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Hunt: Showdown Review (Early Access) — Live To Die Another Day



Published by: Crytek
Developed by: Crytek
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Genre(s): First-person shooter, survival horror
Mode(s): Multiplayer
Game Type: , ,
80/ 100

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Chilling Atmosphere, Satisfying progression system. Stunning visuals. Great concept.


Limited content. Demanding Visuals. Tough sell.

Posted July 29, 2018 by


Picture the 19th century. Whenever there were reports of fiendish creatures, demonic possessions, and evil rituals, brave men were sent to finish what a priest couldn’t. Enter Hunt: Showdown; only here, the demons are real. Under development by Crytek, the studio behind CryEngine and the Crysis franchise, Hunt: Showdown is a first-person survival horror shooter that attempts to mesh both PvE and PvP together with roguelike elements.



Hunt: Showdown does not have a campaign. As far as I know, there aren’t any real plans, but it’s currently in early access so who knows.  Nevertheless, Hunt’s premise is simple: there are hellish demons at the heart of a plagued location. Someone back home is willing to pay big bucks to anyone who can perform the banishing rituals to send them back to hell and retrieve their bounty. Now, this is an open contract, and you’re not the only hunter after their bounty. You’d do well to keep your wits about you for you’ll find men to be far more troublesome than sending demons back to hell.



As I’ve mentioned, Hunt: Showdown’s gameplay mixes both PvE and PvP in a pot of Roguelike elements. You start of recruiting a hunter from a pool of random hunters that come with their own set of gear and skills. These hunters cost money to recruit. Money that you can only get by collecting bounties. In a match, the map is riddled with all sorts of AI enemies as well as one to two Boss enemies that you need to banish. Each enemy you kill earns you experience at the end of the match, and bosses not only give a ton of experience but money, too. Now, there’s about a maximum of 10 players per match, all after the same boss. The boss’ location is randomized and you’ll have to activate clues to narrow down their location.

Your active Hunter will gain levels from the experience you collect, unlocking skill points which you can then use to upgrade your health or unlock special traits to enhance your hunter’s effectiveness. The catch is, when your hunter dies during a contract, you’ll lose him permanently. It’s not a total loss, however, as some of the experience you gain during a mission also counts toward your rank points. Increasing your rank will unlock new gear and skills for you to purchase. Reaching certain rank thresholds will unlock higher tier hunters for you to recruit.


Because of all this, the game becomes a tense-filled hunting skirmish where staying alive is as important as taking it. Stealth becomes essential, and audio is key to getting the upper hand. You’ll have to rely on sound to determine the direction of gunshots and startled animals. Visual cues are important, too. When you hear a flock of startled crows, you can look to the skies to see which direction the crows are flying off of.

There can be about as much as 10 players in a single match of Hunt: Showdown. There’s no visible player counter while playing so there’s no real way to tell how many people are still in the match. For the most part, this helps intensify the immersion of each match, being constantly wary of the presence of other hunters whilst trying to race to the bounty to extract for yourself. On the other hand, this mechanic can also lead to lots of dull moments where nothings going on and you start to feel the repetitiveness of everything. This may also be due to the fact that there’s really only one map, switching between night and day (and most recently foggy weather), not to mention the limited mob variations and only having 2 Bosses.

The most fun I’ve had with Hunt was when playing with a friend. You can have up to one other co-op partner in a 2v2v2v2v2 matchup. Coordinating with your teammate makes up about 75% of the immersion. Even in pairs, the game seems to be an amazing experience. Perhaps if the game one day implements a squad of at least 4, things could get a lot more… chaotic.

Hunt’s gameplay is smooth and intuitive. Despite most weapons being slow and clunky as they were back in the day, firing them feels natural and satisfying. Besides guns, there are also tools you can use to your advantage. These can range from bear traps, dynamite, first-aid kits, and even throwing knives. My personal favorite is the Concertina Bomb, which, when thrown, violently unravels spools of barbed wire, lacerating anything it comes into contact with. There’s a lot of potential with the system Crytek has put up for Hunt Showdown. Perpahs It just needs to provide better incentives to players because right now, I feel the game’s concept is a great idea but tough sell.



Hunt: Showdown looks phenomenal, which really isn’t a surprise coming from Crytek. It perfectly captures the grim 19th-century occult hunting atmosphere it sets out to be. Lighting is vibrant, textures are incredible even at the lowest setting, and the map itself is expertly crafted, making everything look unique but still easy to get lost in. It doesn’t miss the mark in audio quality either. Sound effects are crisp and believable, not to mention it is critical to the core gameplay as well. The game is best experienced wearing headphones as the audio captures nearly every audible detail.

Unfortunately, the game is pretty heavy, even on the lowest setting, and oddly enough, there’s also very little control of the graphical settings. An average rig might be able to run this at the lowest settings albeit below 60fps and would need a high-end rig to be able to run this 60fps max setting. The game is still in early access so there’s still a huge change the game will be optimized to run more efficiently on any rig.


Hunt: Showdown boasts an incredible concept back up by a completely immersive experience. Very few games of even remotely similar nature capture the same intensity the game has to offer. At the moment, Hunt’s content leaves a lot to be desired, but the potential to be a big hit remains clear. Hunt: Showdown is a great shooter and a better survival experience, but I can only recommend this as a game to get with a buddy and not for a solo experience. 

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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