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Space combat sim Hypergate released on Steam with Linux support, some thoughts

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I've been excited to try out Hypergate for a while, as a long time Freespace fan I'm always itching to play more space combat games. It's now official out, with Linux support.

Humanity's warlike ways have continued into the space age. In Hypergate, you play a new recruit of the Novan Interplanetary Alliance---and your side is losing a war that could cost more than your lives alone. Master space fighter combat amid a crumbling Alliance. Fight in a single-player campaign, or build your own battles for single-player mode or for local gameplay with friends. Upgrade your ships and weapons. And most importantly, do not disengage your shields or engines.

Note: Key provided by the developer.

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In terms of performance, it's great. I've not had any issues there, it's been smooth sailing along. There's not a lot you can tweak though apart from resolution, zoom-blur, FXAA and the HUD.

Keeping in mind this was made by a very small team (only one developer I am aware of) I'm still quite underwhelmed by it overall. I fully get what they were going for but the game-play just doesn't excite me at all.

The game-play is both short and incredibly basic, to the point of it even missing the ability to roll which I find odd in such a 3D space combat sim. I'm not sure if I'm missing something (quite possible, more coffee needed) but the option just isn't there. It seems to be designed around your orientation always being on the same level as everything else, especially since it auto-rolls you after you've flown around a bit. The auto-roll feature is a nuisance too, often getting in the way of your aim.

Additionally, the combat is also overly simple. There's no real need to be a skillful pilot here, since the game does most of the work for you. Get an enemy in your generously sized Reticle and fire since it will auto-lock even your basic weapon. I can understand locking for missiles but for standard bullets to auto-lock and follow enemies feels far too easy. It sucks any challenge away from it, sadly.

I've been playing it on the highest possible difficulty setting and outside of a few deaths that were completely my own fault, there's simply no challenge. Taking down big enemy ships? Easy. Destroy the few turrets they have—boom, done. It doesn't help that even when there's tons of enemy fighters, no one seems to really care you exist. I don't think I was ever chased down, honestly I felt a little invisible.

There's also a mission where it introduces you to your short-range EMP, for taking down enemy missiles locked onto you. Nice idea but underutilized. Through that entire mission, it happens once.

It's missing some basic touches too. Your cockpit for example has a flight stick clearly visible, yet it never moves. If you're going to show it, do something with it. You barely even need manage your speed as well, since there's only three settings: normal, slow or boost.

It pains me to say it, but I got really quite bored. There was a particular moment in the game where I thought, okay now it's about to get interesting! An big unknown alien ship has appeared and within one minute flat I had already taken it down by myself. None of the action feels like it has anything to it. I rarely ever used my missiles as well, the only times I did was to simply speed things up a little because I was bored of it and this is the highest difficulty possible.

Even the upgrade system falls flat as the upgrades for your weapons, shield and coolant really aren't that different. It's the most basic upgrade system it could have done:

The gamepad support was a little messy. Both the Logitech F310 and Steam Controller need big improvements. By default, menu navigation happened sporadically with the stick but also with the right trigger, inverted being on was actually off and so on.

Even with some adjustments, some parts of the menu navigate backwards with a gamepad, it's as if some places respect it being inverted and others don't. Definitely want to see some improvements there.

Overall, I can't really find anything that I genuinely liked about it as nothing really stood out. The voice acting is okay, graphically some backgrounds are somewhat impressive while the rest is so-so, the action just isn't exciting…you get the idea. Since I consider myself a big fan of such games, this makes me sad.

Find it on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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pete910 21 December 2018 at 6:25 pm UTC
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Damn, I too am a massive FS2 fan, Was hoping this would be similar, Arh, still may buy it because " Space game"
iiari 22 December 2018 at 1:27 am UTC
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As a big space gamer, I've spent a quick 15 or so minutes with Instant Action, and so far I'd say Liam's impressions are spot on. This feels kind of what lower-end, more simplistic space action titles were like back in, say, the late 80s's or early 90's, before X-Wing and Freespace 1 and 2 changed everything. It feels retro in that way, more like a Wing Commander or a Skyfox on the Amiga. Just jump in and blast stuff. 11 or 12 year old me would have adored this game. Much older me, ah, well... Not everyone wants to devote dozens of hours and map a hotas to make basic progress like in a X4 or Helium Rain. And even in an Everspace (a dramatically better and prettier example of the "just blast it" genre), not everyone wants rogue-lite dynamics or learn research or weapons trees. At the end of the day, it's like $10, and for jumping in a blasting fun, well, that's up to the individual. If you feel modern space action games are too complex with their realistic flight engines and layers of complexity, you might enjoy this. Graphics are servicable, sound is honestly disappointing. Flight dynamics are a bit weird, with auto aim and auto horizon leveling (why?). Again, it's your $10.


