More than a week after entering the battle royale sphere, Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape recently released its first ever limited-time event with Hack Runner mode, presumably to run more tests in its open beta stage. Although Hyper Scape is one of many free-to-play battle royales, it switches up the formula in more ways than usual. But, is it enough to make it stand out as a league of its own? 

We sank a couple of hours into the cyberspace battle royale, and here’s what we think about Hyper Scape:

What we liked

1. S for simple

Instead of health/shield kits, explosives, or varying tiers of attachments and armour, Hyper Scape slims everything down to two guns, two hacks (lootable abilities) and limited ammo. Firearms and hacks can be upgraded by fusing with other copies of them in Neo Arcadia, levelling up specific aspects that range from magazine size and damage to reduced cooldown times for hacks. It’s perfect for those who prefer to focus more on the action, which brings us to...

2. Fast and furious(ly high)

Just when Apex Legends kicked up the speed a couple of notches, Hyper Scape turned up that same knob tenfold. Thanks to jump pads, the ability to double jump, and movement-focused hacks like teleport, slam and shockwave, there are many ways to traverse the futuristic landscape and reach the high ground. Plus, it features a much faster and aggressive revive system: when you become an Echo (a digital ghost of sorts) after dying, your teammates can respawn you at Restore Points that can only be dropped by downed enemies, encouraging them to quickly gun down opponents so you can return to the game.

3. Virtually not a copycat

Despite having “copies” as part of its gameplay, Hyper Scape is no mere imitation of its peers. Some of its game-changing components includes the Echo system, which lets downed players can scout for their live teammates invisibly; the ability to not only win by being the sole survivors, but also by holding the Crown for 45 seconds in the final Showdown phase; and random Battle Events that affects gameplay with numerous twists (e.g. low gravity, infinite ammo).

4. Bringing viewers and streamers closer together

One of Hyper Scape’s most original ideas is an all-new Twitch extension called the Crowncast. When the game is streamed, viewers have the reins to vote on what Battle Events to occur in Neo Arcadia and affect players to their liking. Audiences can even earn in-game rewards by watching, not to mention that streamers can also invite their fans to join their party and game together.

5. Southeast Asia represent!

Did you know that there’s a Malaysian character in Hyper Scape? Her name is Noor Casulink - real name Noor Azimah binti Yusof - and is a streamer by profession. According to her bio, she’s been called the “face of Southeast Asia", to which she shuns because it generalises SEA and "diminishes understanding of the ethnic diversity of the region". Pretty meta, huh?

What we disliked

1. No one stands out

Hyper Scape’s characters - dubbed Champions - may appear diverse and possess rich backgrounds, but appearance-wise, they seem to stem from one single character model with slight variations from each other. It doesn’t help that their voices aren’t particularly distinctive (especially when they only have boring phrases like "Let's leave this sector" or "Ammo here"), and throwing in a few phrases in their native tongue doesn’t automatically make them memorable. If Hyper Scape were to learn from Apex Legends, Champions’ quips should be driven by their personality and experience, and not just their country of origins.

2. Embrace its virtual setting

Hyper Scape takes place in a virtual reality simulation akin to The Matrix, which means that there’s limitless possibilities to what can happen in the world. With that in mind, it’s a little safe to have standard assault rifles and generic teleport abilities in its digital world. Why not churn out more equipment like the Skybreaker energy gun or even the exemplary Ball hack (our writer's personal favourite)? It would make Hyper Scape more distinguishable if they had more unconventional firearms or skills that can only be possible in a virtual arena.

3. Gunplay lacks punches

And finally, the one aspect that overshadowed Hyper Scape’s amazing mobility is the lacklustre firepower. While every shot fired in PUBG and Apex Legends feels satisfying, the same can’t be said for the Ubisoft battle royale. Enemies are practically bullet sponges, and they always remain unfazed by the spray of lead that hit them. Perhaps increasing the overall damage dealt by players would put the stakes higher and let players stagger with each damage received?

Do you agree with what our writer has to say? What's your impression of Hyper Scape so far?

The Ramadan month of puasa (fasting) is soon coming to an end, and it’s probably one of the most memorable ones yet thanks to COVID-19. With mere days of fasting left, it’s imperative to avoid anything that would make abstaining meals harder to pull off, such as food porn photos on Instagram or even your favourite cooking shows.

But, don’t forget another sneaky culprit that could “accidentally” slip in gorgeous glimpses of digital food to remind you of your empty stomach: video games. Thus, we’ve helped you narrow down what games with visual delicacies to stay away from so you can keep your fasting routine intact for just a little longer.

1. Portal

What other game has promised players cake by completing the main storyline? So far, it’s only been Valve’s very original Portal, the game that gave birth to “the cake is a lie” meme. The iconic cake design - which resembles a Black Forest cake - was inspired by a cake sold at the Regent Bakery and Café, just outside Valve’s headquarters. Thanks to the 2007 game, that same cherry chocolate cake went on to become one of their best sellers.

2. Overcooked!

The diners you serve in Overcooked may reward you for speed instead of quality, but there’s no denying that the dishes you and your friend(s) serve look and sound delicious in this wacky culinary world. As hectic and crazy as it can get in the cooking area (no thanks to icy floors, monstrous rats and other mind-boggling obstacles), there’s no denying the satisfaction that comes from frying fish fillets, grilling burgers and sending them out on time. Come to think of it, Overcooked might embody the "merry" atmosphere that goes on in the kitchen as meals and snacks are prepared.

3. Final Fantasy XV

We’d like to think that much of the decade-long development of Final Fantasy XV was poured into making the game’s food look oh so good. Faithful to its concept of “fantasy based on reality”, the FFXV team included eating as a core aspect of the 2016 game, giving your Backstreet Boys certain buffs that vary between food - one of the boys even gets an extra boost if it’s their favourite food. Although you can eat at restaurants or diners, Ignis’ campsite cooking is where the real gourmet is, with food porn so sinful and true-to-life that you swear you could taste it. Let’s not forget that roti canai and teh tarik and other hints of Malaysian culture exist in the game. 

4.  Red Dead Redemption 2

The ground-breaking visual galore and insane details of Red Dead Redemption 2 remain unparalleled to today’s games. So, it made sense that some of Rockstar’s meticulousness extends into the Western game’s mouth-watering food showcase. Consuming sustenance is also important in keeping your health, stamina and Dead-Eye cores filled to regenerate, and neglecting to eat can negatively affect your stats. But, with the mouth-watering slosh of Mr. Pearson’s stew or the greasy handy meat grilled by Arthur at his camp, there’s little reason to not eat in this gorgeous Wild West game.

5. Dreams

The newest game on this list didn’t include food as its gameplay, but Media Molecule did say that the only limit in Dreams is our imagination. So, you can bet your cute butt that there are Dreamers who created food-related games or art in the creation system. Some of our highlights include an ultra-realistic English breakfast, a first-person left-hand cooking simulator, and some weird Dream involving baby Yoda with food. Only time will tell what other insane food-related concoctions that Dreamers will whip up in the years to come.

Regardless of whether you end up playing these games while fasting, what’s most important are the lessons learnt and time spent with family during this festive season. Selamat berbuka, Selamat Hari Raya in advance from eGG Network!

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