One of the games I picked up on the Steam Summer sale was Hunt: Showdown. I was a bit hesitant about picking it up but picked up a copy for myself and my son and played for about 4 hours today.
I won't buy any game on Steam unless it is rated Very Positive or higher. I Just don't have the time to play every game I would like to play and most games are disappointing.
This game is a rush, it is a lot of fun and difficult. Exactly what I am looking for in a game.
What is Hunt: Showdown
Hunt: Showdown is a PVP game where you join with another player and attempt to collect a bounty and get out alive. This sounds easy but holy crap it isn't even remotely.
There is a standard loop you follow for each match (which lasts 1-30 minutes typically).
- Party Up
- Drop-in Spawn
- Pick up three clues in different hot spots
- Take out bounty identify triangulated by the clues
- Get to extraction and survive
Every game follows this same loop, but you can play the objectives a little differently. Instead of taking out the bounty, you can camp it and take out another team attempting to take it out first.
The bounty is an AI monster either the Butcher, Assassin, or Spider. This is a rather difficult fight that takes a little time to defeat. During this time you are likely being hunted down by other hunters.
You drop in the match with a total of 12 players, generally 6 teams of 2 although some pros play solo.
Generally, you start at different edges of the map but quickly converge into the hot spots while attempting to find the three clues and take out the bounty. On some maps, there are two bounty targets and some there is only one everyone is fighting for.
While this sounds like a simple and easy task, the entire way is paved with aggressive mobs and environmental obstacles that give away your position. Sound is a very large factor in the game, you may step on a twig, scare some birds, startle a horse, or any number of other things that will give away your position and quickly turn you into the hunted.
While it is impossible to complete the mission without being detected, minimizing it and not being there when someone comes to find you is critical. I find myself frequently setting fires and creating noise on purpose as I leave areas to keep the hunters off my trail.
The game gives you a couple of hours of relaxation, but once you reach level 10 you are put in the big leagues and every death is permanent. If you die on a mission you will lose all your items and your acquired traits. While this is brutal it isn't as difficult as it sounds. You will continually recruit hunters and will always have replacements, albeit with random gear and minimal traits.
Surviving and completing missions will give your hunters the edge in a battle as you will come in with better gear and traits, death will set you back but will not wipe you out. It is a good balance of difficulty and limited dispair.
As I said earlier, I played for about 4 hours with my son and we won a few bounties, escaped with our lives and that's it, and died a whole lot. We both had a blast and kept on our toes.
While the graphics are decent, the sound is fantastic and creepy as hell. Paying attention to sounds and minimizing yours is absolutely critical in this game. Although newer players take this to the extreme and crouch slowly everywhere across the map making them easy targets in wide-open spaces.
The weapons in this game suck, and that's a good thing. They all require skill, none of them is fully automatic M16s. They are vintage weapons all with their own quirks and limited ammo. You won't be 360 no scoping in this game. My favorite weapon so far has been a Springfield Compact Deadeye, this pistol-like gun with a single shot and a scope. Awful up close but was turning hunter's heads into pinata's like a kid's birthday party. Was a ton of fun, but didn't help much during the harder boss fights where a single well placed shot doesn't do jack shit.
The most effective weapons are the consumables, a well-placed firebomb will take out a hunter ready to pop you coming through the door. You are encouraged to use consumables freely as they are littered across the map and are not in short supply.
There are tons of weapons to choose from and as you level up you are allowed to buy more unique weapons. Once unlocked, any character can purchase and use them. Money isn't hard to get so even if you wipe out your best hunter you won't feel completely wiped out. Just recruit a new one for free (which you can do each match, or purchase one of the ones with a little better starter gear). You may even be able to buy a new Hunter with gear you can't even purchase normally. Frequently the free hunters have decent gear that you can go in a match and come out the victor. You usually will have plenty of money to round out the loadout with some consumables and more health items to give yourself a better chance at survival.
There are a lot of challenging non-player obstacles you will run into. I'll list a few to give you some examples:
- Broken glass
- Pack of rabid dogs
- Horse grazing in the field
- Various humanoid hostile creatures
- Player set traps
- Hanging chains
Some of these will simply alert other hunters of your position if you pass by them and others will flat out try to kill you.
The game is currently 45% off on Steam ($21.99) and I give it a thumbs up. If anyone picks it up and wants a partner to go in a match with, hit me up. You must have a mic though, the game doesn't work without cooperation.
I'll probably start streaming the game if you are interested in hopping in.