One of my favorite parts of E3 is wandering around to appointments on the last day of the show to get an early look at games that I may not have heard about before arriving at the convention. This year was no different. During the first two days at E3 I had seen a number of interesting banners for Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age hanging from the ceiling in different halls of the LA convention center. While I had no previous knowledge of the game the banners did serve their purpose and piqued my interest.
When Bill Murphy and I showed up for our appointment with Crytek on day three to see Hunt we had assumed that it was a cooperative action game. That is what the studio had billed it as in their promotional material. The developers quickly dispelled this notion and assured us that at its core Hunt was a RPG that played as a 1 to 4 player cooperative action game with heavy emphasis on character development.
Just a sample of the looks you can create.
Your primary goal in Hunt is to locate, close with, and destroy bosses. Teams of 1 to 4 players will progress through missions learning about local legends. On our demo the characters were in the Louisiana bayou hunting an undead witch that had been turning the locals into her army.
Missions are designed to take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete. All of the missions besides the boss hunts are procedurally generated. Epic bosses will require 4 players to kill but all other missions and encounters will scale in difficulty based on the number of players present. The quality of the rewards will also scale based upon the difficulty of the encounter.
The bayou of Louisiana is one of the many locales all over the globe.
All of the weapons you have in Hunt are period authentic. If you have breech loaded double barrel shotgun you will get to fire twice before you have to reload your weapon. You are not going to find any submachine guns laying around. You will however find some items that will assist you on your hunts that are supernatural in origin. Another interesting weapon we saw was a flame thrower. While flamethrowers probably didn’t exist in 1880 this flamethrower was made out of items that would have been available to the characters in 1880 if they wanted to make one for themselves. Also if you decide to use a weapon like this you can accidentally set your friends on fire, or maybe not on accident.
This is not a dance emote...
While the mission we saw took place in North America you will get to participate in encounters all throughout the world. The team at Crytek developed some bosses derived from region specific folklore and you will tackle those encounters in those corners of the world. The boss we saw in our demo had an interesting mechanic the players have to overcome. At the beginning of the fight she drug one of the players into her nightmare world. Once there only the person in the nightmare world could see her. That player would have to shoot the witch and once she was hit in the nightmare she would become visible in the real world and prone to damage for a short period of time. It is during these periods in the real world that the rest of the team has to put an end to the witch.
Yes, zombies. But WESTERN style zombies!
You are going to die in Hunt. You will probably die a lot. But death is not something to be feared in Hunt because it will not be the end of you. In fact death in Hunt is probably one of the most comical aspects of the game. You will get your neck snapped, your head chopped off, and you’ll get filled with bullet holes. Once dead you will respawn and at that point it is up to your team members to find and rescue you. Chances are you will respawn in a coffin, hung from a noose in a tree, hung by your feet from a hook on a road side, or one of any other gruesome ways you can imagine that you might find a dead body.
While Crytek did not have a lot of concrete details on how the character progression system works they did repeatedly say that Hunt will have one and it will be in the game soon. Hunt will allow you to create your own custom looking character. You will also have different passive and active abilities you can start the game with. Hunt will be available on PC and consoles. It will also be microtransaction based. Hunt will be in beta in the next few months and is due for release in 2014.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time checking out the latest games and technology. Feel free to hunt him down on twitter @Grakulen