If there is one game that’s going to freak you out this year then I’d say Hunt: Showdown will be it. The stunning yet harsh world that the developers at Crytek have created using the renowned CryEngine is full of sights and dangers. From the calm look of the bayou, to the deep chambers of a butchers basement, you will fight your way through zombies, dogs or worse… one of the game bosses.
“You and your partner are members of a secret hunting society that tracks and kills creatures. The bounties are high, but so are the risks. The smallest mistake will cost you everything—your bounty, your gear, your life, and your very soul. Some hunt for wealth, some for power. You must track your quarry through a dark and treacherous world. Winner takes all. Fail, and go straight to hell.”
Hunt: Showdown has quite a history when it comes to its development process, and at the beginning was an entirely different looking game with an entirely different title. Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age was originally going to be in a 3rd person perspective with a four player co-op system and set in a Victorian style 19th century landscape. That being said the unfortunate closure of Vigil Games meant that Crytek was left looking for someone to run a new USA based Head Quarters which also didn’t pan out to well due to financial issues later down the track. Nothing was heard about Hunt for three years until a teaser trailer was released for a whole new looking Hunt… Hunt: Showdown. Now a PvPvE style game based on 2 – 3 player co-op and also becoming a first person shooter with horror and stealth elements. The game I believe has turned out for the better this way.
The first task when starting Hunt is to select your character. Characters appear in 3 tiers of rank and can be purchased at certain XP levels as you work your way to prestige. However, be selective when choosing a character, because when you die your character will die too. After level 15, permadeath for your character is going to happen and you will lose your weapons, character XP and supplies you are carrying, meaning you’ll have to start from scratch with a new character although your prestige ranking will stay the same. Money for supplies and weapons is earned through taking out enemies and completing mission objectives. As you level your character you can also earn points to use on perks such as healing twice as fast, or one of my personal favorites; a perk called fanning, which lets you fire your pistol like an old cowboy film blasting shots fast as hell but keep an eye on that reload, if you’re not watching it can get you killed.
Since this game is set in the old school times we have old school weapons. No machine guns here, but you can buy yourself standard six shooter pistols, double barrel shotguns and long range bolt action rifles and there’s plenty to go around. All these weapons can be upgraded, or you can buy an upgraded equivalent over time as you perk up.
Once in a lobby you can choose to go solo, to find a random match or invite a friend to play along side you. Missions are pretty straight forward with seek and destroy type gameplay. You can use your power of sight to locate blue glowing orbs from a distance which are the clues needed to track down the final boss and retrieve the bounty. Keep your wits about you though. Ten other players, either solo or in pairs, will be on the same path, chasing the same clues and looking for the same bounty. Sound is key in Hunt, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you hear a gunshot close to you, there will be a player there just waiting for you. Or you can try and flank them yourself to take them down silently. While wondering through the marsh you will encounter obstacles which are there only to give away your location to other players. Crows, horses and caged mutant dogs are lying about everywhere and if you get too close, prepare to be noticed.
There is a wide variety of enemies spread throughout the map ranging from simple scout zombies to flammable types, dogs and brutes which can take a lot of punishment but pay-off well when it comes to cash. Now for the bosses… legit shit yourself moments when you face off with these guys, especially the monster Huntsman Spider which runs full pelt at you and spitting venom from a distance. I’ve spoken to players who were honestly too shaken up to face off and finish the mission because of this beast and chose to stay outside and find ways to damage it from there.
Hunt: Showdown is an amazing game and I’m glad Crytek have persevered over the years because this needed to happen. Anyone with a fetish for horror should pick up this title. The stealth and PvPvE work well and the game feels like a shot of adrenaline when a gunfight breaks out between players. Great job guys!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.