The first gameplay trailer for Predator: Hunting Grounds premiered on Monday at the Gamescom conference in Germany, revealing for the first time how players will take on the alien big game hunter in the upcoming asymmetric multiplayer game. In Hunting Grounds, four-player squads will go up against both the alien Predator and human non-player enemies, juggling tactical objectives on the ground against the extraterrestrial threat.
“They’re going through, doing missions, kind of similar to the ’87 film. The Predator is then hunting the fireteam,” Illfonic’s CEO Charles Brungardt said from the Gamescom stage.
On the official PlayStation blog, Illfonic CCO Jared Gerritzen offered more details, describing their vision for the game as recreating the “raw dread of being hunted by something faster and more powerful than you, and the thrill of being the one doing the hunting.”
The trailer, featuring footage from a pre-alpha build of Hunting Grounds, reveals the narrative arc of a gameplay round, beginning aboard the chopper bringing your Fire Team into the jungle. Initial gameplay objectives have nothing to do with the Predator.
“We want playing as the Fire Team to feel like it’s almost it’s own game,” Gerritzen said. “There are AI combatants to face, objects to collect or destroy, and most importantly, getting the heck out of there when the job is done.”
Players going up against the Predator can be equipped with shotguns, SMGs and sniper rifles, while the Predator player will have wrist blades and its shoulder-mounted plasma caster.
While being on the fire team feels like a tactical first-person shooter, the Predator is played from a third-person perspective to take full advantage of the game’s “Predkour” system, which allows the alien hunter to traverse through the trees and leap down on top of players.
“You have to remember to look up,” Gerritzen said of the Predator’s modus operandi. “The jungle is a playground for the Predator, with all the tree trunks to climb and branches to leap across.”
As with Friday the 13th: The Game, which painstakingly recreated the masked killer Jason Voorhees exactly as he appeared in ten different slasher movies, Predator: Hunting Grounds pays tribute to the John McTiernan-directed movie. Even the game’s score uses the original synthesizers used by Predator composer Alan Silvestri.
“We researched the original weapons and actually recorded them being fired in heavily wooded areas to make sure the sound and reverberation of bounding around trees and leaves was as accurate as possible in-game,” Gerritzen said.
But while Hunting Grounds includes numerous nods to the original 80s Special Forces team, lead by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch, the game is set “a few decades” in the future, which means it also includes story points introduced in 2018’s The Predator, such as the CIA’s secret Project Stargazer.
Predator: Hunting Grounds will be released in 2020.