What do you get when you mix the universe of Tron and superhero powers in a battle royale world? This was the question Ubisoft probably asked itself when creating HyperscapeUbisoft’s entry into the battle royale genre is chock-full of action, drama, unique Twitch integration, and a smidge of homogeny.

During the technical test last month (which you can read about here), I experienced unique gameplay in an interesting world. A month later, some things have changed but some stay the same. Hyperscape has the makings of something great but has a long way to go before taking on the titans of the battle royale world.

Note: Like most multiplayer battle-royale, this review reflects its current state, not its full possible potential.

Virtual Warfare

The battle royale genre is filled with different takes on the same principle. Fortnite leverages its dynamic building; Apex Legends with its unique heroes; Warzone with its military warfare (and yes, once again, insane download size). At its core, it’s a lot of people fighting each other to win the elusive chicken dinner.

Incredible movement, not-so-incredible gunplay.

Hyperscapes edge is its incredible verticality, speed, and an increasingly interesting set of powers. Most battle royales usually have a large open-world filled with small urban-spaces, a couple of points of interest, and giant fields of nothing for you and your team to be cut down. The most unique feature of Hyperscape is the fact that its one-giant urban space filled with interiors and giant skyscrapers.

Hyperscapes focus on a vertical, urban space that leads to thrilling, frantic moments in gameplay where your ability to evade is as important as your ability to shoot someone. On top of the speed and verticality, Hyperscape also features a host of various special abilities or “hacks” that can enhance your gameplay. Some include slam which sends players flying into the air and then, well, slamming into the ground, teleport which reminds me of the Dishonored games and many more support/tactical and movement-based hacks.

Hacks and verticality are the star of Hyperscape

Hyperscape is at its best when the pillars of movement and abilities are at play, and weakest when adding its third pillar, the actual combat. In my previous impressions, I likened the gunplay to feel somewhere between Warzone’s realism and Apex Legends more arcadey combat. After many hours using Hyperscapes arsenal of weapons, neither of them has really stood out or become memorable as of yet. Part of this is due to the time-to-kill that still seems to be a bit too long.

Weapons that come in the form of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and heavier weapons like miniguns, etc, still feel like they take forever to bring someone down. The TTK can be mitigated by fusing weapons, a feature of Hyperscape where you can combine the same weapons/abilities together for a more powerful version, but even a high-level rifle only goes so far to make the TTK more manageable.

Combat then boils down to how fast you can get away from your opponent while simultaneously pouring bullets into them while hopping around. In some moments this can be exciting, in other moments, a bit silly. While the developers have already addressed changes to the TTK in the future, in its current state, combat is my least favorite part of the game while the actual movement is the best.

Ready Player 100

The world of Hyperscape reminds me of a clash between the worlds of Tron and Crackdown. The city is drenched in a futuristic aesthetic and neon lights that are both beautiful to look at but can also start to blur together. There are key locations on the map that add some differentiation, but overall, get ready to run through unfurnished buildings that look like the last unfurnished building you ran through. While the map doesn’t feel unique and memorable, it does provide a good environment for the various gameplay elements in the game: movement, speed, hacks, they all tie in well together to utilize the space provided.

Jumping into the Hyperscape in style.

One of the most interesting things about Hyperscape is its approach to the closing circle element. Instead of a plain ol’ ring of fire/gas/strange blue field, Hyperscape features a zone-by-zone “collapse” where the virtual buildings start to deteriorate. The closest comparison you can make is Ring of Elysium’s system where parts of the map start to be unuseable.

It’s best to get out of collapsing sectors like this.

Being set in a virtual world, the game’s lore depicts a future where the earth is in not-so-good-shape, and the people of these sprawling megacities can escape to a virtual world called the Hyperscape. I’m not saying it’s Read Player One, but it’s basically Ready Player One.

In this case, the Hyperscape and a chance for players to not only make their mark but to also find the dark secrets hidden within this virtual world. While it’s an interesting premise, so far, it’s just a virtual environment for 100 players to cause chaos. Ubisoft promises to expand the world and the story in the future, and if they’re given the same time and space to grow like Rainbow Six Siege and For Honour, maybe we will get our own version of the Oasis in our lifetime.

Still Buffering

In its current state, Hyperscape features a solo and squad mode with limited-time events sprinkled once in a while. With the impending launch of the game on PC and the inclusion of Xbox and Playstation joining the fray, Ubisoft is promising new content and modes with the start of their first season of the game on August 11th, 2020.

The game also has an interesting hub space which has the potential for some in-world events like Fortnitevarious film and music events, but right now it’s home to character customization, a microtransaction store for cosmetics and more.

Some cosmetics are worth it, most not so much.

Right out the gate, other than crown royale their main game mode, there’s not much to do or see (or buy) in Hyperscape, which is fair considering it’s still fairly new to the field.

Digital Dreams

Hyperscape is facing an uphill battle right now against three major battle royale competitors. Each of these competitors has something very unique that differentiates it from the rest. Right now, something feels like its missing from Hyperscape: could it be its unique identity or soul? It’s possible, but all I know is when I play a round of Hyperscape it feels both exciting and a bit empty. I have yet to experience a “holy crap!” moment like jumping out of a helicopter and parachuting onto a building, or using a character’s unique ability to make a game-winning kill.

The beginning of Ubisoft’s foray into the battle royale genre.

While the powers and movement shine in Hyperscape, it is bogged down by its lackluster combat, high TTK, and much-needed soul searching. Ubisoft has created a great framework for an interesting battle royale game, and I enjoyed my time enough in the Hyperscape to want to see how it evolves into the future.

 

 

Hyperscape Review
The Good
  • Great movement and verticality
  • Exciting powers to experiment with
  • A good foundation for something potentially great
The Bad
  • Gun-play and general combat needs work
  • The world is a little bland
  • Needs to differentiate itself from the rest
6.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)
4.3

About The Author

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Sr. Staff Writer

Robin Ghosh (a.k.a. SpectreRobin) is a Sr. Staff Writer at GAW. He is a published writer, photographer, videographer and budding filmmaker and is currently the content director of TABOOZAPP. Having recently finished his masters in media production at Ryerson University, he is gearing up to take his career to the next level (ha, gaming pun). Robin is in love with role-playing games, sim-shooters like Deus Ex and Prey and has a soft spot for survival games like DayZ. He will play anything with a good story and a compelling world to explore. That being said no matter what year it is, he will probably at some point have a craving to play Skyrim again for the 3rd time..4th? Who knows, he really....really likes Skyrim.