|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, survival horror|
Hunt: Showdown is an upcoming video game in development and to be published by Crytek. The game was originally in development at Crytek USA, who wished to create a spiritual successor to Darksiders—a video game series developed by their predecessor, Vigil Games—under the title Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age. After the initial announcement in June 2014, Crytek USA was shut down due to financial issues, and the development was brought to the Crytek headquarters. The game, under the new title Hunt: Showdown, was re-announced in May 2017. Hunt: Showdown was launched on Steam in early access on February 22, 2018.
Vigil Games, known for the Darksiders series, was shut down by THQ in 2013 as part of the publisher's bankruptcy. While Crytek's founder Cevat Yerli had expressed an interest in bidding for the Austin-based studio based on their work on Darksiders alone (and because Crytek was already planning to establish a US subsidiary in the city), he did not feel that their products fit with the company's business strategy. However, immediately after Vigil was closed, Yerli brought Vigil head David L. Adams on board to lead the new studio, Crytek USA, citing Adams' leadership skills. In turn, Crytek USA would hire many former employees from Vigil. It was originally stated that the new studio would focus on developing new projects rather than pursue regaining the rights to its former properties. However, the studio did attempt to re-gain the rights to Darksiders—but they were instead acquired by Nordic Games.
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age was announced in June 2014 as Crytek USA's first game. Hunt was designed to be a co-operative game; Adams recalled having been frequently asked about the possibility of adding co-op to a future instalment of Darksiders, and stated that "one of the first things we said when we got here was, we are absolutely doing a four-player co-op game. That wasn't even up for discussion." The game will be set in the late-19th century, and feature weapons and classes reminiscent of the era. In response to comparisons to The Order: 1886, another 19th-century third-person survival horror game that was unveiled at E3, Adams contended that there were few similarities between the games, noting their focus on co-op and arguing that the portrayal of the era in The Hunt was more "authentic", unlike that of The Order, which he felt was the "BioShock version" of the era. Players will be able to customise their characters with different skills and outfits; Adams said that "if you want to make Sherlock Holmes or a gunslinger from the Old West, or a witch hunter from Eastern Europe, you have the costume choices, you have the weapon choices, you have the skill choices."
Hunt will also carry "a lot of the DNA" of the Darksiders series; Adams noted that Hunt would incorporate "old school elements" of its genre in new ways (much like Darksiders, which cited The Legend of Zelda as influence), and feature a large number of distinct creatures and bosses as enemies in contrast to "typical" shooting games, which, in Adam's opinion, only tended to have "maybe a dozen" different enemies. He acknowledged that his staff had experience from Darksiders in designing large numbers of distinct enemy types—Adams alone designed 18 of the bosses in Darksiders II. Hunt will also utilise procedurally generated maps and objectives, so that no two missions will be alike. Hunt will be built atop CryEngine; Adams remarked that the transition from the custom engine developed for Darksiders to CryEngine made the former look inferior.
On July 30, 2014, Crytek announced that as part of a restructuring, development of Hunt would be shifted to Crytek, and Crytek USA would cease to operate as a studio—only as a provider of US-based support for CryEngine licensees. Kotaku reported that much of the studio's staff, including David Adams, had left the company in response to late wage payments by Crytek. Similar issues had been experienced by Crytek UK, which was shut down the same day with the sale of the Homefront franchise to Koch Media.
On May 16, 2017 Crytek released a teaser on YouTube announcing the game is still in production with a brand new name 'Hunt: Showdown'. On October 12, 2017 Crytek revealed via IGN First that the game will have an Early Access release on Steam. A closed alpha test on PC that started January 31 was announced on January 22, 2018. The closed alpha concluded on February 22 with the release of early access the same day.
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age was first announced to have a beta in late 2014, after which a planned released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Hunt was initially planned to be a free-to-play game, however Adams emphasised that the game would still have the quality and size of an "AAA" title. Hunt was to be monetised purely through cosmetic items and experience boosts, however, when the game launched in Early Access on February 22, 2018, it was released with a buy-to-play model.
On December 13, 2014, Crytek delayed the late 2014 planned closed beta without giving a date or range for when it may come. The delay was due to the transition of development from their Austin studio to their Frankfurt team.
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- "HUNT: SHOWDOWN COMING TO STEAM EARLY ACCESS - IGN FIRST". IGN. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
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