Hyperviolent opens with a stylish pixel animated scene reminiscent of classic FPS games from the 90s, though the game differs from these with its creative blend of both low-poly 3D and hand-crafted pixel art. In some ways, Hyperviolent's presentation and atmosphere reminded me a bit of 1994’s System Shock, particularly in moments where I was able to glean information about the game’s narrative from computer terminals.
Following hints of something sinister having happened on a mysterious mining asteroid, Hyperviolent transitions from an intriguing opening cutscene to your character exiting their spaceship within the I.E.C. Commodus station. As previously mentioned, here you’ll explore and interact with terminals to dig deeper into the mining incident that took place, and what happened at the station itself.
Not only are hints given within terminal entries, but also as you wander around collecting gear like bullets, a flashlight, and a gun from a corpse that appeared dead at first glance but turned out not to be. Not quite, anyway. A few well-placed bullets though and the corpse was taken care of. More animated corpses and hostile foes wait within the winding corridors of I.E.C. Commodus station, and you’ll need to be smart when it comes to dealing with them.
Namely, by rationing health vials and bullets for weapons like the game’s compakt hand gun or shotgun, and being cautious when entering new areas. Sure, Hyperviolent gives you the option to deal melee damage through punches or with weapons like a shock baton which saves you from the brief pause that comes with reloading a weapon, but outside of 1v1 fights, this tactic feels less effective at dealing with foes, especially those armed with weapons themselves.
Enemies, especially those that are armed, are able to deal a lot of damage quite quickly, and this adds a nice element of tension to the game. It also encourages further exploration of each and every room aboard the station. Not only will you be able to find bullets and health vials, but also data pads and hidden secrets.
Light puzzle-solving elements are present in Hyperviolent like clearing out a severed arm from a machine to turn it back on, and seeking out different color nanocards in order to unlock various passageways leading deeper into the station. A little bit of backtracking is required, and rather than leave areas cleared out of enemies, Hyperviolent throws more at you in order to keep you on your toes.
For those who love classic System Shock and Doom, or simply sci-fi horror oozing in dark, sinister atmosphere, Hyperviolent has this in spades. Despite dying a few times and having to go back to older checkpoints to redo certain areas of exploration all over again, which felt a bit tedious, I loved my time with Hyperviolent and look forward to digging even deeper into the game once it’s released.
Currently, a release date has yet to be announced for Hyperviolent with the developers previously sharing a goal on the Steam page for Hyperviolent to have the game out within the first half of 2023. The full version will differ from that of the Early Access version which starts with 5 levels, but will expand to 11 levels at release. The initial number of weapons will be doubled as well, along with the addition of more enemies, bosses, and the introduction of multiplayer both co-op and PvP.
To stay up-to-date its release be sure to wishlist Hyperviolent on Steam, and stay tuned for more coverage of it here at Shacknews.