A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hyper Scape is an online science fiction-themed first-person shooter game available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. Players are dropped into the large virtual city of Neo Arcadia, competing solo or in teams of three against 98 other players in battle royale-style matches in which the winner either captures and holds a crown or is the last person (or team) surviving. Violence is constant, as players are essentially hunting each other with a range of different weapons and special abilities. Despite the violence, though, the game's virtual reality setting means that there's no blood shown on-screen. Instead, defeated foes simply disappear from the screen, leaving their gear behind. The game does include an instance of Greek profanity, but a bigger language concern would be the online nature of the game and the risk of profanity from other players in party chat. Although the game's free to play, there's an in-game marketplace where players can spend in-game or real currency to add new cosmetic options to their characters.
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What's it about?
Welcome to the HYPER SCAPE, a virtual framework that serves as home to Neo Arcadia, the staging ground for the wildly popular sport Crown Rush. One part parkour, one part survival of the fittest, Crown Rush pits 99 Champions against one another in a battle royale extravaganza that's a literal race for the crown. Solo or in squads of three, Champions deploy into Neo Arcadia and begin the mad dash to survive. You'll seek out and upgrade various weapons to take out the competition, or tap into the code of the Hyper Scape and use the system to your advantage, turning the tide to your favor with "Hack" abilities like Teleport, Invisibility, Slam, and more. Claim the crown and the glory that comes with it, or fade into the abyss of obscurity ... at least until the next match begins.
Is it any good?
If you're looking for big action and big competition in online gaming, it doesn't get much bigger than a battle royale, and these days, there are plenty to choose from. Hyper Scape is Ubisoft's foray into the battle royale genre, bringing with it a virtual reality flavor and a few twists on the formula to stand out from the competition. But although these ideas seem sound and entertaining at first, the novelty quickly wears off and leaves in its place a surprisingly bland and uneventful experience.
One thing Hyper Scape definitely gets right is its streamlined inventory system. Players can carry only two guns and two Hack abilities at any given time. Picking up more of the same item simply upgrades its performance. This keeps players from being left vulnerable while navigating some complex inventory to pull some specific item from a backpack. Other gameplay tweaks are less successful. Hacks, while interesting, are a mixed bag of tricks that range from virtually useless, like the Reveal or Mine, to the sorely overpowered, such as Invisibility. In fact, there are balance issues throughout the game. While it has a robust selection of weapons to find, only a few feel like they pack any real punch. Finally, and probably most frustrating of all, there's no difference whatsoever between characters, outside of cosmetics. Every character plays exactly the same as every other, just with a different coat of paint. So instead of feeling unique among the competition, Hyper Scape makes you feel like you're just another cog in just another battle royale machine.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Hyper Scape affected by the unrealistic nature of the combat? What are some of the ways that violence is portrayed in gaming? Does the lack of blood or gore reduce the impact of that violence to younger audiences?
What are some ways games can teach teamwork? How have some games managed to evolve into competitive sports? What's the appeal of these games, not only to the competitors, but also to spectators watching via streaming and broadcast?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: August 11, 2020
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Mild Language
- Last updated: September 20, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.