Welcome to the hunt
Hunt: Showdown is a competitive first-person survival horror game. The game was initially developed by Vigil games (the Developer of Darksiders) and was called the Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age. When THQ went bust the game was brought back to life by Crytek but the original concept was scrapped. Everything went a little quiet until 2017 when it was re-announced as an online survival horror backed up by an amazing trailer.
The game drops you into the action as one of a multitude of bounty hunters who are sent out to collect the souls of demons. Their mission is to find three clues in order to narrow down your hunt on a specific bounty. Bounties start out very simple, find the big bad of each area and extract the souls they leave behind before having to get out of the level while dodging all of the other hunters. The twist is that when you killed the main enemy the other players on the map can see where you are and that the bounty is ready to collect. At this point, it becomes a more traditional online shooter and you have to protect your kill while escaping and this is the basis of the gameplay loop.
Hunt: Showdown is fluid and looks beautiful
Enemies are very reminiscent of Left 4 Dead just without outright copying their designs. After downloading when first booting up I had a fear that my non-interest in online shooters would instantly mean that I wouldn’t enjoy the experience… Oh, how wrong I was. Even while going through my first match I fell in love with the gameplay having said that I got through the first match completely unscathed and didn’t see another player.
The atmosphere Hunt: Showdown creates is a very lonely and fearful experience, it keeps you on the edge not knowing exactly what you are going to come across while on the journey. Rounding a corner and coming across a dying horse is terrifying, the attention to detail is top draw. Like when you walk past the animal it makes noise which attracts the enemies around you. And there are enough in the local area that you are constantly uneasy. The sound design works so well, especially when you have a decent headset, you can pinpoint where everything is and adds a stealth element as you decide to take enemies or avoid them entirely. In recent times it seems like a lot of fans have stopped playing because of invasive microtransactions. Although during my time playing I didn’t notice them being overly bad, they were definitely there but I didn’t see any need of using them.
While at the moment this review is glowingly positive there are bugs that have occurred. I personally use multiple monitors, this meant that if I moved my mouse moved too far it would go onto my second desktop and there is no way in-game to fix this. By downloading a 3rd party piece of software I was able to bind my mouse in-game to the single screen.
Though doing this fixed the issue it took a while searching to find out the answer. The bad about this game is there isn’t a lot to it and once you have played your fill of the game it will quickly get deleted from your system. There is an expansion pack out for the game adding the Bayou area and two extra hunters which I picked up to support the developer adding to the options available.
Hunt: Showdown is beautifully stark and offers a different view of a post-apocalyptic wasteland set in 1890. The game is designed with style and the environmental sound is great. The game is very fun but fairly shallow. There’s not enough meat on the bones to keep you playing for a prolonged period of time. I generally find the best way to play is in short bursts do one hunt then drop off for a couple of days, this way it helps to keep you interested. Overall I had a great time with the game issues withstanding. Sadly, it doesn’t have the longevity for me, while other players may love the online element, I would just love a single-player storyline set in this beautifully crafted world.