Hybrid Review

Our official take on this hybrid shooter.

By: Rich Shivener

Filed Under: Review Shooters


Some games ignite a certain rage in me, so much so that I’ve thrown controllers, spit on screens and tainted the air with expletives. But I feel nothing – no fire – when I play shooters, even high-octane ones like Battlefield 3 and those in Call of Duty series. I approach them with apathy, I guess, because a long time ago, I realized that I’m far from a soldier.

In fact, a week after 9/11, my mother called me on her honeymoon to say that I wouldn’t be joining any military branch. I was 17, I think.

“Do NOT talk to anyone at your school!” she yelled.


I lack accuracy, bloodlust and tactical reasoning, among other traits, and for these reasons, I’m often the easiest target and the worst teammate on the battlefield.

A third-person shooter as simple as Hybrid can’t save me nor inspire me to take up stronger arms. But while I have accepted my fate, I still have some fun with this game. It’s worth downloading, even long after Xbox’s Summer of Arcade series fades away like the changing season.

At one point, I did see a glimmer of hope in Hybrid, which is multiplayer only. In a familiar territory of my memory, it centers on two opposing factions fighting for control of earth, tainted with a mysterious dark matter. I won’t bother you with the rest of the backstory, because you already know it. Aliens vs. humans. Endless battles. Weapons with sexy names like the Model N1 Assault and the S10 Auto-Assault. It’s a familiar setup, to say the least, especially if you’ve played popular shooters in the last five years. Hell, in the last year.

I thought my know-how of Call of Duty and SOCOM would give some muscle against my enemies. Alas, I did more respawning than killing.

However, the game has some unique features that kept my mind trained on the battles burning up my screen, and not on what my cat was doing or my future wife was asking me about the upcoming wedding. You see, Hybrid is largely a 3v3 game of gravity-twisting cover systems. In fact, you can’t move too freely, just from cover to cover, so your best kills might be in the air, which is always sizzling with bullets. There are also “stalkers,” or aggressive AI that shoot with you and at you, depending on which player – or players – have them. These bastards killed me more often than the opposing shooters. The five-minute “Basic training” simply did not prepare for them. (Okay, here I’m raging a bit. Oh well.)

I think many of my deaths in Hybrid were not without a certain valor, though. I had mid-air kills; I hacked stalkers and turned them on their makers; I threw grenades at shooters just before they killed me. I reported to the battlefield enough times that I recently left as a “staff sergeant,” clutching that Model N1 and a grenade. My actions were often “commendable,” or something greater, thanks in large part to my teammates.

Still, I have apathy for the shooter genre, and I have no desire to work on my skills or rack up millions of XPs. While Hybrid’s maker, 5th Cell, deserves accolades for rethinking the shooter genre, I still hear my duties calling me elsewhere.

Which is probably I took forever to lock and load this review, if you will.



Hybrid is praiseworthy and flawed.

Filed Under: Review Shooters

About the Author:
Rich Shivener is the Lead Editor of Bit Creature. He is also a writer, instructor and iPad whisperer from the shores of Northern Kentucky. You can find him in Publishers Weekly and Writer's Digest, among other places.

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