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Hands-on

Hands-on with HyperBrawl Tournament

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HyperBrawl Tournament is a fast-paced hybrid of sports game and brawler. We were able to get our hands on a preview version to try out the online multiplayer.

HyperBrawl Tournament is already available via Apple Arcade for iOS devices. It’s currently scheduled for a Fall release on Steam for PC and consoles – Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will all get their fair share of HyperBrawl. In the game two teams made up of two heroes each try to outscore each other in a handball match without a referee, so there are a lot of punches and kicks being exchanged in each matches’ three rounds. The game supports single player in Arcade and Campaign modes as well as local and online multiplayer in Arcade, Bitz and Private Match modes. In Trial modes you learn the basics and advanced tactics and Free Play allows you to experiment with different chars and items. There are twelve arenas which are mostly similar with a few different quirks such as moving or static barriers – too bland and static mostly.

Each character has its own special ability and can be equipped with a weapon. Character types and design are generic and seem to be taken fresh out of a how-to-build-a-hero editor: there’s e.g. the bull Toro who acts as a tank, then there’s the swift Bazooki und the allrounder Shade. It’s fun to try out different combinations of heroes and weapons. Picking up the ball out of the opponents’ hands after each kickoff really can frustrate the opposite team, ay Isaac (video at the bottom)? The Sentry Shield is useful to block a part of your goal to avoid dangerous charged shots and Mine Mortars don’t differentiate between friend and foe. A neat feature is Hypercurve, the ability to control the ball’s curve after you’ve hit it, like a homing-missile.

Our main issue while playing HyperBrawl Tournament was to keep track of the ball. Four players using their abilites all at once while there are moving parts in the arena lead to a very hectic hard-to-follow match. Some characters are overpowered which distorts the overall balance. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) ranges from super smart to extremely dumb – all on the same difficulty setting. We encountered quite a few bugs such as the ball not resetting after a goal was scored which meant both teams had to wait for the round to finish. At some point a character started to move really fast and no, it wasn’t the characters hyper-mode in which they’re very fast and strong. It gets worse: The game crashed two times in one hour. Therefore the developers still need to address quite a few problems we faced during gameplay.

Impression

HyperBrawl Tournament is already a decent enjoyable multiplayer game that gets too chaotic all too quickly and still needs a lot of polish before it can on take established competitors such as Rocket League, Laser League and SpeedRunners. We’re eager to find out how the finished game will perform.

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