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Star Wars: Hunters review: The force is not so strong in this one

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Star Wars: Hunters review: The force is not so strong in this one

TOAnnounced three years ago in a Nintendo Direct livestream, Star Wars: Hunters is one of those games that you wouldn’t imagine has endured a long and difficult release process. Someone just had to say “It’s Overwatch but in Star Wars” and the development budget was in their account that afternoon. It’s a no-brainer, and of all the entertainment projects the Star Wars brand has been involved in over the past three years, it’s certainly among the most understandable and well-crafted.

Set after the fall of the Galactic Empire, Hunters is a four-on-four team-based online shooter that, like Overwatch, allows players to choose from a selection of fighting heroes, each with their own abilities and strategies. . You can be a Stormtrooper with a minigun, firing 500 rounds per minute at Rebel scum, or a Miralukan sniper with a long-range sniper rifle, or perhaps a Rebel warrior with team healing devices. They’re basically the standard team shooter classes (tank, sniper, healer, etc.), but with sillier names.

Star Wars: Hunters. Photography: Lucasfilm/Zynga

There are several arenas to battle in, based on familiar Star Wars locations such as a tree village on Endor and a Tatooine outpost, each with useful features including ziplines and jumping pads. These are compact, multi-level spaces, like in Overwatch, and support a variety of strategies, from running straight into the center, guns blazing, to sneaking up on overwatch positions (pun intended) to take out the enemy from afar. Many of the sound effects are lifted directly from the films, constantly providing nostalgic hits of pleasure: in the midst of combat, laser blasts whiz through the air accompanied by the noise of Wookiee moans and bounty hunters’ jetpacks. . However, the scenery is too pretty and too soft to really capture the dirty, rusty places of the imperial galaxy.

As you fight, you accumulate XP, a process that is accelerated by taking on daily and long-term quests and challenges. These level up your characters (you can create your own little clique of fighters, unlocking new heroes as you progress) and strengthen their weapons and defensive stats. You can also gain access to a wide range of cosmetic products, from outfits to weapon ornaments. Obviously, being a free-to-play shooter, there is optional access to a paid season pass, which opens up a greater variety of products, but to be honest, I’ve unlocked pretty much everything I wanted after hours of playing. instead of paying.

The fact that I have really sought Looking for upgrades in this game is a good indication that it is a fun way to spend a few hours. When you’re in a skilled team that truly functions as a unit, fights are tense and exciting – there’s excellent, well-balanced interaction between the hero’s abilities, allowing you to dominate areas of the map, which is useful when moving around. From the basic Deathmatch-style option to familiar online shooter modes such as Control, where you fight to overtake and hold three control points, and Trophy Chase, where sides fight to keep a marauding droid at bay. There are also small attempts to convey the feel of the film’s action sequences, such as when checkpoints suddenly open to passing vehicles and if you don’t move out of the way, you’ll be splashed on the windshield of a hover vehicle. truck.

Hunters isn’t as fun as playing Overwatch… or watching Star Wars. It could use some truly original features or more cinematic content related to the gameplay. Instead, it’s a decent team-based shooter that you can play on Switch or mobile and trade your progress between the two, so you’ll never have to go more than a few moments without leveling up a Wookiee. Yes, it tries to trick you with lots of quests, challenges and flashing icons on the menu screen so that you’ll inevitably back out and buy a £10 season pass, but you can definitely defeat the game’s Jedi mind tricks and have fun without paying. The force is strong in this one, but not that strong.

Star Wars: Hunters is now available on Nintendo Switch, iPhone and Android phones

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