Hover – Xbox One Review
I See. I Want. I Grind. I Get.
Set in a future where fun has been made illegal, ECP17 nicknamed Hover City isn’t the most idyllic place to live. To make matters worse you have been cut off from the Galactic Union by The Great Admin. As the new clone in town you are quickly recruited by the gamers who are rebelling and have made it their mission to bring back the fun.
So what do a bunch of rebels do to overthrow this tyranny? They help the inhabitants of Hover City by completing challenges and quests for the downtrodden citizens. Along the way you’ll compete in races and complete quests on your bid to bring down this regime and make it to the Orbital station so you can contact The Galactic Union and make Hover City a fun place to be again.
Gameplay is very reminiscent of Jet Set Radio as you grind and sprint sprint around the city and tagging the scenery is also encouraged. Creating your character is a simple process of picking an avatar and naming him or her. After that your into the games tutorial where you will learn the basic moves you’ll need to traverse the city. In no time you’ll be grinding, jumping and speeding around the city as if you’ve been doing it all your life.
The open nature of the city is a blessing and a curse. It’s great fun zipping around everywhere grinding and tagging whatever you fancy. When you start accepting tasks the open nature of the map becomes problematic because of the way you are guided. It’s very difficult to see the arrow that’s suppose to show you the way to go. I was constantly moving the camera around so I could find the near invisible box that surrounds your intended target. My own solution was to allow my competition to stay ahead of me for as long as possible just so I could follow them and memorise the route. Not an ideal solution given the fast paced nature of the game.
Being a port of a PC game becomes apparent the second you need to use the menu system. You don’t just simply scroll down and highlight a specific option like most console games. Here you move a pointer around the screen and it’s slow and cumbersome. It’s as if navigating the menus on a console wasn’t important enough for them to make that slight change. Interacting with the games NPC’s is a very dull experience which sees you clicking through one text block after another. I got bored of these very quickly and just clicked through them as without reading them and it really didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything which is a shame.
There is an upgrade system for you to play around with that allows you to augment your character. You can also collect upgrades from containers that have been left lying around by some forgetful oaf. The tokens you collect as you play can be used to enhance your speed, jump height and grind smoother. It’s not a very intuitive upgrade system and there is no way to easily check the stats of one upgrade against another and you have to trawl through the games horrendous menus to get there.
The game can be played online where you can compete against other Xbox One players but there is also cross play between Nintendo Switch, and PC players. Sadly there is no sign of our PlayStation brethren, again. The games I entered were full and in fact I never struggled to find someone to compete against and I never experienced a poor connection.
It’s a great idea that will hopefully keep the game alive for a long time.
If you still hankering for some Jet Set Radio, Hover should be right up your street even with its flaws. If you can get passed the clunky menu system and dull NPC interactions there is a good game fighting to get out and with a solid online community for now you’ll never be short of someone to race against.
Hover is available now for £19.99
Review code supplied by One PR Studio