[PlayStation 4] HyperParasite Review

by ThaRaven403

HyperParasite is a twin-stick shooter that puts you in the shoes of an alien organism that’s on Earth to destroy it. Find out why this awesome title should be in your library in our HyperParasite review!

The story of the game takes place in the 1980s, and you’ll see a lot of references to it during the game. An alien organism has invaded Earth, and it’s slowly but surely spreading around the world because of its ability to transfer itself from human body to human body, which act as its hosts. Martial laws has been declared, and every citizen is allowed to shoot on sight if they witness the presence of this alien. Civilians are armed and ready to take action… if they can find it. As for you, well, you are the HyperParasite, and you’re the one they are all hunting for as you are on your quest to detonate nuclear weapons to destroy the planet.

HyperParasite Review - 2

The game plays like a twin-stick shooter, so you see your character from a top-down view as you navigate from room to room in procedurally generated levels. As you move with the left analog stick, you can aim with the right one and shoot with the R2 button. You can also dodge attacks or hazards using the L1 button, which is an important thing to remember if you want to survive. In your parasite form, if you get close enough to a human that you can possess, you just have to hold down the L2 button to take over, thusly gaining their abilities. From there, thee R2 button performs the human’s regular attack, and the L2 performs a special attack that charges back over time. If you feel like leaving that human’s body, all you have to do is hold down the Square button to make it explode.

As you encounter new human types, some of them will come with a lock over their head, meaning you can’t possess them. As you kill them, one will eventually drop a brain that you can pick up and bring to Wito in the hub rooms that you’ll reach from time to time. Wito is another alien that is simply there to do business with you. Bringing the brain into one of the chambers will allow you to unlock the ability to possess that human type the next time you encounter it – if you pay the price. In that same hub room, Wito will also offer you the possibility of purchasing upgrades to make your characters stronger.

HyperParasite PS4 Review - 3

As I said, the game takes place in the 1980s, which is why HyperParasite just oozes references to that era’s culture. From the looks of the rooms and the levels to the specific look of some of the host bodies you will encounter, you won’t find a better way to live as an alien parasite in the 1980s. The visuals have a slightly pixelated look to them even though the game is in 3D, with bright neon colors that are a blast to see while playing. The teams at Troglobyte Games and Hound Picked Games have mentioned that HyperParasite pays homage to the look and feel of games from the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation era – the first PlayStation that is – which is why the game has this particular look.

Before taking on the single-player campaign, I started the tutorial that takes you through the basic moves of the game. I completed the tutorial with ease, and that made me think this would be a fun and pleasant ride to the end of the game, without a hint of a challenge. I was wrong. Before you manage to get some upgrades, your parasite has only a single hit point. This means that one hit kills you unless you’re inside of a host, which all have their amount of HP. So during your first few runs, you’ll die a lot, and it’s totally normal. You’ll eventually have enough money to purchase some upgrades that will make you a bit stronger, both for your parasite and for your hosts, as you unlock new hosts to take on after finding the corresponding brain when killing them. The game does a great job of implementing some solid roguelite elements.

HyperParasite Review - 4

Each of the game’s five acts will have different enemies to unlock as hosts, making each of those levels a unique experience with new characters, so you will need to learn how to make the most of their skills. There is some great variety in them, both in terms of gameplay as well as how they look. From a homeless man with his food cart to a ghost hunter (that totally looks like a Ghostbusters character) or a wrestler (Hulkmania!), there are over 60 bodies you’ll be able to snatch and use for your goal.

From a trophies perspective, the game doesn’t have a lot of challenging trophies if you take the time to play the game and upgrade your parasite and your set of potential hosts. There are trophies for discovering every character in all five acts as well as for defeating the bosses and special characters in each one. Other than that, what could be a bit more difficult is to beat all acts without snatching any bodies, but with practice, this should become feasible to anyone who’s really into the game.

HyperParasite PS4 Review - 5

Final Thoughts
Troglobytes Games and Hound Picked Games have really hit the spot with HyperParasite. It has all the elements you’d expect of a roguelite that makes you want to go back to it each time you die, the fun of snatching bodies as a ruthless alien, and an incredibly well-themed atmosphere and synthwave soundtrack straight out of the 1980s. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the game even has local co-op to snatch your way to the top with a friend. HyperParsite is definitely worth playing and owning – it’s my surprise hit of the year so far!

This HyperParasite review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Hound Picked Games.

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