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Sunday, February 25, 2024

For a limited time, Hunt: Showdown’s map is literally on fire

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Grab a bucket. Stop drop and roll. Dive into a river (even though it’s filled with electric eels). Hunt: Showdown is burning.

Today the game’s German developer Crytek has torched portions of Hunt: Showdown’s three maps, Stillwater Bayou, Lawson Delta, and DeSalle. For the next 24 hours, fixed areas within these maps are set ablaze. It’s a controlled burn, technically: the “Inferno Wildcard Condition,” the name for this special game state, is part of the Devil’s Moon event that kicked off earlier this week. 

I jumped into the event this afternoon to take in the heat. The environmental fire doesn’t spread, but it can turn portions of your health bar to cinders just as other instances of fire do within Hunt. It’s a disruptive and thematically interesting change, but it isn’t so dramatic a change that it will turn gunfights on their head. The fire is mainly confined to arcs of forest, and though it does create roadblocks as you’re traveling across the map, there are enough gaps to find a safe detour through it. 

Otherwise, the orange, soot-stained sky reminds me of living in California, which is a little unsettling.

Creative players might be able to use the walls of fire to stage daring ambushes. The flames provide a lot of visual cover, and bottlenecks that they create might be able to be exploited. Forest fights are certainly going to be trickier, and any extract path that passes through one of these blazes. And the map modifier certainly provides a use for The Infernal Pact, a special trait players can unlock during the event that protects a character from catching on fire (you can also use it to burn yourself to heal). 

Oh, and don’t think you’ll be able to roleplay as Smokey Bear: the forest fires can’t be put out by Choke Bombs.

Given the long, 60-day duration of Devil’s Moon, I think it’s great that Crytek is breaking up the grind for event points with micro-events like this. Crytek has plans for more Wildcard conditions in the future, presumably based on how players feel about this first one (the Hunt Reddit community seems to like it so far, at least). The Inferno will return “on select days” while Devil’s Moon runs until February 15. 

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