Virtual Reality

a pearl of a VR shooter or a graphical sampler?

Hubris review: Crysis for VR or just a graphical marvel?

Image: Cyborn AR VR Services Belgium

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Is Hubris the Crysis of VR shooters? We’re testing whether shootouts in an idyllic setting also provide great gameplay.

Virtual reality shooter hubris is supposed to finally use the graphics capabilities of modern VR PCs. After an emergency landing on a hostile planet, you will go in search of a missing agent. On the largely linear path, you’ll take down aliens and mutated astronauts with your multifunctional blaster.

In addition, you also control puzzles, platforms, climbing and swimming sequences collect resources and upgrade your gun. In the VR game demo, it was all still pretty bumpy. If the full version has more to offer than pretty panoramas, I’ll check it out in the test.

The hubris review in a nutshell

Pride feels uninspired all around – from monotonous shooting with impractical weapons to bumpy handling when climbing and crafting. Only the nice graphics and a well done swimming control gave me nice moments in virtual reality.

Hubris is right for you if…

  • you are looking for a classic linear VR shooter with story mode,
  • have a passion for beautifully lit planetary panoramas,
  • and have a high-end graphics card.

Hubris is less suitable for you if…

  • you enjoy designing games inspired by your own ideas or mechanics,
  • are easily thrown off balance by fragile VR experiences,
  • and are looking for challenging and dynamic battles.

But can he give Crysis a run?

The success of Meta Quest 2 (review) also left a clear mark on the PC VR world. games like Ultrawings 2 sell about ten times more often on the mobile system. It’s no wonder, then, that fast VR computers have had next to no graphically complex games this year.

Cyne of Antwerp, Belgium, wants to remedy the situation. The studio’s first major VR shooter, Hubris, will initially focus entirely on PC VR, and should finally put players back in picturesque settings. Conversions for other platforms such as Quest 2 and PlayStation VR 2 are not expected until 2023. So far, the independent studio has mainly worked on film animations, 3D scanning and smaller applications.

The rugged planet of the Twin Planets system actually offers a great panorama When I arrive. Its idyllic reflecting lakes are framed by picturesque angular stone columns. On the horizon, gigantic terraforming machines sit enthroned, slowly transforming the truly hostile star into an inhabitable world.

But the planetary dream is not yet realized for the human colonists. After a raid and several mysterious deaths, much of the sealed off spaceport is under quarantine. So I have to use some tricks to get past them.

As a newly recruited agent of the so-called “Order of Objectivity”, I also try to Uncover the mystery surrounding missing Agent Cyanha.

On the way to her, I defend myself with firearms against the aggressive animal world and the apparently mutated “Uron” invaders. I expected the hopping alien fleas to only attack me with simple standard routines. However, enemies in protective gear don’t turn out to be intelligent beasts either, and almost never take cover.

Virtually no challenge

Instead, they steadily advance and surprise me from the side as I crouch in a seemingly safe corner. Overall, Hubris’ enemies are way too timid. Even giant drones do not pose a real threat on the highest difficulty level. From time to time, the monotony is interrupted by rifles, on which I sneak by the flank.

Ein Hubris-Spielender zielt zwischen Felsnadeln auf eine Drohne

Even between twisting rock needles, there’s not the tension of a Farpoint.| Image: Cyborn / MIXED

the arsenal of weapons Also proves a disappointment. The shotgun blast from my upgradable multi-purpose cannon has too short a range, even in close combat. Use as a submachine gun lacks penetrating power. In the end, I usually only use the standard pistol, which, like the other variants, can be upgraded a bit in terms of status values.

Hubris isn’t just a shooter, though. He mixes gunfights with many jumping and climbing missions, where the team’s lack of experience is clearly noticeable. Even when I grab a stone platform in time, virtual hands often don’t reliably grab the ledge. As a result, I find myself falling again and again into the abyss.

When climbing ropes or scaffolding in the mining complex, I often get my head in the landscape outside of the map, which ends in a blackout or some other fall into the depths.

If you can, avoid fiddling with index controllers if possible. The more sensitive sticks of the Meta’s Touch controllers make the act of balancing noticeably easier and more bearable, so I went from Valve index (revision) at Rift S during the adventure.

