serious gaming gamer who loves good music and do blender for side hobby
HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed (HC) is a wave-based tower defense shooter with more game modes and playstyles than expected and more to come as per their road map. With the main inspiration from movies like Small Soldiers and Toy Story, HC is the perfect example of what a polished indie title should be. So without further ado, let’s begin!
ARTSTYLE & GRAPHICS
First off, the game is amazingly optimized despite being made on Unreal Engine, the most un-optimized public engine known to mankind while also preserving the realism in graphics. The lighting is phenomenal and its interaction with all the 3D models around it is very natural and organic. Every small reflection brights out the amount of effort that went into creating the displacement maps for each texture and the hand-crafted models have love-filled in them. The glass materials are not purely transparent but have some imperfections in them, making them look more life-like. The color scheme is bright, colorful, and child-friendly (maybe they were the main attraction, but I loved it anyway). The art style is more like the 80s-90s themed kid’s film while fusing with modern-day settings. This can be observed as there is an expensive gaming PC. It is also different for each map (which are many), but they never feel so one-sided like extreme cold colors or extreme hot colors. Each feels new and unique. Every object, non-player character, player model and objectives can be easily observed.
The user interface is simple with everything you need to know properly placed on the screen with some crystal UI that does not look clunky at all. The animations are also very fluid in the first person while I do think some third person animations could be improved. Like the vaulting and reload animation(which are barely there in the first person) but they don’t go against the flow of the game and get the job done. The recoil animations are barely there but I don’t think that it would fit the theme of the game, though I would love to see it nonetheless.
AUDIO DIRECTION AND SOUNDTRACK
The guns sound like plastic toys because they are 😀
The audio of arsenal does not accurately sound like one of those toy weapons but they are very close to the real deal. The reload animation is not synced with the audio but this detail is only observable in a third-person mode which is kinda off-putting. Other sounds like walking, jumping, building, etc are generic and get the job done. The Soundtrack is not Mick Gordan level but it is good enough that you won’t turn it off.
Voice Acting. Well, my initial thought was it is an indie game with a team of 5 friends so I shouldn’t expect much but holy crap! It is there in the game and it is done with passion. Weight and pressure are present in the voice lines (Hello Ubisoft) and the writing doesn’t feel cheesy but rather worth listening to. Even the random blabbering of the dummy dolls is worthy of attention. Speaking of mannequins, the enemy footsteps audio is loud enough to be audible at a suitable distance which helps out in a fair fight.
This game has A LOT of gameplay. Defend mode the main sauce of the game. You have to fortify and built traps around your objective (the hypercore) to protect it from attacking forces. This could be done either single-player with AI teammates or Co-op mode with actual humans teammates against AI attackers. There are a total of 3 hypercores and the destruction of any one core can lead to defeat. So you gotta manage your resources to equally defend all of them. The AI enemy forces wave-based attacks systems in specified time intervals. Hoards of enemies attack the objective with each wave getting harder and harder until the final wave with just give enough time between each wave to repair or upgrade the defensive structures around the hypercores. I would love to see a bigger variety of defensive structures in the future. Like some walls with windows or traps like deployable bouncers. More enemy varieties (like in Left 4 Dead 2) would also be great. With friends, I really enjoyed the co-op sessions and even the randoms were cheery and helpful.
Now we come to the PvP mode, which is your good ol’ Team Death Match mode. But this time there are many things to interact with and a huge map with a lot of places to frame your tactics. I would say the weapons in the game need to be reworked and nerfed a bit. Like weapons heating up, resulting in melting of plastic (affects HP) or something because right now some weapons (like machine guns) are overpowered.
Speaking of maps they are balanced. Every 3D model is hand-made and really detailed. Even the sections you cannot access have excellent visual quality (hello again Ubisoft). The materials are distinguishable and recognizable. According to their roadmap, they are working on a survival mode that will feature a variety of new enemies with a lot of hard challenges to test player skills and how long they can survive. My best guess is something like Left 4 Dead but toys and I am all in for that. There is also a well-guided tutorial for new players. This game is very newb-friendly and is easy to learn. The AI for singleplayer has been reworked recently and it is now a very smart boy. There are a ton of character customization options, which can be earned in-game for free. Also, no weapon skins (yay) because the default ones are good enough. There arevalso 3 character classes each with its own unique skill set. The game supports 4 player couch split-screen so you can have fun with your whole family 😀
I don’t usually write about the community in games but this one is really wholesome and one of the most welcoming communities. Playing with randoms feels like playing with friends (if they have a mic on of course). Although small,(below 1000 players) you can still ask for players on their discord server and you can easily make new friends! (the Nintendo switch has more players than PC) Speaking of this, multiplayer games need to have a bonding with their player base, and the number of community interactions these devs are surprisingly appreciatable. All the queries, feedback, and suggestions are taken into consideration and responded to. I really like this community and I want you little soldier to hop on and be a part of it!
The most fun I have had in multiplayer PC gaming since Titanfall 2, I recommend Hypercharge for its potential, atmosphere, refreshing fun gameplay, and the nostalgia it gives with toy soldiers as players. A well-polished multiplayer indie game just waiting to blow up, we can help with that, can’t we?
-Well optimized game with amazing gameplay
-Very fun with friends
-Well guided tutorial with community guides
-Low player count on PC