Crytek's Hunt: Showdown ditches big HUD elements for atmosphere

Crytek's Hunt: Showdown has been in development since 2014 and has moved around the company a few times as it contracted following financial difficulties, but it does appear to be getting closer to a finished state and was shown off as part of a pre-alpha gameplay demo at this year's E3 gaming show. While the gameplay itself has seen praise, one aspect which isn't seeing much mention though the developers were keen to point out, is that it has a very minimalist HUD design.

Originally called Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Hunt: Showdown is about slogging through a dark and forboding map, trying to find clues to figure out what it is you're hunting before gunning it down in a gory blaze. It's a little like Evolve meets DayZ, where you're dodging local inhabitants and judging when you want to fight, as death is never far away and permanent if it happens.

All of the tension that drives though, is heavily augmented by the fact that you don't have a lot of information about the world. You have a map and you have a compass, but that's it. There's no big glowing indicators to tell you where to go, no ammo counts or translucent outlines highlighting enemies. Everything's dark, everything is dirty and the game's immersion levels are far higher because of it.

That leaves you guessing whether what you're seeing around the corner is another player from another team, an AI monster, a random NPC or something else entirely. You'll be able to use your ears as well as your eyes to figure that out, as dogs barking, or guns firing can let you know where other players are, just as the moans of demonic entities can hint at their presence.

That's not to say that you can't get more information through in-game abilities and powers. Hellish superpowers let you get a sense of what may be up ahead, or give you a rough idea of where to go and certain markers on your map can help you out, but they're thematic. It makes sense in the context of the game and doesn't involve cluttering the screen with a bunch of numbers, health bars and other gamer-like information.

Hunt: Showdown is shaping up to be an exciting game and we love that it's stripped back and focused on in-world visuals and audio as your only clues about where anything is.

There's no slated release date for Hunt: Showdown yet, but it's expected to hit PC at some point in 2018.

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