Right when we think that the Battle Royale genre is done and dusted, something else shows up. Meet Hyper Scape, which is a free-to-play Battle Royale game from none other than Ubisoft. While you may dismiss it as just ‘another game to add to the pile’, Hyper Scape has tons of tricks hidden up its sleeve. This game might just be the perfect example of something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
It is no secret that a lot of people have been burning out on Battle Royale games lately. And while newer games try to incorporate clever and fresh game mechanics, like the Gulag in Call of Duty: Warzone, the base game is still largely the same as everything else on the market. Due to this very reason, we’ve seen the rise of other shooters instead like Valorant and Escape from Tarkov.
However, while the Battle Royale genre hasn’t lately been achieving the lofty heights it was at a year or two ago, it isn’t smaller by any means either. The fact is that every new thing sees tons of different iterations, conquers new summits, and then gradually descends into an equilibrium.
The same is the case with Battle Royale games. After years of experimentation and new ideas, it seems like the genre has finally started to mature and enter into a much more stable state. However, don’t mistake maturity for a lack of innovation, as there is still plenty that can be done within the playing field. And, Hyper Scape by Ubisoft is the perfect example of that notion.
Hyper Scape puts an interesting spin on the Battle Royale genre
Make no mistake, Hyper Scape is still a Battle Royale game at its core. However, it is the implementation of the classic genre tropes that sets it apart from the rest of the field. Firstly, Hyper Scape carries a lot of ideas and DNA from other games and melds it together into this super-stylized futuristic fast-paced shooter.
A typical game of Hyper Scape starts off with 100 players dropping into the map and collecting loot, which is very standard. However, the minute you start running around and scavenging for weapons, you notice that there’s a lot more to this game than meets the eye. The movement in Hyper Scape is extremely fluid and there’s a great amount of emphasis on verticality.
The map is littered with jump pads that you can use to climb on top of skyscrapers and make your way through the landscape. In addition to that, there is no fall damage which can result in some pretty cool mid-air kills for the highlight reel. Apart from the verticality of it, the movement model feels very similar to something like Apex Legends, which rewards fast-paced twitch shooting.
Once you get past the movement model and get into an actual fight, you start to see more differences and similarities to other games. The guns in Hyper Scape feel light and responsive, unlike the heavier feel that the weapons in Warzone try to emulate. However, it is when you finally manage to eliminate an enemy that things start to get a lot wackier than your usual Battle Royale game.
Hyper Scape is a lot more forgiving than other games
In Hyper Scape, you can actually revive your own teammates by killing other people. No more going to the Gulag or trying to find a respawn beacon. In this game, when you eliminate an enemy, the respawn beacon appears right there next to them and you can use it to revive your teammate. While this is somewhat of a new concept, it doesn’t stray too far from what we already have in other games.
However, what happens after you get eliminated is quite possibly the biggest twist that can keep you hooked on to this game for a lot longer than normal. Usually, in a Battle Royale game, if you’re eliminated, that’s it. You can either sit there spectating your teammates, hoping for them to revive you or you can just quit out of the game and find a new match.
Hyper Scape tries to curb that bitter feeling of losing all of your progress in one go by making eliminations less brutal. In Hyper Scape, when you get eliminated, you come back in the form of an ‘echo’. In this form, you can scout the map, look for enemies, and alert your teammates using pings.
So, even if you do get eliminated, you’re actually not entirely out of the match and still have an important role to play in ensuring your team’s victory. This little addition will probably come as a relief to a lot of players who don’t like the idea of getting randomly sniped from the back and losing 20 minutes of your life without any fruitful outcome.
Hyper Scape tries to bring versatility to playing styles
As far as the weapons in Hyper Scape are concerned, they’re very snappy and responsive. You’ll find the usual categories scattered around the map ranging from shotguns to pistols, grenade launchers, snipers, and assault rifles.
However, if you manage to find two of the same weapon, you can actually fuse them together and upgrade them. This makes the looting process a lot less mundane, especially when you keep finding lower-tier gear.
In addition to that, you also have a couple of abilities called ‘Hacks’ that will assist you in your journey through the match. You can build a wall, teleport to other locations, turn into a ball, become invisible, reveal nearby enemies, or deploy heat-sensitive mines. You can only equip two of these abilities at a time though.
Although these hacks are exciting, one can’t help but notice how a lot of them are borrowed from other games. For instance, the wall-building is a classic Fortnite ability while Apex Legends also has a lot of the other abilities. And, while the addition of these things is not necessarily a bad thing, it does bring the ‘uniqueness’ of Hyper Scape into question.
Last Man Standing is not the only way to win
When you drop into the futuristic city of Neo-Arcadia and start fighting your way through while also collecting gear, you’ll be met with the familiar shrinking map. Unlike other games though, this map decays in terms of sectors rather than using a normal circle.
As time goes by, more sectors vanish away, forcing players to get closer. However, unlike other Battle Royale games, being the last man standing in this circle is not the only way to win a match.
During the closing stages of a match, a Hyper Scape crown spawns into the map. If you can manage to claim this crown and hold it for 45 seconds, you can actually win and end the match right there. This completely changes the dynamics of the game during the closing stages and turns it into something like Capture the Flag, which can be extremely fun and intense.
Twitch integration is the way forward
Hyper Scape will launch on July 12th with the game’s Technical Test currently running around the world. However, much like the Valorant closed beta, players can also gain access to Hyper Scape by watching Twitch streams and waiting for a drop. This has already inflated the viewership numbers for the game with it currently sitting on the number 1 spot on Twitch.
In addition to the drop systems, there’s some very neat in-game Twitch integration going on as well. Thanks to Ubisoft Montreal’s partnership with Twitch, streamers can choose to download the Crowncast extension for an additional level of viewer interaction.
This can include things like sharing stats, loadouts, and even voting for events that affect all the players in a match. These viewer-voted events can lower gravity, give players infinite ammo or even reveal their locations on the map, all of which can drastically change the dynamics of a match.
According to Sharmeen Browarek Chapp, who is the vice president of community product at Twitch, this new integration feature in Hyper Scape “transports viewers into the game themselves, to serve as active participants. And, The fact that fans can now directly impact what’s happening in the game creates an entirely new experience.”
A brand-new urban battle royale begins today. #HyperScape is now live on Twitch!
Watch streams to earn access to the Technical Test via Twitch Drops.
— Hyper Scape (@HyperScapeGame) July 2, 2020
Hyper Scape brings a lot to the table and while most of what it offers is fresh and interesting, there’s something bizarre going on here too. It is in no way a bad game. In fact, Hyper Scape has the potential to be great, much like many others that have come before it. It is just the fact that Ubisoft has decided to mush together different Battle Royale games into one that can somewhat be jarring to deal with initially.
All of the parts that combine together to form Hyper Scape have already been proven to be successful and great. However, not every smoothie recipe is a good smoothie recipe and whether these different cogs manage to work in tandem with each other and create a polished and consistent experience remains to be seen.
Having said that, there’s a lot going on here and if the stars align for Ubisoft, Hyper Scape does have what it takes to be the next big thing on Twitch. It tries to eradicate the most annoying things about the Battle Royale genre while also adding some interesting spins of its own. In addition to that, the Twitch integration is pretty neat and can add an extra layer of interactivity to the game.
Hyper Scape will come out on July 12 on PC, while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version expected to arrive later during the year. The technical test for the game is currently live and will run until July 7th. You can check out further details about the game right here.