Preview: Hover—Revolt of Gamers

When one of our writers here at Geeks Under Grace, LJ, inquired about coverage concerning a game intended to be a throwback of the legendary (okay, cult hit) Jet Set Radio, I was all over it, but wondered why I was not already aware of the existence of such an ambitious game. As I would discover, Hover: Revolt of Gamers  successful kickstarter is being developed by a small French team of three after a that only initially asked for $38,000—ambitious, indeed!

All three developers of Fusty Game.

 What many younger gamers may not know, is that JSR is notorious for featuring one of the greatest soundtracks in gaming history, successfully blending the genres of hip-hop, trance, house, funk, bluegrass, alternative, punk, and electronica music. With my expectations in this area for Hover: Revolt of Gamers neigh impossible to achieve, I was pleasantly relieved to hear “Enter the City” giving my subwoofers a rigorous workout. Composer Cédric Menendez channels the legendary Hideki Naganuma, and both musicians will be contributing to the Hover OST. If anything, potential players should anticipate a good one!

Fusty Game lists several inspirations for its art direction, including The Fifth Element and Mirror’s Edge. I wold also add Tron and ReBoot.

The story thus far revolves around a municipal power who rolls out a No Fun Allowed policy by confiscating all the gaming consoles, raising the ire of the Gamers, who lead a resistance to overthrow their oppressor. As far as the current game build is concerned, it does not appear that the story missions have been explicitly integrated, unless I am mistaking what feels like a series of side quests for the actual story. Various members of the resistance are sprinkled around the game’s starting area, granting experience and upgrades to speed, jumping, and grinding for the completion of time trials, fetch quests, and other miscellaneous mundane tasks.

 

As of this writing, missions are comprised primarily of races to the finish line.

Fusty Game’s original plan was to create an open world arena. Rumor has it, that Hover was once one continuous level, but that monstrosity was a frame rate killer, and the devs have partitioned the game into large sections, with the city and sewer featured thus far. Hover currently runs at 60 fps, and the city arena looks great in full motion. However the second stage, is awkwardly empty and subdued compared to the pulsating city. Adding to the feeling of the game being unfinished, its only accessible mission, a time trial that is around five minutes in length, requires precision performance to clear. I could not. Discouraged, I returned to the city above, only to be further frustrated by one quest requiring me to perform X-many points worth of tricks (basically, hold the shift key and jump) in about two minutes. Unfortunately, jumping in this game results in excessive levity, and I was unable to “land” my tricks fast enough before time expired. I tend to be an objective-based kind of gamer, but had more fun exploring the city while chatting with other players in the persistent world. Yes, there is multiplayer, but one need not participate with directly with fellow Gamers, though the leader of the revolution is whoever maintains the highest score.

This throwback to Kid Vid of Burger King Kids’ Club of he 90’s is like, so totally tubular duuude! Practically every character in Hover is inspired by similar nostalgia. Also pictured: vandalizing government property via spraypaint (custom sprays TBD?).

Hover: Revolt of Gamers shows promise in the presentation department through its music and visuals, but it still requires some tender love and care in the department of polish. Fusty Game has announced that the official release date of this game is May 31, 2017, which concerns me, because there is still much to do. I would like to see some missions that progress the story, but do not feel like busy work; I would like to see more sections of the game to determine if they live up to the expectations set in the first; I would like to see how the stat trees and character selection (or creation) influence variety in gameplay; I would like to see some sort of enemy or antagonist like Captain Onishima from JSR. Hover shows promise, but it has a ways to go before I could recommend an Early Access purchase. We will check back in on this game after release. 

The influence from Tron with he streaking laser lights is strong.

Maurice Pogue

Since picking up an NES controller in 1985 at the age of 2, Maurice and video games have been inseparable. While most children aspired to be lawyers, doctors, or engineers (at the behest of their parents), he aspired to write for publications such as EGM, PC Gamer, PC Accelerator, and Edge. After achieving ABD status in English at MSU, Maurice left academia and dedicated his writing to his lifelong passion. He is currently the Video Game Editor at Geeks Under Grace.

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