Hunt: Showdown (2018) – A Brutally Honest Review

Set in the post-Civil War era of American History, where corpses litter the southern state of Louisiana and a looming, supernatural force has reanimated the dead, twisting them into tortured aberrations of the humans they used to be. Risen cadavers and grotesque abominations stalk the bayou, tearing apart anything unfortunate enough to become caught in their grasp… your job as a Hunter is to get in, take out a high-value target, and get out. 5 teams of 2 are typically assigned each task, are you going to let the others walk away with your bounty?

We didn’t think so…


 

Developers Crytek do not have the biggest list of games in their repertoire, however the ones that are there include some huge hits such as the critically acclaimed Crysis series of games and Ryse: Son of Rome. It was no wonder why the Darkwreath picked Hunt: Showdown up on the day of Open Beta launch and jumped straight in…

…to lags, bugs and crashes.

Matchmaking was easy, there was a strong following at launch however this seemed to decline rather rapidly as the severity of Hunt: Showdown‘s issues became more apparent. To cover the range of troubles would take longer than I have the patience to type out, but needless to say it seemed to have an impact on the community with many YouTubers jumping on the “haven’t they fixed this yet” bandwagon.

The game’s beauty was unfathomable. The total and absolute immersion was unbelievable. It was this that kept us coming back again. Only to leave again. And come back again.

You see where I’m going…

From the distant cackling of crows or the deafening crack of a twig underfoot – sight and sound are completely overcome in Stillwater Bayou, leaving you quite literally on the edge of your gaming chair as you contemplate if your actions will have consequences. Did another hunter hear you? See you? Are they close enough to even hear you breathe?

Now I have to wholeheartedly sing Crytek’s praises – even though we were regularly trying to get back into the game and repeatedly getting shut down (sometimes quite literally) by bugs, we maintained interest and were rewarded for our patience. Not only have Crytek (at the time of writing) abolished the vast majority of their bugs (including all major ones), it also didn’t slow their continued development of the game. Bugfixes came out alongside new perks, new weapons and ever more interesting ways to sneak, creep and hunt through the swamps of Louisiana.

Right now (as you may have guessed by our recent YouTube video) we are fully enjoying the state of the game – and Crytek have no intentions of stopping. With a new built-up theme map on the horizon as well as new weapons being teased weekly, this game is a runaway steam train as far as progress is concerned.

Ever since it’s inception the detail in this game is staggering – weapons are based on their real-life namesake or closest counterpart (such as the Romero 77 being based on J.Stevens Shotgun or the Mosin-Nagant M1891 being based on the rifle of the same name) and the design team have quite literally dismantled 3D renders of each weapon to get each individual piece as accurate as possible so they can be interacted with as they would have in life. The terrain is breathtaking too, with incredible attention to detail on woodwork, paint, cloth effects, ambient noises… the list goes on – it has to be seen to be believed (with a good PC, of course).

The long and short of this is that, despite the game being shipped in a vastly sub-par condition and paying the price for it, Crytek didn’t give up and accept their mistake, they fought back with reckless abandon; and it shows in the current game.

I would zealously implore you to try Hunt: Showdown, it’s an absolutely incredible addition to the roster of mainstream games around today and a very unique and intuitive take on “Battle Royale / King of the Hill” style games mixed with co-operative elements, stealth, and even PvE as everyone stalks their highest priority targets – whatever (or whoever) that may be…

Anyway, I’m getting back to the Bayou with a trusty Romero 77… see you in the swamps!

Wheldrake.

 

Final thought for the day: “The Spider” is not actually a spider … look closely.

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