Hyper Void Review – Crazed Perspectives (PS4)
Hyper Void is an old school shoot-’em-up with a handful of funky new tricks that not only push the visuals to mind-bending levels, but delivers a rather awkward take on the relatively tired genre. Is this three-dimensional homage to the SNES heydays a luscious romp through time and space or is it simply stuck in the past?
Death by Lasers
You’re in command of the RM-24, a craft tasked with the mission of investigating… something… By flying through wormholes and gunning down aliens. That’s it, you’re given no real grounds on which to gun these critters down, but that’s not really why anyone plays shoot-’em-ups, is it? Of course it isn’t, you’re here to blow the proverbial brains out of everything and anything in sight and Hyper Void delivers on this front magically.
It’s a mechanically sound endeavor through the wormhole with many levels focusing solely on skillful maneuvers rather than just testing your trigger finger. It’s an easy title to get to grips with too, only a handful of controls are needed to get your RM-24 from A to B but that doesn’t mean this isn’t challenging. The hazards in Hyper Void come thick and fast while the environments procedurally shift and alter before you. Hyper Void’s procedural level formula is creative and testing, distancing itself from the repetition pitfall that claims much of its influences, offering up thought-provoking design that keeps you on your toes throughout.
A Dash of Silliness
Unfortunately, as varied as the levels can be, the majority of Hyper Void only utilizes a horizontal or spiral orientation and doesn’t seem to make much use of the clever wormhole design as much as it could. Once you’ve tasted some of the colorful eccentricity the standard orientations, although an important source of respite, seem to feel far too standard and frequent – you’re always pining for the crazy to kick back in.
The positives of Hyper Void are more or less over once you’ve looked beyond the procedural and futuristic environments and it actually boasts next to no extra features. Although omissions of multiplayer seems quite logical – things would certainly get overwhelming with two crafts on screen – the absence of leaderboards is quite worrisome. Your level score is tracked and with just under 30 different levels, Hyper Void gives you very little reason to climb aboard again once you’ve bested them.
Thankfully, besting them isn’t a complete cakewalk with over half of the levels boasting exotic boss battles to test your mettle. If that wasn’t enough, the PS4 version brings with it three new additions of the aptly titled “Mega Encounters” that pair wonderfully with the foreboding and theatrical soundtrack and prove a worthy adversary for even the veterans of shoot-’em-ups. It’s also conveniently cross-buy for those that took RM-24 for a spin back on the PS3, meaning you get to challenge the new bosses for free.
Hyper Void is not without its fair share of fun, producing some eccentric and vibrant experiences with its procedural environments. Unfortunately, it’s still very light on additional content and offers next to no incentive to continue the fight once you’ve exhausted the short run of levels. The extra boss fights are great, but too few and far between. Hyper Void is sure to come into a league of its own when Sony’s Project Morpheus VR reaches your living rooms, but until then, it’s just not bringing enough boom to really entice you to part with your cash.
Hyper Void review copy provided by publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.