E3 2017 Impressions — Hunt: Showdown


While at E3 I was able to see Hunt: Showdown in a more intimate setting than just a trailer. Here's my take on Hunt: Showdown.

It's a bit odd but downright amazing that three years ago I was here to tell you all about a title called Hunt: Horrors Of The Gilded Age and just how amazing it looked and how excited I was for it. Then there wasn't a single word on it and Crytek went through a few shakeups and it was thought to be lost to the games of E3 that never came. Now we jump to this year and after having a small announcement, I was able to see Hunt: Showdown rise up from the ashes that was the other title and get me excited for the game again to come to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Although it should be noted that this version is almost nothing like the other game in a lot of the best ways out there.

While Hunt: Showdown didn't have a huge presence on the show floor out there at E3, there was a nice little closed door showing of the game in action and a small section of a 45-minute match that highlights the main aspects of the game. You can see it all below in its raw form, but know there are a few things there that can't be seen or understood just from the gameplay. Also know that while it is only ten minutes here, it was stated that on average a match in Hunt: Showdown will run us about 20 to 40 minutes depending on the random placement of the Bounty Monster and abilities of the players out there.

Hunt: Showdown — E3 Gameplay

Now that we have that out of the way, let's dig into what Hunt: Showdown is truly about besides some really cool visuals and being a third-person multiplayer title in a survival horror setting of the Victorian Age. Yes, this is when the events of the game take place and most have a very romanced side of it all, but in Hunt: Showdown we are looking at the other side of the coin with the dirt and grime. It is a game about going out and hunting down some big and evil beings and then banishing them, I am assuming to Hell, all to collect bounties to level up your character, gain new perks, and gear to make your hunting easier as thing progress.

As you most likely saw, it's not just you alone in the game's world doing the hunting. Hells, in Hunt: Showdown it's not just you and you buddy going out there and hunting down these creatures. It is you, your buddy, and four other teams of two all trying to get to the same bounty. All of which softly broken up in three phases of gameplay. The first obviously being Tracking. As you might have seen above, your team stalks around the map with limited resources trying to find where on the map the creature has spawned while avoiding other beasts and other players who can take you out before anything is found. That was what the quick glimpse of the Spider's location was here as well as the ability to spot "evil" in Hunt: Showdown through character abilities as well. Of course, you could get lucky and stumble on its location on accident without any tracking needed. It is a dynamic world here.

Once you find the creatures location, it is time to take it down and then banish it. Something that is easier said than done as they are usually in locations that are filled with many other manners of horror out there to try and kill you. Not to mention other players who may have been able to find the creature at the same time. In Hunt: Showdown matches you will always need to worry about the world enemies and the other players. All to add an extra level of tension to the match and truly give a sense of horror and anxiety. Even when trying to just pick up ammo and other tools to use to take down the "Big Bad" or "Bads" depending on how many bosses do spawn.

So, if you are able to actually take down the monster in your match for Hunt: Showdown, you can then start the banishing process. This is where even more tension can come in as once the process starts, it is broadcast to all other teams out there and they can then come in and claim your bounty by taking you out. Even after the banishing begins and ends they can continue to do this as you need to extract yourself from the map at a few of the locations randomly about the map. Also to make things a bit more difficult, you now radiate the evil aura for the other hunters to spot during their hunt of you. Even more tension as the match doesn't end until you are safely out and collecting your reward.

To make things even worse in the tension department, Hunt: Showdown also has what Crytek is calling a soft-perma-death feature in the game. Your buddy can bring you back with the right tools in a match, but if they are not able to then your character is done and gone. What makes this different than normal perma-death is that in Hunt: Showdown only your characters' look and perks seem to go away. As it was described to me, the weapons and gear can be "passed down" via a bloodline so your next hunter can claim and use them. It sounded like a system where you get your grandfather's gun and you want to set out to finish what he started, although in Hunt: Showdown that isn't exactly the case. It's just the best analogy I could think of to explain how things carry over if you do die in a match.

While it does sound like Hunt: Showdown is going to be a rough game to play and love, it was one of the titles I saw at E3 that still resonates with me well after the show has come and gone. Just like Horrors Of The Gilded Age did so long ago. It looks absolutely amazing and I was in awe with just how things were animated and designed. Then you mix in the high tension of matches with soft-perma-death and having to worry about all the other players out there at the same time; amazing! As I said to Crytek when the showing was all over, it was a mixture of the best from the action Resident Evil titles with the heart-pounding horror and tension form the most recent. It really looks like the best of both worlds and now we wait for the Beta to kick off and then for Hunt: Showdown to finally launch.