People got their first hands-on experiences with Predator: Hunting Grounds at the end of march during a free trial event ahead of the game’s launch, and since the preview, developer IllFonic has been digesting feedback from players and looking to address it accordingly by tweaking parts of the game balance and capitalizing on the game’s best features. Feedback about the strength of weapons, how it felt to navigate the jungle as a predator, and other integral parts of the experience poured in from PlayStation 4 and PC users after the trial weekend. IllFonic welcomed the feedback as it gave them a chance to see the game played outside of the studio and make decisions on balance questions and other aspects of Hunting Grounds.
The new Predator game finds itself in a unique genre as far as balance is concerned. Being an asymmetric multiplayer game where one person plays as the Predator and four others comprise the human players of the Fireteam, IllFonic has to balance two sides which, by nature, are imbalanced since it’s a numbers vs. powers game between the two sides.
ComicBook.com spoke to Jordan Mathewson, the lead designer for Hunting Grounds, to learn more about how IllFonic is approaching the game’s balance after the free trial. Predator stealth, the Combistick that could burst down players, and the grenade launchers on the side of the Fireteam were commonly referenced in the forums, and Mathewson said IllFonic is looking to address concerns where possible.
“I think the biggest things that we took away from it were some balance,” said Mathewson when asked about the response to the Hunting Grounds trial. “A lot of it was coming down to, ‘This is how we've been playing for quite a while now, I really want to see what happens when other people get it.’ Sure enough, there were some balance things that we took into account, and we've been making some adjustments. And a lot of usability and other feedback that came back was really great. So, we're doing everything we can to address those things.”
When asked for specifics on the game’s balance, Mathewson referenced the arsenal of weapons available to the Fireteam and the Predator. He said IllFonic chose specific weapons to be used in the trial that the developers had lingering questions about, and seeing players use them helped answer final questions regarding which ones were “a little bit too much.” He mentioned the grenade launcher which dominated Fireteam loadouts once it was unlocked as one example.0comments
Where balance will always be a concern for any game, players who tried Hunting Grounds praised the movement aspects of the Predator in particular. The game utilizes a “Predkour” system to allow movement through the trees to ambush the Fireteam and move around quickly. The system locks onto usable trees to launch players from limb to limb and may have occasionally had players ending up somewhere they didn’t intend to, but it was regarded as one of the best parts of playing as the Predator.
Predator: Hunting Grounds is scheduled to release for the PlayStation 4 and PC platforms on April 24th.
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