Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape battle royale enters open beta
Ubisoft is launching the open beta today for its new science fiction battle royale game called Hyper Scape, where 100 players fight to be the last one standing while the audience tries to influence the outcome.
Ubisoft revealed the game July 2 as a free-to-play battle royale game, which is a hot genre with titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Hyper Scape will debut on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One later this summer. Ubisoft just finished its first tech test with players on the PC in North America and Europe.
Ubisoft publicly revealed the gameplay during the Ubisoft Forward event today, which comes just a day after CEO Yves Guillemot announced major departures and changes related to sexual misconduct allegations at Ubisoft. This started in late June as people came forward and told their stories alleging harassment, misconduct, and more from Ubisoft employees.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) July 12, 2020
This is Ubisoft’s first battle royale game, and creative director J-C Guyot said in a recent press briefing that Ubisoft Montreal has been building it for two years. I got a chance to play it for a couple of hours in a preview event, and it had no major issues.
The audience participation part is a new trend. ControlZee recently said it’s making a game that streamers can play with their followers. And Retroit is a street-driving game similar to Grand Theft Auto where the viewers can drop things into the experience to either mess up or aid drivers. SOS tried to do similar audience participation in a Survivor-like show.
Hyper Scape takes place in 2054. By that time, the internet has morphed into a virtual world dubbed “The Hyper Scape.” It’s a portal to the future (a kind of Metaverse, or virtual universe) where you work, learn, or play, said Guyot. The first map is a virtual city dubbed Neo Arcadia. It looks a bit like Paris, but with a super-modern architectural style. The city has nine districts and nine landmarks. Each match can have 100 solo players or 33 teams of three players each.
During the Forward event, Ubisoft showed the backstory behind Hyper Scape, which was meant as an escape from the crush of urban density in megacities with more than 10 million people. They created a virtual battle royale where people could express their competitive sides in a safe way. But users are disappearing, people are getting hurt, and there’s a dark secret behind Hyper Scape.
Open beta features
During the open beta, Hyper Scape will introduce Crown Rush Solo, a 100-player free-for-all version of its main Battle Royale mode, on top of the previously available three-player squad mode Crown Rush Squad, The open beta will also feature two new limited-time modes: Hack Runner Squad and Turbo Mode Squad. Additionally, the open beta includes one new hack and weapon, Shockwave and Harpy, respectively.
Hyper Scape’s open beta will also introduce features to the innovative Crowncast Twitch extension, including Battle Pass progression by watching Hyper Scape livestreams on Twitch and the capability for streamers to invite viewers directly to their squad from Twitch chat. These additions are on top of the previously available Viewer Events, which enable all Twitch viewer to have a real-time impact on battle by voting on events that affect all contenders within a match, such as Low Gravity, or Infinite Ammo. The open beta introduces a new event called Haste that increases the game’s speed for all contenders.
The Hyper Scape open beta will include a free 30 tier battle pass alongside an in-game shop offering additional customization options. All Open Beta progress and items will carry over through future live phases and into the full launch, across PC and console.
Alongside the open beta, North America Ubisoft will host a Creators Cup over the next three Fridays from 11 am Pacific time to 1 pm, featuring some of the top Hyper Scape creators competing for a total prize pool of $50,000.
Graeme Jennings, a senior producer at Ubisoft, said in a briefing that Hyper Space has three key pillars. It takes place in an urban environment with vertical gameplay. You can fight in the interiors of the buildings or in the streets. You can also gather items dubbed “hacks,” or ability items that you can use periodically with a cool-down period, and use them at key moments to give you special abilities, like turning into a rolling iron ball. You can use a dash hack to jump in the air and crash down on enemies. You can drop mines or put up giant walls to protect your squad.
The game has two modes: Crown Rush for squad play, and Dark Haze Solo for solo players. In the latter mode, you play in the dark. The test will feature 10 tiers of the battle pass (which players get for free), nine weapons, and nine hacks.
Hyper Space can also bring spectators into the action. A streamer can play, and viewers can vote to see what special event to trigger. Viewers who spend money on Twitch’s currency can contribute to the game. For instance, they could vote on what kind of special event to trigger. They can make first-aid kits available everywhere or make it easier to jump to the tops of buildings due to low gravity. They can provide infinite ammo. By participating, fans who watch the game can earn points toward a Battle Pass, which helps them progress in the game when they play it.
As the match progresses, parts of the city will decay and eventually collapse. Players have to move out of them or die. The Hyper Scape crown spawns in the final remaining sector. In that sector, you can fight to be the sole survivor or hold on to the crown for 45 seconds to become the victor.