I’ve never played Jet Set Radio but I have a general idea of how it plays. Having been a very long time since a new one has been released it’s safe to say Hover has taken a lot of inspiration from the series and has put its own open world spin on it.
In Hover you play as a clone that has joined a group of rebels in the futuristic Hover City. The city has fallen under the control of a dictatorship that terrorises the population and has propaganda scattered throughout the city. You and the rebels you join, known as the Gamers aim to put an end to it. How you do this is up to you since there is a lot of freedom granted to players and only a few limitations are out in place to gain access to new areas.
A lot of the ‘missions’ in the game are more like challenge runs, having you deliver packages on a timer, race characters or earn a certain amount of points in a single trick combo. Since the gameplay is entirely focused around free-running, dodging the authorities and graffitiing (see where the comparison to Jet Set Radio is from?). A lot of the game is trial and error or optimisation of runs and character stats in the case of getting medals.
Characters have a limited amount of customisation when it comes to looks but there’s a levelling system that allows various upgrade nodes to be implemented. Locking into a slot with lock off the one behind it so it’s worth thinking about what kind of node you want to implement. Mostly getting a nice balance of everything would seem best but because of the way Hover is designed it doesn’t really force you into doing specific builds or anything.
You’re going to enjoy the fact that gradual stat increases are a thing since from the start it can be a bit tough to get the hang of the movement. The jumps feel very floaty, and the amount of pace and precision needed to keep up with some of the harder tasks can be insane. Thankfully for some mistakes like falling from a height you can use a rewind function to restore yourself but this still sets you back on timed missions. The most frustrating thing is when you fall with an item you need to carry though, since you can’t rewind while holding anything. As you get the hang of it though it’s surprising how many different areas you can get to and how fast you can get around.
Crossplay enabled multiplayer can take some of the frustration away, enabling you to play with other players, exploring the city and interacting with them so you can learn more about the game together and challenge each other. However your overall experience will be the same as single player, depending on who you run into you might learn some useful tips though. Despite not having a real effect on how the game plays though it adds that extra bit of liveliness to the world.