I hope this is not the primary time somebody has instructed you that you must actually check out Hunt: Showdown. My coworker Jacob said as much on this web site almost a yr in the past, and on the time, I did not hear. It is a type of video games that you simply all the time hear is sweet however sounds too exhausting or sophisticated to get into. Hunt might be fairly powerful, nevertheless it’s additionally enjoyable, rewarding, and produces extremely tense firefights with weapons that look and sound absurdly good.
I performed over 180 hours of Hunt within the again half of 2021. Most of these hours have been with one or two pals, largely throughout unforgivably late hours on a piece evening. Hunt is so glorious, it is the explanation I’ve principally hung up my most-played sport of all time: Rainbow Six Siege.
Together with Escape From Tarkov, Hunt is in a burgeoning PvPvE style that does not have a reputation but (I feel “raid video games” can be a very good match). You would possibly acknowledge the format from Battlefield 2042’s Hazard Zone mode—it borrows plenty of concepts from Hunt. It isn’t free-to-play, however does get frequent reductions on its $40 price ticket (it is solely $20 proper now). Here is the gist:
- It is form of like a battle royale, however no circle forces gamers in a single course
- Loadouts are bought with in-game cash earlier than matchmaking. You may deliver two weapons, some medkits, and different facet devices
- Whereas it has some looting, additional weapons are uncommon until you kill one other participant and steal their stuff
- You may battle different gamers, however your foremost purpose is to search out monsters, kill them, and extract with bounty tokens to attain a number of XP and cash
- Gamers can extract at designated boats and carriages at any level in a match. Most match time is 1 hour
My favourite a part of Hunt is its nineteenth century weapons that vary from Wild West classics just like the Colt Single Motion Military revolver to absurd weapons that one way or the other really existed, just like the whaler’s Bomb Lance, which is one half spear, one half dynamite slingshot. It is also neat to make use of famously unhealthy weapons that nearly by no means present up in videogames, just like the Lemat: a revolver that is additionally a shotgun. One among my favorites is the Specter, a peculiar shotgun loaded from the highest that riffs on one of many first pump shotguns made in actual life, the Spencer 1882. An early shotgun with an odd motion is a element which will solely be fascinating for those who’ve watched too many Forgotten Weapons movies, nevertheless it’s clear Crytek has a real affinity for cool weapons from historical past.
As a result of every thing in Hunt is a one-shot kill to the top, and everybody’s holding a breech-loading rifle from the Civil Battle or a six-shooter that takes 15 seconds to reload, you find yourself with plenty of stealthy encounters that erupt into scrappy duels. Gunfights are messy. There’s plenty of lacking on each side as gamers are determined to line up their photographs with out standing nonetheless for too lengthy. Like in battle royale video games, there is a layer of technique to selecting the correct fights and approaching compounds from the very best angle, however the lack of a circle means you are not compelled into unfavorable situations by a layer of randomness.
Weapons are what in the end determine most fights, however in the same spirit to Rainbow Six Siege, I like how an inexpensive last-minute gadget buy (like barbed wire traps or a Mason jar stuffed with indignant bees) can flip the tide of a showdown.
Here is a current instance of an encounter that would’ve solely occurred in Hunt:
The opposite day in a match, a buddy and I have been looking a lumber mill when he instantly dropped useless from a crossbow bolt. My buddy did not hear the place the shot got here from, however his dying display screen revealed that his killer was just a few meters away. I used to be outdoors the constructing the place it occurred, questioning how I ought to strategy this hunkered-down crossbowman. I had a pair of revolvers that fare effectively up shut, however strolling right into a constructing somebody is defending is all the time a threat in Hunt—I might be strolling into tripwires or bear traps.
I made a decision to sneak round, staying crouched and being cautious to not step on damaged glass or disturb hanging tin cans. After a couple of minutes, I would snuck as much as the second flooring and will hear the crossbow man’s footsteps beneath me. I determine I would have the very best probability of touchdown my photographs if I get this man to stroll into me as a substitute of the alternative, so I pulled out a bag of clean fireplace decoys and lobbed a bullet out of a close-by window. Because it landed on the highway, it completely mimicked the sound of a gunshot. The sudden commotion motivated the crossbow foe to crouch-walk up the steps subsequent to me to research. I used to be ready on the best angle as he entered my view, and one shot to the noggin introduced him down. It was the type of play that you simply wish to proudly show on the fridge.
Little victories are hard-earned in Hunt, partly as a result of its format allows you to determine what a victory is. Looking down a boss, killing it, and leaving with its bounty is a good boon, however that does not all the time occur.
Generally, opposing gamers kill a boss first and shortly escape. Different occasions our squad has gotten right into a battle early on, barely gained, and determined to retreat instantly as a substitute of chancing into one other with fewer medkits. One time, we obtained a minimum of 4 matches’ price of enjoyable out of 1 40-minute Alamo-style standoff towards a squad of snipers skilled on our home windows (they killed us). One other time, a squad of higher gamers picked me off, and my buddy negotiated a truce with them over voice chat. We escaped with our lives. A couple of occasions, we have even killed each participant on the server.
When loved with pals, Hunt is a type of video games that appears to magically manufacture particular moments. I do not assume I will ever neglect the evening we have been caught between two squads on a bridge and I obtained this unlikely headshot with a pistol, or the evening my buddy and I noticed an enemy and we miraculously shot him on the exact same time.
Like Jacob a yr in the past, I’ve now develop into that man who passionately needs to inform extra folks about Hunt. Its participant base is a drop within the bucket in comparison with battle royale juggernauts like Apex Legends or Name of Responsibility: Warzone, and but, it is approach higher than each of them.
That is high-quality—by all accounts, Hunt is a continued success for Crytek. Three years of updates have added new weapons, instruments, bosses, and maps. In 2021, it loved a brand new excessive of 32,000 concurrent gamers. If it have been a battle royale sport with 60-150 gamers per match, numbers that low would probably imply annoyingly lengthy queue occasions, however Hunt suits the entire thrills of battle royale in a cost-effective 12-player foyer.
I feel loads about Hunt’s modest recognition. In an age when one common Twitch streamer can rocket obscure multiplayer games into immediate fame, it is bizarre that Hunt hasn’t had its time within the solar. It occurred for Apex this yr and for Tarkov (Hunt’s closest neighbor) final yr, so why not Hunt? The old-timey weapons would be the wrongdoer, or maybe its dreary artwork type places off gamers.
Perhaps Hunt is simply too bizarre to catch on in a giant approach, and I am beginning to imagine that is for the very best. Proper now, Hunt’s group is a comparatively small bunch that quietly enjoys the sport and posts cool fan artwork on Reddit. Cheaters are uncommon, and toxicity is low. An explosion of gamers would positively change that, and I am not satisfied that the theoretical advantages of recognition (including extra cosmetics and weapons, I suppose?) are price it.
So sure, go play Hunt! Inform your folks! You might be that cool person who performs the bizarre cowboy sport with zombies. Simply possibly do not inform everybody you already know.