Hunter’s Arena: Legends Preview – A Legend in the Making?

Hunter’s Arena: Legends Preview

It’s never too late for a new contender in the battle royale genre, but the least that we demand is a bit of personality and bite to it. Hunter’s Arena: Legends may dabble in the merciless fantasy genre, but there’s an unmistakable Eastern flavor to it, mixed with mythological themes that make for a strong visual identity. In other words, how to pick a bunch of clichés and add a unique twist to them.

But a clever cast alone isn’t enough to make the difference, there must be a rich and engrossing gameplay loop to keep those competitive juices flowing. Hunter’s Arena: Legends clearly has the kind of depth to aim beyond the goal of being another battle royale game, and all that it takes is the player base to make it feel alive and rewarding. Time will tell if it manages to win a tough crowd, but the core mechanics seem sound.

Hunter’s Arena: Legends Preview | Difficult Choices

Hunters Arena Legends Preview Ara City

The most successful battle royale games aren’t exactly prime examples of originality or versatility. These titles always involve guns and put some sort of spin on the military genre, being closer to a shooter than anything else. Fortnite, Apex Legends, PUBG, Ring of Elysium… Pick your poison, each one of them comes with its own weaponry and a few tricks up their sleeves to stand out for the rest.  Hunter’s Arena: Legends has no guns per se; instead, each character is deeply rooted in fantasy tropes and brings his own gadgets into battle.

It’s hard to find fault with the current selection. You have your female eye candy, a giant panda, a mystical being that turns invisible, and an overall assortment of warriors with a pronounced identity. Most of them are melee combatants, with only a couple of them opting for long range attacks. When you play solo, you must choose the one that better aligns with your skills and strategy; however, the trios mode allows for far more liberty in your tactical choices, creating a squad that hits all the right notes.

The battle begins in a small city in the middle of the battlefield. As the gates open, up to 60 players make a run for it, hunting down creatures and bosses. Each victory increases your experience meter and as you gain levels, you earn skill points to unlock new abilities. The initially straightforward combat quickly unveils layer after layer of possibilities, as you learn new destructive skills and your character grows from a measly wannabe into a full-fledged warrior. Breaking the rival’s guard is crucial when engaging in one-on-one battles, but as soon as another player joins the fray, any notion of tactics is thrown out of the window and alliances are made and broken in a matter of seconds.

Hunters Arena Legends Preview Dara Trio mode

With a large battlefield ripe for exploration and a few means of transportation to speed up travel including horses and gliders, it will take you some time to learn the ins and outs of the Hunter’s Arena: Legends map. As the circle shrinks and everyone is pushed together, exploration takes a secondary role and combat becomes the priority. The better your performance, the more experience points you earn – gaining overall levels is of utmost importance as it allows you to progress in the mastery tree.

This action RPG mechanic represents your character growth, with many available paths to make your choice a complicated one. You can choose to increase your weapon attack power, your health points, or other aspects, but you won’t easily become versed in every mastery. Jack of all trades, master of none, as they usually say.

Hunter’s Arena: Legends Preview | A Beautiful Beatdown

Hunters Arena Legends Preview Tag Mode

A tag match mode allows you to solely focus on combat, as you select two fighters and face another player in a brief arena battle. This is the best way to hone your combat skills, not to mention witnessing some stunning technical achievements as leaves float according to your movements and combos, or a dismal thunderstorm that should be enough for any fighter to take a literal rain check. But they’re legends, after all, so they can surely endure a lightning strike or two for the sake of glory and experience points.

The market may be saturated with battle royale games, but Hunter’s Arena: Legends deserves a chance. It’s not your standard military shooter and doesn’t try to ape the more successful games; there’s a clever identity to it, with a distinct visual theme and original characters that can hardly be mistaken for any other game. The Unreal Engine 4 is skillfully used to deliver amazing environments and characters, and the gameplay felt competent and compelling enough during the brief hands-on time that we had with the game.

Nonetheless, another battle royale is another battle royale, and it takes a lot of convincing to get a decent player base to any game and keep it sustainable. We’ve heard that developer Mantisco is considering a premium business model instead of the more logical free to play release, so if that’s the case, let’s hope that the game remains affordable and encourages a large community to join. The least that we can say is that these legends deserve a few followers, so check out Hunter’s Arena: Legends on Steam if you want to stay up to date.


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