Hunt: Showdown (Early Access)... Reviewed!

Strap up and make sure you bring the right tools for the job. Keep quiet, stay low, be prepared to run for your life and you may survive in the world of Hunt: Showdown. Oh yeah... being a team player is a major plus in this world, so don't go all lone wolf... kay?

Hunt: Showdown is an open world survival horror FPS, PvP, and PvE combo. Try saying that three times fast... ahhhhhhh (hmmm) never mind. Hunt: Showdown is set in this... nightmarish world crawling with monsters and the undead, but it also consists of hunters like... you. The objective in this game is to set out and get bounties for money, which may sound easy... but (remember) there are other hunters out there ready to take on the risk for the reward too. In this game they may just take you out after you've successfully taken the risk and collected the bounty.

So there is a lot going on. One of the best things you can do is go undetected in this game because you don't want to be seen or heard by monsters or the other hunters. This increases the tension big time, so you may find you and your teammate going stealth for the sake of survival. If they don't see you coming... they can't do anything to stop you. It can be a waiting game to see who gives up their position first so it might be worth going wolf. Find the right spot and stay there out of clear and present danger (keep your head on a swivel). Sounds like I'm really placing a lot on it... but you'll understand what I mean when it's go time.

Perfect example: I was sneaking around with a fellow hunter... and he decided to make his way into a body of water (it was way too open and you couldn't run without being heard by something or someone). I fell back to hide in the bushes behind some trees and used my rifle to see what I could see (see see), but instead, I heard something... a clap (and it wasn't a round of applause). Next thing I know I see my teammate's body fall into the water... and I couldn't get to him without giving myself up. I didn't intend on joining that pool party so I did what I could until they eventually got me. You can end up in the wrong creek without a paddle fast in this game, and I think that's a plus for any and everyone actually looking for a challenge to up their game.

Related imageIf you play with surround sound speakers or (specifically) a headset that delivers a similar experience, it should assist you (I used the 1More Spearhead VR gaming headphones)... but at the same time, it may increase your paranoia by 100%. So keep your drinks at a distance and sit with your back facing the wall, especially if you have family & friends that love to joke around. When you're in the heat of the moment and the tension can be cut with a machete... you don't need someone grabbing you from behind. Its not a good feeling, and Ms. Daisy can actually confirm that I got up with my fists ready when it happened to me a few days ago. They got a good laugh at my expense but if I was going out... I was going out with a fight. :p

In this game, before you proceed with the mission... I strongly suggest that you know what target you're facing, and then equip the right tools for the job. If a target isn't affected by fire (i.e. the Butcher), that option is out. Also, remember that your weapon can get you in trouble too... so stick with silenced weapons, the crossbow, and melee weapons until you have no other choice.

Here are three weapons from the game:

The bosses can be a challenge, but you can outfox them by running out of that area fast enough... shooting them as they turn back (at least during early access). Basically, if you run outside... you should be safe (from them... mainly the Butcher). You might be running into another hunter's bullet or a pack of growling monsters alerted by the gunfire out there, but the boss won't be out there. So you aren't exactly home free either way if you didn't clear the way before taking on the boss.

In order to track down the boss monsters, you have to use your dark sight ability... which gives you this ghostly view of the world that's blacked out with illuminated clues. That will get you on the right track to reaching your target. That dark sight ability will also allow you to see players carrying a bounty, which means they can also see you carrying one. If you live to see another mission (your hunter I should say)... your character lives on with the reward money, but if you die you lose everything except for your experience (so if you bought some sweet weaponry, kiss it goodbye along with that hunter). Your experience is transferred to your bloodline where it is applied to your other hunters... which is cool or experience would be hard to come by.

Visually, the world is stunning and so are the horrible looking monsters... but to truly appreciate it you're going to need some serious juice to get your money's worth out of the fictional Louisiana Swamps. The requirement is actually one of the cons in this game, but before I mention the reason why... check out the minimum specs:

OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Intel i5 @ 2.7GHz (6th Generation) or AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Memory: 8GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 TI (or AMD Radeon R9370)
DirectX Version: DX11
Disk Space: 20GB
Sound Card: DirectX compatible audio card
Additional Notes: Best experienced with headphones. We recommend having the latest drivers installed.

This con is a plus for those that can meet it, or exceed it. It's even better for those of you who can meet or exceed the recommended specs... but not everyone can meet the minimum. Nothing wrong with specs being high, but... the risk of high specs is one that involves cutting off potential customers at that mid-range. A single player game or a game running on a console is fine... but when you have a multiplayer or co-op game on PC, the community can be a bit empty if few can meet the requirements. The minimum specs have been lowered from what I see, but it would be cool if they could lower them a tad further.

Replay value is there via the bloodline progression, which allows you to rank up and unlock equipment, traits, better hunters, etc. So you have something to strive for. Reaching new ranks will unlock things like a stamina shot, a nice selection of guns, frag bomb, dynamite bundle, etc. Investing time in the game comes with its rewards, you get better (hopefully) and you gain new things to help make you more of a beast in the field... so stick with it.

Price wise... Hunt: Showdown is okay at $29.99 because I don't know whats coming once the game truly launches (but the price may increase upon release). Currently, I think the game would be better priced at $19.99 to increase the number of players (if they meet the requirements). If it's going to increase in price once it's officially launched... there have to be more monsters. There was an update, but to really make this a must play experience... there should be at least 12 boss monsters and a variety of maps.

I think there should also be a 4 player co-op with some sort of story-line that fits this world. The AI of the monsters can be bumped up too. I think it would be a great additional mode and would be a different yet satisfying experience.

Overall, I think its a good concept for a visually satisfying experience that gets you on the edge of your seat... but (I don't know) it just feels like something is missing to really round out the experience. It's in early access, so I'm keeping that in mine, but I hope they have a co-op experience (beyond the PvP) that gives you something else to do. Maybe even take down the persons behind the nightmare... maybe they're from the underworld or something. Just something that gives you a different mode so the experience doesn't get stale. I can only roam the same environment so many times before I start looking for a change of (pace and) scenery.

Fun factor: 3

Visually: 5

Replay value: 4

Price: 4

"4 / 5 Cool Points"

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