Hyper Dash is out now on Quest and PC VR with full cross-play and after spending a couple of weeks with the full release version on Quest 2, we’re excited to report it’s a great competitive VR shooter. Read on for our full Hyper Dash review!
At its core, Hyper Dash is a game about speed. Solaris does a good job of tapping into that straight-forward arena shooter feel, Onward feels like a great compromise towards a realistic military shooter, and Contractors really does play like Call of Duty in VR—but Hyper Dash is wholly unique. It’s a game about blistering fast movement and pure chaos that feels at once both overwhelming and supremely satisfying. Not to mention it’s extremely difficult with a skill curve that feels completely new, even if you’ve got extensive VR shooter experience.
You don’t want to miss this one.
Usually in a VR game you’ll have to choose between different types of movement. The most popular two forms of movement, or locomotion, right now across the industry is “smooth” movement, in which you direct your body through the game world using the analog sticks like in a traditional video game, and teleportation movement.
This was most prominently popularized originally by Cloudhead in the first Episode of The Gallery and dubbed “blink” movement because you would point to a spot and then the screen quickly fades out and back in with you in the new location. It was a great and effective method to prevent motion sickness that developers still deploy to this day.
Hyper Dash however builds its foundation on a hybrid system at the very core of its identity that has you mix and match both smooth movement and a hybrid movement called dashing. If you played Raw Data from Survios, you might remember a “dash” mechanic there as well in which you will zoom forward with blurred vision to a new location, or in other words, dash.
So in Hyper Dash, as you can assume by the name, you’ll be expected to do a lot of dashing. All the time. It not only makes traversing the maps quickly a ton of fun, but it’s a tactical maneuver that makes you really hard to hit. Quick dashes were popular in the old Quake and Unreal games as well during PvP matches and this definitely channels a lot of that old-school arena shooter charm.
In terms of content, Hyper Dash has plenty to offer as long as you’re in it for the online multiplayer. You can technically play offline against bots, but the AI isn’t really capable enough to make it anywhere near as fun as playing against other humans. Thankfully, servers seem pretty populated here thanks to the cross-platform multiplayer and I never had trouble finding a match.
After over a year of alpha and beta testing, Hyper Dash seems to have a dedicated fanbase. Although, it’s worth noting, that at least in my experience both during daytime hours and late at night that the audience seems to skew on the younger end of the spectrum. Judging from the voices I’ve heard in voice chat (which can be turned off completely, switched to push to talk, or always on) most people sound like young teenagers in most cases.
If you do have trouble finding players though it auto-fills with bots so you never have to sit there at a ‘Searching for Match’ screen. There’s also an active competitive scene known as ‘Dash League’ that broadcasts games and features tournament play already. It’s currently in Season 2, carrying forward from the alpha. If you play on PC, you can spectate matches with drones to get unique camera angles like in Onward.
Overall players seem very friendly, active, and eager to play with dozens of lobbies up at any given time. Just be prepared for lots of internet slang, meme references, and some lighthearted trash talk.
There’s good weapon variety here with your basic pistols, red-dot long range pistols, SMGs, shotguns, and so on. Nothing too exotic or surprising here. Truthfully, the majority of people seem perfectly happy just dual-wielding the starter pistols most of the time; it’s totally valid since they’re actually quite good.
Don’t be surprised if you get blasted off a rail mid-grind from someone a football field away using dual pistols. Hyper Dash players are really good. It could benefit from smarter skill-based matchmaking since it’s not the easiest game to get the hang of, but playing against ‘Hard’ bot lobbies is a good starting point. It’s also sorely missing any kind of progression system beyond unlocking a couple of helmet cosmetics as you level up, but there’s nothing else in terms of loadouts, gun options, gear, more detailed avatar customization, or anything like that at all. It’s a big missed opportunity—something that only Population: One has really nailed out of the gate in VR.
You’ve got your basic deathmatch mode and point-capture based mode in domination, but the real standouts for me were control point, which is basically king of the hill, and payload, which works just like you’d expect if you’ve ever played Overwatch or Echo Combat. Modes that require more coordination and planning than just zipping around at breakneck speed are what I gravitated towards the most.
Triangle Factory crafted some stellar maps as well. There are only six of them, but they’re dripping with personality and feature lots of verticality. The one with the grind rails twisting across a giant water quarry seems to be extremely popular. It reminds me a bit of Lockout from Halo 2 with its large open gap in the middle. Since you can grind on rails in Hyper Dash or dash upwards or downwards, there are always a wide array of directions you can go at any given moment. It’s liberating to not feel like your feet are glued to the ground as they are in most VR shooters.
Hyper Dash Review – Final Verdict
If you’re tired of the military settings of most VR shooters (Onward, Contractors, Pavlov, Zero Caliber, Medal of Honor, and so on) and don’t care about battle royale like Population: One, then Hyper Dash is the antidote. It’s much faster and more intense than Solaris and really channels the speed and intensity you might recall from popular PC arena shooters like Quake. The learning curve is steep, but it’s got an active playerbase, full PC VR to Quest crossplay, and a good selection of maps and game modes to keep you busy.
For more on how we arrived at this score, read our review guidelines. This review was conducted using a digital release version of the game on a Quest 2 headset.
Hyper Dash is available for Oculus Quest, PC VR on SteamVR, or PC VR on Viveport for $20. It’s also included with a Viveport Infinity subscription on PC. Cross-play is supported across all platforms and the Rift Store and Oculus Quest versions both support cross-buy, so if you buy it on one you own it on both.
Check out the official Hyper Dash website for more details.