BGS 2019 Hands-on – Predator: Hunting Grounds
I feel like I was one of the few people who were immediately sold on the idea of an asymmetrical multiplayer game based off the Predator franchise, especially after I found out IllFonic was the developer behind the project. I’m not exactly a big fan of their Friday the 13th game, mostly because of how unbelievably janky it is. But I do see the potential in it, as I know the game suffered from having a small budget due to most of the funds being directed to securing the license. Now with Sony backing the project, all they need to do is focus on delivering a good game. I can say after playing Predator: Hunting Grounds at Brasil Game Show 2019, I’m sure they’re on the right track.
I’ll be honest and say that I only played the game as the titular Predator, so if you want to check out the thoughts of someone who played the game as a marine, check out my colleague Eduardo Rebouças’ thoughts on his preview at Entertainium. With that being said, let’s talk about how cool it is to hunt people around as the Predator.
You have one sole objective whenever you are the Predator: kill everyone in sight before they either kill you or get to the chopper at the end of the level. You have a multitude of tools at your disposal in order to complete such task, each one with its own advantage as well as a caveat.
The Predator’s gameplay is all about stealth and movement. You’re encouraged to look for your prey by climbing up trees and jumping from one to another, all while activating your trustworthy abilities: camouflage and heat vision. You do have a stamina bar that slowly depletes while you’re using these abilities, but it is so big and fast to recharge that you won’t need to worry that much while you’re on higher ground. You also have access to a very slow, but very powerful ranged laser whenever you’re on top of a tree.
Whenever you’re on the ground, you only have one weapon at your disposal: your claws. They’re quick and they’re really powerful, but once you start attacking someone, you’ll lose your camouflage which makes you completely exposed to enemy attacks. Unlike more recent movies, this Predator is a very killable character. Even though you are quick, nimble, and for the most part, invisible, you will be killed with ease if you’re not careful. Even though the Predator has two life bars (you can restore your health once you near the end of your first life bar), you don’t have the advantage of using ranged weapons on the ground, nor the advantage of having teammates. There are pros and cons whenever playing as the Predator, making Hunting Grounds a very fair game, as far as asymmetrical multiplayer titles go. I actually died in my demo session and still loved it.
My playtime session with Predator: Hunting Grounds was brief, but it was enough for me to realize how balanced this game is. Even though I played as the Predator, I didn’t feel completely overpowered. My colleagues had a great time playing as the marines, as they had unique abilities that were as good as the ones I possessed. This game is shaping up to become something truly special. A truly exclusive multiplayer game that the PS4 so deserved. Too bad it’s coming out right at the end of the console’s life cycle…