We’re more than halfway through our roundtable series looking at the Summer of Arcade 2012, which means it’s time to talk about 5th Cell’s take on the third person shooter, Hybrid. Though fun and unique, it’s not without it’s issues, some of which our EIC took issue with. Hit the jump to find out what he and our other staffers thought of the game in general.
Kyle Aufderheide: I think it’s new and different, not too hard to learn, very satisfying to master, and the gameplay is pretty balanced with maybe a couple OP weapons here and there. Definitely worth the $15 with 10 maps, 7 game modes, and a decent chunk of weapons and abilities.
John Laster: On the spectrum of shooters I put it closer to a Halo balance than say a Call of Duty. You have some time to survive if people start shooting at you but not much unless their aim is really bad.
Ross Adams: I think they’ve made a lot of great design choices to try and eleviate the dwindling numbers, with it just being 3 vs 3 and the overall metagame. Though as John has discussed at length, the incentives in the metagame kind of break it, which is unfortunate.
Kyle Aufderheide: I like that it’s more akin to Halo. You realize you’re getting shot at and can quickly press Y or B. Yet the game is still pretty fast paced
John Laster: My problem though with the metagame is that there is no marginal impact by a single player. You acting strategically will not make up for your team not acting strategically. And there are disincentives to prevent them from acting strategically when there should be incentives to cause them to act strategically. I will say, however, that I applaud 5th Cell for coming up with a totally new spin on a shooter. Hopefully they’ll be community-focused and continue to hone the game with server and client-side updates The whole concept makes me want them to make an enders game game. I loved the movement in the game. And for a cover shooter it’s actually not about camping which I love.
Kyle Aufderheide: I don’t think the meta-game is bad per say. I do like that it’s in there. But I find it’s more like what John said to me before is that if this was a team with shooter history, the meta-game wouldn’t have the flaws that it had. A patch would be nice and could hopefully fix it, but that may be too late
John Laster: The issue is I don’t think it can maintain a strong player base a year down the road unless some things change. They completely eliminated any possibility of Gamebattles type play by not allowing private matches (likely to not split the player base away from the metagame) but that in itself removed most the incentive to learn to be good at this game. There really is nothing to accomplish. So you can play but there just isn’t much to do. I heard one player has already max prestiged at under 60 hours. There isn’t much actual reward
Kyle Aufderheide: I think for a standard player it’s double that time. It was about 15 hours for me to hit 50 the first time. But you’re right, there’s not much incentive to rank fully up or even use different weapons.
John Laster: And the problem is once that player base diminsihes the game loses value for everyone as you have no one to play against.
Ross Adams: I think they maybe overshot a little and individual parts of the game suffered for it. They realised they needed more than just the standard CoD progression system, but what there is on top of that is poorly implemented.
John Laster: And I think there were a lot of decisions made that will accelerate the decline of the individual, casual players.
Ross Adams: That said, I think even with the issues, the core gameplay and progression is fun enough and well worth the 1200 points. And if they fix it up a bit and it takes off in a big way, all the better.
John Laster: For me though I think most people will get enough enjoyment out of the demo. You can play for an hour and if you really like it buy it. If not, you got to try something new. I just don’t think there is enough substance to the game for most players but then again it’s a great filler till Halo 4 and the next COD.
Kyle Aufderheide: Hybrid is a valiant first effort into the Shooter genre by 5th Cell. I commend it for its originality and for actually pursuing an idea that could have easily flopped. The game plays well, matchmaking isn’t too much a problem to be honest, and I have fun playing it. More incentives would be nice and the meta-game needs some mass-tweaking. But yeah, 5th Cell’s first shooter so I give them the benefit of the doubt, and I’m sure if a sequel would arise (I hope), much of what is broken can be fixed. And it’s still a great buy (for now) and #3 for me for this year’s SoA just slightly under Wreckateer.
John Laster: Oh totally. I think they should be commended on the fact they tried something new. But I think they took two risks when they maybe should have taken one. The game play is new. And the progression and goals are new. The gameplay they nailed more or less but I really think the Metagame feels tacked on and not exactly planned near as well.
Come back tomorrow when we’ll talk about the final game from this years Summer of Arcade line-up, Dust: An Elysian Tail. Let us know in the comments what you think of Hybrid, are its new ideas good enough to sustain an audience or will it flounder as so many multiplayer XBLA games have before?