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First Impressions – Hunt: Showdown

by on June 19, 2017

Going into my appointment with Crytek, I had no idea what to expect from Hunt: Showdown.  I gathered from the promotional material that it was a western of some kind, probably getting bounties of some kind.  I was blown away with the presentation that I saw.  Hunt: Showdown is way more than a western.  It’s a PVP/monster hunter that has a a a real emphasis on co-op and survival.

Hunt: Showdown takes place in late 19th century Louisiana.  You are part of a team of two who are collecting bounties on hideous beasts from Hell.  Your team must search for clues and track down a monster in one of 15 possible locations on the map.  The game lets you collect clues as you go, which helps make the tracking a whole lot easier.  Of course, you can accidentally find the monster while searching for clues.

While you are searching, up to 10 players in the game will also be searching. One of the most exciting aspects of Hunt: Showdown is the fact that you have no idea how many players are in your game.  There are no indicators or clues as to how many are playing against you.  You can find out by looking all over the one square kilometer map, but that would prevent you from finding your true target.  The target in the demo was a disgusting spider.  The thing was massive and moved so quickly that I was squirming in my seat because of how gross it was.  It wasn’t easy to take it down.  The developers had to look in a bunch of places (there are surprisingly a lot of dark corners in run down barns).

After you track, kill, and banish your monster, you must make it out alive.  Again, this is a place where players can ambush you and take your bounty.  If you make it to the extraction point, then you win the game, earning XP to help you unlock weapons and improve perks.  If you die, you are pretty much dead for good.  All of your weapons, gear, abilities, etc. will be gone for good.  However, you will have the chance to bank XP and use it to higher another monster hunter.

The other players can make the match really interesting.  Some players may hid out until you start what is called the Banishment phase of the game.  When you kill a monster, you banish it back to where it came from.  This alerts EVERYONE in the map and marks your location.  Players could hang around until the banishment starts, then try to take you out and take your bounty.  Or, players can just hunt other players and be the last team standing.  There are multiple ways to play depending on your playstyle.

Now in the demo, we saw the developers use stealth and only attack when necessary.  It’s a good tactic, especially at night.  The Louisiana marsh is full of deadly creatures that will kill you on site and prevent you from finding your bounty.  And you may not want to go full on attack mode in this game.  Players will hear gunshots from across the map, and you don’t want to bring too much unwanted attention, especially if you find special areas with special ammo.  Those ammo dumps can be a good place to ambush other players.

The developers said it best when they said Hunt: Showdown is a high risk/high reward game.  There are multiple ways to play and all of the ways provide some serious excitement.  The game sessions will take approx. 20-40 minutes, depending on your strategy.  Or, it will last a few minutes if you get caught killed by other players or special enemies.  I can see Hunt: Showdown become an amazing streaming game because each play can potentially be different and entertaining.

There is no word on a release date (it could be pretty far out if we are being honest).  However, I am so excited to get my hands on Hunt: Showdown again.  The gameplay they showed blew me away and it looks fun as hell….except for that damn giant spider.  That thing can burn.


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