With Hunter’s Arena: Legends headlining this month’s PlayStation Plus lineup, there will be plenty of curious gamers looking to give this hot new multiplayer title a spin.
Available now on PS5 and PS4, it’s definitely one of the more interesting takes on the ever-popular battle royale genre, but instead of building forts on the fly or gunning down rivals in the gulag, you’ll explore a mystic island where martial arts is king.
Not your typical battle royale
Hunter’s Arena: Legends comes from Seoul-based indie studio, Mantisco. Those who enjoy Korean MMOs should feel right at home with its blend of high octane action and asian themed fantasy. Having just left Steam early access, PC and console players are now able to match up thanks to the wonders of online cross-play.
Hunter’s Arena follows the same core beats as other battle royale games. In the solo queue, 30 Legends stand atop a floating platform during the pre-game before diving into the arena below. The map here is sizeable though it never feels like a chore to navigate as you sprint around, making use of air vents and tightropes that can also help you flee from opponents. Or chase them down, of course.
In order to win that succulent chicken dinner, you’ll have to kill other players as well as the hordes of monsters that populate the battlefield. Doing so will earn you gold as well as equipment and items that can improve your stats, helping you deal and absorb more damage.
Kung Fu fighting
Those first few PvP scraps in Hunter’s Arena will be sloppy. However, there is method to the game’s hack n’ slash battle mechanics. Each Legend has a regular attack as well as martial arts moves that can be combo’d to whittle down an enemy’s health and stamina. You’ll also have five unique abilities too, giving every hero their own playstyle.
When two Legends go toe-to-toe, the one who lands the first strike can then follow up with a flurry of attacks, chaining these hits with their abilities to beat down an opponent. By blocking, evading, and parrying, the defender has a chance to disengage and rally before the two combatants collide again. Standoffs become very tense, especially when other players enter the fray. After a few matches, you’ll find yourself learning new tactics such as hiding in tall grass or performing devastating jump attacks.
You’ll also be mowing down AI grunts and bosses as each match plays out. The map is divided into different regions – or biomes – that each have certain types of enemies to match their climate, from snowy mountains to sunny beaches. Hunter’s Arena will spew a steady stream of gold, gear, and experience as you cut down these creatures. There’s also the occasional chance to find powerful legendary items.
These RPG trappings stop you from solely focusing on hunting down other players. Grinding out enemy patrols will level up your Legend and give you access to more of their abilities, including a powerful ultimate.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a battle royale game without a shrinking boundary. As time progresses, players will be gradually shunted towards a small portion of the map where a final showdown will take place. Overall, matches are refreshingly fast paced with few opportunities to idly camp your way to that last standoff.
Is Hunter’s Arena worth playing?
In a genre dominated by shooters, Hunter’s Arena: Legends comes as a welcome surprise. Faster, and more action packed, it remedies some of the pacing issues that all too present in other battle royale games. Not only that, but Mantisco has built a combat system that works surprisingly well despite how chaotic and frenzied it looks.
Is this a game with stopping power? Potentially. Although you can’t improve the base attributes of the game’s Legends, there are cool costumes and other cosmetics to unlock. Support from the community will ultimately rely on how the developers actively roll out new features and content.