Developed by the Swedish studio Easy Trigger Games and published by Coffee Stain, Huntdown is a run’n’gun action game set in the 21st century in a decaying world that survives in the ruins of war. In a city overtaken by fear and run by gangs that struggle for power fighting between themselves and against the authorities, you will play as Anna Conda, John Sawyer and Mow Man, three mercenaries employed by a mysterious contractor that attends by the name of Wolfmother and will initiate a hunt against the leader of enemy gangs across the city. As a bounty hunter, your loyalty is always attached to the highest bidder.
Playing it by yourself or with a friend in couch co-op, you will venture into four different areas of the city, each territory of a different gang. But you are a bounty hunter and are not welcome in these areas. Go after each target blazing guns and eliminating all opponents in your way. Gather all intel you need in our review for this retro-futuristic adventure!
What we liked!
- Weaponry: Each one of your bounty hunters starts with a handgun (well, John Sawyer and Mow Man, at least, since Anna Conda stars with a short-range machinegun pistol) and a throwable secondary-weapon: John uses a boomerang, Anna a tomahawk and Mow Man uses three kunais to dispatch his foes. But that’s not all: you will find plenty of guns hidden in stashes and secret rooms or dropped from your enemies. And there’s no need to save your bullets because the game is very generous when it comes to replenishing your ammunition. Among the weapons, you will find are baseball bats, shotguns, SMGs, machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, beam guns and much more! In those hidden stashes you can also find explosives and other trickeries like grenades, Molotov cocktails, remote explosives and others. Just keep in mind that, once picked up, they will replace your throwable weapon – but there’s no need to worry: once its ammo is over, your throwable will be available again. I believe I’ve never seen so many variations and dedication to your arsenal in a run’n’gun game. Kudos, guys!
- Visuals: The pixelated retro-visuals of Huntdown art pure love! Scenarios, animations and visuals – all hand-drawn! – are a true spectacle to the eyes and admirers of retro games. I dare to say that Easy Trigger choose the perfect art-style for this game. The scenarios of this future city are incredibly detailed, full of destructible elements (they won me when I saw the bullet holes in walls). Your characters and enemies’ animations are utterly amazing, with a level of quality pair to the all-times classic Metal Slug saga, from SNK – or maybe even better! The special effects of explosions, laser beans or – may favorite – your enemies ablaze are truly remarkable. And for those who are wondering about it, yes, the game has a considerable amount of blood: try using a saw-off shotgun close to an enemy to literally obliterate him!
- Audio: Some nice beats push your adventure onward, but this is the amazing dubbing work of Huntdown characters and incredible sound-effects that will make this game be remembered. Each character has a lot of personality in its dubbing, with nice mottos and puns that add a lot of o valor to the gameplay. The enemies haven’t been left aside: most of them – some bosses in special – also have some great lines and personality. We can clearly see that Easy Trigger spared no efforts to deliver a great experience in this game.
- Gameplay: Having amazing visuals and music would be meaningless to the game if the gameplay was dull and stale. But the gameplay in Huntdown is incredibly challenging, addictive and rewarding! You walk in each stage from left to right (like in the old classics) eliminating all enemies that cross your path. To do so, you can use your initial weapons (which are unlimited) and collect other weapons that are hidden weapons or that your enemies may drop when killed. Your characters can take cover behind cars, boxes and walls, allowing you to protect against enemy fire. Your characters can also dash, what makes you invincible for a split-second (and will save you countless times!). Some enemies will hide and take cover too, allowing you to get things close and personal, although it’s not recommended. In the initial levels, you can dispatch most of the enemies at easy, but in later levels, they will be wearing heavy armors or jetpacks that give them more resistance or mobility. Some enemies will be more agile, able to get close enough to eliminate you with a single blow. Thankfully, the game has lots of checkpoints that make it able even for the worst players (where I’m included) to have some success in this adventure.
- The levels: Each zone in Huntdown is the territory of a different gang. In each level you will need to beat a few stages before reaching the leader of the gang – and it is not going to be an easy job. You will face the Hoodlum Dolls in the suburbs sector, the Misconducts in the underground zone, the Heatseekers in the industrial complex and the No. 1 Suspects in the downtown area before getting access to your main target. The most amazing thing about them is that they all feel unique, be it for the scenario or the enemies you will find in each area. They all have some secrets for you that will reward the most adventurous players.
Local co-op only: I’m an advocate of local co-op games and I love it when developers include this feature in their games, even though it doesn’t get enough love by players. But now we’re in times isolation, I cannot think enough about players who can only enjoy co-op games by playing online, a feature this game misses.
What we disliked
Huntdown is one of the best run and gun games I’ve played in all my life! It’s beautiful, it’s challenging, it feels funny and extremely rewarding. Even better if you have a co-op partner to play with. Easy Trigger didn’t miss: they delivered a shining jewel that shall be enjoyed by players in all platforms. I can easily recommend it not for a specific group of players, but for everyone who enjoys a good and old action game – and those who don’t will enjoy it now thanks to Huntdown!
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.