I remember first stepping into the world of Hubris in my first look back in October 2021. I was instantly blown away by the demo provided, and it really left me yearning for more. Just over a year later the full game is now ready for people play, but can it live up to them demo?
In the game you take on the role of an unnamed recruit for the Order-of-Objectivity (OOO), who is sent with a pilot to a twin planet system in order to find a mysterious agent Cyanha. The question is can you successfully find her on this planet that is not only being Terra-formed, but also surviving the planets environment, wild-life and enemies of the OOO?
Hubris brings with it a mix of gameplay elements, which makes use of the design of the twin planet system you are searching for Cyanha on. This will see you shooting, climbing, swimming and jumping around the environments that make up the world you are exploring.
With a mix of gameplay elements, you will normally find that some are mastered and some feel a little lacklustre in design, but the team at Cyborn have managed to make all the elements just as strong as the others. The four-weapons available all handle really well, and bring a more sci-fi feel, with the reloading being handled by charging the weapon rather than them using clips. The guns available are a pistol, shotgun, automatic pistol and an under-water pistol.
You are only provided the base pistol and under-water pistol as pick-ups, the shotgun and automatic pistol need to printed. In order to print these you will need to collect resources while exploring and process them into printing materials in set rooms through the bases in the game. You can then spend these resources in printing weapons on upgrading them. Personally I found myself upgrading the standard pistol and using that the most.
The other two big elements of the gameplay is the climbing and swimming – with the latter being handled better than I have seen in any other VR game to date. Firstly, the climbing is very solid and gives the feeling of The Climb in how well it is handled, with any surfaces you can grab being highlighted blue when you hand is close to them. As aforementioned the swimming is perfect, this is done by doing swimming motions, with your direction being determined by the position of your palms. This took no time to get used to at all and felt so smooth when traversing under-water and taking on some very aggressive squids.
Finally you have the jumping system and this works very well, with holding down jump giving you a further jump, but outside of some platform elements I usually used the climbing system in it’s place. The platforming elements are easy to navigate around with the jumping system in place.
This pretty makes up the gameplay on offer from Hubris, as you navigate you way around the planet, surviving the wild-life, enemies and collecting resources on the way to either make items to help you, or improving your existing weapons. Putting everything together does make for varied gameplay to make sure the entirety of the campaign is kept feeling fresh.
I went into my first look contemplating if the game can really look as nice as the trailer, which I was shocked to see that it did – but, I was still sceptical that the full game could continue that level of visuals.
Again I have not been let down and the game does carry on with that high level of visuals, being the best looking game I have played since Half-Life: Alyx and outshining the very beautiful looking Red Matter 2. As soon as you leave your ship and see the planets environment and water your jaw will drop to the floor – and then this level continues throughout the game. With fantastic lighting and reflections adding to the high-quality and detailed textures, it really impossible not to get fully immersed in the world Cyborn have built.
Adding the beautiful visuals, they have made sure the audio continues with the trend of keeping you immersed in the world of Hubris. With some solid voice acting for all the characters involved, the environmental sounds setting the scene and all your weapon sounding nice.
Now of course with these level of visuals, they do offer different modes like performance and quality, but either way the minimum specs for the game still require an i5 and GTX 1080.
When it comes to comfort Hubris offers a number of options. You can play the game either seated or standing and with either hand or head orientated movement. Movement options do not include teleport, but the general movement speed is natural and they offer vignettes and the options of smooth and snap turning to try help with nausea for those who suffer from this in VR. There is no option to disable to climbing with it being such a big element of the gameplay, but they do offer settings for the speed of your pull up movement.
The game really does what you would expect with the controls, but it does bring in some interesting choices by they work well. You will use you grips to pick up items, you trigger on your gun hand will fire the weapon – but the other trigger is used to sprint. The A-button is used to jump and the B-button will equip your weapon – holding B will bring up a weapon wheel. As previously mentioned you do not reload gun, you will be charge it, this is done by bringing the gun up beside you head. You inventory is loaded up by pressing the button on your non-dominant hands arm.
A playthrough of the campaign takes around four to five-hours, which some might feel is short for a story-drive single player campaign. But, I feel many people will want to play it more than the once just to take in how beautiful the game is and maybe challenge themselves on the higher difficulty.
Reviewed using Vive Pro Eye & Index Controllers
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.
At every stage of trying Hubris the team at Cyborn have blown my mind. With the best visuals I have seen in VR since Half Life: Alyx and how they have mastered all the of the gameplay elements on offer – and brought the best swimming system I have experienced In VR. Of course with the visuals offered and how the game handles, it does bring some expected performance spikes and requires a quite powerful PC for even the minimum specs. But, if you want to be taken in and fully immersed in a world Hubris certainly does this, and offers a decent story along the way.