Hypergun Review: Interesting But Not Inventive
When the fate of the world rests in your lap, you ponder all of the options in front of you to make sure you're going to make the best choice to ensure humanity's survival. Though, in Hypergun this is going to take you a couple of tries and you won't find the exact answer to save your world's population during your first simulation. You're going to take a few tries and you may discover several new iterations along the way!
In Hypergun you're the employee of a large corporation with the goal of attempting to find the best weapon to fight an imminent alien invasion. To find that gun, you must traverse through a randomly generated simulation to see what possibilities await, no matter how many times it feels like you're repeating the same process over and over again.
Why Are We Here?
There's an imminent alien invasion pressuring Earth right now, and its your goal right now to go through various simulations to find the perfect gun for Earth's defense forces to use against the alien forces. You enter a simulation world where you have to enter various rooms, forced to face whatever enemy army you're placed against, clear them, and then move on. Whenever you kill an enemy force you have to chance to gain a different item, such as a new weapon attachment, a bit to use in the simulation's store, a hypercoin, to use outside of the simulation, or a useful piece of health or shield to protect yourself against the enemy forces.
There's six different simulation levels you have to go through to craft the perfect Hypergun. That's your goal! Each time you start a simulation you must go through it using the gun you start with, which varies on your start class, and gain random attachments along the way.
The attachments you acquire determine the different aspects of your gun. For example, you main gain a weapon attachment that increases your weapon's velocity, but decreases its damage for a certain amount, but in the next room on the first level you may find a new weapon attachment that increases its overall speed; all of these attachments stack on top of each as you progress through your simulation and they can only be restarted if die or start at the beginning.
How do the bit pieces vary from the hypercoins? You can earn them both during your simulation, however you can only turn in the bit pieces you discover for weapon attachments, health, shield, or additional pieces of ammo for your class. When you acquire a hypercoin, you have to use them outside of the simulation to upgrade your class or purchase a class you have yet to acquire from the three you can buy.
How The Gamplay Changes During Each Run
When you first enter the simulation you'll run into a variety of different enemies: melee opponents, large chargers attempting to bash you into the wall, snipers, and flying drones peppering you with small layers of fire. They're annoying, and take a bit of time adjusting to, but after the first handful of rooms you have to deal with them you'll quickly master them. Once you run through the entire procedurally generated floor you'll arrive to the boss, where you have to put your skills to the test against a formidable foe.
Again, like when you were previously fighting difficult minions, the boss proves a hard foe until you figure how it attacks, moves, and how you damage it. Once this happens you'll quickly find yourself anticipating its moves and moving on to the next floor and making your Hypergun far more efficient than the previous model you were working on during your last run. Unlike a Dark Souls foe, the boss takes a far less time to figure out.
You're not worried about the boss as much as you're expected to when you're working up to them. This is a regrettable move as you're forced to start the boss all over again, because having played other rogue-like games, these bosses feel like repeatable levels and understandable motions. If anything, the levels themselves become more difficult because the random nature of what get attached to your gun determines your playstyle, determining how much faster or harder you shoot your opponents.
The most difficult part to face against is when you change classes. You have four to choose from: The Intern, Security, the Lawyer, and Human Resources. While the attachments affect the weapon you're making in the simulation, the class you start with determines the stats of the weapon, along with the abilities you can use during your encounters.
Each class comes with a different item ability they can use for a limited time, a different dash, a different activated ability, and a different passive. This determines their playstyle, though the augments they pick up, randomly, truly manufacture the unique weapon as they progress through the simulation.
The Unfortunate Simulation
In Hypergun, that's the major unfortunate feature you're forced to endure with: the varying augmentations. During your progression through each level, you do determine what variety of gun your wielding as it depends on the class you choose. You can pick the SMG for the first class, the Intern, or the sniper rifle of the Human Resources class, or the shotgun of the Lawyer, but whatever attachments you add to them gets procedurally generated by the game and it feels like a weight on your game play as you continue forward towards the other levels.
All of the classes have something different about them and it does make them stand out, but the attachments, especially during the later levels, certainly determine your play style, and they feel like a weight. It's the forced nature of them that makes this possible. The only thing you're able to choose is your abilities and the type of gun you'd like to use during your simulation, and that's it. Once you're inside, whatever attachments you find you have to add to gun your gun and use during your play through until you perish or choose to back out.
While you're going forward you're constantly looking for new attachments to add to your gun by killing enemies or buying them in the shop, but they're all random you never know what you're going to do. You may start out as the Human Resources class and steadily lose weapon velocity on your sniper rifle to make your gun less efficient, but the power may increase, despite how much more your rely on your abilities. The procedural generation feels like a force weight you can't shake off, despite how much your proceed forward. It's painful, but you'll continue endure to see what the other levels have to offer.
What's The Story?
There's not too many story points going on in the background. You can discover a handful of log entries throughout the environment of the outside world, but the resources are limited and don't offer the best of information to motivate you during your progression. They hint at an alien invasion and how what you're doing is wrong, but there's never any consequences.
The only story you have to rely on is the fact you have to complete all six levels of the laboratory to achieve a proper Hypergun, and when you do, you will have saved humanity! But there's always another, better gun you could have made. Do you have what it takes to make another?
I ran into a handful of bugs during my playthroughs, such as accidentally dashing through the world or getting stuck behind an electric wall and getting killed by the minions. These bugs were minor, but they happened and ruined a run here and there; an annoying problem, but not something that I continually grappled with.
Hypergun is a great game to play with some fun gun control and varying weapon attachments to challenge you while you run through a horde of alien monsters. But after the first four or five runs, things start to feel repetitive, and no matter how good you get against the foes you're forcing you'll start to feel a little stuck, bored, and wanting to start on the last level you died at. The procedural weapon attachments don't help either because you have to rely entirely on random numbers to gift you a worthwhile combo to make an impact.
You're going to have fun, but there are other rogue-like games on the market you may think about while you work towards crafting the perfect Hypergun to face off against the alien race.