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First look: Hyper Scape Battle Royale

Thanks to Ubisoft this is TLR’s first look at Hyper Scape their new take on the hugely popular battle royale genre. So what is Hype Scape Battle Royale and what sets it apart in the sea of other titans in the genre? Let’s dive in!

At the time of writing the Hype Scape technical test has been going on for about 2 days and we have played a few hours and I’ll save the suspense and say that I like it (mostly). Hyper Scape, like many others that have come before it and like many that will come in the future borrows a lot from previous battle royales. Its a blend of Apex Legends, Fortnite, with a little Unreal Tournament thrown in for good measure.

The best place to start is a the beginning. When you fire up Hyper Scape for the first time you get a short cut scene that introduces you to the game world from the eyes of your character. Similar to Apex Legends, your champ is playing a game, unlike Apex the world is virtual.

So yes that is a bit of inception. You are playing a game, of a person playing a game in virtual reality.

Photo: Ubisoft You drop in with individually controlled pods Fortnite style, but launch as a group Apex style.

#WhatStorm

The virtual reality aspect is used to explain the power-ups and fast pace traversal which seem like they were pulled straight from the Unreal Tournament handbook. While this explanation isn’t really all that important at least it brings some logic to the game and makes it easier to digest what happens in the world. It dissolves.

You read that right in Hyper Scape the map literally dissolves around you as the game goes on. I know Fortnite explains it as a storm… and I guess it makes sense… maybe, and some other games say it’s gas, etc. Hyper Scape in my mind makes the most sense as I stated before in the games you’re playing a VR game.

Thinking Outside The Circle

What Hyper Scape does differently is they’re is no circle that shrinks, instead there are named sections of the city that dissolve as the game un-renders the area randomly. These areas become unstable and get this look as if triangles used to create the world are being removed. A timer starts and as the time tics down more pieces and color is removed from the area until its literally a flat grey area. You will take a very small amount of damage but more importantly, you are no longer covered and fully exposed to other players. Your character is fully highlighted and ripe for the picking.

I will admit the map dissolving takes some time to get used to as the map that remains isn’t normally the familiar circle shape that we’ve come to expect. Instead, what’s left is normally a more jagged and random shape. I’ve found the best thing to do for me was to get to the top of a building and spot an area in the distance that was solid and head for that area.

Again its not what we’re used to but I dig the twist and change to the map progression.

Weapons

I guess before I get in the weapons specifically I should talk about the gunplay. The gunplay is very similar to Apex Legends or Fortnite. There is none of the recoil to deal with from games like Valorant. You simply point and shoot. The time to kill is less than Call of Duty and more inline with Fortnite. What that means if you start getting shot you have a fair chance to defend yourself before you die. Overall I have to say I’d have no problem if the weapon handling stayed the same in the final release.

Weapons are another area that seems to be a combination of ideas pulled from other games think Fortnite ease and weapons shaken and stirred with Unreal Tournament. Weapons like in all battle royale games are scattered throughout the map. Most are found in buildings with a few rare examples outside at least until players begin to die and drop them. Here is a list below.

Rifles

The sniper rifle the Protocol V that deal about 75 damage at the base level. Upgrades increase the damage output.

The only assault rifle in the game is more of an SMG and which is the Ripper. It has a higher rate of fire and upgrading it adds to the magazine capacity.

The Mammoth MK 1 is the pump shotgun that is fantastic in close quarters as a shotgun should be. The first upgrade increases the mags capacity allowing you to stay in the fight longer.

Pistols

The D-Tap is a lower damage accurate pistol with an auto-targeting system that makes it a really easy weapon for noobs but it lacks any real stopping power. It really is a cleanup weapon at best.

The Riot One is the hand cannon, more similar to McCree’s pistol in Overwatch. It hits like a rifle in close quarters but that power comes at the cost of fire rate and magazine capacity. The upgrades increase the damage output similar to the Protocol V sniper rifle.

Minigun

You know they had to have a minigun… lol the Hexfire is basically the noob tube of Hyper Shift. It is easily the most annoying gun in the game and I would like to see some minor tweaks to it. As it stands the Hexfire has no real spin up, you get the maximum rate of fire as soon as the trigger is pulled( or mouse clicked). The rate of fire is insane compared to every other gun in the game but that is fair for a minigun. The problem is it has a huge capacity, no spin up and it doesn’t overheat. It really is the noob gun especially when you consider Hyper Scape is really an urban map. Pull the trigger, run into the room jump around and kill people.. smh

Futuristic

The Skybreaker is straight out the Unreal Tournament possible weapons folder. It is a futuristic weapon sort of like a rocket launcher that shoots balls of energy. It has a low rate of fire and I don’t the blast radius is large enough. In many games, you only need to hit the ground near a person or where you think a person might land to be effective. This is not the case that I’ve found with the Skybreaker. You really need a direct hit to really be effective. I hope the blast radius gets slightly larger or maybe add a stun or slow effect to balance the weaker blast radius damage.

