Hunt: Showdown is a first-person shooter from Crytek, the developer behind titles like Ryse: Son of Rome and Warface. While the team hasn't had a massive hit since Crysis 3, Hunt: Showdown is an interesting concept with spectacular graphics. While there's a lot to love about this game, the competitive multiplayer aspects of the title can get frustrating after a while.
Hunt: Showdown gameplay and setting
Hunt: Showdown focuses on the endless struggle between savage monsters and bounty hunters. Various creatures like giant spiders and the twisted undead roam the swamps of Louisiana. It's up to you to rid the world of their ghastly presence by killing them and banishing them to another dimension.
Once you get past the tutorial, you're thrown into a match with other hunters. You have to find three clues which reveal the location of the monster. However, other players will descend on your location and try to take you out. At this point, it becomes a fight to be the last person alive. If you're able to survive the onslaught from other hunters and banish the creatures after killing them, you're rewarded with a lot of currency.
Currency is used to buy more powerful weapons because the revolver and rifle you start off with are pretty useless. Melee weapons are much more powerful, but they aren't great when taking out bosses. You'll want to make sure you buy the most powerful guns out there because after a certain level, if you die, you lose your character and gear. Hunt: Showdown does not mess around. At least it lets you keep your experience and reapply it to new characters.
Hunt: Showdown modes and teamwork
Trying to play the game on your own is foolhardy. Usually, you'll encounter teams that are quite skilled with a gun. Having someone to watch your back is necessary in these situations. Once you've found and defeated one of the bounties, you become a target for every other player left on the map. At this point you have to rush to the extraction point. Usually, other players are waiting for you there so it's best to be careful.
Hunt: Showdown also has a Quick Play mode that offers a shorter match. You have to scavenge gear and close four rifts. As always, there's an unnecessary level of complexity to this task because the first person who reaches the final rift absorbs its energy and has to survive until the timer runs out. As expected, other players are trying to hunt you down.
There's a massive audience out there that loves multiplayer games on Xbox One. While Hunt: Showdown will satisfy gamers that are quite competitive, it may come across as frustrating for those who want to simply hunt monsters without interruption. When playing the game, I frequently found that having other gamers on your back distracted from the immersive experience. I couldn't enjoy the levels because I wanted to admire the little details. Unfortunately, all of this was cut short numerous times due to a bullet in the head.
Hunt: Showdown visuals and performance
When Hunt: Showdown was in Xbox Game Preview, it looked horrendous. Not only was the title blurry, but its textures were low-resolution messes. Unfortunately, it's still very muddy on the standard Xbox One, but the Xbox One X port shines. Not only does it exhibit better performance, but the superior texture filtering, larger texture pool, higher quality water shader, improved shadow quality, and stronger anti-aliasing make it look incredible. This is quite possibly one of the best-looking games on Xbox One X, but that's to be expected from Crytek.
Instead of running at 720p or whatever low resolution plagues the base machine, the Xbox One X manages to render at 1800p. While it's not a crystal-clear native 4K presentation, it still looks amazing on a modern display. The clarity is similar to games like Mass Effect: Andromeda or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on Xbox One X that run at the same resolution.
Hunt: Showdown final thoughts
Overall, Hunt: Showdown is a good game, but it needs a stronger single-player component. Going up against higher-level players again and again is quite frustrating. Sometimes, you just want to track the monster by yourself and explore the map without the fear of someone killing you along the way.
Hopefully, Crytek will update Hunt: Showdown in the coming months to be an enjoyable experience by yourself. The addition of a 60 frames per second option would also be nice because you need more precision when going up against actual players.
Keep on shooting
Hunt: Showdown is a first-person shooter which features a blend of competitive and co-op combat. Monsters have taken over the world, and in order to survive, humanity must hunt them as close to extinction as possible.
The game was reviewed on an Xbox One X with a copy provided by the developer.
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