When Digital Cybercherries first announced Hypercharge, I was absolutely pumped. A multiplayer shooter where you’re a toy embodied my childhood fantasies of the movie Small Soldiers becoming a reality. Since its initial announcement, however, development took a different direction and Hypercharge: Unboxed was announced and launched into Early Access.

Hypercharge: Unboxed is a wave-based shooter for up to four players. While it strays away from the high-octane multiplayer shooter we were first given insight into, what we now have is a pretty solid wave-based shooter where players can work together to eliminate waves of toys intent on destroying your core.

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room, while the concept is pretty fantastic and the developers have done a fantastic job of listening to fan feedback and even releasing a massive update for the game over the past week or so, the game suffers from one fatal flaw – a non-existent player base.

I’ve jumped in and out of Hypercharge: Unboxed for the past couple of months, and I’m yet to actually find a full server. As of late, despite the game getting a pretty considerable update, there’s just nobody playing.

Now here’s the great thing, while many could consider that this game will be dead on arrival, Hypercharge has a redeeming factor and that’s its solid and enjoyable solo gameplay.

Unlike most co-op shooters, you’re usually required to dive in with another player, with Hypercharge: Unboxed you’re free to begin a game solo and wait for other players to dive in. During this time you get to experience the full shooter tailored to just a single player, and it’s actually pretty great.

Once you dive into the game you’re required to build your defences. These defences involve several things such as turrets, traps, and barricades. At first, these placements were pre-configured, now however since the latest update you’re free to place your defences wherever you want, which allows for a much more freeing experience. These defences as well as your character’s weapons, can all be chosen beforehand in the loadout screen which uses a series of cards to represent the toy that you can place.

Defences range from turrets with mounted machine guns or rockets, spike traps, gunge traps, or a bunker which can be upgraded to offer a defensible position. In terms of weapons, each player has two weapon slots they can utilise in game which range from rifles to shotguns.

What makes the game a little more interesting is how these placements are managed with power sources. Each section of the battlefield is now represented with a colour, these colours correspond to a little radar which you need to keep topped up with batteries. During the game you’re not only required to keep the toy onslaught at bay, but you’re also required to maintain power to these sections by replacing the battery as it drains.

Probably the coolest part of the game is the character creation. While it’s not as in-depth as I’d personally like it to be, there are enough parts which you can use to create your own custom toy to take onto the battlefield, from a dino-warrior, to a cyber shooter, it’s a child’s dream! In addition, the game’s visuals are phenomenal. Digital Cybercherries have managed to design a game which really looks like you’re a toy in a gigantic world. From the toys themselves to the level of detail put into each of the game’s maps, it’s incredible.

Overall, while it’s not the game we hoped it’d be, Hypercharge: Unboxed is a promising wave-based shooter which has players thinking on their feet. I assume it’d be considerably more enjoyable the more players get involved, but even playing solo can be incredibly fun and rewarding. But I would definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for a fun co-operative game to dive into with their friends.

There’s also plenty planned for the future including the addition of a bunch of new toys to battle against including fire trucks and dinosaurs, so this is definitely one I’m keeping my eye on as it’s still clearly early days for Hypercharge: Unboxed.

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