INSOMNIA

Hover: Revolt Of Gamers (2015, PC)

By Brandon Cohen / April 19, 2015


Alright, let me get this out of the way, I've had some fun with this game so far. It's a very colorful, fun game to play. The game gives you freedom to platform and parkour all over (half) a city, with option to do missions (be it races or taking a thing and throwing it into a thing into another thing) to level up and increase the stats of what your character can do. The controls are pretty responsive (I'm playing on an Xbox One controller), it's a bit slippery, but it works because it gives the feeling of momentum, and tells you to slow down if you want to make a good turn or not fall off a building. This game is still in Early Access, and really there are way worse games out there that are in the same category, so this feels more complete than other games of its nature.
   So it saddens me to say that I cannot really recommend people to pay $20 for the game just yet, or if you do, pay attention to what I have to say so you know what you're getting into. While you can attribute this to the game being in Early Access (alpha state), then it's most important that I state these flaws now so the devs can improve on the game before it can be considered for full release. Also just because it's in Early Access doesn't mean I can't criticize it. I payed $20 for this game, I can state its flaws if I want to, plus I have 4+ hours in it.

-No story: The game technically has a story, but it's pretty shallow and doesn't really move forward at all. You are a guy and you wake up in a... place. You are told by some other teens that games have been taken away by the government empire society yadayadayada. It's pretty meh, but it can be presented as fun or tongue-in-cheek, but it seems a bit half-assed The three members of the revolution each have something of a personality, but it's all told through chat boxes with images of the characters. Then some other characters show up with no context and say things, and leave. Really, it seems like the story needs something, like to be there.

-Bad fps: fps being frames per second. The game has no fps cap, but from my experience, its highest is maybe 40. It could be my computer, but the frame rate drops considerably down a lot, to as low as 15 or 10, and with such a speed-focused game, that is a not good thing. Not good at all.

-Shallow parkour: The mechanics feel a bit shallow. And by a bit I mean a lot. The game is pretty fluid, jumping from wall to wall is good, parkouring all around feels nice, BUT it's basic. And the game has a focus on parkouring, it's in the tag! Other then sliding and jumping for tricks, and super hopping after falling for 167 feet from the air and pressing jump, the game feels like it needs more before it gets pretty stale and repetitive. You can do tricks in the air, but that's just pressing a button, posing, and not much happening. I remember the kickstarter having points in the mechanics, which would have actually made the game feel more fun (like the style meter in the DMC games) but because it's not there, there doesn't seem to be any reward for doing cool stuff other than for the sake for it. And really, this game needs some fun tricks, like pole-spinning, or car-balancing, or something, anything.

-Repetitive missions: I said earlier that there are missions, and I only gave two examples. That's because that's the only type of missions of the game. Racing is racing, though there are three different types of it. V1 is racing by yourself against the clock. V2 is you against an AI opponent. V3 is you against someone online. Go through checkpoints, three laps, done. They are good in that you have to be clever in figuring out shortcuts or how to get to the next point faster, but it's still just racing. The other type is taking an object called the gamerball, which looks like a fat GameCube, and tossing it into an X. You can't do tricks, and you can get lost by following the arrow because stuff can be in the way of the objective. There's also this flying droid that sometimes follows you and shocks you for you to drop the gamerball. It hinders the mission already because what else do I need in a mission where it's easy to get lost in, a droid that makes me drop the maguffin?

-Focus too much on online: The game makes you go play online with other people and do stuff, which may explain why it feels so MMOish in its story approach. You are generic guy, here is noob tube, you train, you out of tube, bye-bye! And honestly, being online feels pretty shallow. Usually people are doing their own thing since there is no real encouragement to go do stuff with other players other than... nothing. So because of this, there seems to be a lack of single-player offline care.

-$20: It's too pricy right now honestly. For $20, I could have gotten a few games off Steam or GOG or PSN or Origin or Wii U or Xbox Live, go out to see a movie with snacks, buy a cool toy, save up for something special, get a magazine subscription, buy some books. Basically get something complete instead of something not even finished.

-Color palette: This game presents itself as a colorful throwback to the Dreamcast days, where games were full of color and life. But this game is tasteless. Jet Set Radio used a tasteful palette to give the player something nice and unique to look at. This game is just gaudy.

-Lifeless citizens: Holy heck these citizens barely do anything, other than walk. And call me a racist if you want, but they all look the same.

-No real threats: Remember the flying shock droid I mentioned earlier? Yeah, he's your only threat, other than cameras that make laser walls that do not allow you to go through corridors, even if you can and will find ways around them. I'm supposed to be part in a team of gaming freedom fighters, but never do I feel like I am one since I never fight anything, or at least GTFO myself away from baddies (like in Jet Set Radio, the game that influenced this game a lot, other than Mirror's Edge, which also had enemies).

-Not enough music: Even though this game got some help by the composer of Jet Set Radio, Hideki Naganuma, there are only two tunes in this game so far. Basic world music, and racing music. And honestly, it doesn't sound like his style of music. Compare the music in this game to JSR or Sonic Rush, it just sounds way different. Also the two tracks have already gotten repetitive. Maybe an in-game radio would be nice, to cycle through songs and stuff.

-Level cap too low: Just 10, and I have like four or five different types of areas I can upgrade, of which three points is the highest I can give to each. I'm gonna focus on certain aspects of the character growth over others, and be done with it quick, and regret my decision later.

-World layout is forgettable: While it looks nice, the game doesn't really have too many places you can say are memorable, other than the rusty metal shack-looking places that are next to each other attached to the walls and each other through stuff, and the slime waterfall. This is a huge issue for me, because you can easily get lost in this game, and look as if you're going circles everywhere. This game needs more visually recognizable local pinpoints that can make you go "Ih, I remember that place, I know where I am!"

-Online issues: It could just be me, but after the most recent update, I can't seem to get online. My Wi-Fi has been acting up recently though, so it could just be me.

   This game had some potential to be one of the most fun and unique parkour games out there to date (not that there are many), but it screwed up badly and I don't hold much hope for future improvements.

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