graphic line

to view advertisers
Click on image to visit site

Violence in sports is rather occasional nowadays, and according to most science-fiction movies and books, it will become essential in the future to have players risking their lives in brutal sports just to satisfy the audience. Activision's latest release, Hyperblade, follows the same trend with a game that plunges players into a futuristic savage battle-sport taking place in the Drome.

Hyperblade is no ordinary sport. Blending a hockey game style with fighting possibilities, you can win either by marking the highest score or, less conventional, by eliminating your adversary team. But whether you choose to play fair or not, be prepared to defend your life. Not only will your opponents try to wound you and lower your capabilities during the match, but objects placed in the Drome will also inflict severe damages if you inadvertently bump into them, such as the rotating turnstile with its razor-sharp blades, and the laser hurdle that can slice a man in no time.

Los Angeles Shockwave
Original sketches of the
Los Angeles Shockwave

Otherwise, the game play is similar to what you find in hockey, except for a few changes. The number of players in a team has been reduced to three (including the goal keeper), the puck is now called the rok, and the game is played in an ellipsoidal arena where various objects are placed on its surface. Besides the deadly items you must avoid at all cost, you will find other objects on the Drome's surface. You can pick up weapons in the armory, skate through the multiplier to increase the value of your next score, jump on ramps, transform the rok into a killball when passing through the Killball Charger, and activate random power-ups with the randomizer. Each of the twelve arenas included in Hyperblade have unique object configurations through which you will need to skate at a fast-pace speed. One strategy is once you have the rok in your possession, to draw your opponents either into obstacles like concrete hurdles and multipliers where they will be disoriented, or better yet into the ones where they will suffer injuries. Just remember to turn away or jump at the last minute to avoid being hurt yourself!

Several windows on the screen inform you while playing. A radar provides you with the relative position of the rok and other players, status bars show the players' health, a rear camera view comes up when an opponent is behind you, and a shot view replaces it when you have the rok. Other indicators such as speed-burst, shot power, time left, period and team scores are also present during the game.

Playing with Hyperblade doesn't require a long learning curve. It is however recommended to play the training level first, with auto-attack and quick shot modes selected. When you think you are ready for the real thing, you can choose the expert mode which will allow you to select the attack you want. Through the options menu, you can also decide if your teammate can only pass the rok to you or can try shooting towards the goal. To stay close to the action, you can switch from one player to another during the game, and if one of them is badly injured, you can substitute them with another one from the bench.

Seattle Fury
Original sketches of the
Seattle Fury
Without a 3D video card accelerator, Hyperblade's graphics seem a bit bare at first look with the 3D arenas and players made simply of colored polygons. Fortunately, the absorbing game play and amazingly fast action quickly push the graphics to the background so that after a while you don't really care about how they look. However, if you own such a 3D card, the game will feature texture-mapped polygons and other graphical effects that will undeniably make this game even better, although it is not primarily what you should look for in this type of game. What makes Hyperblade a winner is the speed and playability coupled with a techno-like inspired CD audio soundtrack rather than its graphics. Also important to notice are the players' movements that were implemented with the help of motion-capture technology.

If you are into multi-player games, Hyperblade offers network play for up to four players (two per team) with a choice of over 45 players, and teams that you can customize with downloadable tools (not yet available on Activision's website as of 12/12/96). In the single-player mode, you can either play with the exhibition or the gauntlet mode, with the possibility to select your team among twelve such as the Chicago Machine, Los Angeles Shockwave, Las Vegas Black Jack or Moscow T-34's. You will also choose your opponents team and the arena of your choice before you start playing. In the Gauntlet mode, the goal is to beat all other teams of the Hyperblade league. A few rules will however apply. For example, if one player happens to be killed during one game, they won't be replaced and you will have to continue the gauntlet without them. Also, should you lose or tie, you will have to restart the entire gauntlet. To avoid players from restarting too often, they can save the game after they beat a team. As adversaries will become tougher to beat, this option won't be vain.


Activision certainly found a winning combination in Hyperblade, mixing fast 3D graphics and a kicking game play that will rock players on their seat. Whether you are into sports or not, you will find Hyperblade addicting, and not just because you can kill your adversaries in the play field, but simply because it is fun to play.

Written by Frederick Claude

Click here for screen shots.

Click here for the demo.



System Requirements:

A 100% Windows 95-compatible computer system (including compatible 32-bit drivers for CD-ROM drive, video card, sound card and input devices),
Pentium 90Mhz or faster,

Min 16MB memory,
Hard disk with 80Mb uncompressed space free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
VESA local bus (VLB) or PCI video card with 1Mb RAM,
100% Windows 95 compatible mouse,
100% Sound Blaster 16-compatible sound card.

Requires your system to have the latest Windows 95 drivers that can fully support Microsoft's DirectX.

Optional features: If your video card fully supports Microsoft's Direct 3-D, this game can utilize the enhanced features of your 3-D card.

Network Play: 100% Windows 95 compatible network, IPX Network or TCP/IP network.
Internet and modem play not supported


Wizbang Inc.

Web site: Wizbang


In North America:

11601 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Technical Support:310-479-5644 Monday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm PST
Fax Support:310-479-7355 24 hours a day
FaxBack:310-473-6453 24 hours a day
BBS Support:310-479-1335

Hint line:1-900-680-HINT (USA)
1-900-451-4849 (Canada)

Order line:1-800-782-7927 (USA)
1-800-828-7927 (Canada)

Internet Support: Activision Technical Support
Web site: Activision

In Europe:

In UK:

Activision Europe Ltd.,
Long Island House, Suite 3A,
1/4 Warple Way,
London W3 0RQ.

Technical Support:+44-(0)990-143-525 Monday through Friday 1:00pm to 5:00pm UK time
Hint Line:1-0891-555-113

In France:

Ubi Soft
28, rue Armand Carrel
93108 Montreuil sous Bois Cedex

Technical Support:+33-14857-0554
Fax Support:+33-14857-6291

Web site: Ubi Soft

In Australia and Pacific Rim:

Activision Australia,
P.O. Box 873,
Epping, NSW 2121.

Technical Support:1-902-962-000

graphic line

[Homepage][Back issues][Send E-Mail]

All content Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996 Coming Soon Magazine, Inc. All Rights reserved.