Just over 3 years from its launch into early access and almost 2 years since the release of 1.0 Hunt: Showdown is in the best place it has been. With more and more players taking on the challenge, Hunt is currently thriving and it has been a long time coming.
Whilst it’s hard to get a firm count on the number of players playing on consoles, we can clearly see the numbers on Steam. In the last month, Hunt: Showdown has broken its previous peak back in October last year of around 16 thousand players. Not only did they break those numbers, but they’ve doubled them. The cause for this gradual climb in numbers over the past month is undoubtedly linked to the current event. The event has introduced a brand new boss in the form of Scrapbeak. Furthermore, in the last few months, there have been other smaller additions to the game.
To many, I’m sure these numbers are insignificant. But for a game that is almost three years old to double the player base, is a huge achievement. Personally, I’ve loved playing Hunt since its early access release. The game has always deserved a bigger player base. It has a fantastic setting, incredible atmosphere, and visuals. Furthermore, the sound is so well designed that it’s integral to the game that it just wouldn’t be the same without it.
As mentioned, Scrapbeak is the latest boss to join the game. With his introduction came an event for Hunters to take part in where they can earn loot and – if they earn enough points, a legendary Hunter. What’s great about the introduction of Scrapbeak is the new gameplay element he has brought with him. Around Scrapbeaks spawn area no resources spawn meaning you have to be a little more conservative with ammo. But it also means that if you find an area where nothing is spawning you are close to his location. This could give players an early chance to take him on before you find the clues.
The lack of resources provides another potential challenge too. Should you waste a lot of ammo or equipment during the boss fight you might find yourself short for any Hunters that turn up during the bansihing. Thankfully, not all hope is lost as Scrapbeak himself can drop items when fighting him. However, he also drops barbed wire all over the place making areas dangerous to traverse.
What I like about these new additions to boss fights is that it shows Crytek are still working on new ideas and want to keep changing things up to keep the game interesting. They haven’t hit 1.0 and said, “right we’re done with this”. The game continues to grow and evolve for the better even after three years.
Nothing quite like it
Hunt: Showdown is a unique game. The only other game that kind of comes close is Escape from Tarkov. However, Tarkov is much more hardcore and in-depth. Hunt Showdown strikes a great balance between being challenging, but not overwhelming. Sure the gameplay can be unforgiving at times. If you’re not paying attention you can quickly find yourself back in the lobby on the wrong end of a bullet. That being said, the difference between Hunt and Tarkov is that death doesn’t feel as punishing. Yes, you lose Hunters when you die, but they can be easily replaced, and picking up new gear for them is affordable. There is still a sense of progression even when dying as you still gain decent XP towards unlocks.
Whilst the world of PVEVP games has been growing over the last few years. Hunt sits nicely in its own niche offering gameplay that feels very unique. With a strong focus on weapons of the era – the late 19th Century. The guns are mostly lever-action and bolt-action. The rate of fire is slow, meaning picking your shots plays an important role. You don’t want to give away a good advantage by rushing shots. There very few semi-automatic guns in the game. This helps to build an atmosphere of tension and can lead to very intense gunfights.
It’s refreshing to see a more niche game to pick up some traction with new players coming in. It should hopefully lead to a great future for the game.