Predator: Hunting Grounds officially launched on 24 April for the Playstation 4 and PC via the Epic Games Store. We tried out IllFonic’s asymmetrical shooter, featuring a 4 v 1 of four Fireteam members and one Predator. Let’s just jump right into the jaws of the horror!
Striking Out in both modes
If you play the Predator, then you will need to defeat the four members of the Fireteam. For the Fireteam, you’ll have to complete operations escape to the helicopter before you’re found. For regular players of other asymmetrical games like Dead by Daylight, you will already know the basics of gameplay.
Certainly, being the Predator is extremely entertaining, having all that power in your hands as you work to collect heads as trophies. The mechanics for the Predator are extremely smooth, easy and is exhilarating without fail. Being so quick and a parkour system of sorts means moving around is just that much more satisfying as you get on the hunt. Of course, the Predator being controlled by only one person means you’re more likely to be on the Fireteam, so enjoy the power trip when you can.
You’ll be able to obtain goodies from “loot boxes” as you play, referred to as “Field Lockers” in this game. The rewards are random, and can be obtained from levelling up or through any Veritanium Fragments you’ve acquired. Using Veritanium will let you obtain your item of choice without the gambling. These rewards are solely cosmetic and are just for styling on whichever side you happen to be against. Depending on what ranks you achieve, you’ll be able to open more than one of these Field Lockers for that extra loot. Naturally, these items can be used to customize your Fireteam character or the Predator, including weapons.
Queuing will be faster if you choose to play as the Fireteam, as you might expect. You don’t need to worry too much about gaining the experience needed to level up though; it’s shared with both the roles you might play, so any unlockables you get will automatically be usable whenever you get to play either role.
Whatever your preferred playstyle in the Fireteam is, the whole conceit is to make you tense and on edge as you try to watch out for yourself and your teammates lest the Predator thinks you’ll be a good appetizer before you’re done with your objectives. For being called the Fireteam, you’re pretty low on the actual firepower, so the situation just gets that much harder. When you do get the guns, the gunplay is pretty serviceable, so not all is lost.
They’ve done a really good job in making the Predator really feel threatening when you play it with all the fun toys you have as the apex hunter: traversal, cloaking, heat/noise tracking and other fantastic features. It would be nice to have more time to really explore all of them, as games might feel too rushed as you prevent the Fireteam from completing their objectives.
Many of the Predator’s abilities and weapons require the use of energy, so you have to manage its use. The Cloaking skill will use up your energy as long as its active, while something like the Plasma Cannon will use up a chunk of energy with every shot. Not utilizing any of the tools will charge up your energy again quick.
Having a balanced loadout and team composition is key to success, if you want a fairer and more exciting fight!
Lifting off with a verdict
Predator: Hunting Grounds suffers from some performance and technical issues especially if you’ve played it at launch. The PS4 Pro can often freeze when the Predator attacks, or if there’s a lot of AI enemies. Textures can take a long time to load in, and the frame rate as a whole isn’t consistent.
|Fans of the Predator films would likely enjoy it||Shoddy optimization|
|Fireteam doesn’t feel as fun as the Predator|