PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS

Official PlayStation Magazine - UK Edition|July 2020

PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS
One ugly mother*blorp*er or worth sticking around for?

Yes, you can ping “Get to the chopper!” at your teammates as a plasma bolt fizzes from the tree line, the tribal drums roll in the background, and you pause to cake yourself in the mud. Any advantage against the famous alien threat is to be embraced eagerly. When it clicks, in your duel to the death against the odds this online shooter feels like the movie you remember.

There’s clearly a lot of love for the source material in Predator: Hunting Grounds. This affection permeates everything from the title screen to the thunderous soundtrack that builds in momentum as you approach a mission’s drop zone. The cutscene shows your custom character eyeballing others’ maker-heroes just as Dutch and the gang did in 1987; sadly there’s no option to tell a sexual tyrannosaurus joke. But this ability to drag the film’s mood onto PS4 screens doesn’t give Illfonic a free pass on the missteps that hold this asymmetrical multiplayer back from being the perfect Predator game.

PUSHING PENCILS?

The setup is simple – refreshingly so in a world of battle royales. As one member of a four-player spec ops Fireteam, you need to venture into the jungle to perform a series of randomized missions. These comprise multiple parts and involve infiltrating enemy camps, sabotaging machinery, stealing documents, and more. Crucially, the stealthier you are, the harder it is for the Predator to discover your whereabouts.

On the flip side, like the Predator, you’re dropped into a random spot on the same map and must hunt down the spec ops team. Along the way, you can pick off AI soldiers for bonus XP. Controlling the alien hunter is incredibly fun. Moving through the trees is as easy as pushing forwards and tapping q to jump to highlighted branches. Leaping to set points by holding u ensures you can drop into a group of soldiers, slice, and dice, and hop out of danger back into the tree canopy.

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July 2020