During Gamescom 2022, I got to try out Hubris, a virtual reality game with stunning visuals. Does it have anything other stunning visuals to recommend it?
Confidence in one’s own abilities can be attractive. The Belgian development firm Cyborn has demonstrated the stunning potential of PC VR with pictures and early clips. It was during Gamescom 2022 that I was able to go behind the scenes of the glitzy science fiction realm.
I spent almost an hour at Cyborn, the studio behind Hubris on Meta Quest 2, using Oculus Link. A foregone conclusion: Hubris is a stunning virtual reality game. The teaser pictures haven’t exactly left me excited. The virtual reality experience is lacking, however.
Hollywood Level Motion Capture
Studio Cyborn has been producing top-tier 3D animation since its founding in 1998. Cyborg’s utilization of a Vicon Shogun motion capturing system, which is also employed in major Hollywood projects, for their work on Hubris certainly makes a statement.
In the first chapter of Hubris, we are given a speedy primer on a starship. I’ve been practicing the game by navigating an obstacle course. Afterward, a coworker briefs me on the mission and activates a hologram of a superior to give me orders.
For the first time, the fine facial detail of the NPCs and the fluidity of the characters’ motions are on full display. Facial details are clear, and the actors’ attitudes and gestures are spot-on with what they’re saying. It’s too bad the demo didn’t have more impressive story content like this.
Swimming In Vr Can Be Both Beautiful And Easy.
I immediately go into the ocean after landing to try out one of the various disciplines in the virtual reality game. To this day, I have never experienced a more lifelike virtual reality swimming experience. The controls are straightforward and natural to use; I move forward by swimming, and I can regulate my altitude and depth by making the appropriate adjustments to my swimming strokes.
The movements of the water are stunning and lifelike. Beautiful light reflections dance on the surface of the water while softly swaying underwater vegetation and little fish swim about me.
Later in the dives, I have to utilize my harpoon rifle to kill attacking octopuses. I shove their tentacles into a makeshift blender in order to pass through a narrow passage in the adjoining cave. A rubber rope materializes, allowing me to traverse the canyon. Here in the prologue, Hubris deftly blends puzzles with adventure gameplay.
Jumping And Climbing Still Have Room For Improvement
Outside of the dives, I traverse a tunnel system, cross a rock bridge, and engage in environmental puzzle-solving. Cyborn uses tried and true mechanisms for the steeper sections of the ascent. The climbing in the demo is so lengthy that it makes me think I’m playing The Climb 2.
On the granite faces, I grab onto protruding handholds or the rock edges and ledges that have been clearly designated. Everything works perfectly except that Hubris can’t match the accuracy of The Climb when ascending up onto a platform.
Every time I try to haul myself up on a rock, I fall back down and have to try again. I, too, have problems locating a suitable launching pad for my acrobatic leaps, and thus frequently splash down in the liquid below. There is no substitute for actual practice.
In order to obtain a weapon at the end of my trip, I must first distract a swarm of hostile alien monsters with snacks. After that, I am able to fire onto the hostile land piranhas, but the demo otherwise lacks any genuine shooter action.
Hubris Demo: No New Half-Life: Alyx
Cyborn’s ambitions for Hubris are lofty. In the words of CEO and Game Director Ives Agemans, “Hubris’ VR premiere is the right approach to introduce gamers to our compelling cosmos.” This is intended to be the first entry in a new sci-fi universe.
My current impression is that Hubris doesn’t have much to offer beyond its impressive visual presentation. The amazing visuals usually take a backseat to the gameplay after a while. Cyborn aims to provide a wide range of options, but it rarely provides its own nuances. Instead, the developer relies on tried-and-true methods and provides a sampling of VR gameplay systems over the past few years.
Whether or not Hubris maintains its level of interest over its expected six-to-eight hour run length remains to be seen. Hubris lacks the enticing qualities necessary to win over audiences. Nonetheless, I look forward to experiencing the story, characters, and action scenes. However, this is unlikely to be the new Half-Life: Alyx.
As of right now, this year is when PC-VR users may expect to see Hubris.
Hubris VR – Gameplay Trailer
Hubris, a VR game coming to Meta Quest and SteamVR, places players in terrifyingly empty environments like space stations and massive planets. In this fascinating VR game, you’ll explore, sneak up on, and battle foes you don’t recognize.