How Hyper Scape could beat Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends

Hyper Scape is good

Just when it seemed the battle royale genre was already stuffed to the gills with games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends, without room for any new titles — there’s a small matter of Worms Rumble too — Hyper Scape comes barging down the door, elbowing its way into the royale party. The game has garnered a pre-release hype of the kind rarely seen, and for good reason.

The recent technical test that just wrapped up went off with a bang, putting on display hundreds of hours of solid gameplay and introducing a slew of innovative new features and genre-redesigns that show great promise.

Hyper Scape - Official Trailer

Thus, despite being a few years behind the other genre heavyweights, Hyper Scape is making a whole ton of noise in the lead up to its general release sometime this summer that has led many to speculate whether the game might have the goods to finally dethrone the top dogs like Apex Legends, Fortnite, and PUBG. It might seem improbable at first, but there are a few things that lend credibility to such an outlandish notion.

Related: The 7 Best Battle Royale Games for Android

Fresh Innovation in a Stale Genre

While many have decried battle royale as a fast-burning flame, a genre already comatose and dead of innovation, Hyper Scape attempts to flip over the whole game board and send the pieces flying. Indeed, it would seem that Ubisoft has taken a critical look at the hallmarks of the genre and thought about ways to twist them as far as possible without actually breaking them, as well as filling in the cracks between separate game elements.

Hyper Scape: Gameplay Overview Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]

Looting in most battle royales, for example, is of far greater importance early game in most battle royales. Once players have found most of what they need, less emphasis is placed on exploration while pursuing the end-goal of slaying the rest of the combatants. Why go off the beaten path to keep looting when you already have your favorite weapon, enough armor, and enough ammo?

Hyper Scape introduces a Fusion mechanic, in which multiple copies of the same weapon merge to create something even more potent. This is a great design choice that keeps the weapon-looting mechanic relevant throughout the match — a great way to make more effective use of pre-existing elements. The same goes for a second innovative feature: Hacks, equipable power-ups that endow players with rule-bending abilities that can dramatically change play style.

Even the map itself, Neo Arcadia, stretches to new heights — literally. The game goes out of its way to implement a multi-tiered map with an emphasis on vertical, not just horizontal, movement, and situational awareness. Skyscrapers dominate the skyline and multiply the dimensions of the playing field, making it feel less like just another royale map with a new coat of face paint. The bones are different.

Related: 9 Best PvP Battle Royale games [April 2020]

Perfectly Imperfect Timing

Hyper Scape splash art showing Crown Rush Crown

The global Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the gears of the world, bringing economies and in some ways life itself to a screeching halt. Everybody’s at home now, cooped up indoors, looking for ways to escape from the gloomy monotony of life and new ways to interact with other human beings at a distance. No wonder then that the gaming industry and sports companies are doing better in these times.

And with people spending more time online, not only are we turning to old reliables in the form of staunch fan favorites, but we’re also quickly growing ready for more novelty. Anything, no matter how awesome, can get old after a while and with people playing the genre heavyweights to death these past few moments, the hunger and the free-time necessary to sink their teeth into something new is at an all-time high. Thus it’s no surprise that Hyper Scape is charging full steam ahead aboard a hype train of its own making.

This coincides with one more important factor: the game is releasing free-to-play. 

So, even with businesses slowing down, the economy grinding to a standstill, the game is ripe for the plucking and easy on already hurting wallets. So it’s new, it’s free, it’s novel — but even with all those factors combined, might it be enough to topple the genre’s bigwigs?

Probably not. At least not without an extra nudge. 

Groundbreaking Engagement

Hyper Scape Characters

The most unique feature of Hyper Scape is its brilliant strategy to bring together fans and streamers with real incentives for engagements. Hyper Scape has a Battle Events mechanic that introduces random, temporary gameplay changes to the map during a match. It could be anything from infinite ammo, low gravity, or a reveal of every player’s location. That alone is a pretty sweet way to keep gameplay interesting and fresh.

What makes it even more interesting is a Twitch integration that lets the audience vote on what happens nextin real-time. That means that viewers can exert actual influence over the match itself, and the mechanic encourages watching and streaming just as much playing. Furthermore, it incentivizes streamers to mobilize their platform, possibly attaining a minor edge by allowing them some control over otherwise random events.

Hyper Scape Twitch Integration Menu

But that’s not the only thing in it for streamers. Subscriber votes count triple, highly incentivizing viewers to subscribe to the channel they’re watching. Couple this with the fact that the viewers can expect regular rewards for watching streams, and you have an absolutely ingenious win-win-win situation for all three parties: The streamers are rewarded with a larger, more engaged audience; Hyper Scape wins with highly incentivized promotion and engagement that doesn’t cost them a dime; and the viewer wins by getting to dictate events and reap rewards for the simple act of enjoying their favorite streamer.

It’s an innovative way to manufacture momentum for an already great-looking game, and who knows? Might it just be enough to get the game past the all-too-important tipping point necessary to claim to the title of Royale of All Royales?

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Will Heydecker is a writer, screenwriter and illustrator who still likes dragons. As part of his bitter war against adulthood, he likes to distill art, gaming, technology, and entertainment info into digestible topics people actually enjoy reading.