To make up for the rather short show last week, we’re back to a more usual length. We brought in our Video Co-ordinator Shawn Saris to help with that. This week Perry tells us all about the final Summer of Arcade game Dust: An Elysian Tail, which he enjoyed quite a bit. We talk a bit about Hybrid, including that metagame, then you can hear me rant about Star Wars for a little bit.
We have actual news this week, then Andrew rounds out the show with the ol community corner.
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Ever since the dawn of time man has dreamed of flight.
Okay well that might be a bit hyperbolic, but certainly the popularity of science fiction and the curious mind of one Leonardo Da Vinci are why we are so in love with jetpacks. Strapping a super-powered engine to your back and floating around the sky, all the while hoping your butt doesn’t get singed, this must indeed be the pinnacle of mankind’s achievements, should we ever arrive there. In the mean time, Hybrid‘s got all the jetpackin-est action we could hope for and more, and it’s one of the best implementations of a jetpack in gaming history. No, that’s not hyperbolic.
Hybrid is a simple game, when you strip away some of the superficiality. It’s a third person shooter that’s one part cover-camper and one part on-rails bullet hell. Sound strange? It should. This three versus three competitive multiplayer (only) game mixes the strategy of locking to cover with the skill and reflex-reliance of strafing and shooting while flying through the air.
The whole game centers around this mechanic, wherein you select a location to travel to, rather than manually moving there and directing your character. Once in the air, you can speed up, strafe in all directions with your jetpack, return to your previous cover or select a new location. When in cover, you can move along the walls or hop over them, but that’s it. The game is loadout-based with a dense armory system which grants you an unlock for any weapons or abilities you’d like from a specific category every time you level up (like Gotham City Impostors).
On top of the actual gameplay during matches, there is also this massive global war meta game to account for. Five continents divided into 20 districts each must be fought over to gain dark matter for your faction. The Variant and Paladin factions contest these zones, completing matches in a zone they select to progress its capture; the better the team does, the more progress they make. The first faction to 100 dark matter wins the season and is awarded with a special helmet and achievement.
Third-person shooter Hybrid released Wednesday with a fairly turbulent launch. For most of the day the servers were unavailable, leading Microsoft to pull the game from the marketplace to prevent players from purchasing something they couldn’t play. As an online only game, Hybrid’s release yesterday reiterated that when the plug is pulled on the servers, the plug is pulled on the game itself. As such, the value of the game relies upon players continuing to purchase and play it. The game will eventually peak and decay until the moment there are no longer enough players to sustain the servers and developer 5th Cell decides to pull the plug causing the game to cease to exist. As such, 5th Cell has done everything they can to keep players interested long term creating a Meta Game involving a war between two factions: Variant and Paladin. The issue is the Meta Game is broken.
Hybrid focuses on three on three squad-based matches. The game adds a unique twist in the sense that ground movement is limited to moving along cover and flipping from one side of a wall to another. The majority of movement occurs in the air. Players can beeline from one cover to the next using their jetpacks and changing their end destination to any visible cover. Players can move up and down or left and right while in the air in order to strafe and avoid incoming fire. Imagine having a string between the two covers that can be pulled in various directions to an extent, but the movement is tethered. The result is a highly unique and interesting flow of combat that Todd will be discussing in depth in his forthcoming review.
Update: 10:00 PM EST
5th Cell has located the problem and is now fixed. The game has shown up on the marketplace for download/purchase. They did say it might …