Predator: Hunting Grounds review

Release Date
24 April 2020
DEVELOPER
Illfonic
PUBLISHER
Sony Interactive Entertainment
PLATFORMS
PC, PS4
REVIEWED ON
PS4

“There’s something out there waiting for us, and it ain’t no man. We’re all gonna die.”

Oh, the nostalgia high of seeing this nightmare fuel in his sexy fishnets, strutting his stuff and killing humans in only true predator fashion as his predlocks tussle in the wind whilst pulling out his prey’s spines. This time I won’t have to go to my grandparents who were blessed with DSTV to watch it in secret in the middle of the night – hell no! I now have all of it at a press of a button and a 30-minute queue time. What more could a girl ask for?

Predator: Hunting Grounds is the first Predator game launched this console generation, and it’s clearly preyed (get it) on fan nostalgia. And now with new PVP, a PS Plus subscription (not for PC users, duh), and an internet connection we’re lucky enough to share this with all of our predfriends considering there is no single-player campaign to play through.

My first impression when I loaded into the game was a mix of excitement and “is my PS4 RAM okay?”, as the graphics in the game seemed to pay (unintentional?) homage to some PSP/PS3 graphics as well. Predrusing around the menu I found that there were a predload of customisations to be made to your Fireteam character as well as your Predator. All of these customisations can be unlocked through levelling up in the game, or with your Veritanium tokens that you can use to buy more Field Lockers. These are loot boxes that contain common to rare items that sometimes didn’t show up in my buggy predventory.

Moving on to the predtorial, you’re allowed to have an unsupervised time with the Predator and learn how to predsneak and predrip people in half. You also get to learn predkour (this one is not a bad pun, it’s actually called predkour in the game), which was more fun than I expected even with the Predator’s janky, unnatural movements, and the game shows you how to navigate the map to find your victims. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tutorial for the Fireteam, and I’m not sure if that was something they decided wasn’t necessary because who wants to play Fireteam when there’s a super cool Predator? Or if they actually just forgot about it. This kind of oops-we-forgot features a lot more than I’d expected, as the game seems to expect you to teach yourself how everything works and which buttons do what. It seems that the game is relying on your knowledge of other FPS games so that it can sit back in its comfy chair and admire the awkward graphics and gameplay.

The gameplay I did experience was actually quite fun, in a dumb kind of way. This does make you want to play more despite that oops-we-forgot to tell you how to play the game thing. I did “discover” new things every time I played, like the healing syringe I didn’t know was there or the fact that you can cover yourself in mud before a match as a Fireteam member for more camouflage.

Before a match, the game puts you in a lobby where it explains your mission as a Fireteam member – which differs from map to map, but mostly you’ll be fighting NPCs and gathering stolen intel which then leads to you GETTING TO THE CHOPPA to exit the game in glorious 80s action movie fashion. This whole process is, of course, made difficult by the Predator hunting you, whose location is uncertain due to its Harry Predter cloak of invisibility and its heat sensing eyeballs. But not to fear! Your Fireteam is jam-packed with a wide array of guns to unlock, and we all know that if it bleeds, we can kill it. Playing as Predator does feel a little unbalanced as it’s so strong in comparison to the five Fireteam members, which is something I think the developers should definitely look into. But whatever, I enjoyed my basically guaranteed win every time I did some predkour in conveniently spaced trees.

PREDBOTTOM PREDLINE
Predator: Hunting grounds is a game with a lot of promise that unfortunately falls short of expectations due to it being released obviously unfinished. In its essence, it has all the building blocks of a fun FPS that you can enjoy and laugh about with a bunch of friends while ripping someone's spine out. Maybe in the next few months we can look back at its current state and say “damn, that was one ugly motherfucker.”
PREDPROS
Has the “dumb fun” that some modern FPS games lack
Lots of things to unlock
YOU CAN PLAY AS PREDATOR
PREDCONS
Feels unfinished
Daddy ain't spoon feeding you this time
I wrote this entire review while waiting in a matchmaking queue
54
LOL SO RANDOM
Monday’s booze queues to help increase next week’s new COVID-19 cases, for science