Imagine a Venn diagram depicting those who love The Legend of Zelda and those who love Bloodborne. Hunt the Night is for those in the area where they overlap.
Casting players as Vesper, a skilled member of an organisation called The Stalkers, Hunt the Night is very much Bloodborne via the way of classic 16-bit The Legend of Zelda games. In a world consumed by darkness, you’re the one who must take a stand and fight against evil. And so armed with a selection of melee weapons, guns and powerful magic, a hard journey awaits you.
You’ll explore a range of environments in Hunt the Night, and while each has many challenging encounters for you to overcome, it’s not all about fighting. In true classic action RPG style, there are even some puzzles for you to figure out. Thankfully clues are always available if you take the time to explore and read notes. You’ll always be thankful for a bit of a reprieve from combat anyway, as it can be a bit much.
In Hunt the Night, standard enemies will swarm you, putting you under pressure. The problem is, the combat is a little bit clunky, making encounters not quite as fun as they should be. In fact, between some poor hitboxes and no animation cancelling, combat can be frustrating at times. It’s some good giving an enemy a tell if you simply don’t have time to avoid the attack it’s signalling, making you eat damage.
There are some other issues with Hunt the Night as well. Aside from finding new pieces of equipment, there’s little in the way of character development – you’ll not find yourself collecting souls or blood to power yourself up, for example. And simply getting around its dark world can be troublesome at times, what with it requiring some pixel-perfect dashes, and transitions to new areas not always being obvious.
If you can overlook these issues, though, and some will, chances are you’ll find a game with some heart. It looks great for one, with some wonderfully gloomy pixel art. The soundtrack is suitably gloomy and atmospheric, too. And while the combat might not be great, it is neat finding new weapons and powers and trying them out to see if they suit your playing style.
Ultimately, Hunt the Night attempts to recreate the magic of modern Soulslikes in the form of a classic RPG from yesteryear, and it very nearly succeeds. The combat is tough, though mired with issues that make it feel unfair at times. And exploration is rewarding, but sometimes wrought with frustration. It’s not for everyone, then, but some are bound to love what Hunt the Night has to offer.
Hunt the Night is available now on PC.