Developer Easy Trigger Games is working on a title that not only hopes to capture the fun and challenging gameplay of classic side-scroller shooters, but do so loudly. Welcome Huntdown, a game in which you spend your time shooting bad guys, causing explosions and feeling like a total badass in a pixel-rendered sci-fi setting. I was lucky enough to get to check out this during the Swedish Game Conference and after many runs of the demo on display, I think it’s fair to say that this is a game that you need to play.
You see, Huntdown is a side-scrolling shooter in which players enter the mayhem-filled streets of the future in order to gun down the gangs that plague the city. Featuring moment, to-moment action and plenty of bounties and challenges to complete in each level. Huntdown aims to bring back the engaging challenge of hardcore games in a pixel art style without the need for nonsense filler material. What’s more is the game features local co-op multiplayer and promises 60 FPS gameplay meaning the Blade Runner inspired visuals look simply beautiful.
What caught my eye more than anything else was the attention to detail that Huntdown has throughout its stunning presentation. Even though the visuals are all pixel art you will find plenty to take in as you play through the game. For example, when you are trying to revive your downed co-op partner you pull out a defibrillator and zap them only to then kick them back to their feet. It is moments like these that keep you wanting to play through the game to see what the developers have been able to fit in plain sight. These small details are not limited to just comic relief however, but also fill the whole game as levels are rich in detail that helps sell the experience.
As you will be spending most of your time running, jumping, taking cover and, of course, shooting bad guys you will be pleased to know that the controls are tight and responsive. By this I mean that every action is responsive and fluid with inputs seeing no lag and everything making sense. When playing the game at the Swedish Game Conference, I was doing so on an arcade machine display. Getting to play the game with an arcade layout meant that Huntdown really stood out and what's more, was a ton of fun. To think that it could feel that solid on an arcade stick makes me optimistic of the potential enjoyment a controller would bring to the title.
As mentioned the game pulls inspiration from Blade Runner but it doesn’t stop there. Throw in other classic films like that and you have the style that Huntdown is after. One of the gangs for example have hockey players fighting on their side. You will even go toe-to-toe with a boss in a boxing ring and is supported by an epic soundtrack throughout. With all the action going on you might find it hard to keep track of your character but thankfully that is not an issue. Once you pick up the big guns and start mowing down waves of enemies you will know where you are on screen for sure. Just look out for the badass that isn’t going down. That will be you.
Huntdown is looking like a solid title that will offer a challenge with solid gameplay that will keep you wanting more. You see, the team at Easy Trigger Games have made sure that Huntdown is fun to play and easy to follow. With such good design, art direction and a soundtrack to match this is one game that stands above the rest. If the demo I played is anything to go by then I cannot wait to get stuck back in and continue delivering some street justice once the full game is released in 2018.