Playing as The Predator:
Movement in the trees is a joy. It’s smooth and very easy to leap from branch to branch or tree to tree to get where you need to go, fast. The gadgets and weaponry all look and feel great, alongside that the Combistick and Multidisk both have uses from afar and close up for Melee strikes. The Plasmacaster on your shoulder can be charged for an extra powerful one-shot at the cost of nearly all its energy or used for weaker but more frequent fire instead. I‘m certainly looking forward to unlocking and playing with the rest of The Predators arsenal upon playing the full game, especially the sword and bow.
Following your prey whilst cloaked makes you feel so cool! Stay absolutely still and they can be looking right at you and not see a thing which plays into the sound design for the Predator very nicely, the gadgets and weaponry all sound exactly like they do in the films as does the trademark clicking, hissing and roaring we all know and love. One nice touch in this regard is that when you’re close to the Fire Team, they can hear you. If you’re careful about your cloak usage and movement, you can get very close without being spotted. Be too fast, they’ll tag you and let loose on Ol’ Painless, if they have it unlocked that is.
As a final smaller positive, the term “Yautja” (being the Predators real species name) is used frequently in menus and text. Not a huge point, but appreciated from a fan perspective.
Problems with The Predator:
For starters, melee could use a buff and a few extra animations. Whilst fun to hack and slash sometimes it takes three hits to down an enemy, sometimes five and what few animations there are look very stiff. This goes for trophy killing as well, it gets dull fast to look at the one animation when you take a trophy from an enemy. Not helped by controls sometimes not responding. Even when the X button prompt is on screen to climb a tree, nothing happens, this can also come up in melee combat. Not often to be a serious problem, but a niggling hindrance when it does come up. Staying with combat, being able to permanently mark targets would also be appreciated. You’re able to tag the enemy players when you’re close to them, but lose them when they get too far away, your Target Isolation Mode in your visor doesn’t last very long and only gives you a vague idea of where the targets are at the start of a match, by the time you get there the targets are gone. Permanent marking further in the match (not necessarily from the start) would be appreciated.
On the subject of looks, Customisation needs a slight retooling. Whilst you are able to change the look and shade of your skin, mask and armour, you can’t change the colour of your war paint. As well as “Armour” being one object you change, as opposed to multiple pieces you can swap out. The option to switch out different shoulders, knee pads, chest armour, as well as different colours or decals would be the absolute best. Some victory poses or emotes wouldn’t go amiss either.
Finally the Self-Destruct needs a serious buff or a drastically reduced timer as well. When you’re looking at your dead Predator and seeing the Fire Team get what seems like MILES away before it goes off, you’re not blowing up right. Having a final taunt a la the first film would be fun too.
Concluded in Part 3!