Ubisoft’s Forward event was a smaller affair than what people were expecting with the focus being on the upcoming Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs titles with a Far Cry 6 announcement sprinkled in for that extra excitement but Ubisoft also took the time to show off its new free to play title, Hyper Scape.
Hyper Scape is a first-person shooter in the style of a Battle Royal set in a futuristic version of France, the environment is relatively unique for the genre as it’s entirely set in an urban area rather than a mix of woodlands with a few buildings spread about.
Battle Royal games are a dime a dozen in the modern market with everything from Fortnite to Apex to Call of Duty hopping on this little bandwagon so any game that tries to break into this market needs to set itself apart from the rest, so the question is does Hyper Scape stand out?
Well…yes and no. Hyper Scape has decided to simplify the formula a little bit by removing features like inventory management, weapons, armour and shield upgrades, opting for what Ubisoft refers t as a Fuse system. Basically, you’ll only be able to hold two weapons and two abilities, referred to as ‘hacks’, and in order to get the edge on your opponents you can upgrade these items by finding the same type in the map and combining them to upgrade the damage and ammo capacity, each item can be upgraded up to five times which turns said item into a golden item.
I personally enjoy this system but I am a bit disappointed that all these upgrades do is increase damage and ammo capacity, while it keeps things simple it would be nice to have a level five weapon unlock some sort of extra function that changes the playing field a little bit, for example, have the sniper rifle unlock a charge function at level five where you can pull the trigger to fire a normal round or hold it for a more powerful charged shot.
It’s a small complaint but it would go a long way to improving the way engagements work.
Another way Hyper Scape bucks the norm is how mobility is a big part of this game if you ever played Quake or Unreal Tournament you’ll probably feel right as home. There’s no dedicated parkour system like Assassin’s Creed, however, each character has increased mobility thanks to a double jump ability, along with various jump pads littered around the play space to encourage free movement. Combat can take place on the ground level and the rooftops with most buildings being opened up to find loot and reach a new vantage point. Just about every corner of this map can be used to the player’s advantage for either combat or escape.
In addition to the increased mobility, the time to kill is also rather high in this game so fights are quite high commitment, and escaping can be a long process so it’s important to have your squad close to making sure you don’t get gunned down by an enemy team.
So far I’ve only played a few hours and I’ll admit that despite being terrible at the game I am having fun, I like the cat and mouse gameplay where you swoop in and take one guy out only to run a quarter-mile to escape their irate teammates. The gunplay is smooth and feels punchy and the upgrade system makes it easy to focus on what style of gameplay you’re going for but I don’t see Hyper Scape staying in the limelight for long.
The simplistic style at play here is great for new players who are looking to get into it but the lack of any real depth won’t keep the average player’s attention for longer than maybe a few days. Improvement is very linear because the skill ceiling for Hyper Scape is quite low, the only way to improve is to get better at movement and get better at clicking the bad men, there is a tactical element with regards to working with your team but that’s to be expected with this type of game.
Overall I would say that Hyper Scape is a competent effort but as it stands right now I don’t see it keeping up with some of the bigger names in the Battle Royal genre. To clarify, Hyper Scape is currently in open beta so improvements are to be expected but only time will tell if these improvements will increase the quality of life.
Hyper Scape is currently in open beta is free for anyone on PC to download and jump in. If you’re on a console, not to worry as Ubisoft has mentioned they looking to bring this to the PlayStation and Xbox as well.