What is it about Hybrid
that makes it so special? As mentioned in the beginning of this review, it fundamentally redesigns a mechanic that is the cornerstone of nearly every video game ever developed. I'm talking about movement. Hybrid
places a special limitation on your movement, and though it's contrived on paper, the level design makes it work spectacularly well. You see, you cannot move in a traditional sense. You are either in cover or going to cover. There is very little freedom in your movement. You aim at the cover you wish to go to, and you fly there automatically with your Personal Flight Pack (PFP). However, you don't have to fly in a straight line or at a set speed. You can adjust your trajectory as you go, and if you're in a rush, you can boost. All of your abilities are accessible during flight, which makes for entertaining and unique fire fights.
Kill streaks result in the ability to summon robotic drones. The Stalker is the standard small and weak drone. The Warbringer is a behemoth of a flying machine that dishes out some nice firepower, but it's slow. The Preyon is a frightening specimen; it's essentially a holographic lightning-fast banshee with a scream as sharp as her sword.
Weapons, Abilities, and Specializations are the tools with which you can customize your own loadout. Weapons are self-explanatory. Abilities range between offensive and defensive. Grenades, shields, teleportation devices, and so forth. Specializations are more passive in nature. Experience, damage, and armor boosts, cooldown reductions, and drone upgrades.
Player customization is often hit and miss when it comes to shooters, and with Hybrid, it's definitely a hit. It borrows from some free-to-play models. You earn Credits as you perform on the battlefield (or purchase them with Microsoft Points), and they are good for unlocking items you don't particularly want to wait for. They can also purchase experience boosts. It's a good idea, but the game is so fun that I don't really care how quickly I level up. Others will, and 5th Cell should make a killing off of them.
I really have to hand it to Hybrid developers: innovating in the shooter genre is no small feat. I swear, that mine looked like it had been picked completely clean. But it turns out there's still some gold in there. Kudos, 5th Cell.