We've been hearing about Hypercharge Unboxed eventually coming to Xbox for bloody ages at this point, and the day is finally here for us to live out our childhood toy soldier dreams. Make no mistake, this is a bit of a silly shooter at heart, but it's one that definitely has its place on the market amongst a sea of beige, realistic competitors - and we've had a blast playing it in recent days.

If we've not already made it clear enough, here's how Hypercharge Unboxed presents itself. A bunch of plastic soldiers and monsters have burst out of their collectible boxes to take the fight to any bedroom, closet or slice of garden available to them. The scale is a bit like Obsidian's Grounded where everyday objects look absolutely massive as you fight in and amongst them, and this visual spin on the humble shooter is a much welcome one - we never got bored of it during our review time!

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As for the structure of Hypercharge; this is a multiplayer shooter at its core. There's no proper story campaign mode — save for levels stitched together with brief comic-book cutscenes — and the focus here is on PvE and PvP encounters that will no-doubt be heightened by bringing in a good group of pals to play with. Having said that, we spent our review time tackling the game's various maps and modes with bots and we still very much enjoyed it. You can absolutely play Hypercharge in single-player, just don't expect some cinematic story-driven campaign is all we're saying!

The part that is most campaign-like is made up of just over a dozen tower-defense-like levels where you'll have to protect a collection of 'cores' from waves of toy soldiers. There's a bit of downtime where you're expected to set up your defenses, find any collectibles you're after and generally explore the level before the onslaught begins - and although a bit repetitive in its concept, each map does its best to shake things up. You might get toy-soldier tanks cruising through for a wave, or a collection of high-flying cardboard aeroplanes dropping soldiers into unexpected locations every so often. It's all good fun whichever way things play out, and this is backed up by some satisfying combat, shall we say.

You can play Hypercharge Unboxed in either first or third-person, and we took to the right-shoulder third-person view the best here. There's nothing wrong with switching it up and going for the FPS viewpoint — the game plays well from this perspective — but that extra visibility you get from third-person is well worth taking advantage of. The game's various indoor maps can be quite cluttered and it felt easier to us to hop around and take out baddies in third-person, but each to their own!

You get to play around with rifles, shotguns, snipers, flamethrowers, grenade launchers and a bunch of other bits of plastic weaponry in-game, but make no mistake, the weapons here don't feel 'flimsy' at all. Shooting packs a real punch whichever viewpoint you choose to play from, and we were genuinely surprised by just how good Hypercharge feels to play. Sniping is a bit wonky due to overall visibility and the fast-paced nature of the game, but everything else is an absolute blast to play around with and you should certainly get some mileage from this one based on the enjoyable combat alone.

Speaking of extra mileage, there's a decent suite of versus modes included in the package too. Again, these are playable entirely offline with bots, or online with real players, so there's plenty of flexibility in how you can tackle this portion of the game. Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the 'Battery' and more are present, and while nothing outlandish, these all add some extra meat to Hypercharge's bones. You'll be playing the game's 'campaign' levels here in a different form, although some of the objective modes do banish certain maps from the pool to successfully accommodate specific objective points and the likes.

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As we already detailed in a recent news piece, Hypercharge: Unboxed is highly competent effort from a technical perspective. Check out the link below for the full tech specs across Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, but know that you're getting 60FPS gameplay at very respectable resolution figures across the board with this new release. It's especially nice to see Xbox Series S land with some impressive specs here too!

One other thing we want to note before wrapping things up is that we didn't get any opportunity to try the game out on public multiplayer servers during our review time. This is often the nature of things when reviewing games pre-launch, but the team has confirmed that the game can be played offline and online — including splitscreen — with PC crossplay support also arriving on launch.


Hypercharge: Unboxed delivers fantastic first and third-person shooting across a good variety of maps and modes, and we've been genuinely impressed by how this indie shooter feels on Xbox with a gamepad in-hand. Sure, outside of the novel theme Hypercharge doesn't really do anything truly unique as a shooter, but that theme is refreshing enough on its own to make this a worthwhile endeavour. Adding in some real-life co-op buddies will likely extend the game's shelf life quite a bit, but even as a solo player we can still recommend Hypercharge: Unboxed to any shooter fan. Now, go forth, and reclaim that spare bedroom!