Hands On - Predator: Hunting Grounds Pre-Alpha
At EGX London 2019, I had the privilege to play the new Predator: Hunting Grounds game. I knew nothing about the game beforehand, only that it was a survival co-op game and featured the Yaiju themselves.
Before I get into the game itself, I have to give big props to Playstation and AVP UK for their incredible Predator cosplays around the venue. They were cool, terrifying and added to the excitement for the game in general. Well done to both parties!
nfortunately, the glitches in the cutscene were the tip of the pre-alpha’s problems. The game relies on very precise shooting as the time-to-kill for enemy humans (which to someone who hasn’t watched the Predator film, confused me as to why they’re hostile.) is extremely high. Several headshots were needed to finish them off, or nearly half a clip if shooting the rest of the body. But the game had severe frame-rate issues, running at what felt to be 10-15 FPS. Sometimes it ran fine, but most of the time I was struggling to aim due to overshooting my aim movement. The enemy AI is also rather strong, with multiple enemies ganging up on you at once. That would have been fine if it wasn’t for the frame rate issue. However, as stated, it is a pre-alpha. So, in that regard, I cannot comment too much on how the gunplay felt.
Throughout the map, you will find medic kits and ammo packs. However, these were never labelled or hinted at (such as a button prompt or glow) and so out of the four people playing, I was the only one to use a medic kit and no-one found any ammo supplies. I ran out of ammo as the last alive, meaning the Predator finished me with ease.
Speaking of the Predator, one game wasn’t enough for me to establish how ‘balanced’ they are. We stood strong for a while, made some progress, and then one by one was butchered. This, in a way, adds to the feel of the game, making you more scared of venturing by yourself. The player who controlled the Predator commented after the game “When you four were playing together, I couldn’t do anything at all. But as soon as you split, I picked you off one by one.” We were also told by the PlayStation overseer that if you went prone in the mud, you could mask your heat scent, making it harder for you to be tracked by the Predator.
All in all, the game was fun to play, despite the lack of polish and optimisation. The gameplay screams Evolve, or games such as Dead By Daylight which makes sense due to Illfonic’s last game, Friday the 13th, having a similar premise. I will be interested to see where the project goes and how well it is executed from here. The release date is just “2020”, but from how the game was in that state, I’d take a stab in the dark to say Late Q2, early Q3, so somewhere around August-September 2020. This game is definitely one to watch for any fans of Predator or Friday the 13th as if all the bugs are fixed, this will be a fun game to terrorise your friends with.