Review – Hubris
VR gaming is in a rough spot right now. With the exceptions of games like Half-Life Alyx and the fantastic Resident Evil 4, there are not many games that can be considered system sellers for the platform. Hubris promises to bring a full complete AAA experience over to the platform with some of the best visuals, but does it deliver?
Set in the distant future, you play as a newly recruited OOO organisation agent sent on a mission to locate and rescue missing OOO agents. Soon after arrival, your ship is taken out and you crash land on a mysterious planet. That’s about it. The plot of Hubris isn’t anything remarkable, which made it really hard to care about anything that was happening.
Hubris‘s main gameplay loop mainly revolves around environmental exploration and combat. The problem is neither of these really has time to shine. The first thing you do when you crash down on the planet is some swimming. This can feel unnatural at first, but you can quickly get used to it, and it becomes a breeze before long. Climbing, on the other hand, is inconsistent. Whilst it is often fine, albeit uninspired, there are moments where my character would drop, struggle to grab a ledge, or clip inside the wall, which is something Hubris doesn’t handle very well.
Combat is perhaps more disappointing. Very early on you will get hold of a sidearm that can deal with most enemy types in the game; especially as you upgrade it. It feels fine enough, you point and shoot, and that’s about it. You will get a small variety of guns throughout your playthrough, but they just don’t feel particularly interesting. To reload, you disappointingly have to just pull the gun up to the side of your head to have it recharge. The big problem though, is that the enemies are just not very interesting to fight. They lack any real personality, and will often either just charge you and stand still, or hide in a corner somewhere. No interesting tactics, and it feels really dated.
Where Hubris does shine is in its stunning visuals. The world is incredibly well-detailed, and multiple times in my roughly six-hour playthrough I was stunned at what was on display. However, I am not a big fan of the sci-fi architecture on display. That’s not saying it’s bad, it’s not. On a technical level, it holds up, but it’s just not my personal preference in sci-fi design. As a VR experience, Hubris is wonderfully designed, and not too intensive until a later section.
As a whole, the gameplay in Hubris feels underwhelming. All the elements are there for what could have been a great game, with plenty of exploration and resource management that have you scouring these locations, but there isn’t anything interesting to find. Since launch, however, there have been a number of updates that have fixed some of the bigger issues; collision isn’t as prominent as it once was and enemy variety has been increased. Although, it still isn’t perfect, and Hubris has a long way to go. Regardless, it’s great to see that the game is getting updates that are heavily focused on feedback, and I wish the team the best going forward.
Once you get over that initial wow factor that Hubris brings in, with one of the most beautiful and detailed worlds in VR to date, it doesn’t offer much else. The combat is shallow, the exploration can be inconsistent, and the story isn’t engaging at all. If all you want is to see what VR is truly capable of on a technical scale, then it might be worth picking up on sale. Or if the updates continue and the game is keeps improving.
Hubris is a stand-out VR game that really shows what the platform is capable of achieving.
Hubris tries to do a lot but doesn’t do any of it particularly well.
There’s really not a lot to mention here, other than the rough voice acting.
Fun Factor: 6.0
Hubris feels like some wasted potential. Beyond its beautiful visuals and occasionally great exploration, it was a mostly dull experience.
Final Verdict: 6.0
Hubris is available now on PCVR.
Reviewed on SteamVR via Quest 2.
A copy of Hubris was provided by the publisher.