hubris is a visually stunning sci-fi action-adventure VR game from Cyborn studio. The game offers AAA level graphics, but does the gameplay live up to the visuals? Find out in our full Hubris for PC VR review.
Hubris, the first large-scale VR title from 3D animation and game studio Cyborn, sees you step into the boots of a marine space formation to become a member of the mighty OOO (Order of Objectivity). You are sent to a planet with the ship’s pilot, Lucia, in search of Cyanha, a powerful OOO agent turned MIA. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel the sci-fi world, avoiding environmental hazards while fending off hostile wildlife and opposing factions in an effort to find the missing agent.
Pride will prove the old adage that you should never judge a book by its cover. It’s hard not to be impressed by the beautiful alien landscapes and polished character models that Hubris has to offer. I admit I was more than a little amazed when the dropship hatch first opened and presented me with a stunning underwater biome filled with colorful corals and sea life. However, once you get past the pretty packaging, Hubris turns out to be a fairly unremarkable shooter.
For the most part, you learn about the game’s various mechanics as you progress through the campaign, saving you from long, tedious tutorials. Your holo-backpack is one of the first things you learn to use. It works like a regular backpack, but allows you to store a lot more stuff thanks to its ability to dematerialize objects.
The backpack is pretty well put to use, allowing you to store items you pick up by simply placing your hand on either shoulder, allowing you to pick up items without slowing down fast-paced gameplay too much. Picking up items can be done just as easily, reaching for your right shoulder for health items or your left shoulder for everything else. However, to grab something specific, you’ll need to open an inventory activated by a button on your wrist. The backpack holds everything you’ll need and items are automatically organized, so there’s no need to micro-manage inventory.
Along with quest-related items, items fall into one of two other categories: health-restoring items and junk items. Some items that replenish health, such as alien fruits, can be consumed directly, while others must be combined in a blender with other ingredients before they can be used. Then there’s the junk you collect, which can be broken down into raw materials and fed into a 3D printer for gun upgrades.
The idea of collecting hidden items for upgrades is not new. Still, it’s a positive feature that rewards players for exploring the environment, especially when you manage to find rare gear. There’s only one point in the campaign where this becomes an annoyance, during a tedious section requiring you to collect every piece of junk in a room in order to progress.
That misstep aside, the only other irritation with the upgrade feature is that it can feel like a hassle to have to dump every piece of scrap into the machine to convert it to raw material and then have to insert all the materials in the 3D printer. Luckily, once you’ve mined the materials you need, upgrading your handgun and selecting the upgrade you want with the 3D printer is a much faster process.
Locked and loaded
You are equipped with a semi-automatic plasma gun that can be upgraded to turn into a shotgun or a machine gun. Each of these weapon types can also be upgraded in strength, but given the limited materials, you may have to choose between upgrading your pistol power or adding a shotgun/submachine gun function.
That being said, your resources are probably better spent upgrading the gun. The machine gun is quite weak, inaccurate, and doesn’t have much ammo considering its fast rate of fire. On the other hand, the Shotgun is more powerful but performs miserably at longer ranges. The pistol is a versatile gun that is both accurate and powerful, making it the logical choice in most situations. be upgraded.
The game’s lack of weapons is a little disappointing – there’s not even an explosive ordinance, like grenades, to play with. More than once I’ve encountered a bunch of enemies who were just asking for a well-placed explosive to ruin their day, only to find I had nothing for the job.
That said, your handgun’s reloading mechanism is pleasantly unique, requiring you to hold the gun upright next to your head and wait for it to fully or partially load (marked by audio cues) before firing a another blow. It is therefore essential to be precise in your shots, lest you be caught in a compromising position while waiting for your weapon to reload.
However, this tactical element would have worked better if the sight was more useful when lining up a shot. For some reason aiming down sight was so difficult that I often resorted to firing my handgun in the general direction of the enemy and adjusting my aim depending on the direction of the projectile.
This brings us to Hubris’ weakest overall element: its combat. The enemies you’ll encounter are pretty generic. From hostile squids to flying mechanized drones and space marines, none of the game’s enemies left a lasting impression on me, but perhaps the biggest problem with combat is the enemy AI – or lack thereof.
The lackluster AI is something we noted in our two first hands-on previews of the game, and it remains a problem in the full version. The general enemy attack strategy is to rush your position. This can be excused for less intelligent creatures like giant insects, but less so when more advanced humanoid enemies follow a similar pattern. At most, enemies strafe and sometimes kneel while firing, but tend not to take full advantage of the cover around them. More often than not, this makes opponents easy to take down with well-placed blaster shots.
That’s not to say combat was child’s play – it’s still very possible to get killed in any of the three difficulty levels, but death usually occurs when overwhelmed by a large number of enemies. enemies, rather by clever tactics on their part. Also, when it comes to aiming, enemies are the complete opposite of a Star Wars Stormtrooper – their shots are exceptionally accurate.
The combat also suffers from a distinct lack of variety in the opponents you face. An opposing faction of Space Marines are the main enemies, taking the form of two types: the standard “cannon fodder” soldier and a more heavily armored type equipped with a powerful plasma weapon. Encountering the same enemies over and over certainly adds to the repetitiveness of encounters.
That said, I don’t want to sound overly critical. Overall the fight isn’t too bad and it certainly has its moments. It was always satisfying to watch bugs explode into gooey chunks or vaporize your opponent with a well-placed headshot.
Platform and puzzles
Another big part of Hubris is its use of jumping, climbing, and swimming to navigate the sci-fi world. The platform works well except for occasional issues where my hand would slip through a climbable feature or I would get stuck in the environment by accident, receiving an “Out Of Bounds” message. Moving around feels natural, even when performing breaststroke strokes to swim underwater.
There are also some simple environmental puzzle elements, but nothing that will have you scratching your head for too long. Puzzles involve finding hidden objects, interacting with machines, or using a selected item with another. In one section, for example, you’ll disable a pair of machine guns by climbing scaffolding to operate a set of controls, maneuvering a crate over sentries.
Hubris Review – Final Verdict
Overall, Hubris is a bit like that fast food burger you order on a Saturday night. It doesn’t live up to the impressive image displayed on the menu but still satisfies your craving. The game shines in some areas, such as well-thought-out visuals and mechanics, but is average in others, such as combat and storyline. Beyond eye candy, Hubris probably won’t leave a huge lasting impression, but it’s still a standard action-adventure shooter that’s enjoyable enough to keep you playing until the end.
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