In an industry where literally anyone can decide to make a video game, it's almost instinctive to overlook something like Hyper Void. Created by two brothers with a passion for old-school space shooters, this three-dimensional take on the genre has its fair share of shortcomings – but we still think that those interested should at least consider giving it a proper look.
You command the RM-24, flying through wormholes and gunning down aliens. Why? Honestly, we'd love to know, but the plot is incomprehensible. Perhaps this is meant to pay homage to some of the genre's nonsensical narratives of the past – or maybe it just doesn't make sense. Either way, we doubt that any of you will be coming to this for a touching story.
No, just as you probably suspected, Hyper Void is all about the gameplay. You'll need to navigate your ship through a number of hazards while taking out as many aliens as possible. Thankfully, the DualShock 3 is a perfect match for the game's controls; different laser guns are assigned to the face buttons, and the triggers allow you to quickly dash to the left or right, which is extremely useful for getting out of a jam.
You can't move up or down, so control is very limited, making the game easy to learn but hard to master. Much of its difficulty comes from some of the more creative level layouts. In one particular instance, this scribe recalls a stage where he spent most of his time upside-down, shooting foes from afar. Moments like these are some of the title's best, which only makes it more upsetting that they're so rare.
Indeed, most of the title takes place on an ordinary horizontal plane or in a sickeningly boring spiral. Bland and without any inspiration, these layouts only hold the game back from its true potential, as is evident to anyone who has seen some of its crazier designs.
But what's even more disheartening is the lack of some features. Not surprisingly, there are no multiplayer modes to be seen – local co-op, online, or otherwise – but we were heartbroken to learn that leaderboards were completely out of the picture as well, especially given that the game does track scores. With only 30 or so levels and very little reason to come back, spending hard-earned money on this feels questionable – even with its $15.99 price tag.
Fortunately, the game does sport some phenomenal production values. The bright and futuristic visuals are more notable than most of the gameplay, and a foreboding, theatrical soundtrack keeps the tension high.
Hyper Void is fun every now and then, but there simply isn't enough content for us to recommend it to all of you. Instead, we're going to say that devout fans of the genre should be quick to jump on it, while everyone else waits for a price drop.