Playing as The Fire Team:
The good news is the Classes add variance into gameplay. When you land a team where each person plays a different class, they balance each other out very well especially when Good Times with Weapons are abound. If you manage to unlock some of the heavy weapons you will have a blast using them. Especially the Minigun, I’m not sure if the Ol’ Painless pre-order bonus has any differences in stats or if it’s just a skin. There’s a decent amount of dress-up with your Operative as well. The various head wear and accessories are fun to mess around with, as well as face paint and camouflage. You’ve got a good chance of creating an operative with a fairly unique style.
As with any co-op game coordination is key. As mentioned at the start, if you have headsets and a group of friends, you will be guaranteed a good time.
Problems with The Fire Team
Sadly there are notable drops in the Frame Rate. This is probably the biggest problem in the beta, when any amount of NPCs are on screen, usually whilst your team is defending an objective, the frame rate takes a nosedive then fluctuates quite a lot. Not helped when The Predator decides to drop in to take advantage of the chaos. This will need to be fixed as soon as possible if players are to have a good online experience. Alongside this more objectives are needed. Whilst the missions that are given are fine, they’re nothing stellar. A few extra modes would be fun, maybe one where the objective is explicitly to hunt The Predator or capture their ship. Call one “Killbox” and it’s one sniper vs one Predator, in a valley, no way to get out, just two hunters doing their thing. Maybe a team of eight Operatives versus Two Predators? Whoever gets the most trophies wins, extra points for your competing Predator.
The PC version lacks a chat box as well. I played on PS4 so this didn’t affect me, however I feel for anyone who plays on PC and doesn’t have a headset.
The Fire Team could also do with a tutorial. This may not sound like it’s needed since you can figure it out fairly quickly. But it wouldn’t go amiss, even if its just a video. I was attempting to disarm the Predators self-destruct bomb and had no clue what I was doing, as well as not knowing that there were collectible currency up for grabs in each map.
General Observations/Final Thoughts:
One thing that struck me as odd was the choice to have this be an Epic Store Exclusive, when Steam would be a better pathway to a larger player base. This may contribute to the main complaint I’ve seen multiple times that it takes a long time to find a match and whilst I suspect that the above choice has a large part in that, I also think a lot of us are selecting to play as The Predator (understandably) as opposed to the Fire Team, I could be wrong on that front though. I seem to have had a good lot when it comes to how much I’ve been able to play and had a good time hunting and being hunted. My wait times however were close to five minutes (4:27 on average) to play as The Predator and roughly 86 seconds for The Fire Team respectivley, I don’t know if it’s the part of the world where I am or blind luck. The last thing I’ll say in regards to content specifically is that a few more maps would be very much appreciated in the future and maybe a ranking system, Unblooded, New Blood, Elite etc.
To summarise, I had a lot of fun this weekend with Predator: Hunting Grounds, warts and all. Great concept with a lot of potential for the future. Hopefully any kinks will be ironed out in time for release on April 24th and more content will be released in fiture updates and patches.
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