When you’ve ever wished battle royale video games have been just a little extra supernatural, Bloodhunt is perhaps the reply to your darkish prayers. It is set within the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop RPG universe, which implies it incorporates a up to date gothic setting (on this case, town of Prague) and varied breeds of bloodsucker. There are nonetheless weapons in it—the standard collection of shotguns, assault rifles, and so forth that you simply’d count on from a typical battle royale recreation—however the thrilling factor about Bloodhunt is having the ability to use vampiric powers too.
I bought a style of those throughout a playtest as a member of the Nosferatu clan. These scary-lookin’ vamps are ostracised by the remainder of their variety, and are dangerous at hiding their vampirism from people as a result of they appear to be monsters. The category I made a decision to play as, the Saboteur, is constructed for stealth—which is good, as a result of I principally strategy battle royale video games like stealth video games. I choose sneaking round by myself and avoiding folks, then pulling my weapons out when the play area has shrunk to the purpose the place hiding is not sensible.
The Saboteur is nice as a result of crouching turns you partially invisible. Your character mannequin goes clear—an identical impact to the stealth camo within the Steel Gear video games—which makes you tougher to identify within the cluttered, detailed alleys and rooftops of Prague. You are still seen, and I am certain seasoned gamers will get frustratingly good at recognizing these shimmering outlines. However if you happen to keep nonetheless, it is fairly efficient camouflage. And since sprinting cancels the impact, you are inspired to maneuver slowly and methodically to remain hidden.
Prague appears to be like nice, with a mixture of fashionable and historic buildings making for an fascinating city panorama. I particularly just like the seedy backstreets which can be lit by fluorescent neon indicators promoting strip golf equipment and love lodges. It is shadowy and atmospheric and precisely the sort of place you’d anticipate finding a load of vampires attempting to homicide one another. It is also an efficient setting by way of map design, with slim, maze-like alleys to skulk down and rooftops to scamper throughout. A densely packed city setting, with none actually large open areas, works surprisingly effectively for a battle royale recreation.
As my Nosferatu and I crouch and sneak alongside a rooftop, I see different, much less cowardly vampires leaping from constructing to constructing, exchanging gunfire. Often different gamers will run previous me, a couple of ft away, not realising I am there half-hidden. It is a cool feeling. I even have a capability on a cooldown timer that turns me fully invisible for a couple of seconds, in a puff of smoke, and propels me ahead at pace. That is nice for ejecting myself from harmful conditions, or for making a fast escape if somebody spots me and begins capturing at me.
Getting across the metropolis is enjoyable too. You may climb any floor, letting you simply (and rapidly) transition from avenue stage to the rooftops. Typically I crouch in these slim alleys to keep away from the chaos, often crawling upwards to maintain tabs on the place persons are and the place the firefights are breaking out. The play area is, naturally, continually shrinking. However there is a neat twist: the form of it’s random. This implies you by no means fairly know which elements of town are going to be minimize off as you are pushed in direction of the centre of the map.
When it was shootin’ time, I inevitably bought my ass kicked. However as a solo battle royale participant, the Saboteur’s magical stealth powers—and the verticality of town—made for a satisfying couple of matches. However to combine issues up, I made a decision to take a extra aggressive stance in a later match. This time I play as a member of the Brujah clan, who’ve a repute as fierce warriors and carry an affinity for struggle of their blood. Their finest skill is a super-jump that allows you to leap for lengthy distances, which made navigating the rooftops of Prague a breeze.
Enjoying Bloodhunt as a straight shooter, I do not get pleasure from it fairly as a lot—however that is probably down to private style. Nonetheless, the mixture of third-person capturing and people outlandish vampire powers is an entertaining one. The sport has a really totally different, rather more chaotic power than numerous battle royales. I do not final lengthy as a Brujah, although. I used to be much more snug as a Nosferatu, slinking by the shadows, protecting out of hurt’s means. But it surely’s encouraging to see totally different play types catered for by its vampiric class system.
Bloodhunt is about for launch on PC later this 12 months, and might be free to play. If you need a style of its fast-paced, bloodthirsty tackle the battle royale style, a closed alpha might be happening on July 2. You may go to the official web site for an opportunity to participate. Developer Sharkmob—a brand new studio made up of former AAA builders—has additionally promised that the sport will function “no pay-to-win or related mechanics” and that it is being made with a “participant targeted mentality.” A reassuring sentiment, and I like what I’ve seen of the sport up to now.