“Predator Hunting Grounds” delivers the thrills of the franchise’s early entries, but the lack of content and polish hold back the game considerably.
In “Predator Hunting Grounds,” four soldiers make their way through a humid jungle towards the next objective, but something up in the trees is watching them. When chaos breaks loose at an enemy camp, the Predator jumps into the fray to pick off the squad while they are busy dealing with the reinforcements.
“Predator Hunting Grounds” is a multiplayer-only title which, in many ways, is an improvement to developer Illfonic’s previous title, “Friday the 13th: The Game.” As one of four commandos, your job is to complete a handful of objectives and reach the extraction point to hop in the helicopter before the Predator can kill you. As the Predator, you use your cloak and other gadgets to throw a wrench into the commandos’ operation. The Predator is swift and deadly, but he is not an unstoppable force like Jason Voorhees, giving gamers a much better shot at winning.
Before each match, players can customize either their soldier or Predator with whatever items are unlocked. By ranking up via XP, more stuff becomes available to equip, leading to much more dynamic matches.
Being a soldier plays like any other modern shooter, and the player is more than capable of taking on whatever faces them, human or otherwise. Things get more interesting when you step into the dreadlocked shoes of the Predator. The Predator is played from a third-person perspective. He is an agile character capable of climbing and hopping across trees with ease. You start with a plasma cannon and wrist blades, but ranking up unlocks series weapons like the throwing disc and spear for the Predator to use.
Initially, the experience is exhilarating. Hearing the clicking noises of the creature up in the trees only to then notice him pouncing on one of the teammates in your group is exciting. It is even more tense when you manage to escape in the nick of time right as the Predator draws a bead on you, giving you more time to complete the objectives at hand.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of meat to this game. With only a handful of maps and randomly generated objectives to do, “Predator Hunting Grounds” loses steam fast. This was also the case with “Friday the 13th”, which does not bode well.
However, with a franchise as diverse as “Predator”, there are limitless possibilities regarding modes and characters for future updates. Unlike Jason, the Predator has a lot more potential in its alien origins. How about a mode inspired by the ending of “Predator” where one player is an unarmed marine and has to craft traps to stop the Predator?