Review :: (XBLA) Hybrid

Not Your Daddy’s Third Person Shooter...

Written by Super User

Published Saturday, 15 September 2012 20:00

Write your own review !

Like it or not, cover-based shooting has almost become a standard for third-person shooters. Heavily popularized in Gears of War, this mechanic has been adopted by a flurry of gaming titans such as the Uncharted series, Mass Effect, and even games like Resident Evil and Splinter Cell. While mostly necessary and functional, a lot would argue the cover system is getting tired, though it’s hard to imagine what we would do without it in this generation of gaming. Because of this mechanic appearing so often, one of the last things you would expect from it is innovation. Luckily, developer 5th Cell gives us Hybrid, one of the most original twists on the ordinary cover-based shooter to hit the market in years.

Not only is Hybrid an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive, but it is also an online-only multiplayer experience. The game has more of a climate based goal than an actual plot. You’re set in a post-apocalyptic world fighting as a soldier for one of two factions: the Variants or the Paladins. The goal of the game is to battle your opposing faction and take over different districts across the in-game globe. Taking over these areas and pushing through to win it’s resources in this post-apocalyptic world is the aim, and it’s as simple as that. Considering the way the game plays and controls, it’s a little tough to imagine a full fledged single player experience revolving around that. Trust me though, you wouldn’t want to alter Hybrid’s modes for anything.

"By spicing up the mechanic that is used so often in games with more going for them, Hybrid proves its worth as a definite gaming gem, and is well deserving to be given a shot by gamers everywhere."

Going into Hybrid knowing nothing about it could be one of the most disorienting experiences of your life, and that is not a bad thing in the slightest. Hybrid takes the worn out mechanic of cover-based shooting and does things to it you would never expect. At all times, you are either in cover, or transitioning from cover to cover via jetpack. There is no running, sprinting, or even casually walking around. The only moving around you will do is shuffling under cover and flying in the air. The idea sounds absurd, but the final product is both original and surprisingly awesome. Point to the cover destination of your choice, and with the press of a button, you will be flying on your way. If you’ve decided mid-way you’ve made a bad decision, simply point somewhere else and fly over there instead. The freedom to shoot enemies while in the air is also an exhilarating experience. There’s a joy that derives from you and your opponent crossing paths in the air and having a sort of joust style showdown.

As far as your soldier’s arsenal, Hybrid mostly delivers the goods. The standard pistols, automatics, shotguns, and snipers are present. However, with the freedom and flexibility a futuristic universe provides, I would have liked to see more variety in firearms. Though even with that complaint, Hybrid knows not to stop there when it comes to the entirety of your arsenal. Selectable abilities and even armed robotic drones are here to spice things up, and they do their job well. Kill streaks reward you with robot sentries of different types, gradually getting stronger based on how well you do. You start out with a flying bullet-spewing machine, but do well enough, and eventually you will have a small flying ninja robot assassin to home in on your enemies and deliver a deadly blow. Abilities come in different shapes and sizes. Grenades, sentry hacking devices, and even just stat boosting perks are available. With all these different combinations, each battle is guaranteed to play differently.

As a whole, Hybrid’s maps are designed to play off it’s gameplay, and it does so gloriously. Cover is not only relegated to the ground. Your destinations will be along the walls and on the ceiling as well. This element does it’s job well as a spectacular way to switch up the cover system but unfortunately, it comes with some flaws too. Because of how disoriented you can get while upside down or facing a direction you aren’t accustomed to, moving around your cover area becomes somewhat unresponsive depending on where your camera is facing. Vaulting over cover in one direction may not go as planned, and shuffling around one corner may have you going the opposite way because of the unorthodox surface. In the heat of battle, it’s unfortunate how confusing this could get. It is by no means game breaking, but hopefully in a sequel, improvements could be made to make maneuvering under cover as smooth as butter.

Multiplayer gametypes are nothing we haven’t seen before. Everything from slayer-based games to king of the hill type events are here. Experience points are earned to boost stats and currency is earned to purchase new weapons and abilities to add to your growing arsenal. As for the visual side of things, Hybrid is unfortunately unlike it’s innovative gameplay, as it is ultimately nothing special when it comes to presentation. Maps may have cover on every surface, but the visuals just don’t pop out. Play two or three stages and you may not even notice a difference between them and the rest. These small but significant complaints have me longing more for an improved sequel. With a game that is so original and innovative in the gameplay department, so many other elements are slightly too run-of-the-mill to be recognized.

