Shooters, by their nature, are the fastest genre in the gaming world. They’re easy to get into and they don’t have long-winded entrances, lengthy explanations, or confusing scene changes. Yet many games actually tend to go on longer than most movie productions, and playing the second half of a mediocre game, for example, is often an ordeal. That’s why I often favor shooters over most other types of games because the experience you get from such a small amount of time spent playing is unrivaled.
The concept for Hyper-5 is simple: take Defender and Super R-Type and you have a game that harkens back to the good old days of gaming. Hyper-5’s strength lies in its elegant simplicity. Each level is cleverly designed and packed to the brim with non-stop action as enemies come zooming in and out in all directions.
Your tiny ship, the Hyper-5, is equipped with enough armaments and explosives to make some NATO countries green with envy. At first, it might seem that your ship is not capable of taking down the bigger and heftier bosses, but believe me when I say it does. Each level has you hurtling from one crisis to another, starting from atop a planet’s surface blasting away at a mechanized robot to swooping down an underwater oasis where you come face to face with one of the most exquisitely designed bosses I’ve seen in a long time.
Hyper-5 utilizes a progression system for weapon upgrades meaning the more you play, the more opportunities you have to unlock specific traits to upgrade your current arsenal. This needs to be said upfront as most players will most likely become frustrated by the game’s slow start even before getting into the meat of the game. But the deeper you get, the more enriching the progression system becomes. Each level offers certain challenges, kind of like Steam achievements, that reward the player with points that can be used to purchase speed, health, extra lives, and perks.
You can use these points to upgrade your weapon layout to your liking such as equipping your ship with the Nova Outriders which are a unique pair of orbital drones that rotate around your ship inflicting and repelling damage back to the enemy ships. The more challenges you complete, the more weapons and enhancements you unlock which pumps the replayability factor up considerably.
Aesthetically, Hyper-5 is a visual extravaganza from beginning to end and one of the most graphically robust games you’ll ever see. Witnessed entirely away from its story or plot, Hyper-5 is worth seeing and playing simply for its sights. Like many shooters before it, Hyper-5 is a technical watershed that will influence other shooters moving forward.
The game can be experienced as a pure spectacle with lasers whizzing by, bombs exploding, and enemy fighters being pulverized. In a scene where everything is happening at once, Hyper Productions knows that nothing unnecessary needs to be happening on the screen aside from the non-stop mayhem that the player can focus on.
Many of the game’s levels are startlingly beautiful and are similar to design and creativity reminiscent of artists like Peruvian-born, Boris Vallejo, who had a fondness of bringing his artwork to life using the power of bright colors through his oil paintings. The final level of Hyper-5 goes on a bit longer than I had hoped but it does introduce a moment in the game when the developer makes the player really feel as they are hurtling headlong through a giant living world.
Although the graphics will be the game’s biggest selling point, it also becomes its hindrance because there is so much going on, it often is difficult to know when and where an enemy is shooting from or where boundaries start and end. When I first played the demo, I was taken aback, and now, having played the full version, I have remained very impressed. If you love to shoot’em ups, you owe it to yourself to play this fantastic little game.
I’m not sure how old the developer is, but judging by the content provided, I can safely assume he is definitely old enough to create a great game, yet still young enough to remember what makes games so enjoyable. Hyper-5 is a fun and beautiful game that delivers a great experience and is, in my opinion, one of the best games in any genre to start 2022 with.