Hunt: Showdown hands-on impressions

I’m not a huge fan of Battle Royale games. Maybe I’m getting older and my reflexes just suck, or maybe I’ve become far more impatient, but there’s no way I can see myself spending ten minutes looting houses only to be gunned down by some camping sniper. F**k that noise!

So when stumbled across Hunt: Showdown, I was intrigued. Well mainly because this was from the guys who made Crysis, and more so, this game seemed like an intriguing blend of Battle Royale, PVE and PVP play. So yes, you could call Hunt: Showdown a PVPVE shooter, which basically translates to a highly competitive multiplayer shooter with some co-op elements.

There are two modes you can play in Hunt; Quickplay and Bounty Hunt. Quickplay is the mode that’s more similar to the Battle Royale genre, but Bounty Hunt is what really gives Hunt its unique identity. You start every round of Bounty Hunt in groups of two or three hunters. Hunt’s gameworld is reminiscent of early nineteenth century Louisiana, only instead of people, you have the undead and grotesque creatures patrolling the land. Every level also consists of a disgusting boss that you and your team must, defeat and banish. To defeat the boss, you must first hunt it (hence the name), and you do this by uncovering clues on the map. Some bosses require two or three clues to find.

Once you find the boss, you and your team fill it with lead and then banish its unholy soul back to whatever portal it crawled out from. After that, you must carry the bounty to the extraction point – where you have to wait for the timer to run out before you can successfully extract. Now what makes this game especially tense is that during every step that I just mentioned, there is another team doing the exact same. So not only do you have to hunt the creatures and fend off creeps, but protect yourself and your team against other human players gunning for your blood as well.

And let’s say you’re lucky enough to make it to the boss unnoticed, you may still have a team waiting for you right there. Or they could hunt you down while you’re extracting. It’s an intense game of cat and mouse that doesn’t give up till the very end. Oh and did I mention; if your Hunter dies during extraction, you lose that particular Hunter forever along with all your XP and equipment. Brutal!

Keeping modern gaming traditions in mind, Hunt also ships with a bunch of unlockables, mods and different ways you could create your online Hunter. Are you the kind of gamer who concentrates more on stealth or combat? Do you prefer long-range skirmishes, or close-quarter brawls? Would you like to carry more consumables or do you choose to be faster so you can get to the extraction point quickly? The game packs in a ton of options so you can cater your Hunter to your playstyle.

Hunt: Showdown is not a very easy game to understand or pick up. It poses a steep learning curve with brutal mechanics that can lead to tremendous frustration. But if you’re the kind of gamer who thrives on high-tension, or is bored of all the Battle Royale games in the market today, Hunt could provide you with the thrills you seek.

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