A couple of weeks ago I published my review of Predator: Hunting Grounds, a game that has a lot of potential, but the poor execution of its ideas transform what could be the best asymmetric multiplayer into a tedious experience. The balance between the soldiers and the Predator is not optimal, the time to find a game is ridiculous, the aesthetic aspect is horrible, you have to grind to find a good weaponry, and in general the title is not worth the full price these days. However, I can’t stop playing.
Despite all the mistakes in the game, I have not stopped going deep into the jungle to hunt humans, or destroy a rebel faction. I honestly can’t understand it. The title is not bad, but neither does it merit the hours and hours that I have invested in it. In just four weeks I’ve reached level 100, I’ve unlocked all weapons, and I’m on my way to achieving every aesthetic aspect. My opinion has not changed, Predator: Hunting Grounds continues to have flaws and at no time stop noticing them, however, I have learned to live with them. Maybe it’s stockholm syndrome.
But seriously speaking for a moment, the game is fun. As I mentioned in the review, when all the stars manage to line up and you find a team that communicates in a great way and a Predator who knows their abilities and limitations, you will have 15 minutes full of pure adrenaline in front of you, where you are constantly on the edge of the seat. As a Predator, it is fun to cause mayhem; enter and exit without being noticed; take the lives of the soldiers one by one, or face the four and demonstrate supremacy, or as the youth say: “flexing”. While as a military you have to be aware of your surroundings, watch the small movements in the bushes, deal with the pressure of arrows and laser beams falling on you constantly, while an AI army does not leave you alone.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS IS NOT ONE OF THE BEST GAMES OF 2020? Everything is there, but, like a Predator who sees a team of soldiers escape in a helicopter, Illfonic Games stays close to creating a great game, but in the end it fails its objective.
Returning to the topic of games, being an entirely multiplayer game, your experience will depend on other players. Sometimes you will have as a team people who do not know what they do, die immediately and simply ruin your day. At other times you can totally immerse yourself in the experience and feel like Arnold. Fortunately, I have participated many times with players who fall into this last group.
For example, on one occasion the player who had to be the Predator, used an audio effect to change his voice in the chat, and every time he approached someone, he could hear how he made fun of us with a tone taken from a horror film. I honestly felt like someone was hunting me, I became paranoid, and my team too. These kinds of actions make my eventual victory feel better than it really was.
Another time I felt despair when I saw how my team was eliminated one by one. Even though everything was against me, I managed to complete the objectives and seconds before escaping from the jungle, the Predator managed to find me. In a matter of seconds I felt like a western. One by one. There was no escape, it was to die or live. But with my willpower and knife, I managed to do parry after parry, and I eventually beat the Predator, something I never thought possible. Again, how is it possible that Predator: Hunting Grounds is not one of the best games of 2020?
And I can say the same for the Predator. Hunting a team in seconds is exciting. Creating chaos just to corner four soldiers, and then falling and taking one life at a time is the experience that all fans of the original 1987 movie have wanted their entire lives.
Will I continue to play more Predator: Hunting Grounds? Maybe. I honestly don’t know. As I already mentioned, I’ve reached the maximum level, there is no great incentive to keep playing. However, with DLC on the way, I may retake this title a few more times. Only time will tell.
Possibly my obsession in the last few weeks is due to the end of Final Fantasy XV and all its DLCs a couple of days after publishing the review, and I needed something simple before embarking on one of the giant games that I have in my backlog. Perhaps Predator: Hunting Grounds has offered me a social experience that I couldn’t find during this quarantine. Or maybe, just maybe, this game is actually … okay? Somehow or other, I learned to let myself worry and love the Predator.