Huntdown Is The Next Switch Indie To Keep Your Eye On
It’s not often a game stands out at a trade show that I’m eager to get my hands on it straight after leaving. But that was how I felt about Huntdown after playing it at EGX.
The 2D shoot-em-up evokes the nostalgia of the 80s, the gameplay of the 90s and the sort of moment-to-moment gameplay that you’d expect from a top class game. Huntdown doesn’t let up, it’s an all-action blast from the time we spent with it and is perfectly placed as one of the Switch’s premiere forthcoming indie titles.
Upon picking up the controller we were immediately dropped into a tortured city, one that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Terminator (except with more neon lights dotted around) culminating in a look and feel that gets the most out of its inspirations.
You’ll move left-to-right and take down enemies using your pistol or any plethora of weapons that you might pick up on your way. Halfway into the level we got our hands on, we managed to nab a hefty looking machine gun that packed a significant punch, slicing through the oncoming enemies and making you feel like the badass that you look like you are. Thankfully, you don’t have to enjoy the game’s campaign alone, as there is a co-op option, meaning that you and a friend can both take enemies down on the same screen – perfect for the Switch’s dual Joy Cons. It results in Huntdown being a prime candidate to negate long plane or train rides when you’re travelling with someone. No more awkward conversations about travel delays.
Its soundtrack also takes inspiration from the 80s and, like the Netflix show Stranger Things, absolutely nails it. It was difficult to appreciate its tones on the show floor of EGX, but during our session it was the perfect accompaniment to jumping and ducking around a city in turmoil while popping enemies for fun. Smashing through doors and glass also provides a satisfying echo, as does the sound of shotgun bullets leaving your weapon.
From what we were shown, it looks like each level will centre around a different gang, presenting various different enemy types in each level with the heads of each respective group meeting you at the end to provide you with one final test.
Like most games of this nature though, the true test of Huntdown’s quality will be in its ability to carry its enjoyable gameplay right through to its conclusion. The short time we played Huntdown has left us hopeful that it can. Its replayability may also be an issue, but with scoreboards and co-op, it may have enough to keep players coming back after the credits roll first time around.
After getting our hands on Huntdown it left us excited to play more. Sure, it has taken ideas and themes from other games but so far, it looks like Huntdown is coming together real nice.
Huntdown is set for release in 2018 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and we’ll follow its progress through to launch.
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