Posted September 25, 2017 by Andrew Cathie in Feature

Hyper Universe Preview

The MOBA genre is one that quickly became crowded, before just as quickly thinning out as lesser-known titles had their support ended. In today’s gaming scene, there are only a few MOBAs left that command a large share of the market, with most of these having a specific hook that has kept them going. DOTA 2 has the lion’s share of those who played the original Warcraft 3 mod, League of Legends popularised the genre in recent times and SMITE has a unique over the shoulder viewpoint. Hyper Universe is CWAVESOFT’s attempt to enter into the MOBA market, with a 2D sidescrolling style that sets it apart from other MOBAs. I’ve gone hands-on with the game’s early access release and walked away interested in the game, but ultimately disappointed due to the current server situation.

Let’s get those server issues out of the way to begin with, as they largely skewed my perception of Hyper Universe as a whole. Currently, the game only has servers in Europe and North/South America. This means that every game I played was riddled with lag issues, which isn’t ideal in a competitive game where milliseconds can mean the difference between life and death. I had to adjust every movement in the game to account for the lag, as I would repeatedly miss ladders and jump points, and also run past enemies. This is obviously something that can be easily corrected with servers closer to home, but for the moment, it means that Hyper Universe is a sub-optimal experience for Australian gamers.

The server issues were especially frustrating because of how much I enjoyed what I played of Hyper Universe. Hyper Universe has you take control of Hypers – Hero characters that hail from many different backgrounds and styles. Even in this early access period there’s still a large number of characters to choose from, each fitting into different archetypes. The designs were largely interesting and fun, although a couple were a little uncomfortable to look at – Like the soldier running around in a bikini top and booty shorts. Beyond this, the Hypers I tried all felt unique and had different advantages and disadvantages. Most attack cooldowns are relatively short, making you feel powerful in combat, while your more devastating attacks are spectacular to watch. Mechanically, Hyper Universe seems to be hitting the right spot to keep players interested.

The aim of each game is to take out the turrets protecting your opponent’s base, as well as everything and everyone that gets in your way. The game’s maps multi-tiered, with numerous levels you can ascend and descend to. You’ll find opposition mobs, powerful creatures and enemy Hypers as you explore the world and gain experience. While there aren’t a massive number of maps in the game so far, the ones that are there feel interesting to explore and look pretty good as well. Like other MOBAs your Hyper levels up as you kill enemies and creatures on the map, while the gold you earn is split between all Hypers on your team. This strikes a balance between MOBAs which have all gains pool together, or none at all. Thanks to this, there’s a certain importance to assisting your team, while also allowing for individual performance to be recognized.

It’s early days for Hyper Universe so far, but what’s there feels fun and unique. The 2D side-scrolling viewpoint sets it apart from other MOBAs currently on the market and should help the game carve out its own niche in what has become an ultra-competitive market. The Hypers themselves are fun to use and mechanically satisfying as you unleash torrents of pain on your opponents. The lack of Australian or Asian servers provided a point of frustration during my time with the game, but overall Hyper Universe looks like a game to keep on your radar.

Andrew Cathie

Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.