Hyperviolent – Preview
Follow Genre: retro Sci-Fi horror FPS
Developer: Terminist Arcade
Publisher: Fulqrum Publishing
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Hyperviolent – Preview

Good: System Shock meets Doom, Great gameplay, Amazing Atmosphere
Bad: Minor performance issues
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

When System Shock was released in 1994, it was a revolutionary title that marked the beginning of an era. It was hailed as an almost perfect experience, with the only hindrance being that the combat controls felt very clunky. When it comes to Hyperviolent, it looks like the developers wanted to show us what System Shock would have been if it was made as a boomer shooter instead. Long story short: it is an amazing experience.

In the year 2278, the Earth Coalition has exclusive rights to mine a mysterious resource named Nihlium. In one of these mines, there is a special operation ongoing. Director Davolt stumbles upon something. When he decides to touch it with his bare hands, it unleashes a power that knocks him to the ground and kills him instantly… or not? A while later your character responds to a distress call on Asteroid 27-C. Disaster strikes, however, as during the docking procedure your vessel is damaged. You are greeted by Paige the local A.I. who will guide you through the space station. You’ll need her help to survive. It looks like you ended up in a hostile environment as a sudden outbreak of mass hysteria, murder, and cannibalism has sent the many denizens into a frenzy that needs to be stopped.

After finding your first items, you will be introduced to the inventory menu. This is separated from the ammo, which is convenient as this means that ammo won’t take up precious inventory space. During your adventures, you’ll find a variety of weapons, including the occasional duplicate. Reloading your weapons is handled in an unusual way: you need to hold down the R key and then click the button that corresponds to the weapon you want to reload. This initially feels clunky but it is something you get used to after a few times. Additionally, when you completely empty a weapon it will also automatically reload, provided you have ammo remaining.

The opening stages of the game can be quite frightening but eventually, you get used to the horrors roaming in the hallways. As Hyperviolent is a retro Sci-Fi horror FPS it wants you to feel unsafe at all moments, but unlike in System Shock, enemies aren’t spawning constantly. In the first level, you’ll grip your pistol and flashlight for dear life and get surprised by the various jump-scare zombies that show up after each door. There is no shortcoming of enemy variants too, as later in the game you’ll encounter heavy troopers that deal massive amounts of damage and these can take quite a beating.

Getting to the end of each level requires dealing with a bunch of obstacles placed in your path, from keycard-locked doors to terminals that require a password. Required items are easily found without much chance of accidentally passing or overlooking them. Another important thing is to keep an eye on your health, as you can’t just save anywhere. Health vials can be used for quick healing or you can consume food to recover, although this takes more time. There are a handful of automatic checkpoints but if you want to manually save your progress then you’ll have to access a save terminal first. These are scattered across the space station.

Visually the game takes inspiration from classic shooters of the 90s. It is clearly based on the simpler visuals of Doom while taking artistic inspiration from System Shock. The pixelated graphics look nice and the station is filled with various details that bring the scenery to life, with blood covering many walls and floors, and flies flying around rotting bodies of monsters. The interface might look simple but has all the critical information you need available at all times. The developers really spent their time adjusting the lighting in the various levels. This means that you’ll occasionally need to rely on your flashlight to look in front of you, although in more busy areas it is best to rely on two firearms instead. There are no abysmal dark areas on the ship but for some, it might be harder to spot some items or enemies due to the dim lighting of some rooms.

Just like the graphics, the sounds take you back to a golden era of video games. The music might not be as adrenaline-inducing as a Doom game but the realistic cyberpunk ambient setting does also work rather well. Not only does the music get you immersed, but hearing enemies scream into your ears is enough to constantly keep you on edge, especially while playing with a headset.

So far, we’ve covered Hyperviolent‘s good points but we obviously need to shed light on some areas that could use some work. As the game is still in Early Access, there are a few creases that need to be ironed out. For starters, there is a minor performance issue that makes the game dip in FPS and this becomes more prevalent later in the game when there are more enemies in the area. We also encountered some minor issues with the inventory not responding correctly, which made us accidentally drop items or not place them correctly in a slot.


Hyperviolent feels like the System Shock game that we wanted in 1994 but couldn’t have at that time due to technical limitations. The game grabs you from the start and doesn’t relent. Thanks to the dual-wield mechanics you feel like you have a good fighting chance against the many horrors that lurk in the dark. The setting and atmosphere create an immersive experience, making it feel like you are truly walking the corridors of the space station. We are looking forward to the full release of the game and to uncovering the many secrets that lie on Asteroid 27-C.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Hyperviolent – Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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