Hunt Showdown developed and published by Crytek is now available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
I have to start by saying Hunt Showdown is one of the most unique games I’ve played in recent years, it has both really good points and some not so good. Players are placed into one of the two maps and must search for clues leading to a boss. Once the boss is defeated you must leave the area and then you’ll get rewarded, but there’s a catch. So the maps, they’re littered with enemies that seem to be from the depths of hell, hell hounds, undead, husks, lots of enemies, all want a piece of you. There are 12 other players either on there own or in a duo or trio that want that bounty as-well. The pure tension you get from each game played in Hunt Showdown is just both incredible and anxiety-ridden, many a time in my first play-through I’d be dying to players or NPC’s never even making it to the boss, Hunt Showdown is hard. Luckily Crytek has given you a little training period in which you can use training mode to learn the game and you’re given infinite use of your hunters until level 10. After level 10 your skilled and trained hunter if killed will be gone forever… Yeah, I lost a few good men and women. Levelling up, gaining money, training and buying new equipment is essential in finding the way you want to play and the best that suits you. My favourite loadout was the single-use shotgun with the axe attachment on the front, melee NPC’s hunt players from behind doors and windows. What I loved about Hunt Showdown was the pure fear you felt and the fact that if you just wanted to go in, collect some clues, kill some NPC’s perhaps take a couple of players and leave, you can do that, you’ll save your hunter for next time and still gain some decent experience and money, but if you keep going for the boss, you’re going to die at some point. Hunt Showdown is a tough game and damn does it make sure you know that. It’s why I had a love/hate relationship at first, I hated that I couldn’t do much, I sucked, I thought I had to go get the boss and that was it but as you learn, study and research you’ll find that there are so many objectives of the game that truly help you get better and ready you up for the big moment. Playing mostly solo, I’d recommend playing with a friend if possible because when you’re on your own you have no one to watch your back and sometimes a team of three or two will catch you by surprise, or you’ll get lucky and take them all out. One moment I was panicking as three players had found me, I wounded one but they were all after me, I quickly dropped into the water under a boat dock and they were all looking everywhere getting quite annoyed, that was one of my favourite moments, it was pure fear but damn what a rush!
During the moment of reviewing it was one of the most mind-bending ones I’ve ever had to do, there’s a lot to take into account. I struggled from getting really frustrated with it but also falling in love and just hoping any spare minute of the day could be spent on it. A game with such detail that uses the environment around you to screw you over is just unbelievable, but the great thing is you can use these hazards and moments to trick other players and use it to your advantage. For example, in some areas are kennels full of demon dogs or coops full of chickens, they will alert people nearby to someone being there, you can throw stuff near them to make them cause a ruckus, cause a player to investigate and pick them off in the distance. Crows they’ll be on the ground in little groups and whatever way you run at them they will fly in the opposite direction which can alert players on the map to which way you’re going, or you can spin it and trick the crows into flying another direction again luring players away from you. There are so many different things to take into account in this game to become a master hunter. Another reason I was getting a little annoyed was how long it takes to master but that’s a positive, a game that you have to master takes time and replay-ability and learning new things along the way makes Hunt Showdown even better, the more I played the closer I got to taking bosses out and players. I had so many conflicting moments within my head to this game and truly I fell in love with it in the end. There are downsides though in my experience playing sadly. The PC version which I had a go of once definitely looks 10 times better than it does on Ps4, rendering is an issue, you can notice the downgrade and the controls are tank-like and you can’t turn the brightness up or down. The controls can be quite a pain as it feels like you’re trying to turn a vehicle rather than a player and sometimes the guns can be a bit difficult to get used to.
Graphically the game does look very good on the PlayStation 4 Pro but you can tell a downgrade has been made which is a bit sad as the PC version looks flawless and realistic. Despite this though the graphical design is great, I felt like it was a mix between Resident Evil 4’s aesthetics thrown in with some of it’s unique end of the world style vibe. It truly is a game full of detail and the two maps we have don’t get boring quickly. Sound design, what can I say, perfection, from running around abandoned barns hitting meat hook traps to alert enemies to your presence, listening to others foot steps, what an experience. I truly recommend headphones with Hunt Showdown, sound is key in succeeding.
If you want a game that tests you in every single way and being all the more rewarding for it Hunt Showdown is for you, it has everything from a horror theme to pretty intense Battle Royale style PVP. If you aren’t good with games that aren’t forgiving or take a long time to master then this isn’t your game. Hunt Showdown feels like a game for those who want a raw experience with no hand holding whatsoever, but when you do succeed damn do you feel awesome. I enjoyed my time with the game, I got annoyed, I laughed, I got emotionally involved and put my all into it and in turn Hunt Showdown gave me a roller-coaster of feelings and terror, Hunt Showdown is once unique title that can take it out of you sometimes and I can’t wait to go back for more when I dare to face what Crytek have created again. UPDATE – I won my first game, I can’t believe it, what an exhilarating experience and terrifying one but damn was it rewarding.