Final Focus

Hybrid is undoubtedly one of the most original games you will play in recent years. The presentation may be nothing to get excited about, the weapons and gametypes may be more of the same we’ve seen popularized by bigger and better titles, but Hybrid succeeds greatly right where it counts. By spicing up the mechanic that is used so often in games with more going for them, Hybrid proves its worth as a definite gaming gem, and is well deserving to be given a shot by gamers everywhere.

 


Pros
+ Innovative gameplay + Exciting multiplayer matches + Abilities and robot drones spice things up nicely
Cons
- Bare bones presentation - Not much variety in firearms - Maneuvering around cover can be problematic

Final rating
8.8 / 10
Comments
More Xbox 360 reviews
2014-11-11 :: Assassin's Creed: Rogue
2014-04-06 :: Dark Souls II
2013-11-12 :: Alien Rage
2013-09-17 :: Grand Theft Auto V
2013-09-15 :: Lost Planet 3
2013-09-13 :: Splinter Cell: Blacklist
2013-08-07 :: Grid 2
2013-07-26 :: Remember Me
2013-07-23 :: (XBLA) Sanctum 2
Game details
(XBLA) Hybrid
Release date : 2012-08-08
Platform :
Publisher : Microsoft Game Studios
Developer : 5TH Cell
Gameplay : Shooter

GameFocus High Fives, June 2015 - Jesse
There is arguably no other aspect of gaming that is more underappreciated than the Non Player Character (NPC). Serving as companions, quest ...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives Canada Day Bonus Edition
Happy Canada Day! Bonne fête du Canada! We here at GameFocus hope you’re celebrating the enactment of the British North American Act (Consti...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives, June - D.J.
There is arguably no other aspect of gaming that is more underappreciated than the Non Player Character (NPC). Serving as companions, quest ...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives, June 2015 - Jesse
GameFocus High Fives Canada Day Bonus Edition
GameFocus High Fives, June - D.J.
DLC Talk

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?


Read more
First Impressions

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the upcoming DC fighting game by NetherRealm Studios, is set to be released on April 16th. Even though the release date is just around the corner, they continue to announce additional characters that will be playable upon release, as well as alternate costumes for numerous ... Lire la suite...

More previews
GF Blogs

Summer Gaming Guide: What to Play

Summer Gaming Guide: What to Play

Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?  


Read more

The Last Guardian Will NOT Appear at #E32015 and Here's the Reason Why...

The Last Guardian Will NOT Appear at #E32015 and Here's the Reason Why...

Since its reveal at E3 2009, The Last Guardian has not resurfaced other than in rumours and in statements regarding said rumours. Sony admits to major studio problems during the game’s development, but constantly reassures those anticipating the game that it is still not, and will not, be canceled. So is this the year that we finally see the resurrection of The Last Guardian? In my opinion, the answer is a big fat NO.


Read more

A Few Good Reasons for Grounding Players in WOW

A Few Good Reasons for Grounding Players in WOW

Getting my first mount in World of Warcraft was a major milestone. It came at a time before Blizzard reduced the cost of training for a ground mount and the gold required seemed like an impossible sum when quests were doling out a few coppers. What's more, I was foolishly selling my gathered iron or mithril to in-game vendors rather than placing it up for auction. I won't get into the particulars of my moneymaking strategy but I will say that it wasn't effective and very indicative of my n00b status.


Read more
GameFocus 2015 Top 10
1
Apotheon (PC)
9.4
2
Splatoon (Wii U)
8.6
3
Rocket League (PlayStation 4)
8.5
4
Splice (PlayStation 4)
8.4
5
Hand of Fate (Xbox One)
8.0
6
8.0
7
Toren (PlayStation 4)
8.0
8
7.8
10
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PlayStation 4)
7.7

facebook-follow-us

twitter1

 

GameFocus Podcast: August 2015
This month the guys invent a new trophy for Rocket League, the Chuck Yeager / Pele Championship. We also talk video game tattoos, the merits of jazz...

Read more

GameFocus Podcast: August 2015

Recent comments

Powered by Disqus