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access_time July 14, 2020 at 6:00 AM in Previews by David Poole

Impressions from the Hyper Scape Beta

It seems like everyone is trying to get into the Battle Royale genre these days. Games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone and more continue to dominate the gaming space. Ubisoft recently expressed their own interest in throwing their hat in the genre, taking a Ready Player One approach with their new title, Hyper Scape. In the game, characters enter into the Crown Rush competition to battle it out for ultimate supremacy. With the open beta officially underway, we decided to take it for a test drive to see how it stacks up.

On the surface, Hyper Scape may look like your typical Battle Royale game. 99 Players enter a large map in a first-person shooting all-out war. The game can be played in either Squads or Solo, so fans of the genre will likely feel some familiarity here. Once they enter the game though, things will change quite a bit. Even though players will select a character, the characters don’t offer anything unique outside of appearance and their voice. Dropping in with your pod, you’ll drop into Neo Arcadia, aiming to land somewhere that will offer a lot of equipment.

You’ll start out with a melee weapon, but you’ll want to find a gun or two quickly if you want to stand a chance. Players can hold up to two guns at a time, and picking up the same weapon will upgrade it to another level. This can sometimes give additional damage or even increase the magazine loadout. It’s a good mechanic that helps to encourage exploration and scavenging, and it even leads into one of Hyper Scape’s unique features: Hacks.

Players can find and equip up to two Hacks during their session. These abilities offer a ton of variety and change the game up immensely when compared to other games in the genre. While some Hacks offer up offensive abilities like the Mine, most are defensive in nature. Wall can create a large barrier to help keep you out of the line of enemy fire. Armor will boost your defenses for a limited time. Invisibility will make you disappear while Reveal will expose your enemies. Teleport will help you make a quick escape, and Slam will launch you away and turn the defensive ability into an offensive attack. Heal will drop a healing sentry, which is useful for playing in a Squad. The newest Hack, Shockwave, launches enemies away.

While the Hacks offer great capabilities, my favorite one has to be the Ball ability, which may also be the most easily exploitable. Ball will turn you into a bouncing orb, granting excellent movement options, easily getting you out of a jam. The biggest issue with Ball is that it lasts far too long and makes escape far too easy. It even grants some slight armor, so while you can be shot out of the form, it takes a few hits. It seems like the developers consider it to be a highlight of the Hacks, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see it go away. Perhaps it might be best to reduce the length of its use. That or at least extend the cooldowns, which are relatively short for all the Hacks. Either way, as far as these special abilities go, they really help to spice things up.

Now, while Hacks add some variety to the game, there is one other big inclusion in Hyper Scape. One of the driving forces to the game is the Twitch integration, allowing the game to have an interactive element with viewers. During a match, spectators have a way of directly influencing the match. This could be like activating unlimited ammo, dropping random supply crates, low gravity, infinite ammo, and even revealing players to each other. It doesn’t happen constantly, but it’s enough to make an impact on the game. So far, I’ve managed to claim a Twitch supply crate, granting me a max level gun and Hack. It felt like Christmas.

The game has a cool urban landscape with several large building landmarks that make a unique design. It feels very clustered together rather than large open spaces with buildings few and far between. This allows for a lot of close quarters scenarios where players may find themselves in closed spaces. There’s also a vertical element here, with a lot of tall buildings and the ability to climb or jump up to higher ground. A lot of firefights actually happen on rooftops too. It makes for an interesting looking match and it helps to set Hyper Scape apart from the competition.

While I’ve been playing a few matches, there’s still a lot to Hyper Scape that I have yet to experience. So far, I’ve only played the game in Solo mode, but there will eventually be more options for Squads players. This includes Hack Runner Squad and the Turbo Mode Squad modes. There’s also special options for Squads, like the rebirth feature, where death is only the beginning. When you die in a squad, you essentially become a ghost and move around, waiting for your teammates to get a kill. Doing so will give you an opportunity to revive, as long as you have a teammate to initiate the process.

I unfortunately never got to this point, but as the game goes on, sectors willl collapse. When the last sector remains and there are a few players left, a crown will appear. Players can win either by being the last man standing, or by wearing the crown for 45 seconds. It seemingly creates tense final moments, giving players two very different goals. I only got to 8th place myself in Solo play, and there were still plenty of sectors in play. I continue to play, so maybe I’ll have a chance to experience it sooner or later. For now, I’m enjoying the game, and it runs pretty well on my rig.

The open beta is still going strong and offers a free 30 tier battle pass for players right now. All rewards earned will carry over to the final game too. If you want to play and see how it is for yourself, you can sign up right here. There’s no current launch date for the game, but it’ll likely be sometime later in the year. Hyper Scape is currently set to launch on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If all goes well, it may even make the jump to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. For now, the PC open beta is still going strong, so come on in and join the Crown Rush. You’ll have a blast.

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