HomeReviews4/5 ReviewHYPERCHARGE Unboxed Review

HYPERCHARGE Unboxed Review

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Like many others, my first exposure to HYPERCHARGE Unboxed was during that shrewd viral marketing campaign, giving Xbox players a heads-up of this ‘new’ game incoming. The thing is, it was already out on Switch and PC. But, far more importantly, it looked bloody good. Memories of playing Small Soldiers and Toy Story 2 as a child were brought kicking and screaming into the modern times with this very impressive looking game. And whilst it feels very similar in parts to those games, for better and worse, HYPERCHARGE Unboxed is tons of fun too.

HYPERCHARGE Unboxed is a first/third person shooter in which you play as a toy in larger than life environments. These could be bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, toy stores or basically wherever your imagination used to take you as a child. And just like the toy box where you find these toys, there is an absolutely treasure trove of things to do in HYPERCHARGE Unboxed. None of it is exactly mould-breaking, but it is polished to a very high standard.

HYPERCHARGE Unboxed review 1
A well polished shooter

The main campaign is for up to four players both locally and online. An intro cutscene playing out in a comic book style explains the basis for the tower defence gameplay. Hypercores have been planted in kids bedrooms everywhere, ensuring they do not forget the toys they play with when they grow older. Sgt. Max Ammo and his army of toys are tasked with defending these Hypercores from the invading waves of enemies, led by Major Evil.

Each level has three Hypercores to defend against a varying number of waves. There are a number of placement tiles around each Hypercore where you can place walls made of LEGO, traps of glittery glue and spikes, turrets and more to keep the enemy away.

However, it is the downtime between waves in HYPERCHARGE Unboxed where the most fun can be had. These levels are chock full of various objectives to complete, collectibles to find and all with an attention to detail that is absolutely brilliant. Some of the platforming objectives present a real challenge, and it is a shame that you only have a few minutes in between waves to explore these areas. 

There is a free roam section that can be unlocked, allowing you to explore them freely. Here you can attempt those pesky platforming sections and uncover the many collectibles at your own pace. But you can also fully take in the surroundings, as well as the attention to detail that has gone into everything. In the toy shops you can read the box packaging, or smile at the humorous takes on established toy manufacturer logos without being bombarded by enemy fire.

As such, the tower defence sections are a distraction to the exploration sections. It was these that reminded most of Toy Story 2; exploring these large areas full of secrets and verticality to challenge your platforming abilities.

HYPERCHARGE Unboxed review 2
Of course the little green army men are in here

On the subject of that, you can map the buttons from the options menu. Bizarrely, the default puts the jump button on the RB button. One of the first things I did was move it over to the A button.

There is a vast array of enemies to defeat and just when you think you’ve seen everything, another new variant appears. Some are easier to spot than others however. One on hand, I love how HYPERCHARGE Unboxed keeps a lot of the defeated toys on the battlefield, broken and in pieces to show off the carnage unfolding, but this can make spotting ‘alive’ enemies tricky. In particular the army men that will spawn in large numbers at a time. Their movement is staggered as they hop around on their bases (another neat touch) but sometimes spotting the ones still firing in amongst the defences you have set up and other detritus on the floor can be a bit annoying. 

Same too for the Spinners in one of the campaign’s bonus levels. It all takes place on a table hockey board that quickly fills up with dead spinners everywhere; finding the ones still attacking your Hypercores isn’t the easiest.

One of the more surprising elements of HYPERCHARGE Unboxed is the actual shooting mechanics. These guns have some weight and punch to them, the standard assault rifle genuinely feels really good to fire. There is a large amount of aim assist going on – sometimes too much as it locks onto an enemy as you are attempting a tricky jump – but it is impressive how well these guns feel. Even your melee attack packs a punch, quite literally. When the drones chase after you, it is immensely satisfying to be able to punch one out of the sky.

HYPERCHARGE Unboxed also comes with a huge multiplayer component, and I suspect this is where most players will spend their time. Not only is the campaign fully playable with up to four people, but the versus modes are great fun too. By taking away that tower defence element, HYPERCHARGE Unboxed becomes a solid multiplayer game. The modes aren’t anything new: deathmatch, infection, king of the hill and capture the battery, AKA flag, are all present and accounted for. But the environments are a joy to play in and the gunplay is strong, meaning the multiplayer is a lot of fun. Hopefully the servers fill up a bit more with the launch of the Xbox version and crossplay enabled because it feels great with other players.

HYPERCHARGE Unboxed review 3
HYPERCHARGE Unboxed – huge fun

It’s a very traditional multiplayer game. There are no ranked matches, no killstreaks or battle royale modes. This is just a good old fashioned fun multiplayer game.

All of this can be played in split-screen mode to really emphasise that old school feel. There are even two bonus modes hidden away in the extras. You can have a spinner battle on the air hockey table where each player controls their own spinner and attempts to knock other players off. Or you can have a tank battle with a top-down camera and set the number of kills to win. Outside of everything else HYPERCHARGE Unboxed has to offer, these modes are incredible amounts of fun and can easily occupy an entire game night.

Probably the most used word in this review is ‘fun’, but that’s really what playing HYPERCHARGE Unboxed is. It’s the kind of game you play with a big smile on your face the entire time. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it is a joy to play whether on your own in the campaign, jumping online for a few rounds or teaming up with friends locally or online. It really hits the nostalgia pangs of having a sleepover with friends and renting out a game for the weekend, nailing almost every aspect of it. Truth be told, the tower defence is a bit laborious at times, but the vast range of other things to do more than make up for that.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Large amount of modes on offer
  • Local and online multiplayer offer tonnes of fun
  • Plenty of collectibles and things to unlock
Cons:
  • Guns handle surprisingly well
  • Tower defence mode is a bit boring
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Digital Cybercherries
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 31 May 2024 | £24.99
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Large amount of modes on offer</li> <li>Local and online multiplayer offer tonnes of fun</li> <li>Plenty of collectibles and things to unlock</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Guns handle surprisingly well</li> <li>Tower defence mode is a bit boring</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Digital Cybercherries</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 31 May 2024 | £24.99</li> </ul>HYPERCHARGE Unboxed Review
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