Available 22nd February 2020 on PC, Xbox One and PS4
Version Tested: PC & Xbox One X
As some of you maybe already aware Hunt Showdown is available through early access and some of you may have been playing it for a while, finally the full finished version is here and hopefully with all the testing time in early access we have a polished finished game.
One thing I remember from playing the early access version is the way this game has you on edge all the time and nothing has changed there! Every time you are in the game world it’s intense, the sheer horror of losing your character permanently is always at the back of your mind. Losing all the guns that you have acquired along the way with that character adds a real sense of loss when it does happen and trust me it will happen alot!
Hunt is set in the past around the 1890’s, the weapons will make this pretty obvious when you see and use them. Using things like the revolver or crossbow add to the immersion of the game being set back then, this also affects gameplay with guns all very slow especially when it comes to reloading so choosing shots wisely is very important! This is mainly down to what you will be fighting against, not just bounties in which I will come back to but other players. The other players are the real threat to life in game and it’s this unpredictable element that makes you feel very uncomfortable in game as you never know what is lurking around the corner and this is without the AI enemies spread around the map that you will need to deal with.
Each game will require you and your team to search out clues using your Dark Sight, each clue will lead to another and then to the final bounty which you will have to try and take down with your team or alone if you are solo. Bounties can be tough to takedown but there is also the issue of other AI enemies such as zombies as well as the main threat in other real life players.
Bounties while they look pretty intimidating aren’t that bad to defeat and this is mainly due to where you fight them, you will basically enter their lair and if you come out of it they will not follow you so you can afford to move in and out of the building until it’s defeated. The downside to this strategy however is the fact you will be in full sight of other hunters who could sit back and watch as you do all the hard work then just sneak up when you are nearly down, take you down then take the bounty as well!
Once you manage to takedown the bounty and banish it the fun really begins as you then need to make it to an extraction point with the bounty token. This isn’t just a case of running to an extraction point however, well it is but it’s much easier than it sounds! While you have the token other hunters will be made aware that you have it and will be trying to kill you to get it for themselves.
Where this game really excels is the sound and it’s absolutely crucial to staying alive and winning the game against other players, a good set of headphones is a must here as sound will prove more important than you could ever imagine. The sound quality is among some of the best around and you can actually hear where gun shots are coming from and even work out the distance they are from you! Melee is possibly the best way to go but the threat of having enemies up close and personal can be a little to much especially with some of the bigger ones which can take you down pretty fast with very little effort.
Graphically the game looked great and this was also the same for the games performance with no noticeable slowdown. Puddles of water reflected light beautifully as well as some pretty impressive lighting effects throughout. Enemies had a fair bit of detail and variety which keeps things feeling fresh, well they certainly didn’t look fresh.
The gameplay forces you to act fast because the slow and steady approach will possibly leave you still looking for clues while the other players are already taking down the bounty, Hunt never takes the pressure off you though even if the other hunters are taken down as you will have no idea as the game will not tell you anything! As I mentioned before the combat can be a little slow and will frustrate some but it really does make you feel uncomfortable having enemies running at you while you are scrambling to try and reload your weapon which you have to manually reload, no auto reload here, every shot really counts! Your hunter is able to melee enemies away but it really isn’t effective compared to shooting unless you have a proper melee weapon like an axe or sledge hammer, the other downside to using guns though is the noise and making other enemies and hunters aware of your position on the map.
The only issue I had while playing was on a few occasions other players will gather the hints and sit at the bounty waiting for others to approach, while this is totally up to them it does add an element of camping and being able to sit still and wait they have a massive advantage with the games really accurate sound which the clip below shows, they knew the exact angle I was coming from and had ages to pick the shot! While it isn’t my way of playing it will benefit players who like to sit and wait rather than jump in and fight. The maps are big enough for you to be able to explore but if the other hunter does manage to gather all the clues before you then there is a risk this will happen.
Losing character progress is the real problem here as i mentioned before losing all the hard earned weapons you have acquired by surviving the sometimes impossible. Earning coins and XP unlocks new weapons as you level up, things like crossbows are a perfect mix for stealth and power but these have to be unlocked through progression. Once these items are unlocked though they can be purchased again if you character dies which is a good thing in my opinion.
Levelling up characters also unlocks new traits and perks for your character that you can equip and improve your character such as things like being able to sprint for longer or taking less damage from explosions etc. The main thing to keep players playing is the amount of content to unlock and use, there are many different perks and traits to unlock as well as loads of different weapons and items to unlock and use. The progression system is really good and kept me playing for many hours, games can take a while and the way you play makes all the difference in weather you live or die!
Hunt is an interesting game and one I hope the developers really stick with and add more and more bounties as there really is a solid and fun game here, well if being on the edge of your seat from start to finish is your thing!
We also tested the game on the Xbox One X and it was very much the same solid experience. This review also reflects the Xbox One X version with the final verdict and score.
Hunt: Showdown is a pretty scary game in it’s own right, the horror of completely losing your character and all their items is something that will always be at the back of your mind as you start every game! The games are tense and scary and other players will be ruthless in taking you down not giving you a second the breath easy once the game has started and that for me makes Hunt a pretty scary experience from start to finish! The sound quality in this game is some of the best I have ever come across, being able to distinguise where a shot come from as well as the distance they are from you was really immersive and I would majorly recommend a decent set of headphones if you are really going to invest a decent amount of time into this game. The graphics and performance are also solid and the progression system is good enough to keep you constantly coming back to try and unlock everything. Playing alone or in a team is a great experience and one I will be more than happy to keep coming back to!
- Great visuals and performance
- Outstanding sound
- Lots to unlock and progress through
- Tense and immersive atmosphere
- Permadeath to characters always leaves you on edge and you can never relax throughout every game
- Could do with a few more bounties
- Can be a fair bit of camping