Hyper Void is an adrenaline fueled throwback to classic arcade shoot ’em ups, with gorgeous graphics that are nearly as beautiful as the gameplay is exciting.
Hyper Void has brought arcade style shoot ’em ups into the future with high definition graphics, a pumping soundtrack, and an incredibly smooth 60 frames per second. But the real star of the game is its fast paced, challenging gameplay. With around 29 levels and a boss battle waiting at the end of most of them, getting a high score may be last thing on a player’s mind.
While there’s no denying that Hyper Void is a difficult game, it does a wonderful job of easing the player into the madness. There are no in-game button tutorials, simply a diagram of the controller before level one begins. The player is then left to figure out the controls organically in the first couple of stages, without any heavy-handed tutorials. The fact that the game trusts the player to figure things out as they go along meshes wonderfully with its fast pace and reflexive gameplay. As a player it also feels so much more rewarding to have the basics presented up front and then to be able to accomplish something with that knowledge, especially in a game that is designed to be somewhat intuitive.
The controls themselves are very simple, and with the high frame rate and sharp responsiveness, the Hyper Void‘s ship flies like a dream. Even though the player’s movement is restricted to sliding either left or right, the varied level designs allow for what feels like a full range of movement. Depending upon the level, the player could be flying at a ninety degree angle, circling around a heart shaped wormhole, or rocketing upside down into space.
Pressing either of the controller’s bumpers causes the ship to semi teleport, a function that’s essential to dodging enemy fire and phasing through lasers while doubling as visual flair. As cool as everything looks, though, it all feels extremely purposeful. The small variety of guns and powerups allows the game’s focus to be on the action, and the enemies are tailored to keep the player using all of the controls thoughtfully instead of just mashing one button.
It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the aesthetic of the game as well. No matter how much is happening on screen, the composition is always beautifully unified. The shiny metal enemies fit perfectly in the saturated environments, and oftentimes even their ammunition stands out. As varied as the levels are, their visual consistencies make the universe of Hyper Void feel believable. Some levels even have grid-like planes, hearkening back to the linear style of older arcade games. The music takes things a step further, heightening the futuristic themes of the game.
Beyond the visuals and the controls, it’s the gameplay that’s truly exciting. With a focus on fast reflexes, the constant stream of action and reaction makes for a riveting experience. New enemies and level designs are thrown into the mix when least expected, and with a ship that can only take three hits, it feels as though any mistake is impactful.
This flying by the seat of your pants energy is what Hyper Void is all about. The player is forced to rely on their instinct as opposed to simply memorizing a solution. This style of gameplay likely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, mind you, but Hyper Void has been designed in a way that anyone can pick it up and play. The only limit to how far the player can get is how much they’re willing to persist.
If there is one thing out of place in all this, it would be the plot. Hyper Void’s story is told through messages left at the end of certain levels, but they seem almost unnecessary in a game that doesn’t require a narrative framework to be successful. Even if the notes added something to the experience, they are full of names and places that have no meaning to the player, making for a very boring read.
Small plot issues aside, Hyper Void is a stellar shoot ’em up that strikes a great balance between difficulty and enjoyment. The visuals are slick, with a soundtrack that complements the adrenaline-fueled pace, and the gameplay is very engaging. Any player could jump right in with ease, but only the most dedicated stand a chance of making it to the end.
Hyper Void is now available for PS3 and PS4, and is coming soon to the Xbox One and PC. Game Rant was provided a PS4 code for this review.