This week, the Predator was one of the rarest and most anticipated esports games of the year. The game took the gaming world by storm, mainly due to its inclusion of famed esports franchise Fnatic alongside some of the biggest eSports stars of today. But, before you get too hyped up, it’s important to note that the game isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
It Sucks To Be A Predator
Let’s start with the good news: the Predator is a ton of fun to play! The developers at Bethesda Game Studios have done an amazing job of capturing the essence of what it means to be a Predator, and they did an even better job of blending that with the core gameplay of Overwatch. What they came up with is a game that you can’t put down once you’ve started playing it.
The problem is that the game doesn’t feel fair. I mean, sure, the computer-controlled players are almost always better than the ones on your team, which can be frustrating. But it feels more like a chess match than a sports game, in which case it’s not a very good fit for competitive gamers. Or it could just be that the game needs more content to keep things interesting; after all, this is Bethesda Game Studios we’re talking about, and they know how to create games with a lot of content.
Overwatch Is A Better Fit
Speaking of which, maybe the developers at Bethesda Game Studios should have tried to craft a game that was a bit more in tune with how gamers actually behave in real life? Overwatch is a first-person shooter that was first released in May of this year. Like the Predator, Overwatch has also seen incredibly successful esports competitions, mainly due to its rich diversity of playable characters and its unique, fast-paced gameplay. It’s not often that you find a game that can accommodate both competitive gamers and casual onlookers, but Overwatch manages to do so seamlessly.
What’s more is that there are actually three different versions of the game. The standard edition is a $40 game that comes with all the characters and maps that you could want. However, the collectible edition costs $60 and adds several pieces of content that the Steam community has dubbed “Omni-tools”. These include a grappling hook that lets you secure vantage points from the air, as well as a shield that protects you from damage in the air and on the ground. The deluxe edition (which is probably the one you’d want to get unless you’re a serious collector) also includes t-shirts and a hoodie that sport the gear of your chosen team with the iconic Predator in the center. It might not seem like a huge deal, but collecting all three of these items will be more difficult than progressing through the game’s ranked matches, let alone earning them all.
For $20, you can also get the beta version of the game, which adds even more content and lets you try out some of Overwatch’s gameplay features before the general release. What’s more is that all of this content is regularly added to the game. In fact, since its release, Overwatch has already seen two major content updates, which introduced new characters, modes, and more. If you want to keep up with all of this action, you’ll need to own a PlayStation 4 (which is currently the best platform for online PC gaming) or the new Nintendo Switch (which also has a very robust online community).
As a casual gamer, you might find that Overwatch’s unique brand of hybrid gameplay fits you perfectly. You’ll definitely have a good time with it, but it won’t be easy going through the game’s ranks and collecting all the achievements that you can. Then, there’s also the fact that most of the game’s content is available to be played completely free of charge. While the basic gameplay is enjoyable, you’ll need to purchase additional weapons and armor to progress through the game’s many stages. Still, if you want to keep up with all of the action, you’ll need to buy a one-month PlayStation Plus trial, a three-month Xbox Live Gold membership, or a six-month Nintendo Switch Online subscription (if you’re playing on the go). It might seem daunting to buy all of this content, but it’s worth it if you’re a fan of esports and first-person shooters alike.
It Has Its Unique Selling Points
The Predator doesn’t quite fit into a categorical box. Sure, it’s a first-person shooter and it has a lot of the trappings of a typical competitive game. But it also has several unique qualities that make it worth your time and money. First, it has a really great soundtrack by Game Outsiders. Just like the movie, the game’s score is memorable and fits perfectly into the action that you’re experiencing. Whether you like classical or high-energy music, there’s something here for you.
What’s also unique about The Predator is that it allows you to choose your weapons before each match. This means that you won’t just have a pistol or a machine gun at your disposal. Instead, you’re given a diverse array of weaponry, including grenades, a sniper rifle, and a rocket launcher. You can even choose what special ability each piece of gear has by opening up the appropriate panel on your HUD. This allows for a great deal of customization, which makes each match feel unique.
One of the most important aspects of The Predator is also how it handles gameplay. The developers at Bethesda Game Studios have taken the time to craft an objective-based game mode that forces you to plan your attacks and defenses in advance. On the surface, this can feel a bit like a homework assignment, but it forces you to think strategically and to use your time wisely. This is particularly important if you’re playing on the go, because charging up to a computer to manually plan your attacks gets really tiresome after a while. It can also be a bit frustrating when you’re playing against a human as they’ll often stop you from taking the planned route to the objective. Even in a best-case scenario, it can feel a bit repetitive to keep executing the same plan over and over again.
Ultimately, we’ve covered a lot of ground here. But at the end of the day, it comes down to this: is spending money on The Predator worth it? Well, you’re getting a ton of value here. For only $60, you can get a game that can accommodate both competitive and casual gamers. Not only that, but you’re also getting a first-person shooter that features one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, unique gameplay, and a ton of content. If you’re looking for a game this year, the chances are pretty high that you’ll like The Predator.