

The one aspect of combat that I can commend Ubisoft for is their decision to make the health bar in this particular battle royale one that regenerates slowly if you don’t take damage for a certain amount of time. It was different and bold. That said, fighting the same person for three consecutive rounds does get a bit old sometimes.

Urban Warfare

Quite possibly my favorite aspect of this game was the design, especially where the map was concerned. 

Is it a little more limited on how varied its locations are when compared to other battle royales? Yes, it is. However, this is only because the arena is supposed to be a single cohesive city, and that’s exactly what it feels like. 

I also like that Ubisoft did not take a dark, gritty approach to their arena. It’s bright, colorful, and looks amazing. One of my favorite parts of any match was flying over the neon holograms that marked the drop locations.

Unfortunately, the actual design down at street level leaves something to be desired. I could never tell where the most advantageous position was at any given moment. Generally, I would think…

This should be the right strategy

…but I never felt like that was true. I often found that seeking the high ground–or even taking the time to look for an advantageous position–was what would get me killed. I also found that I had a hard time getting my bearings.

I’ll blame this largely on the fact that I’m so used to being able to see off into the horizon in most battle royales. Having the closely packed buildings of a city blocking my sightlines made it more difficult to assess my surroundings in a meaningful way. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing. I actually found it a little refreshing. But it definitely led to more than one crushing defeat.

Haxor Master

Hacks are abilities that you can equip to give yourself an advantage over the competition. What makes them extra special is that you can equip two at a time, allowing for many different combinations. 

Hacks include:

  • Armor: Makes you invulnerable for a short period of time
  • Ball: Places you inside a large armored ball that bounces quite high
  • Invisibility: Allows you to become invisible for a short period of time
  • Reveal: Shows you enemy positions through walls and other obstacles
  • Mine: Allows you to place a proximity homing mine on the ground
  • Shockwave: Creates an explosion of force that damages enemies and knocks them back
  • Heal: Creates a circle of healing for you and your teammates
  • Slam: Launches the character into the air. If you hit slam while in the air you crash to the ground and deal damage
  • Teleport: Instantaneously travel forward a moderate distance. 

What I like about the hack system is that it allows you to customize your playstyle to a certain extent. Do you want to mitigate damage? Try combining a wall hack with an armor hack. Do you want to assist your team? Heal and reveal is an amazing combo. Is mobility your whole bag? A slam hack combined with a ball hack will make you nearly uncatchable. 

Meep meep!!

It all depends on how you want to play the game.

Your Match is Loading…

The most stagnant part of my entire experience was the wait times. I spent an average of five minutes per match in the lobby area. It was appalling, especially considering that most other battle royales have their wait times down to a minute and a half or less. 

I’m not sure if Hyper Scape’s long wait times were indicative of a small player base, stringent matchmaking rules, or server issues, but whatever the case, it was too much. 

The loading screens weren’t much better. I felt like I spent an inordinate amount of time wondering when I would actually get to play.

 Crown Rush

The literal feather in the cap of Hyper Scape is the concept of Crown Rush, which is the title of the game you are actually playing within the game of Hyper Scape… it’s a little confusing, I know.

A game within a game… Xzibit would approve

Basically, once the final round begins, a crown will appear on the map and you will enter the showdown. If you can claim the crown, and hold onto it for long enough, you will be victorious. 

This means you don’t necessarily have to kill any enemies to win. You can simply outlast and outsmart your enemies to claim a sweet, sweet Dub

Hypo Scape

Unfortunately, Hyper Scape is a game that is less than the sum of its parts. It sounds pretty great on paper, but it just wasn’t up to snuff. The matches were flat, the weapons were underwhelming, and even though I could have two special abilities, I never felt fulfilled while using them.

I played this game every day for a week, and only two or three matches got my heart pumping. Most of the time, I couldn’t get into them at all. I really wanted to like Hyper Scape, too. So much so that I decided to stop playing after day three, but kept going back to try again anyway. I kept hoping that I was missing something–that eventually something would click and I would see how amazing it really was. 

That never happened. 

So, Hyper Scape is getting an extremely mediocre 5/10 from me.

What is really unfortunate is that I can’t even tell you where the developers went wrong. Maybe the market is too flooded with battle royales at the moment. Maybe it’s too similar to other games. Or maybe it just isn’t that good. Whatever the case may be, I wish Ubisoft well, but I won’t be returning to the world of Hyper Scape.