Hybrid (XBLA)

August 10, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The world has fallen into chaos and two factions battle over the last resources available. In Hybrid, the entire world is open to do battle in, divided into continents and districts to dominate. As you push back your enemies and claim districts, your faction earns rewards and of course, bragging rights. Once you select a faction, you’re locked in for a season, though you’re allowed to switch one time per season. These seasons are determined by the players, but the developers have stated each season is expected to last around two weeks. This season approach adds some nice incentives to the battles and makes which side you take actually mean something, instead of being assigned to random factions. As you battle it out, you’ll also face off against your faction at times, in matches against suspected traitors. So Hybrid has a somewhat fresh take on the bigger picture of competitive play, which should keep the game’s population up for a while.

Hybrid is a cover based third person shooter, one that is on-line only and has no traditional campaign mode. So if you want to play the game, you’ll need to be on-line and have available competition. This is a risky move, since so few games can retain a decent population. The game seems to be well populated at launch, so hopefully that trend will continue, as without others to play against, there is no game at all. While other shooters make use of cover mechanics, Hybrid is all about cover. You’ll either be in cover or moving to cover non-stop, you never walk around or what not. You can jet from cover to cover, change cover destinations in mid flight, and of course, strafe and fire as you glide. This mechanic makes Hybrid feel fresh and bounding from cover to cover is simple and well designed. So in a genre packed with similar games, Hybrid is able to stand out and offer a rather one a kind shooter experience, which is important.

As you take out enemies, you unlock kill streaks and that gives you access to powerful robot companions. The requirements are low, so you’ll see a ton of these robotic wonders on the battlefield. As expected, there is a rank up system that gives you access to better guns, new perks, and cosmetic alterations. You just need to level up to gain tokens, which you then use to unlock the various upgrades and such. In a sad move, Hybrid also allows you to spend real money to progress faster, which lessens the incentive to grind out tokens and creates a “pay to win” atmosphere. This is a shame, but a sign of the times I suppose. You can also take on various challenges before battles, which if completed award you with bonus experience points. While Hybrid has a learning curve, it is a fun and fresh spin on the shooter genre that fans should appreciate. It is a shame the developers chose to emphasize a “pay to win” mechanic, but otherwise Hybrid is a lot of fun.

Video: How does it look?

The game’s visual design is solid, but the levels lack the kind of depth and variance most shooters contain. This is because the maps are basically small arenas with cover at regular intervals. So in terms of visual flair, the map designs are lackluster and seem rather repetitive. At the same time, navigating the maps is a snap and the characters look good, I just wish the maps had a little more flash and variance. The menus and such look excellent however, with terrific visuals that catch the eye. So not an eye popping visual design, but Hybrid looks more than solid.

Audio: How does it sound?

The game sounds good, with the kind of active, chaotic soundtrack you’d expect. Even with only six players per game, there is a lot of action and the audio reflects that. The guns sound potent and your various jet powered movements come through well, while the protective robots have the computerized voices you’d expect. The music is forgettable, but sounds fine and never gets on your nerves. Perhaps not one of the best sounding shooters around, but all the basics have been well covered.

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