Sony

HyperParasite (PS4)

hyperparasite

Luck isn’t the right word in context, but fluke fits HyperParasite. As the world endures a pandemic in real life, developer Troglobyte Games launches their game about an alien goo infecting New Yorkers, as healthy citizens do their best to fight back.

HyperParasite doesn’t take place in the now, choosing instead the worn ’80s aesthetic. The aggressive, vaguely Reagan-like President declares Martial Law and gives prisoners guns to fight this thing, mostly in a dying New York as it was during the decade. It’s downtrodden, trashy, and laced with graffiti. Cinema of the time exploited it; games too. Hyper Parasite acts like that time never left, even with its outmoded Asian stereotypes.

It’s not easy playing as this virus. Frustrating, even. Shame it isn’t this easy to eradicate parasites in real life. Said alien keeps coming back, never truly defeated, but HyperParasite turns this into a slog. Leveling is slow, new bodies to infect need unlocked, and progress lacks a satisfying curve.

Each body type fights differently, adding to a melting pot feel (fitting New York), if never allowing a comfortable rhythm. HyperParasite works on the fly, demanding reaction and precision when switching hosts to keep fighting. Clever, but not conducive to the power fantasy. America always wins under an aggressive President, or so HyperParasite suggests.

3/5

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