Hubris Review in 3 Minutes: Cyborn has crafted a VR first-person shooter adventure that never really reaches its full potential.

Hubris Review in 3 Minutes – A Lukewarm VR Adventure

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Hubris is a VR first-person shooter from Cyborn set on an alien planet being terraformed in the midst of a hostile enemy incursion.

You play as a fresh recruit of the Triple-O division, an elite outfit of super soldiers, sent to get information on a missing fellow soldier before getting swept up in a much larger, far more dangerous conflict. Your handler Lucia accompanies you through the mission via a remote-controlled hovering sphere and offers guidance throughout. Despite the floating sidekick, I’d find myself confused about what I needed to do or where I should be heading fairly often. Luckily most of the areas are linear, but the few sections with a little more space to explore left me lost as the plot and scenarios provided me no motivation to pay proper attention.

The couple of characters you come across give decent voice performances but are otherwise bland as toast. The enemy forces have no central figure or motive for you to latch onto, but their generic armed soldiers are at least a more frantic threat than the hostile wildlife and machinery you come across since they will rush your position if you hang back. But otherwise, enemies are devoid of personality, which overall really failed to keep me engaged with the story or the gameplay.

You’ll cycle between a few repeated gameplay beats, physical exploration, crafting of items and  weapons, gun combat, and underwater combat. All of these elements feel good to interact with, especially if you have the space to stand up and move around versus the sitting or more classic controller options that are all available to switch to at any time. There were a couple of climbing sections that really made use of orientation, encouraging you to look all around your surroundings for the closest sensible grabbing point. The underwater sections were the most unique aspect on offer, as movement requires you to mime swimming actions, challenging you to vie for safe positioning while firing on aggressive squids.

The non-aquatic gunplay feels serviceable yet unremarkable as you can cycle between a pistol, SMG, and shotgun, which share an ammo pool across each weapon. You can recharge your ammo by lifting the gun to the side of your head, but it’s a lengthy charge that seems designed to heighten the tension of combat but often left me annoyed.

Crafting is also a tedious process that rewards your hoarding instinct as loads of random junk scattered across levels can be pressed into raw materials at fabricators for healing items or weapon upgrades.

The levels take you through a variety of locales. I was more impressed with the few high-tech interiors on offer than the cave systems and maintenance areas that make up the majority of the environments, but the world does look quite good. Even very close-up textures are clean and detailed. There’s no soundtrack to speak of — the ambient hum of distant machinery or gentle wind makes up the bulk of the soundscape — though I enjoy the cartoonishly sci-fi effects for the weapons and technology.

I should note my time with Hubris wasn’t always smooth sailing. On the Meta Quest 2, both wired and wireless I would sometimes run into massive frame drops, and the world would struggle to load in its surroundings. Areas with lots of enemies would trigger this most often, but lone corridors were not immune to the jittering.

Hubris is an ambitious VR experience that doesn’t always hit its marks. There’s fun to be had in its exploration and with its combat, especially when underwater, but those moments feel like pleasant surprises in an overall slog of an adventure. Hubris is out now for $39.99 on PC.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Hubris.


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Author
KC Nwosu
KC Nwosu has been making video game content for nearly half a decade. He also streams with his son Starboy who has legitimately won a Mario Kart race against him.