The base Hyper Void game is an excellent throwback to arcade shooters from years gone by. The influences of classic shooters such as Tempest 2000 and Rez are very much part of Hyper Void’s DNA. The trippy influences of Rez are ever present in the visuals and the general structure of Tempest 2000 is echoed even down to the circular and semi-circular tubes that your starship moves around in. Hyper Void offers three different weapons to use from the start. These range from the standard shot to blast enemies combined with two other shot variants that require charging and therefore need careful consideration when trying to maximise their effectiveness. This mechanic separates Hyper Void from its influences and allows the game an identity of its own.
For a more detailed analysis of the base game, you can read our previous review of Hyper Void here. However, we are not here to discuss the base game, which has been available for over a year now on various platforms and PC gamers may also be able to experience Hyper Void/Hyper Void VR soon as the game is currently on Steam Greenlight here. So, what, if anything, does the free PSVR update add to the overall package?
Visually the game is excellent and the art style lends itself well to the requirements of the PSVR. The trippy backgrounds of the wormholes give way to asteroid fields, flying in space above planets and levels that undulate and morph before your eyes. What VR brings to the table is an incredible sense of immersion and depth to the stages. Looking at an asteroid field that surrounds you, whilst blasting through space destroying enemies, is an awe-inspiring experience. Hurtling through a wormhole at breakneck speed is thrilling. The bump in frame rate to 120FPS really enhances the sense of speed and also enhances the responsiveness of the controls. The added depth perception offered in VR also helps when judging distance and spacing between enemies, alleviating the problem of not having targeting lines emanating from your ship, whilst also allowing for better prioritisation and decision making when facing enemy waves. The level of immersion offered by the VR update cannot be understated, having played the base game first and then firing up the VR levels, the contrast in experiences is stark and once again shows the power of VR when it is used effectively.
The audio is also stellar, featuring some thumping tunes that fuel your adrenaline as you blast your way through space. The addition of the PSVR’s 3d audio really adds to the overall experience. The thumping tunes sound crisper and more intense, even the ambient sounds and laser fire have more pop to them. Experiencing the audio through the audio buds provided with the PSVR is great but if you own some compatible surround sound headphones, you are in for a treat. The sound design is all encompassing and combined with the visuals totally transports you into the game world.
Mechanically there are no new additions, but the enhanced depth perception and frame rate alleviate some of the problems with the base game. The ability to better judge distance and spacing enable better use of the mechanics built into the game and enhance the overall experience. The VR update really does take the base game to the next level and developer In|Framez Technology Corp really should be applauded for offering this update for free.
Hyper Void is an already excellent game and well worth an investment at the low price of £6.16, €7.49 and $9.19. The gameplay is fantastic, featuring 29 levels that will take around 10 to 15 hours to complete. However, when you factor in the free VR update, this is not a game to be missed. The value and playability on offer here put VR titles that are five times more expensive to shame. This package is exactly what a VR addition should be, added immersion combined with VR features that enhance the base game on offer. If you own a PSVR you owe it to yourself to give Hyper Void a go.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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