Hunt Preview: First Look with Crytek at gamescom 2014

09/13/2014 02:15 am by Anna Radak in PreviewsDownload GamesAction



Technically, we didn't really get to play Hunt at this year's gamescom, but that's okay. The gameplay footage we got to see was more than enough to convince us that the upcoming free-to-play game would be something to watch out for. Look, we're not saying that it's going to be the game of the year - but from what was shown to us, it looks like Hunt could be a nice way for horror fans to get their spooky fix whenever American Horror Story is on hiatus. It is way too early to judge the shooter (it's in pre-alpha), but here are our first thoughts on Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age. Subject to change, of course...

Slaughter for the Whole Family

Well, almost the whole family. Kids, go to bed!

Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age is a co-op horror game that puts us up against terrifying boss monsters, waiting for us at the end of each map. From what we were able to see, there are also more than enough menacing minions eager to rip us to pieces and turn us into hunter shish kebab. Thankfully, we're not alone on our quest to slay supernatural beings that have their roots in lore from all over the world. This is where the co-op aspect comes in: Instead of hunting other players down in arena battles, we get to join forces with our friends or perfect strangers and work together towards a common goal. As always, team work is key.
The mission we got to see was set in Louisiana and dealt with a powerful witch that had mastered the arts of voodoo and dark magic. However, there is more to Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age once it launches. Every country has more than enough grizzly stories hidden away in basements and history books which gives Crytek a nearly endless amount of lore to choose from for future quest objectives. During the demo, we made our way through the swamps of New Orleans while slashing through both zombies and the risen, summoned by the dark witch herself. David Bowman (Publisher Producer) says that in Hunt all missions are based on procedural gameplay. This means that every playthrough will be different from the last one and hold new surprises for both newbies and experts.

Combat Mechanics and Weaponry

Burn, shoot, dismember: How we want to get rid of evil spirits in New Orleans is entirely up to us, as long as we survive and make our way towards the witch. Our equipment consists of a melee and a ranged weapon which we can switch out between matches. Managing ammunition is essential in Hunt, as taking out zombies and other abysmal creatures from afar is always the safer option when compared to close combat. Once we run out of bullets, it's time to get up close and personal. We can dodge and evade attacks, as well as use the environment to escape certain death. Jumping over a ledge to avoid the massive brute behind us? Not a problem!

The current weapon arsenal includes (but is not limited to) revolvers, shotguns, flamethrowers, axes and knives. The user interface presented to us at gamescom was purposefully minimal. What more do you need in a survival shooter than health and ammo, anyways?

He's right behind me, isn't he?

Regular monsters showed some pretty nifty artificial intelligence from what we could tell, but special combat mechanics really shone through in the final boss fight against the witch. An example: She was only visible to one mind-controlled player that had to successfully hit the ghastly warlock so that we could catch a glimpse of her. Combined with fancy spell effects and a spooky atmosphere, this encounter was certainly impressive to watch. By the way: Dying in Hunt doesn’t automatically mean we’re out of the match. Instead, we respawn in inconvenient spots (inside a coffin, dangling from meat hooks) that our friends will have to free us from. Interactive gameplay, everyone.

The Business Model

Kill it! Kill it with fire!

Crytek couldn’t really give us any information on their monetization plans for Hunt. Yes, it will be free-to-play, but the game studio is still working out the freemium and premium kinks. Their goal is to make money (duh) while avoiding the pay-to-win curse. Will players be able to purchase unfair advantages with real-life money? "Not as long as I'm involved", says David Bowman.

Currently, the horror game only supports player-versus-environment missions but that doesn't mean that we won't get a way to also compete against others once Hunt launches.
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