Our hands off impressions of this deeply impressive game.
One of my favorite games coming out of E3 2017 was developer Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown. This first-person multiplayer survival team-versus-team-versus-boss is oozing with originality and design concept. Its dark, ritualistic mechanics are not to be taken lightly; and its visuals and ambience of the atmosphere and how it works to your advantage is deeply magical and sinister.
Hunt: Showdown is a multiplayer game that involves two teams facing off with each other to the death; but that’s not all. It will also involve a horde of bug-possessed demonic A.I. humans and creatures going all out to end your game as well; and that’s not all. You’ll also be fighting a boss positioned at the center of the map, perform a process and cast that creature back to the depths of hell. It’s insane, it’s fast paced, but overall it’s very strategic in a lot of ways.
Hunt is a game the developers at Crytek claim talks to you — that is if you play it correctly. It’s developed as a very visceral game as well as a very intelligently procedural game as well. But only if you want it to be. Going into the game it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open all the time. And if you decide to not go in as a guns-blazin’ maniac (which you have every right to), you should see and hear clues that will get you farther along than anyone one-man-army or Rambo-style player. This open map bleeds visuals and sounds to the players; so take your time and you may see a group in the distance shooting A.I. enemy monsters. Listen to the sounds of the forest as it talks to you, it will direct which way enemies are coming from and what they’re using to attack you.
"Hunt is a game the developers at Crytek claim talks to you — that is if you play it correctly."
The only map within the video preview was a dark forest. Its black trees and dirt ground foreshadowed the demonic spirits of bug creatures hidden throughout the level. Mad rivers, villainous skies, and dark-spirited woods surround you. It’s as though you’ve been abandoned with a small group of friends, and you’ve got nothing but your wit at your side. Oh, and a weapon.
Weapons were not showcased much in the preview, but it didn’t look like Hunt was going for anything audacious or new. Now that’s not to say amazing new weapons won’t be in the final version, it’s just that in this preview there were really only rifles and snipers being used to kill hordes of creatures.
Voice communication within Hunt is a must. If you are to survive this hellhole, you need to find a group of friends who have your best interest at heart. You’ve got to tell them your location as they have to tell you theirs. You’ve got to call out the enemy team if you find yourself in danger, or they’ll have to call out if they’re in danger. Is a swarm of bug-infested creatures heading to take out your enemy team? Let your team know so you all can stay back and enjoy the show of watching the A.I. finish off your enemies for you. If you don’t have voice communication with your team you may be dead in the water.
Enemies within Hunt are all bug-based. There’s definitely an evil spirit haunting these woods and it has possessed humans and the like with bug manifestations. Everything will be related to some kind of insect. Humans may have insect qualities of several different kinds. Does this mean bug powers as well? The video didn’t go into that much detail, but they creatured were creepy as hell. Imagine the enemy-types from Resident Evil 4 — remember shooting their heads off and those tentacles came out? Yes, just like that.
"Enemies within Hunt are all bug-based. There’s definitely an evil spirit haunting these woods and it has possessed humans and the like with bug manifestations."
If you manage to get to the center of the map, there’s a boss waiting for you. Within the video preview we got to see a giant spider boss. Crytek said there are other bosses within the game, but they’re all bug related. But be careful, if your enemy team is still alive and you decide to head in and kill the boss, they may ignore it and shoot you instead. Once you kill the bug it’s time to vanquish it back to the depths of hell. This requires a process where the dead spider boss is placed in a circle and a slowly sent packing back to hell. It takes quite a while as well. A good 30-60 seconds on the clock. So in that time you have to survive (or kill the person who killed the boss if it was the other team). This will result into loot drop. If your enemy team is still alive and decides to leave you to killing the spider boss all on your own, keep an eye out once you finish killing the monster. Once the boss is down it will leave behind some very unique loot for the killer. But again: keep your eyes open. Just because you killed the boss doesn’t mean your enemies can’t come in, finish you off and steal your loot. So the Hunt is a true survival game. Only the strongest will survive. It’s an all out war where the person with the most kills may not win.
Unsurprisingly, there is a [designed] right and wrong way to go about Hunt: Showdown. But that doesn’t mean the wrong way won’t work for you. Going in slow and listening to the map talk to you is the designed correct way to go about it. But if you’re up against a team that doesn’t know what’s going on, why not have some fun and mow them down with your weapons and be crazy and loud? Any way you go about taking on this game, it’s definitely something to keep your eyes on.
This game was previewed on the PC.