Title: HyperBlade
Developer: Wizbang! Productions
Publisher: Activision
Date Published: 1997
Platforms: PC
ESRB Rating: Teen

Hockey Meets Combat
HyperBlade is, as the subtitle suggests, a hockey game. Set in the not-so-distant future, in what appear to be ludicrously big half pipes, the general aim is to take the puck (otherwise known as the Rok), and throw it into the opposing team's goal. Highest scoring team at the end of the game wins. Or, last team standing.

Ah.

Each stadium is littered with obstacles such as laser traps, turnstiles set to extra spikey, and various weapons which players can use to deal death to the opposition. Even the player's blade (the equivilant of a hockey stick) and the Rok itself can be used as artifacts of death. It is up to the player to decide whether to play a 'proper' hockey game, or whether to take advantage of the added extras.

Decapitating Action
Of course, hockey wouldn't be hockey without the teams. Introducing the roster for HyperBlade:

  • The Chicago Machine
  • The Houston Lone Stars
  • The Las Vegas Blackjack
  • The Leeds Knights
  • The Los Angeles Shockwave
  • The Moscow T-34's
  • The Munich Sturmnacht
  • The New York Glory
  • The Seattle Fury
  • The Tokyo Ronin
  • The Toronto Cruscade
  • The Warsaw Ambush

    Motion Captured 3D Fury
    For a relatively early 'proper' 3D game, HyperBlade works remarkably well. The graphics in software are relatively clean, functional, and easy on the eye. The 3D-enhanced version, however, I cannot vouch for; both my PCs use nVidia graphics cards, and when run with enhancements turned on, the player has a tendancy to turn invisible for around 99% of the game, along with most of the level. YMMV.

    Generally speaking, HyperBlade is quite a fun game. There is certainly some satisfaction in decapitating an opponent, then scoring with said opponent's head. The mimimum system requirements are low enough to mean only the most antiquidated of machines is left unable to run it (A Pentium 90 and 16Mb RAM being the minimum).


    This write-up complies with the E2 FAQ: Video Games standards. All information and subtitles taken from the game's manual and box.
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