|Platform||XB1, PS4, PC,|
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age is a four-player co-op action-RPG set in, around, or about international monster hunters making the rounds to rid the world of supernatural strangeness in the late 1800s. The odds stacked against them, players must wade through waves of once-human minions to rid the the world of troublesome monsters like witches and whatnot. Seems like it’ll all involve a lot of shooting, a bit of melee, and occasionally a dive through a window.
While I realize the footage shown to me during E3, which consisted of actual gameplay, came from a pre-alpha build, first impressions carry a lot of weight, and this first showing was a snorefest. At this stage, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age seems to amount to little more than shooting your way through a series of areas abundantly populated by bullet fodder before stumbling into a boss area wherein you shoot more bullets until the boss is dead. And with optional finesse—the four players I watched possessed mind-bogglingly bad aim that, somehow, still landed true despite the targeting reticules almost never being on the mark.
It may sound like I’m being a tad reductive here—and, in a way, you could reduce most games to this description—but Hunt lacks the je ne sais quoi needed to rise above its rote design. Again, pre-alpha is pretty early (at least as builds go, but the devs on hand shared no additional plans, if they exist), and I hope for all our sakes—gamers and Crytek alike—that Hunt grows beyond clomping about in shoes borrowed from Resident Evil 4’s closet like a child. As it stands, there’s no real hook to Hunt to make it anything other than aggressively average and an experience we could find in gamers packed with other, complementary single-player and multiplayer content.
Beyond the time period, there’s no real hook to Hunt to make it anything other than aggressively average. I don’t expect every developer to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes you should stop and wonder if the world really needs another shooter, and if that co-op catch is enough to compete against the likes of powerhouses like Call of Duty: Ghosts, which offers a similar experience (different perspective, I guess) along with a whole mess of other things.