Star Wars: Hunters Review


What is most vital to a given shooter can vary greatly. Sometimes it’s hardcore tactical play in games like Hell Let Loose, or a careful balance of competition in options like Counter-Strike. Other times, the luxurious world and charming characters make Overwatch shine. In the case of Star Wars: Hunters, it seems that the main goal is to have quick and carefree fun in the Star Wars universe. This free-to-play hero shooter from developer Zynga is a fun way to spend time with friends, but the feeble competitive scene and uninspiring rewards for progress make it too shallow to sustain my interest in the long run.

Star Wars: Hunts participation in player-versus-player shootings. The most notable element that sets it apart from other shooters is the coat of Star Wars paint, which it puts to good apply. The classic Star Wars music is equal parts nostalgic and stimulating, while familiar locations like the Ewok Village and the Imperial Starship do a great job of setting the action long ago in a galaxy far, far away, especially when blaster shots start flying and Wookiees start howl.

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Star Wars: Hunter Characters

The philosophy behind the character designs and writing seemed to be “just have fun with it.” For example, one of my favorite characters is Utooni, who is literally two Jawas in a trench coat. Another is J-3DI, a droid simulating the Jedi fighting style, wielding a lightsaber and using a hook to artificially pull enemies closer. Even the live announcers contribute to the lighthearted atmosphere of Star Wars – one hilarious commentary mentions the fresh Alderaan TV series sponsoring the action, but reminds any comedian watching at home that it’s always too early for jokes.

There are 13 playable characters available at launch, with a good mix of unique personalities and abilities. For example, Imara Vex is a classic Star Wars bounty hunter with skills that focus on mobility and firepower, while Grozz is a powerful club-wielding Wookiee who lacks range but has a huge amount of health. This variety of weapons and powers makes each character unique in how they play, making it stimulating to swap between them and learn about their differences.

Hunters manages to be fun while still including nuance where it counts.

On the other hand, the matches are quite straightforward and straightforward, although generally enjoyable. There are four game types, including a straightforward team deathmatch option called Squad Battle and a basic point capture mode called Power Control. These will all be familiar to anyone who has played a PvP shooter before. Matches are low, lasting around five minutes each, which makes sense since Hunters is currently only available on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices – but that also means they rarely have room for much back-and-forth swing or backstage action. You can still be strategic and do things like hide healers behind tougher units, but there just isn’t much time to employ counter-strategies. These are speed controllers, not chess.

It may seem overly simplistic, but Hunters manages to be a lot of fun while maintaining nuance where it counts. Each character generally falls into the Tank, Damage, or Support archetype – they are more effective when used in their assigned roles, but each can start shooting (or destroying) and knocking out some opponents. This is the perfect compromise between being balanced enough that skillful play will win most fights, but loose enough in terms of skills and ultimates that everyone can kill in quick bursts of chaos.

Playing enough random matches will eventually unlock the ranked playlist. This includes the same maps and game modes, but with a greater emphasis on winning, as scores now determine whether you advance in the rankings from Bronzium to Kyber tiers). Unfortunately, this tends to steer competitive teams towards certain team compositions, as the battlefield is currently dominated by tightly grouped teams equipped with hefty tanks. The Guardian in particular, with its shield, hefty booster, and ability to sweep enemies off their feet, for example, is almost mandatory. Having to choose between the joy of wielding a lightsaber and the realistic chance of beating a good team is a shame.

At least each of these options is more fun with a full squad of friends – it’s just a shame that the social menu where you find friends and create teams isn’t locked until you’ve completed three tutorial matches AND then eight real matches. “I’m sorry this hurts” is an unfortunate thing to say when you’re trying to play a few quick rounds with a friend who’s just starting out. This is an unfortunate barrier, because once upon a time Power playing with friends, it’s fun. I appreciate how straightforward it is to create squads (you know, if it even allows it) and it’s a fun, good time to shout at your defender friend to stop so you can blast them full of health regenerating needles during a confused situation. battle.

Once you unlock half the squad, getting the rest slows down and becomes a painful crawl.

Since Hunters is a free-to-play game, as is often the case, it contains a mix of free and premium currencies that determine your progress towards unlockables and cosmetic items. New characters are unlocked using crystals, which you earn in petite amounts after each match, but you can (of course) speed up the process by purchasing them outright with real money. New Hunters become available in reasonable quantities at first, but tardy down with each purchase. By the time you’ve unlocked half the squad, it slows to a painful crawl. I understand the value of giving players something to strive for, but at a certain point it starts to feel more forced than aspirational, which is a problem.

Meanwhile, Credits are used for cosmetic items and are strictly free and can be earned by playing matches and completing additional challenges. I appreciate how your challenge list is constantly scrolling through in the background, which gives me extra motivation to confuse who I was playing as many of them focus on dealing damage to specific characters. It’s a pity, however, that so few things can be purchased for Credits. It’s normal to see dozens of items for sale on the front page of the store, and only a few can be purchased with Credits rather than Crystals, making them somewhat pointless in practice.

When it comes to XP, it comes in two forms. First, there is Fame, which applies to specific Hunters. Like Credits, playing matches and completing challenges adds Fame to a specific character, and each level up provides a reward. Some are purely cosmetic, like weapon skins and stickers. Others upgrade skills in petite but significant ways: for example, when Diago the Sharpshooter reaches Fame Level 2, the damage dealt by his proximity mines increases. The amount is petite enough that it doesn’t completely incapacitate a higher-level character, but still gigantic enough to make leveling up stimulating. It’s a good combination, and having a path that every Hunter can climb seems like a solid overall goal to work towards in the low term, but the unremarkable weapon skins and decals aren’t that captivating.

Finally, there’s the Arena Pass, a straightforward battle pass that rewards Credits, Crystals, and cosmetic items. Unfortunately, the rewards are not very attractive. Changing the color of my weapon isn’t stimulating, and the amount of crystals you get is too petite to reduce the cost of speeding up unlocking fresh characters. Annoyingly, you won’t get anything in most tiers unless you pay around $10 for the All-Access Pass. This also unlocks Aran Tal, the damage-focused Mandalorian Hunter, available exclusively to All-Access Pass owners. This is another area where Star Wars: Hunters walks the line between persuasive and problematic monetization.

At least it’s not a terribly complicated progression economy, but it can feel that way at times thanks to the really rugged interface between matches. The home screen is annoyingly overloaded, with too many windows, tabs and submenus. Receiving progress rewards can be done in several different places, often in a menu within a menu within a menu. This is especially tough because the user interface only subtly highlights what you select, which can make it tough to see what you’re actually about to click.

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