A Persistent, Global War.
5Th Cell are putting a few twists on the Third Person Shooter with their upcoming XBLA game Hybrid and we had a chance to give this shooter a test drive. Jet Packs, Combat Drones, and Robot Assassins are just a few of the things you’ll see in Hybrid along with one key difference: you won’t actually be running around. Calm down, I’ll explain just how this works later on. For now, let’s jump into the action.
Hybrid takes place in the near future where, after a Large Hadron Collider explosion in Australia, the Earth is littered with dark matter and has crashed into an alternate reality releasing a new race called the Variant. The human defense forces, called Paladins, are now in a global war with the Variant forces to collect dark matter and close the rift between the two realities. This story doesn’t factor heavily into the game, while you’re playing, as all of the action takes place in the form of adversarial matches.
When starting Hybrid you’ll choose a side, then be presented with a map of the Earth. From here you can see which faction is controlling each of the many regions in every continent on Earth. The number of matches won by either faction dictate who is in control and when one faction is close to victory it will show up as a Hot Zone. Competing in Hot Zones will earn you bonus experience and bragging rights in the persistent global war.
In game, Hybrid plays like your standard third-person, cover-based shooter with one big difference. Rather than running around each map you’ll be jet-packing from cover to cover. You can strafe back and forth while in cover, but you can’t simply stand up and run around. This may sound limiting at first, but when you play you’ll see that you have control over how your character flies from one piece of cover to the next. When you want to move, you point the cursor at the cover you want to move to and your character will automatically fly toward it. You can move around, shoot, aim and boost while in flight. You can also adjust your path seamlessly to a new piece of cover mid-flight, if you happen to change your mind about where you’re going.
Players will be able to choose their gear, such as primary weapon, grenade type and some secondary perks but the coolest pieces of gear you’ll have in your arsenal are combat drones. As you build up kill streaks you’ll be able to deploy three types of combat drones and, if you’re good enough, you can have all three active at once. Your drones are vulnerable, as they don’t hide in cover, but having all three at once makes you quite the walking death machine.
The action in Hybrid is fast and furious and the flight between cover adds a new level of strategy to the standard shooter formula. Some people won’t be into this type of action, but I recommend at least watching it, in action. Hybrid will be available this summer, on the Xbox Live Arcade, and you can check out a gameplay video below: