Hunt: Showdown developer diary talks past woes and brilliant future

Hunt: Showdown free to play on Steam

Hunt: Showdown is Crytek's upcoming horror first-person shooter, but it wasn't always like that. The first developer diary is a great way to learn about its beginnings as Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age. Initially developed as some sort of Left 4 Dead in a Victorian setting, it was planned as a third-person shooter with restricted areas to explore. After Crytek dived headfirst in serious financial troubles, the US-based branch of the studio was closed and development shifted to Crytek's headquarters in Frankfurt. This studio had a vast experience in open world sandbox shooters such as Crysis and the first Far Cry, and so it was decided to keep the Hunt name and the setting, but the game had to be rebooted. It was a difficult decision but a matter of the team's skillset and what they could do with such a project.

That is how Hunt: Showdown was developed. A new team, now a focus on two players instead of the previous four, and tension and suspense all around. You play on an open world map and you decide your approach: are you going for a particular target, all the targets or you're there just to hunt the other player teams? You can play as a perfect sonuvabitch, by letting other team do the entire work, stalking them from afar and then attack when they have the mission reward. Sound is a very big part of the game, as you can track your enemies by hearing subtle clues, such as birds suddenly flying, a dog barking, an explosion afar, people talking near your position and so on.

A boss fight usually ends with the banishing of the creature to hell, but this portal will be visible in the map and “the hunter becomes the hunted”, with enemy teams flocking to your position.

Hunt: Showdown received a lot of praise during E3 2017, and when questioned about the business model, Crytek promised “an announcement soon”. Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age was going to be free-to-play, so let's hope this reboot keeps the business model while remaining a fair, balanced experience.

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