Intuitive dives

Swim controls are many more success. With intuitive arm movements, I cross idyllic lakes or even dive into a drowned reactor. In the latter, I replace a few fuses and escape again in time for the gigantic rotors to not shred me.

Die aufgerüstete Harpune schießt unter Wasser um die Ecke auf einen Tintenfisch.

The Improved Harpoon is one of the most fun weapons. Its remote-controlled projectile can be aimed directly at squids. | Image: Cyborn / MIXED

Sometimes atmospheric moments happen. This also applies to exploration circuits at the edge of linear levels. If I brave the balancing act on a pipe system in a chamber at the edge, scarce resources reward me for my spirit of discovery.

However, it is unfortunate that the sequel 3D printer manufacturing is not satisfactory. Unloading various resources takes what feels like forever, especially since the rewards are limited. The inventory automatically closes again and again, which is much less convenient than in In the radius (critical) or The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution (review).

As already mentioned, upgraded weapons provide almost no benefit. At least the the production of remedies or batteries for small environmental puzzles is a little more entertaining. Among other things, they help me when I guide a wounded comrade past floating mines.

Mobile cranes and containers are also useful when dangerous passages need to be blocked. The machine puzzles here, however, require solutions nowhere near as complex as in the adventure classic Lone echo 2.

Classic story shooter with a mixed presentation

The story of the mysterious attack rumbles quietly during the about five hours of play. The narrative can’t create any tension, but thanks to the passable English dub, I don’t feel alone on this planetary journey. I meet helpers like terraforming expert DuWack, who accompanies me in my search for Cyanha.

Zwei Begleiter ruhen sich im Loft vor der Planetenkulisse aus.

It’s time to take a deep breath in the airy loft. | Image: Cyborn / MIXED

My pilot Lucia constantly contacts me by drone. Here and there she comments on discoveries, like strangely disfigured enemies, or she gives me hints on how to solve puzzles.

The technical implementation turns out to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the Unreal Engine evokes idyllic landscapes out of the graphics chip. The geometric rock formations should especially delight lovers of canyons. Between the two, the pretty reflecting waves of the ponds invite you to dive. The internal motion capture of cutscenes is also impressive.

In contrast to this are the sparsely furnished interiors the stations, whose angular decorations are often repeated. Even costumed enemies or attacking squids have simple character models, especially compared to Half-Life: Alyx or the gigantic spiders Far point.

Although the sets are not always convincing, the game demands fast hardware. My GeForce RTX 2080 Ti manages the highest setting with no problems, but only with the old Rift S and without oversampling. With a refresh rate of just 80 Hertz and a low resolution of 1280 x 1440 pixels, it can render demanding games smoothly.

You need at least a mid-range PC

When using valve index, I had to drastically reduce the game’s internal resolution, which resulted in a blurrier image. Disabling various effects did little to help performance. I also had a few falls, thanks to which I repeatedly had to deal with annoying jumps.

Der Spielende schießt um die Ecke auf einen Gegner an der Spitze einer Leiter.

Cuckoo: Twisted pieces create at least some variety. | Image: Cyborn/MIXED

Hubris is a comfortable VR game. My stomach normally reacts quite sensitively to jumping sequences (see also our article on motion sickness). In Hubris they didn’t bother me at all.

You can set comfort settings like thumbnail, rotation angles for optional snap turns, or orientation based on head or hand, respectively. Teleport is not available. Sensitive players can at least reduce running speed.

Hubris review summary: A graphically impressive, but boring, shooter

Hubris is a boring shooter with great graphics. We get some nice panoramas that finally use our graphics cards. However, the monotonous firefights against completely dumb enemies barely held me back.

The skipping passages didn’t annoy me as much as I thought, but a lot of things still feel immature. Whether it’s buggy climbing, impractical weapons, or cumbersome crafting, important functions don’t work as well as they do in the competition and make gameplay sluggish.

The biggest problem with pride is the lack of ideas and personality. Is under has a cool cartoon style, stormland has smooth locomotion, Farpoint has giant delicate spiders and fracture has a fast cover mechanic. In comparison, Hubris looks like a uninspired standard shooter. Even half-cooked Bonelab (review) entertained me better this year, offering cooler physical gadgets.

You can buy Hubris here:

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