Predator: Hunting Grounds is revealed after a first impression into an unnecessarily hollow game that is hard to enjoy for ten hours longer. And if you want to play at Predator, be prepared to wait long periods in the matchmaking queue.
Date of issue: 24.4.2020
Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment
Available: PC, PlayStation 4 (tested)
Players: 1 (online 5 per match)
Age limit: 18
Games played for review: 18 hours
The Predator coward suffers from the same problem as its enemy Alien: in the name of both classic space monsters, more potash than quality has already been released so far, both on the games side and on the big screen. And sadly just appeared Predator: Hunting Grounds it also balances between mediocrity and failure.
Friday the 13th: The Gamesta (2017) The game developed by the well-known IllFonic is by no means the most obvious licensed game. Predator: Hunting Grounds focuses on the central idea of the original, 1987 action film, a jungle fight centered on a group of soldiers and a superior Predator from outer space.
The idea is good, and so is the first impression of the game. Predator: Hunting Grounds is an asymmetric multiplayer game, meaning that one player plays against the other. The formula is familiar alongside Friday the 13th, among other things Dead by Daylightista (2016) and Evolvesta (2015). So in Hunting Grounds matches, one of the players is the Predator and the remaining four play with human soldiers who are sent to the jungle to perform any mission at any time.
Human players can win by either completing their mission and escaping or injecting Predator to death. The goal of the space monster, of course, is to kill all the soldiers and collect their skulls.
The basic layout of the game works just fine, as I stated in my first feeling after a few hours of play. The feel of the game is very different depending on whether you are playing with Predator or with people, and both experiences are quite entertaining. The Predator is faster, more powerful, and highly concealed with its special abilities, and the third-person viewing angle adds a nest difference to people with traditional FPS gaming. As the levels rise, more weapons, Perk abilities, and character classes open up for both, allowing you to vary the gaming experience.
However, problems start to pile up after spending more than ten hours playing on the hunting grounds of Hunting Grounds. You will soon notice that the game has very little to offer in addition to the basic match formulas.
There are only three playing fields in Predator: Hunting Grounds, and they are all similar jungles. There are a few tasks available to human players on each map, but these are randomly selected and their content varies too little: collect these items, the way you bring the item, and so on. It doesn’t help that killing NPC soldiers is pointlessly easy, and there would be no challenge in missions without the resistance provided by Predator.
No broader meta-game has been built around this rather hollow core that would bring more purposefulness or some narrative framework to the game. Raising levels gives you new abilities, but that's it. There are a few dozen audio tapes to collect, but these are easter egg secrets rather than a central task.
In the end, Predator: Hunting Grounds feels like a multiplayer mode of the wider game, whatever it might be. There is no story-like single-player game or any other alternative game format in this game. You can play the same tasks alone, but it doesn’t make much sense.
READ ALSO: Video: Predator without Predator? We tested what Predator: Hunting Grounds is like as a single player
Online gaming also makes the Hunting Grounds gaming experience really unstable and badly variable. You can't play at Predator without a pointless wait, because everyone wants to play at Predator. When playing with soldiers, on the other hand, it may well be that there is no challenge for the Predator or else the space monster will poke all the soldiers into a thousand shackles in a couple of minutes.
This is not helped by the numerous bugs in the game. After the first update, the situation has already eased a bit, but the Matchmaking wait is still unnecessarily long, and the game itself can end up with understaffing (or no Predator at all!), Which cripples the experience. In addition, there are strange bugs in Predator’s wood climbing, jumps, and combat moves that strain your nerves.
All of this is frustrating, as Hunting Grounds has real potential. The basics work well and the game mostly looks pretty mating. It would just need more playing fields, more distinctive missions, and a decent metaplay that would go beyond accumulation of experience points. Some form of single-player would also be undeniably in place, even if it was something quite simple then.
Predator: Hunting Grounds is, after a good first impression, unfortunately quite a gimmick. While asking for a light price of less than € 40, the game offers far too little value for money. Hunting Grounds still requires a lot of extensions and upgrades from IllFonic to recommend it to non-Predator’s most passionate fans.
And fans can be prepared for disappointment too, because as said, Predator is way too hard to get to play.
PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS
“There's plenty of unredeemed potential in Predator, but only time will tell if this will make the whole game happen.”
(Embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDdoKu4YWoM (/ embed)