Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown, the spiritual successor to the immensely popular Darksiders franchise from the late studio THQ, has just had an early access trailer dropped:
First announced at E3 2017, the premise of the game is that of a group of players dropped into the Louisiana swamps with one goal: find and banish a monster, then escape with the bounty.
Players take on the role of “hunters”, using both natural and supernatural powers to track their targets, including an ability shown in the trailer called Dark Sight which allows them to see traces of dark energy left behind by monsters.
Players can play alone or as duos. Stealth gameplay will be safer than running and gunning, as it will allow players to avoid tipping off AI and more importantly, other players, of their position. Solo gameplay will be riskier, as players won’t have a teammate to revive them. Escaping with a bounty as a team rather than alone will yield greater rewards.
Player death is permanent and has serious repercussions: all gear is lost, and the character is damned to hell, meaning players will have to start with basic stats on a new character. XP can be used to upgrade a character with “traits”, such as the ability to fan a revolver. XP is also the only thing that will be retained after death of a character, allowing players to upgrade a new character from an available pool, called a “Bloodline”.
Weapons will be tiered, with normal, custom, and legendary weapons. In the trailer, shoddy, antiquated weapons that fit with the swampy surroundings are used to vanquish foes. The game also has a grey, shabby, and frankly ugly feel, with green swamp muck accenting the greys and browns of the environment.
Though the game is built on the Crytek engine, visual fidelity is not all that impressive; while in the Early Access trailer, all recorded footage appears crisp, the gameplay footage is a little blurry around the edges, even when the players are standing still:
All players in the match will be working towards the same goal, using process of elimination to discover where the monster is on the map, and eliminate it. This comes with both opportunities and risks for all players; they may choose to simply track another player and allow them to lead them to the monster, but when the monster is found, all players will converge in the area in efforts to be the ones to gain the bounty.
After a player or team has killed a monster, they must then defend from other players until they can successfully banish the monster back to hell. Players must then take the “token” left behind from the monster’s corpse and make it to an exit point in order to successfully escape with the bounty.
According to the game’s Early Access page on Steam, the dev team is looking for a lot of feedback from the community in order to shape the game experience:
We also want Hunt: Showdown’s development to be community-driven, and an Early Access release allows us to base further development work on community feedback as we test and refine new features, equipment, cast, and settings. The dialogue between the Hunt community and Hunt developers will be crucial in creating a fun experience—so you can help us define what Hunt: Showdown, ultimately, is going to be.
While Crytek says they plan to have their new game in Early Access for 12 months, they include the caveat that this time span may lengthen or shorten based on player feedback and changes made to the overall experience. The game will be priced lower during Early Access than full release, but no specific prices are given.
As of now, the map is only 1km², which is quite small. However, this may be intentionally designed to force players into more interaction. Equipment is fairly spare at only 40 “weapons, tools, and other equipment”, which includes a Mosin rifle with a revolver-type magazine, a crossbow, and a belt-fed revolver. In the gameplay trailer, we also see flares, dynamite, and a Concertina Bomb used. The bomb in particular is interesting, exploding on contact with enemies and shredding them with barbed wire.
For now, Crytek is being quite cryptic with any information, saying the game will only be released from early access “soon”, but when it does, you can be sure to find players quickly making their own experiences. Keep an eye out for Hunt: Showdown’s Early Access release.