Hunt the Night
Hunt the Night
Developer: Moonlight Games
Release Date 12 April, 2023
Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4/5, Switch, MacOS, Linux
By Chris Picone, 12 April 2023
I went into Hunt the Night expecting something amazing. Why? Because it's published by DANGEN Entertainment! That's a mark of quality. And how gnarly does it look! It did surprise me though; I thought I was up for a twinstick shooter with some RPG elements but it plays out more like a Metroidvania.
Gorgeous detailed backgrounds and scenery with a vague religious theme. It's all very grim and there's no shortage of bodies and gore. The main character's a little plainer than I would have expected but all the baddies and other characters look awesome. My only complaint has been the don't tread on me "purple goop" between sections of flooring which can be a little hard to distinguish at times.
Although the perspective is top-down and it looks like a shooter (and does involve shooting), the layout of the maps with the purple goop you have to dash over and the use of mobility upgrades makes this feel like more of a Metroidvania. Adding to this feeling is the game's use of save points, puzzles, and lever-mechanisms for unlocking and the huge array of weapons, spells, lore fragments, and other upgrades that you collect as you explore. Even the combat feels Metroidvania-like; instead of a fast-paced guns-blazing shooter or a hack and slash experience, you'll find yourself dashing and sliding and swapping between melee and ranged weapons to take your enemies down - while trying to navigate across the islands that keep you out of the goop. I found the goop a little annoying; falling takes a small chunk of life each time (fine) but also teleports you back to the entrance of the level, which really slows the game down. That can be a nuisance when you're exploring but can be a real irritation in the middle of combat. Having said that, I played the game pre-release and the developers have said they're working on improving this aspect of the game - and this is also my only complaint. The rest of the game's great.
If you're keen on twinstick shooters, you'll probably find this Hunt the Night a bit too slow. Despite the top-down perspective, I really think Hunt the Night's better aimed at Metroidvania fans - or ARPG fans, I suppose. Anyway, except for the goop, I'm loving it.