HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed impressions – Batteries not included

I, like you, was taken aback when all the videos started appearing on Twitter. What was this, a game where you played as action figures in a first person shooter? Suddenly my love of Call of Duty and Toy Story were combined. While it’s been out for a while, HYPERCHARGED: Unboxed only had a breakout moment this year, and even though there’s a lot to like about it, from my time spent with it there’s still a bit left in the box to unpackage.

Hypercharge: Unboxed - Story Campaign Teaser Trailer

Starting out, if this doesn’t give you Small Soldiers vibes, you need to check yourself. The whole, “miniature people” idea is surprisingly underutilized, but HYPERCHARGE nails it. It’s more than just being an action figure, but that the environments themselves are a perfect example of it. For instance, the initial tutorial happens in a toy store (which reminds me a lot of Toy Story 2’s trip to one), and it’s just perfect. Similarly the messy room that’s the first adventure mode map is equally wonderful, with a gaming desk in one corner, bed with upturned comforter and pillows, messy shelves, the whole lot. What they’ve set out to do in immersion works beautifully.

Beyond that, it all looks and sounds really good for a smaller studio. It’s got crisp gunplay, which is impressive from an unknown quantity, and the movement feels pretty decent as well. There isn’t much in the way of weaponry, with picking up attachments off of the map that either boost stats or a barrel that alters your guns type. This changes a couple of ways, with your starting weapon reminding me of a Tommy gun, but after switching barrels turning into an LMG, or even crazier stuff like a flamethrower. It all sounds really simple, and that’s all it has to be, which allows HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed to be fun.

One thing I noticed, it’s a bit slower than Halo Infinite, so it’s a little clunky. Some of that is probably due to the workforce, but I’d also like to think it’s because these are toys, so they’re going to feel a lot more clunky with movement. I mean, wouldn’t you have trouble moving with only so much articulation?

As for gameplay, there are two ways to play, a single player or co-op horde mode experience, and multiplayer. The horde (adventure) mode consists of defending multiple objectives as “bad” toys come and try to destroy them. You’ll have a bit of time before and in-between rounds using coins you’ve collected from the room or defeating enemies to build defenses. It’s a fun aspect of the mode, with traps consisting of glue puddles to slow them, poisonous vines, or even auto-turrets. I also like the LEGO-like walls and plastic castle towers that remind me of my childhood.

The toys you face won’t always be the same, with a few variants in there to keep things interesting. The toy robots were pretty standard foot soldiers, smashing away if they got close, but the little frog-like puffers were quite annoying, exploding and hurting you if you got a little too close. One of the neater enemies were spinning tops, looking similar to Beyblade spinners as they smashed around quickly and were hard to pinpoint. Mimicking these different toys as baddies is cool, and I hope they come up with more.

Multiplayer feels like another world compared to adventure mode. I can definitely see there’s a learning curve, because the movement by other players felt so foreign to me I died quite a few times pretty quickly. You’ve also got to have your head on a swivel; all the weapon attachments are on the map so you gotta get to them to have an upper hand. In the end though, it’s nice to have something that feels unique, rather than another run of the mill shooter.

My greatest disappointment in the multiplayer is this; you just can’t find matches. For whatever reason people haven’t been as engaged during the time I’ve tried to matchmake. While it certainly has made its waves, people haven’t been sticking around. I really hope this is just a blip given the other games arriving in the space right now, but it’s a rough situation HYPERCHARGE finds itself in. Here’s to hoping the promise of releasing on Xbox helps, and if it makes it to Game Pass I could see it exploding.

Before we go, I have to touch on the awesome amount of customization present in HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed. Not only can you change up your character, but the head, skin, weapon, you can change it all; even down to the packaging. There are tons of options to use as well, with most of them locked behind different modes of play and challenges. If you can say anything about HYPERCHARGE, it’s that they didn’t skimp on stuff to unlock.

Overall, HYPERCHARGE is something that has a fantastic foundation, I just hope people give Digital Cybercherries the chance to keep building on it. HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed is available now on Steam for $19.99.

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David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.

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