One of my favorite tropes in the classic Universal monster movies is the angry mob. A collection of locals all wielding torches and pitchforks, desperate for blood against some ungodly beast. The angry mob is a classic trope because it shows a reflection of evil and the monster in people as well. Things that go bump in the night aren’t the only reason to sleep with one eye open, the people are just as dangerous. With all that in mind, Far Cry creators Crytek have recently announced their latest new series which goes by the name HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age and it lets players assume the role of a monster hunter whose packing heat with the rest of his posse.
The characters in “HUNT” are fully customizable but for the demo we were shown the group consisted of a proper Englishman sporting a top hat and shotgun; a southern gentleman with a bowler hat and killer mustache; and two cowboy types, one with a repeater rifle and the other a jerry rigged flamethrower.
In the demo, the players were going after a witch, who is holed up in the swamps of Lousiana, a setting I can get behind. Though not rendered in black and white, the visuals of “HUNT” harken back to those old school Universal monsters as the level design invokes a dreary, melancholic setting. The footage we were shown was pre-alpha gameplay and was already quite stunning – hopefully this is maintained in the final product.
The demo began with the prompt “Assassinate the Witch,” which alone is the kind of sentence that grabs my attention, so you better believe I was hooked from the start. Most of the enemies that the players ran into were zombies, who were easily dispatched with their primary rifles or their melee sidearms. Though every once in a while a muscly type would stumble up to the group with a giant hammer, almost as if he’d crawled directly out of a “Resident Evil” game, and these boys were capable of taking you down. Two members of the party were killed at the hands of these giants, and in true co-op fashion they eventually respawned albeit in some rather unique ways. In the “Left 4 Dead” series, which “HUNT” will unfairly be compared to solely based on its cooperative gameplay, respawned players pop up in closets, but “HUNT” puts them in thematically appropriate places such as the inside of a chained up coffin or strung up upside down in the middle of the swamp.
Eventually our posse found themselves face to face with the witch theyve been tasked with taking out in a traditional Louisiana cemetery, and she wasn’t going down without a fight. With the ability to teleport as well as throw spectral blocks and chains at the players, this entity is not only a worthy opponent but also a scary one. It takes the entire team to finally bring her down, cementing that the game requires teamwork to achieve the collective goals. You might end up playing as a gunslinger, but you’ll need your friends to finish the mission.
“HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age” has a lot of potential. It’s got scary monsters, impressive visuals, and a unique character set that appears to be a well of opportunity. But the best part about it? It’s going to be free. Yup, when it finally launches “HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age” will be free-to-play.
Though no release date has been set, as the game has been in development less than a year, “HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age” will launch a PC Beta this fall and will eventually debut on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well.