Komodo is another of those weapons that didn’t quite make it into Unreal. It’s like a combination of a grenade launcher, plasma gun, and hunting rifle. It has a slow rate of fire similar to a hunting rifle, it shoots a direct blast of plasma and has a reload time of a grenade launcher.

Grenade Launcher

The Salvo EPL is the only grenade launcher in Hyper Scape Battle Royale. It is largely what you have come to expect from a grenade launcher. It has a 6 round capacity and the first upgrade is additional capacity.

Weapon Upgrades

Ubisoft has taken the ease of Fortnite weapons (just pick it up) and added a smart mechanic for upgrading. First, you find the weapon that you want by searching the map similar to all other battle royale. Once picked-up similar to Fortnite the gun is fully equipped with scopes etc. No need to scour the map to find a scope for that sweet sniper rifle you just scored( I’m looking at you Apex) When you want to upgrade a weapon all you have to do is find another copy of the weapon you have equipped. This fuses the weapons which will increase the damage, or capacity one fuse at a time. You have the base weapon level and 5 additional levels that can be upgraded by fusing additional copies. Simple!

Photo: Ubisoft When things get hectic you’ll be glad skills exists.

Skills

Skills work the same as weapons as far as the upgrades go. The more you fuse the quicker the cool down the longer or stronger the effect.

When it comes to the actual skills themselves this is when the explanation of Hyper Scapes world comes into play. The in-game world is actually a VR game as such some of the skills are way over the top, but it keeps the game interesting. Some of the skills I really don’t get but it’s cool all the same.

I’ll touch on the few that I can recall.

One makes you invisible which is self-explanatory, if you get hit you will be revealed.

Another skill is heal which creates a circular area where you and teammates will be healed. (Similar to Soldier 76 heal in Overwatch).

Armor does exactly what you expect by providing a decaying shield (not permanent like Apex Legends) Upgrading reduces the cooldown time.

There is a Slam skill that works like the Titan Slam special in Destiny 2.

Another skill is Teleport which allows you to teleport a short distance In the direction you are facing. I wish this allowed you to go through walls etc but it does not. Also at its base level, the distance isn’t that far. I think a slightly longer travel distance and the ability to teleport through walls would make it a more useful and tactical ability.

Things Get A Little Weird

A few of the skills get a little weird. I guess its a cool experiment and I’m sure some creative players will make use of them. The one that I find most useful is called Wall which places a wall that blocks line of sight and can block off pathway. It’s like a Sage wall from Valorant but on steroids. A pro tip is you can cast the wall below you to gain additional height again similar to a lot of Valorant plays.

The last skill that I’m going to mention turns you into an armored bouncing ball that gives you an escape. Well, at least A better chance of escape. I’m not so sure about this skill but maybe someone will find a use for it.

Quick Thought

This isn’t a full review. The state of Hyper Scape is a “Technical Test”. I’m sure with input from us the community some things will change will the full release which should be very, very soon.

The game is fun and makes me want to play just one more round after every round..lol Something Valorant never really did.

Hyper Scape is easy to pick up, with good gunplay and decent traversal that might take a few rounds to grasp. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns though. I do have some minor gripes, but overall so far they don’t make me want to play the game less.

Nitpicks

The city landscape can become monotonous. Every block starts to look more or less the same, there is no variety of landscapes that you get in Apex or Fortnite. I get the city urban theme, but Call of Duty which is largely urban and feels far less repetitious. I’d like some more stand out landmarks like open parks or maybe open parking garage.

Another thing is I saw a train station but the trains were static. I’d like to see the trains moving along the rail system that goes around the map. (similar to the train in Apex Legends)

The traversal is decent and it takes a little while to grasp. I’d have loved for the dev at Ubisoft to go play a few rounds of Titan Fall 2. The traversal in that game is nothing short of amazing. I guess that’s why Apex’s traversal feels so good(made by the Titan Fall team)

Other than some minor weapon tweaks that I mentioned in the weapons section. I think Hyper Scape is ready for prime time. Will it be enough to dethrone your favorite battle royale? That remains to be seen. I know its the Technical Test but I’d like to see nicer large carrots to chase. The current emotes and icon background in the season pass section do very little to make me want to keep playing to unlock them. Good thing the game is fun.

After Thoughts

Photo: Ubisoft One way to win is to hold the crown that spawns in the last section when the clock reaches zero!

Here are a few things and thoughts that I didn’t mention before. To win you need to be the last team standing or the holder of the crown. When the map is on its last section a crown spawns. Once a person picks it up a timer starts for 45 seconds and the person is marked. When this happens think about the fun oddball mode from Halo. The team that holds the crown when the timer reaches 0 or the last team standing wins.

One last nitpick. The game starts you in a hub world where you can walk to a beam of light that represents your locker(where you select your skin, emotes, etc). Other areas in the hub you can walk to are the game modes and social sections. You have to walk or run your character to the given section to interact with it. I much prefer the faster less clunky menu system that PUB G, Fortnite, Apex Legend, and COD use. I think they tried to reinvent the wheel with the menu and they really didn’t need to.

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