Whenever a new multiplayer game hits the market, it comes with a barrage of marketing, which tries to convince us how intense, exciting, and enthralling it is. But for the most part, the vast majority of such titles fail to be any of those things. And while some succeed initially, then their meta always ends up changing, and kills any intensity which the title might have had previously; for the best example of that, see Rainbow Six: Siege. However, some games, due to their inherent nature, are so incredibly sinister, and anxiety inducing, that no patch or meta shift will ever manage to dilute them. And the recently released Hunt: Showdown, is the best example of that.

Above I’ve stated that Hunt: Showdown, is a recently released title, while that it is true to the PlayStation 4 version, then the game itself has been out for quite some time on both Xbox One, and the PC – albeit in an early access form. And considering that it is following in the footsteps of titles such as DayZ, Conan Exiles, and ARK: Survival Evolved, then it has to be said that unlike those games, Hunt: Showdown, is incredibly stable. And this applies to both the connection with the server, and the technical performance of the title.

I have spent a fair amount of time with Hunt: Showdown, and not once have I experienced any major lags, hitches, or stutters. Sure, I did experience some minor technical difficulties, but neither of them was significant enough to warrant any outburst or response from me. However, I feel it is important to underline that hit detection could do with some improvements, as Hunt: Showdown, just like the prior mentioned Rainbow Six: Siege, can be inconsistent in that particular department. At times you can be aiming at the enemies’ head, only to clip his/her shoulder, other times, you’ll fire a long range shot at hostile’s body, only to dome him/her with relative ease.

 

Previously I have mentioned that Hunt: Showdown, is a surprisingly stable release. And this is in part thanks to the title’s pace. As unlike your Call of Duties, and other Battlefields, Hunt: Showdown, is a slow, and methodical title, which is more about the thrill of the hunt, rather than the combat itself. The titular hunt is at the forefront of the proceedings, then ultimately, some may feel like Hunt: Showdown is just a little too sluggish for them. As even after increasing the aiming sensitivity, you will still feel like you are somewhat being impaired by the title’s inherent design.

The core tempo of Hunt: Showdown, may be on the slower end of things, but it doesn’t make the title any less intense, or sinister. And this is mainly due to the fact, that both you, and the rest of your trio, is in constant danger of getting floored, by the undead, other players, as well as Monstrum, which you have to slay in order to succeed. Hunt: Showdown, takes place in sunny Louisiana, then the sunny setting makes things even more intense. And the title’s rather warm colour palette instils this false sense of security, which is shattered around each and every corner. The bright rays of the sun offer very little in terms of safety, then the second you’ll enter a building, you’ll miss them with all your heart.

Overall, the art direction of Hunt: Showdown, is simply second to none. But where it excels especially well, is within closed of areas, such as buildings, or points of interest. The title at hand is full of atmospheric, blood covered slaughterhouses; abandoned sinister small-town churches; dilapidated, and evil brimming river houses; and lastly desolate and entrapping cemeteries. And all of the above, impart this immense sense of dread, which stems from the meticulous art-design, which has clearly taken Crytek months, if not years to perfect. And the best thing about all this, is that it matches perfectly well with the title’s level design. And the two work in perfect unison, creating a believable locale, which does feel like it was lived-in, long before the scourge of the undead and monsters has moved in.

The overall design of Hunt: Showdown, is downright impeccable. And in truth, it has to be, because visually, Hunt: Showdown, isn’t exactly top of the class. Sure, it’s not abhorrent, or ugly in any way major way, but it is clear that in order to achieve the level of performance which Crytek has on consoles, sacrifices had to be made. And said sacrifices come in the shape of blurry textures, largely washed-out visuals, and lack of any major visual effects, or reflections. And sure, this isn’t exactly the end of the world, but Hunt: Showdown would tick a little faster, if it only was visually on par with some of the other, multiplayer only games such as Apex, or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Following on the subject of intensity within Hunt: Showdown, it is important to underline that it is not all down to the atmosphere. As Hunt: Showdown, is an incredibly punishing, and unforgiving game. As similarly to Escape from Tarkov, Hunt: Showdown kills off your character, whenever he/she dies during combat. Meaning that the hired gun which you might have invested tens, if not hundreds of hours into, can be erased with a single misstep, or a single bullet. The loss of progress can be mitigated by the armaments which you can acquire from the shop, then the upgrades invested into specific character can never be recovered.

The potential loss of progression can be incredibly depressing. But what is even more disheartening, is the fact that Hunt: Showdown, and despite of being a buy-to-play title, is heavily microtransactions oriented. And I’m not talking here about skins, or other cosmetics, but guns, tools, and equipment. A fair few items feature level requirements, which disallow level one players from purchasing them. Then this doesn’t change the fact that the large part of the title’s content, can be purchased with money, right from the get-go. And having access to high calibre armaments, as well as semi-automatic weapons, gives those with thicker wallets, a major upper hand upon those who are not willing to spend any more money on the game, and those who’d love to, but simply can’t.

Overall, Hunt: Showdown is a superb multiplayer experience. It offers thrills and intensity, which are simply unmatched by many other multiplayer only games. And while it is not inch-perfect, then it is more than good enough to warrant its rather discounted, £35 entry price. This particular title has clearly started off on a incredibly high note, but it now remains to be seen if it will continue on its trajectory to stardom, or if it will crash and burn some other multiplayer only titles. But as I am a gambling man, I am willing to bet that while Hunt: Showdown, will never reach the heights of games such as Call of Duty, then it will certainly stick with us for a long, long time.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.