It’s a bit of a cliché to say, but Hunt the Night has clearly been inspired by a certain From Software title. However, whilst in most instances that would be Dark Souls, this time around it’s Bloodborne. Everything from the narrative, world design, and the grotesque enemies reminded me of the PlayStation 4 exclusive, but you know what? The inspiration has paid off, with the game a ton of fun to play.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Hunt the Night puts players in the role of Vesper, a member of a group known as the Stalkers that has committed itself to ridding the land of Melhram of the malicious evil creatures that haunt it. As mentioned, the easiest point of comparison would be to Bloodborne, especially with the depth of the lore that explains the roots of the Stalkers, the origin of the creatures, and the darkness that spawned the evil in the first place. It’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s something we see a lot of in indie releases, so you shouldn’t expect Hunt the Night to feel too unique or original with its gothic world design and storytelling.
Fortunately, the game happens to be a ton of fun to play, so the similarities don’t feel misplaced. For one, the combat is slick and satisfying, with Vesper armed with a variety of melee attacks and ranged weaponry that she can string together to inflict damage on her foes, as well as a quick dodge to get out of the way of incoming attacks. Whilst mashing attacks can be effective, there’s an emphasis placed on picking your moment to strike and studying your opponent’s manoeuvres – whilst you’re powerful, the monstrosities you face can easily rip through your health if you leave yourself vulnerable to their attacks. With a wide variety of foes to face off against as well as your own range of varying attacks, it makes for an enthralling combat system that keeps the blood pumping as you progress through the game.
“Whilst mashing attacks can be effective, there’s an emphasis placed on picking your moment to strike and studying your opponent’s manoeuvres – whilst you’re powerful, the monstrosities you face can easily rip through your health if you leave yourself vulnerable to their attacks.”
And of course, it feels ESPECIALLY satisfying when in one of the game’s boss encounters, which puts players in often epic encounters where the screen is filled by either the boss itself or their deadly attacks. They’re impressive showdowns that really put your skills to the test, and when everything clicks in place and you vanquish them, it’ll leave a big smile on your face. Be warned though: Hunt the Night can be unforgiving, and this is especially apparent in these boss battles, so expect to suffer plenty of deaths along the way (some of which might feel a little unfair). It can be frustrating, but never to the point that it feels tedious and stops you from having that ‘one more go’ to kill them.
There are plenty of ways to upgrade and expand Versper’s abilities too, with new weapons to play with, gear to grant buffs, and in-game currency to find across the world. You’ll even gain access to Vesper’s shadow form as you progress, which allows her to teleport across the environment and reach previously inaccessible areas. It ties together nicely with the game’s puzzling, which is mostly simple environment-based stuff but might also expect you to remember some codes found in the notes scattered around at times too. There’s some great world design found in Hunt the Night that makes exploration feel alluring, but it’s also complemented by the solid puzzle design that’ll encourage you to think things through before dashing ahead.
Check out some screenshots down below:
It helps that the game also happens to look really pretty… you know… in the dark, grimy, and scary kinda way. I’m always a fan of pixel art, with Hunt the Night continuing the trend of offering creative environments and grotesque creatures to fight that look wonderful in motion. The human characters are more cutesy-looking (almost like they’ve come out of an old-school RPG), but they fit the visual style perfectly – it almost gives them a sense of vulnerability, which feels fitting given that they’re facing off against nasty looking monsters. Either way, it’s a very pretty game with some wondrous sights to admire.
There really is a lot to like about Hunt the Night, with the game offering an addictive gameplay loop that has kept me completely hooked in. However, there were some flaws that could cause some annoyances here and there. The game can be VERY tough for example, and whilst I don’t mind a challenge, the distance between checkpoints could mean I had to replay some sections over and over again. Whilst I understand it’s part of the process, it would have been nicer if they were more evenly spaced out just to make the learning curve of handling certain encounters a bit more forgivable. Some of the enemy hit boxes could feel a little off too, whilst shooting could be a little bit clumsy. There weren’t any game-breaking issues at all, but some of these issues might still cause frustration for some players.
Hunt the Night Review
Hunt the Night has a few flaws, but they didn’t stop me from enjoying this dark and challenging action-packed romp. The combat is exciting and strategic, the world design is gorgeous and offers plenty to discover, whilst the clear Bloodborne-inspired vibe ticked plenty of the right boxes for me. Hunt the Night really has a lot going for it, and whilst the difficulty can be a little brutal at times, it never stopped me from enjoying my journey across the dangerous land of Melhram.
Developer: Moonlight Games
Publisher: Dangen Entertainment
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), Nintendo Switch