Bringing spectators into the game
Hyper Space can also bring spectators into the action. A streamer can play, and viewers can vote to see what special event to trigger. Viewers who spend money on Twitch’s currency can contribute to the game. For instance, they could vote on what kind of special event to trigger. They can make first-aid kits available everywhere or make it easier to jump to the tops of buildings due to low gravity. They can provide infinite ammo. By participating, fans who watch the game can earn points toward a Battle Pass, which helps them progress in the game when they play it.
“Low gravity is really entertaining because it lets you jump super-high,” Jennings said. “But you are an easier target for snipers.”
Ubisoft said the game is deeply integrated with Twitch. With Squad Invite, a streamer can invite spectators to play in a match together.
Hyper Space moves really fast and doesn’t reward you if you stand still. You have to rush to get weapons and then get the jump on the enemy.
If you are shot and killed, you don’t automatically die. In team play, you become a kind of ghost who can be a scout for your two other comrades (you play in teams of three). And you can go to a restore point, which spawns at a point where an enemy has been killed. There, you ping your squadmates and they can come revive you. When you come back, you have to dive back into the game without weapons.
As the match progresses, parts of the city will decay and eventually collapse. Players have to move out of them or die. The Hyper Scape crown spawns in the final remaining sector. In that sector, you can fight to be the sole survivor or hold on to the crown for 45 seconds to become the victor.
Playstyles and strategies are abundant. You can find a teleport hack and use it with a shotgun. That lets you teleport quickly to the side of an enemy, where you can blast them and then zip away before they know what hit them. You also can use an invisibility hack with a sniper rifle to take pot shots without being discovered, Jennings said.
In squad play, you can ping an enemy (an innovation from Apex Legends) to warn other players of threats or loot to pick up . Each character has a backstory, and each season will have a narrative.
“We want to inject meaning into everything we do with the characters and narrative,” Guyot said.
I went into a tutorial to familiarize myself with the weapons and the hacks, but I probably should have studied them longer than I did. I played a couple of hours of matches in a preview session. In my first game, my team got wiped out with zero kills. I kept pairing up with random players without talking to them on audio (we used Discord). That was a disadvantage, as other teams were more organized.
I found that where you land is important, and so I started aiming for buildings with the shimmering orange glass, where the gear is often concentrated, so that I could break in and find weapons quickly.
In my second game, I got a single-shot pulse weapon that got me a kill when I blasted it at an enemy from close range. The sniper weapons felt good, but you have to get two headshots for a kill if you have a weapon that isn’t leveled up. That’s difficult to do. I found that staying on top of a building paid off most of the time, but I couldn’t stay there forever. Snipers inevitably found me. The minigun suited me well because my aim is never that good and I could bring a target down with enough surprise. When I got killed, it wasn’t easy to find a respawn point, as that depends on where others get killed. But my comrades revived me a few times.
You have to look at your minimap often to see where the collapsing sector is. You have to move really fast to get out of that sector or you’ll eventually die. I found it hard at first, and it took quite a few matches before I could get consistent kills. But I liked it once I started getting the hang of it. I was able to get a small number of kills each game, but other players were very good.
I don’t know if Hyper Scape is going to drag me away from Call of Duty: Warzone, but it’s certainly going to make the battle royale genre more competitive. And it’s good to see Twitch integration coming into the game in an intelligent way.