Ever had a game that you’ve need a few attempts to get into? You know the ones, where the first few times playing you really cannot see the fuss? Well that was how I felt about HyperParasite.
This is a game that I have been eager to play since I first heard about it. A Rogue-like twin-stick shooter ticks the boxes for me. But initial impressions were a a bit muted for me. I just didn’t click with the game.
Maybe it was because I jumped in late at night when I should have been heading to bed. No wasn’t that, because I felt the same the following day. So what was it?
I honestly couldn’t put my finger on it, there was no particular reason. Because after taking another day away from it I forced myself back and then it clicked. Well, to a degree anyway.
The premise is simple enough and follows many of the usual rogue-like conventions. Many runs are embarked up, you’ll die plenty and you can upgrade throughout the runs, as well as find some more permanent unlocks.
The twin-stick shooter part is perfectly fine too. Move with the left stick, aim with the right. Dodge on one shoulder button, primary and secondary weapons available. It moves smoothly and aiming is accurate.
The twist to the game, as the title suggests, is that you take on the role or a parasite, who has a few extra abilities. It can attach to any human it encounters to control them and use their unique weapons and abilities. There is a vast range too, which does keep things interesting even after multiple runs.
The action is fast and frantic, with barely a moment to stop and breathe, until that is, you get to the safe areas. Which become very welcome as the game progresses.
That’s when it hit me. Why I couldn’t get into the game initially. The opening 30 minutes to an hour are slow and plodding. The tutorial feels way to stop / start and doesn’t convey the action you will see later on.
I get that the mechanics need to be introduced to understand how to get the most out of the game, but HyperParasite lacks the hyper of the title early on. It is only once you complete a couple of runs and get more upgrades things really start to kick on.
As with most rogue-likes levels are procedurally generated. This is done well here as runs manage to feel different enough, whilst maintaining a familiarity. It strikes a good balance here.
Visually HyperParasite is far from stunning, but it does have a unique look. Over all the is a dark feel, which fits thematically with the story and setting. This though is offset by touches of neon brightness around each location and bursts of colour and light from enemies and weapons.
It does produce a decent experience in the end, but one you need to really want to get into. I came close to jumping ship early on, but I am glad I stuck with it and gave HyperParasite chance.
I don’t think this is going to be one of those games you go back to time and time again, but you’ll enjoy the time you do have with it.