Last edited by iiari at 22 December 2018 at 1:33 am UTC
slaapliedje 22 December 2018 at 9:27 am UTC
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iiariAs a big space gamer, I've spent a quick 15 or so minutes with Instant Action, and so far I'd say Liam's impressions are spot on. This feels kind of what lower-end, more simplistic space action titles were like back in, say, the late 80s's or early 90's, before X-Wing and Freespace 1 and 2 changed everything. It feels retro in that way, more like a Wing Commander or a Skyfox on the Amiga. Just jump in and blast stuff. 11 or 12 year old me would have adored this game. Much older me, ah, well... Not everyone wants to devote dozens of hours and map a hotas to make basic progress like in a X4 or Helium Rain. And even in an Everspace (a dramatically better and prettier example of the "just blast it" genre), not everyone wants rogue-lite dynamics or learn research or weapons trees. At the end of the day, it's like $10, and for jumping in a blasting fun, well, that's up to the individual. If you feel modern space action games are too complex with their realistic flight engines and layers of complexity, you might enjoy this. Graphics are servicable, sound is honestly disappointing. Flight dynamics are a bit weird, with auto aim and auto horizon leveling (why?). Again, it's your $10.
After just hopping around systems in Eliteangerous in VR, I was hoping this would be a more serious space sim. I still need to give Helium Rain some play time. Elite has a good default setup for my x52 Pro, does Helium Rain?
iiari 22 December 2018 at 2:14 pm UTC
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[quote=slaapliedje]
iiariAfter just hopping around systems in Eliteangerous in VR, I was hoping this would be a more serious space sim. I still need to give Helium Rain some play time. Elite has a good default setup for my x52 Pro, does Helium Rain?
I use the mouse in Helium Rain, so I can't answer that question, but I *think* it handles joysticks well from what I recall.

BTW, to give you an idea of the seriousness of Hypergate, you get a score at the end of each mission... Also, BTW, you can't play Hypergate with the mouse (!!). Only keyboard, joystick, or gamepad...

Where were you playing Elite VR? Wine/Proton or on Windows proper?
Linuxpunk 24 December 2018 at 5:59 am UTC
I also got the game. Hated that no rolling control thing. Game is short too, only 10 missions.

I must say I'm having fun with it as it is, but I'll probably forget about it once I finish it or get bored with it. As mentioned above, there's a bunch of great space games playable in Linux, natively or via Wine/Proton.
iiari 24 December 2018 at 2:02 pm UTC
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LinuxpunkI also got the game. Hated that no rolling control thing. Game is short too, only 10 missions.

I must say I'm having fun with it as it is, but I'll probably forget about it once I finish it or get bored with it. As mentioned above, there's a bunch of great space games playable in Linux, natively or via Wine/Proton.
Good points. I'm actually enjoying it too, even with its issues.

Actually, space combat gaming is pretty good right now on Linux, and I've long thought about putting together a list. Let's all compile one together, as I know I'm missing a lot:

Native:
- Astrokill
- Endless Sky
- Everspace
- FTL
- Helium Rain
- Hypergate
- Star Conflict
- Strike Suit Zero
- X3
- X-Rebirth

Proton/Wine/Steam Play:
- Allegiance: Microsoft
- Angels Fall First (Space combat and FPS)
- Eve: Warzone
- Evochron series
- Executive Assault 2 (Space combat and RTS)
- Elite Dangerous (with finagling)
- Landinar: Into the Void
- House of the Dying Sun
- Star Citizen ((with heavy finagling)
- Void Destroyer 1 and 2


Last edited by iiari at 24 December 2018 at 2:02 pm UTC
slaapliedje 25 December 2018 at 1:58 am UTC
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Has anyone gotten the combination of SteamVR + Elite Dangerous working under Proton? That is one of the only reasons I keep Windows around.
Linuxpunk 28 December 2018 at 7:10 am UTC
iiariProton/Wine/Steam Play:
- Allegiance: Microsoft
- Angels Fall First (Space combat and FPS)
- Eve: Warzone
- Evochron series
- Executive Assault 2 (Space combat and RTS)
- Elite Dangerous (with finagling)
- Landinar: Into the Void
- House of the Dying Sun
- Star Citizen ((with heavy finagling)
- Void Destroyer 1 and 2

How do you run Angels Fall First? Via Proton or Wine? I been wanting to play that for a long time.
iiari 28 December 2018 at 12:56 pm UTC
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LinuxpunkHow do you run Angels Fall First? Via Proton or Wine? I been wanting to play that for a long time.
Actually, for me, AFF has run on Wine since Wine versions 1.x.... I've been playing it so long I sometimes confuse it for Linux native. If you want to run it in Proton, you actually need to do a dotnet fix that's outlined on ProtonDB.com. If you are launching Windows Steam through Wine or Lutris, it should work just fine without any fixes. It's my favorite game of anything right now, and the devs (who do this in their free time as a hobby/labor of love) keep making it better. There's an update coming soon of news maps and weapons and afterwards in the next months a DX11 version, tutorial, and lagcomp updates as well.

BTW: If looking for info, skip its toxic Steam forums and engage in the very active Discord community.


Last edited by iiari at 28 December 2018 at 1:05 pm UTC
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