I played exactly one round of Hunt Showdown because it had a free weekend. I was aware of its existence before and I also had a good time with Crysis 3 multiplayer beta so I had some confidence in Cryteks (whats left of it) ability to pull of an interesting asymmetrical MP experience. I sort of wanted a DayZ lite for a while and it looked kinda like it in a way. After jumping through some hoops to get into a game and waiting 5 minutes in a lobby I got dropped into a game with no explanation what to do and most basic weapons this game has. So, there goes one round of a solo Hunt Showdown.
I spawn and immediately some fire creature picks a fight with me. I barely survive the encounter losing one bar of health out of three. I run around the swamp not knowing what to do. Accidentally set myself on fire with an oil lamp in some shack. Then I hear gunshots but can’t understand where from. Then I remember my sound card by default doesn’t separate left from right so I have to alt+tab and fix that. Much better now. I locate the source of shootings. Its some brewery or something. I’m afraid to go into it. There might be a SPIDER BOSS there and someone is shooting. Also, there is a dying horse in a way. God I hate seeing and hearing dying horses. Even a dead dog in a game (Rung Sack level in Rising Storm 2 Vietnam comes to mind) makes me feel horrible. Yeah, human violence is super normalized and its wrong.
Eventually I camp some bushes for half an hour waiting for something. I notice that I still play this game like DayZ for some reason and try not to. Meanwhile someone kills a SPIDER BOSS and I have no idea what to do but at least I don’t have to deal with it. Some progress bar near SPIDER icon on the interface fills up slowly. Apparently a banishing ritual is in progress. I press “E” and see some blue light in the distance. I run there but afraid to get into the house. I camp in a haystack for ten minutes. Its sort of boring. I decide to just throw caution to the wind and run towards the other source of blue light in the distance.
I arrive to some sort of a ruined fort. There are zombies, crows, dogs, chickens and dying horses everywhere making a ruckus every time I am nearby. Blindly stumble into the fort yard and camp a corner in some shack near main building. I pick up a health item and now I have three bars of health again. Shots are fired nearby and suddenly a second boss (some zombie butcher) is down. Banishing in progress. I decide to get a closer look and crawl into a main building through a window. I approach the window and BAM there is a corpse of a boss and a guy looting (banishing? I’ve no idea) it. But there is no clear shot. I lose sight of a guy. I wait for a minute and finally muster enough courage to actually crawl over a windowsill.
The banishing bar is about 80% so I know that hunter is still around. The room I’m in is pretty small but there is a bunch of stuff (crates etc) and its dark. Basically I can go left (where boss corpse lie and where I saw a guy) or right. I go right and immediately trigger loud noises by stumbling into some chains. So if that hunter didn’t know I was there before, now he knew. I approach a corner and look around. Nothing, just an armed bear trap on the floor. I go back a little and look where I saw a guy. Nothing. I camp for a while. Still no action. Banishing is complete and boss token appears. So I get agitated and just run up to a boss corpse. Immediately I get a buckshot round in the face without even seeing the shooter.
Whowouldathink that guy camped a body too. I get into cover with about an equivalent of 1hp. I run through chains where I saw a bear trap. A guy is there already and he tries to finish me. We exchange revolver shots while ducking in and out of cover. Eventually I notice that his white hat is visible above cover. I shoot him in the head and he drops. Also I think he walked in the bear trap at some point. I loot him and grab boss token from his body. I try and somehow fail to grab his rifle. Blindly I run to a nearest boat evac point and wait 20 seconds near some giant walking meat slab who thankfully is disinterested in me. I successfully bail out and it turns out I grabbed token for a SPIDER BOSS and not for a zombie butcher, could have gotten two tokens if I wasn’t in full panic mode. On the other hand I could have been killed by some other hunter if I just waited a minute more in there. So no thanks. I got enough reward to double the starting money I had for registering (5k).
So yeah. Very tense round. Fun game. I will not play it again. I won. I will NEVER be as lucky again. My guy and I went through hell of zombies, other people and dying horses. For what? So that next time I have to deal with a SPIDER BOSS myself and then some guy who wants my reward shoots me? No thanks. One and done.
PS. Playing it with a friend might actually be less stressful I guess.