HYPERGUN by NVYVE Studios is a procedurally generated Neo-80s indie FPS roguelite available now on Steam and coming this fall to Xbox One and PS4.
HYPERGUN takes place in the not so far off future. In the year 2038 the Earth discovered that we are not alone in the universe when an advanced race of aliens brought war to our unprepared planet and occupied most of it. DevTech Labs is located in one of the few unoccupied cities and has been tasked with developing a super weapon (code name: HYPERGUN) to provide a chance of survival for what’s left of our troops. You play as Dewey Owens the new intern at DevTech Labs. Your job is to assemble and test out various HYPERGUN prototypes inside of a battle simulator to find the perfect weapon. You are quite literally humanity’s last hope against the alien horde.
Gameplay: The controls for HYPERGUN are mapped out well and for the most part follow the typical FPS layout. The game fully supports use of a controller, but I preferred keyboard and mouse as it felt to be more responsive for my play style. The keyboard controls are totally customizable so you can adjust them to whatever you want our are used to. The gameplay is quite fluid and there aren’t many glitches, although it is easy to get caught on something on the floor or trapped in a corner if you aren’t careful. Also I will warn anyone who gets sick easily, the motion can get dizzying at times so you may need to adjust the sensitivity to your liking.
Sound: The soundtrack for HYPERGUN really stands out from the start and only gets better as you progress through the game. The music has a real Neo-80s vibe reminiscent of Tron and retro video games. Various levels, challenge rooms, and boss battles all have their own music. The music has a tendency to fade into the background during a hectic firefight, but you’ll catch yourself dancing around to it when things die down. The sound effects are also well done. You will quickly learn the sounds of the various enemies and traps to avoid being caught off guard by a horde of shamblers while engaging a squad of snipers, or jumping right into the path of a flame turret while trying to dodge a mage’s powerful blast. Many of the attachments you can find for your weapon have a unique sound as well, which is quite amusing when you have the corn attachment and you’re popping popcorn off the face of an angry alien.
Visuals: At first glance HYPERGUN is just another basic shooter going from room to room killing enemies, without a lot of effort put into the visuals. But once you think about it you realize that the look is exactly what the makers of the game were going for, it adds to the Neo-80s vibe and you can again see the influence of Tron and other retro-futuristic movies and games. Also the further you get into the game the richer the visuals become. Each level has it’s own style ranging from factory to jungle (and even volcano) with rooms of various sizes and layouts providing new threats around every corner. There are also some unique and interesting creatures to face and challenging yet captivating boss fights. The main place where the visuals shine would be the weapon attachments found or unlocked throughout the game that are used to construct your HYPERGUN. There is a spectrum of these attachments each with its own look that when pieced together can give you all kinds of wacky yet deadly weapons.
Story: The plot of HYPERGUN doesn’t go very deep as the game focuses more on gameplay. Things inside the simulation are fairly straightforward, clear as many rooms as possible without dying, build your gun, kill the boss, on to the next level. But if you take some time to explore the DevTech offices outside of the simulator you will be rewarded with bits and pieces of life around the office and the outside world during the alien invasion, in the form of post it notes and emails scattered in various places.
Replay Value: The procedurally generated aspects of HYPERGUN give it a decent amount of replayability. Every run can have a different difficulty based on what attachments you discover, how many bits (in sim currency) you find to use in the store, the number of locked or unlocked treasure chests, whether or not you get a challenge room, and what the boss drops. Gotta love that sweet RNG! You can also find Hypercoins (out of sim currency) that can be used to add new attachments to the RNG pool (160 in total), unlock new classes, and gain new skills for your character. In addition to the starting class, The Intern (SMG), you can also unlock Security (assault rifle), The Lawyer (shotgun), and Human Resources (sniper rifle) , each with their own skills and attributes, making it easy to find one to fit your play style. In the simulation chamber you can view your best times for each level or a complete run, your top 5 HYPERGUN candidates, and tons of in game stats, making that push to better yourself a visible goal.
Summary: To be honest HYPERGUN turned out to be a lot more fun than I was expecting. The trailers seem to be a lot of hype (pun intended), but for the most part the game lives up to it. While it’s not going to overthrow any AAA shooters, it’s definitely worth its $15 price tag. I’ll note that the developers provided me with a review copy, but I would willingly pay for this game. At this point I have put roughly 10 hours into HYPERGUN and have only gotten about halfway through the listed levels, I’m not sure if that speaks to the difficulty of the game or my skill…