Geek Chronicles latest adventure into multiplayer games leads us into the sweltering heat of the South American jungles, covered in mud and blood. Above, a silhouette leaps from tree to tree, as silent as a shadow.
Developed by IllFonic (Friday the 13th), Predator: Hunting Grounds is an asymmetrical co-op action game that allows players to be part of a hardened squad of soldiers that seek to complete objectives and the Predator, a merciless alien hunter hellbent on taking someone’s skull.
When playing as the soldiers, teamwork is key if you want to survive the hunter and the enemy A.I. that spawns on the map, like the soldiers, you will have access to a range of guns, grenades and a few health syringes to help you combat enemies, though your strongest advantage will always be in numbers, as a good strategy is overwhelming the predator while it’s taking one of your allies’ skulls with vast amounts of firepower, as taking the skull leaves the predator vulnerable to attack (just be sure you don’t lose your head in the process, or your skull).
That’s not to say the Predator is easily defeated. When playing as the alien hunter, you’ll have access to a range of deadly killing mechanisms to aid it in its butchery. These include the plasma caster, the iconic shoulder cannon, trusty wrist blades, the versatile combi stick, the deadly smart disc and the devastating longbow. The Predator has three classes, the Hunter, the Scout and the Berserker. The Hunter is the most balanced of the classes, making it the easiest to play. Next is the Scout, quick and agile, speed is your greatest ally. Lastly is the Berserker, a brutal butcherer with tremendous strength. With these classes at your disposal, you’ll be collecting skulls without end!
The game has many callbacks and references to the original film. One such reference is the soldier’s ability to cover themselves with mud for a time to limit the Predator’s heat vision. This is a call back to the scene with Dutch, the film’s protagonist, being cornered by the alien hunter while hiding underneath a tree, covered in mud. This ability in-game stops the Predator Player from easily targeting the soldiers, though the enemy A.I. will still easily see through your muddy disguise.
Another reference is to Predator 2, where the alien hunter breaks into a slaughterhouse to feast (it really was offal, see what I did there?). This reference in-game is the ability to heal while playing Predator by killing livestock animals around the map, which can be quite helpful and a nice nod to the film.
If the Predator fails in hunting its prey and is killed, the soldier team must make sure to either destroy the mask and wrist guard or complete a minigame where you must align the right symbols. If neither is completed, The Predator self-destructs like the films. Unless you are far, far away from the alien-hunter-turned-time-bomb then the only way you’ll be getting to the chopper is in several burnt pieces.
One of the Predator’s most useful abilities is Mimicry, which allows it to study the soldier player’s voices and lure them into ambushes. This is another nice nod to the film, with the alien hunter mimicking humans several times during it.
All in all, Predator Hunting Grounds seems like an interesting, fun and action-driven game. But what do you think, dear readers? Let us know how many skulls you’ve been taking, be they either alien or human.