HANDS ON: THE HIVE

The Hive, a game developed and published by Skydrome Entertainment, is a new story driven Fantasy game which takes you to the planet of New Eden. There you take control of an insectoid hive mind and face the challenges ahead. The game is currently on Steam Early Access but was also shown at some expos in 2014 to try and drum up interested and give people a feel for the game. With the game being on Early Access, the developers are always working on new things and they have so far released numerous updates which is really great to see!

Due to the game being in Early Access, there isn’t much Story and we only have a few levels to play around with. However, though I say the story is limited at this time, the beginning cut scene of game is AMAZING!! I was hooked straight off the bat watching this; it feels really well produced, the animations were strong and the voice acting was absolutely incredible. The story, what little there is, really had me on edge and I am really interested to see where the story goes from here. Even though I was slightly confused as to why we watch the story of humanities struggles, then play as insectoids, so as I said really excited to see how the story plays out.

Hive 1

The game looks absolutely beautiful, it has a slightly pastille comic book kind of colour scheme and reminds me slightly of Crackdown or Borderlands. The water effects are also pretty amazing and so are the lava animations that accompany some of the characters. Each character has a lot of detail in them and so do the buildings, as they all have a kind of colourful hue to them which makes the world feel a lot more alive. The world itself as does feel a lot more alive than I was expecting and there is a lot more going on than just your characters or your units moving around the map.

There are other creatures that are in the world that you can see in the water pools or flying through the air; they all have a very unique feel to them, they are all different but all the same. You can tell that they are from the same world even though they are not the same species! Some of the animals you can use for food if you have a worker kill them and others are just out of reach, too far underwater for example or are flying and can’t be touched. The enemies also feel really alive and look great, I have experienced spirits to kill, bipedal lizards and some crustaceans which have provided me with a bit more o a challenge. This is where the water animations and the water itself really came alive and where I could see the true beauty that is this game.

hive 2

The sound for the game is really well done, I have played the game on a number of occasions and wanted to see what it was like after some patches and I was not disappointed. The developers have added a lot more content and fixed a lot of the bugs, ironically, that comes with Early Access and I feel that this is what true Early Access is all about. They have got the game out, and are heavily working alongside the community in order to create the game that they want to!

The main character who talks to the Hive is a sort of Advisor and his voice resembles exactly what an insect Advisor, if there has ever been such a thing, would sound like, kind of an evil, dark and mysterious voice with a hiss to it. One of the other characters I have interacted with is a Lava Golem which had an incredible booming voice and was a little bit terrifying because he was about 1000 feet tall and holding a ball of fire in his hands. The rest of the sounds are really well done as well including the fighting sounds, unit noises when they are attacking or being attacked and also when construction is under way or completed.

hive 3

The Gameplay is where this game could do with some additions. The game does have a solid Foundation, the units work well and are well designed, as are the buildings they look fantastic as. At the moment the game is quite simple and your hand is held a lot of the way so I am interested to see how the difficulty progresses through to completion. A lot of the objectives consist of Build base, Create Barracks, Make the only 2 unit types and kill everything in the world.

I am sure when more levels are added this will be different. In regards to the gameplay itself it’s a lot of point and click as most RTS games are. There isn’t much need for tactics in the combat as of yet because if you have enough food, which is gained from killing animals in the wild or fishing, and enough “Resources” then you can just keep spamming an army until the maximum amount of units is on screen. The units themselves consist of individual units for the workers and Queen and a group of units for the combat units which adds a nice mix and the games FPS doesn’t change depending on the amount of units I had on screen. I built a massive army and Frame rate didn’t suffer one bit which was good.

I believe the game play is a great foundation which will be built upon but what I am incredibly impressed with is the world around you, it feels really alive and when coupled with the great voice acting and sound effects it makes for an incredibly beautiful experience. You can buy this game on Steam for £13.99 and they are throwing patches out to fix things and add content left and right so it’s a great time to get involved and help shape an already great game!

+ Great visuals

+ World feels alive

+ Voice acting and soundtrack are awesome

– Gameplay is a bit Basic (For now)

 

CHRIS WALLACE

 

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