Deathgarden is a action first person shooter game developed by ‘Behaviour Digital‘. It is coming out in the first quarter of 2019 on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Sure there is early access for PC but we don’t really care about that. It’s the whole hunter vs hunted theme. We hope they do this one well. Let’s take a look.
Deathgarden is set in the so called near future. In the world of Deathgarden, the most popular sport in the world is actually a dangerous one where people can and do die. A powerful hunter must hunt down and kill a group of people called Runners. These people are willing participants in this. The Runners must hide, evade the hunter and escape the arena, the garden. Sounds fun right? We are sure normal (stupid) people would love to take part in this type of sport.
The rules are quite simple. The Runners must avoid and the Hunter and escape from the garden while the Hunter hunts them down and kills them. There are objectives for the runners to complete which will open an exit for the them to escape through. The hunter isn’t going to let that happen though. Does this sound familiar? Well it should. remember Dead by Daylight? Yeah, that’s right sucker.
There are three phases to every match so far. Phase one: the Runners are sent into the garden before the hunter. they can use this time to locate the objectives and mark them for the whole team to see and look for crates to upgrades their abilities. Then in some seconds, the Hunter comes in and things get real. Phase two is where the Runners must complete the objectives. There are two game modes: ‘Gather & Deliver’ and ‘Capture’. In Gather & Deliver the Runners must go to dispenser stations to gather keys which they must deliver to certain points in the garden. In Capture, Runners must stand in the designated areas for a period of time to capture it. All this is happening while the Hunter is chasing them down, shooting, shocking and trying to kill them. The last phase, if the Runners succeed in opening the exits by completing the objectives, is the blood mode. Now all runners are revealed and the Hunter can execute a downed Runner straight away. If the Hunter kills three runners, the runners lose. Sounds intense right? it is.
The Hunter is powerful and too much for the runners in straight up combat. He has powers, dangerous weapons, abilities and some perks too. The hunter plays in first person and cannot be killed. He must stop the runners from escaping the garden by straight up find and killing them.
Let’s go deeper though. The hunters have different weapons to choose from: shotguns, LMGs, sniper rifles and assault rifles. For example the “FR574 Devil’s breathe – Bolt action sniper” has a slow rate of fire but very long range and deals large amounts of damage. The Passam Hacksaw T24 LMG has 150 rounds per magazine and has an effective range of 30 meters. The two permanent abilities of a hunter costs stamina upon use. They are Super Charge which increase movement speed and jump distance and the other is Stun which (you guessed it) stuns and deals small amounts of damage within a short range. Hunters can do more.
There are four powers for Hunters to choose, only one, from. They are: I see you, Fade, Spawn Turret and Drop mine. I see you reveals all nearby runners for 11 seconds. Fade makes the Hunter invisible and he makes no sound, this also cure the hunter of all negative effects like slow for example. Spawn turret lets the hunter place up to two turrets which ca and will fire at any and all runners within the range of 40 meters. Drop mine allows the hunter to set up proximity mines, up to ten. The Deathgarden got a whole lot safer right. Finally the perks. Hunters can choose two always activated passive perks. For example you can have increased magazine size and have downed runners revealed to you for 6 seconds. There are more perks though.
The Runners are agile and off course fast. They can also climb any surface too which is a much needed skill. They cannot kill the hunter but have equipment and devices that can halt, distract and harass the hunter. They play in third person and rely heavily on communication and teamwork.
Let’s go deeper though. There are three runner classes: Torment are all about harassing the hunter, messing with him, debuffing and stopping him from messing with your team. Support who can heal and shield their allies from a safe distance. Control who are best at handling objectives and messing with the Hunters focus and actions. Each of their abilities have three tiers. For example the support has healing bolts that, at tier one, just heal allies, tier two has an increased radius, but at tier three can revive down allies. Another example is that the torment class has a blind ability which at tier 1 blinds the hunter, at tier two the radius is increased, at tier three the hunter’s weapon has maximum spread so basically blind and little accuracy.
Runners also have perks. More available perks than the hunter. Like with the Hunter Runners can pick two of them. For example you can have ‘revivalist’ which lets you revive with full health instead of the standard 1/3 and ‘Damage Dodger’ which reduces damage you take by 40% while evading. Or you can combine ‘Lucky Charm’ which gives a 25% chance to receive an additional weapon upgrade part from a crate and ‘Quick Rescue’ which increases rescuing speed by 50%.So get creative, communicate with your team and work out what will work smoothly together.
The gardens themselves are never the same. Like with Spelunky, Deathgarden has procedurally generated arenas. So you can’t really plan ahead as much as you want. This garden can simulate a whole forest. Some matches can have fog, others have rain, others be daytime while other matches can be at night. Let’s not forget the bloodpost. Basically the hunter can send a Runner to a bloodpost if he has enough bloodpost charges. Each time the Hunter downs a Runner, he gets a charge. Charges can be stacked. Once you have three then a bloodpost can be used in order to execute a Runner. Runners can save other runners from a bloodpost but they are revealed to the Hunter while they are rescuing. If a Runner is rescued, then the bloodpost loses three charges. So the game has some mercy for Runners.
We checked out some gameplay and it is looking good so far. The runners moved how we thought they could. They can jump, scale any surface and scatter like rats. The Hunter is real fast, powerful, jumps high, strong weapons and a real threat. You truly can’t kill the Hunter. The Runners need to look out for crates with provide ammo and also weapon upgrade parts. There are some discussions concerning the balance of the game. The Hunter does seem really strong right now.. we do like that Runners capturing an objective are revealed to the Hunter. It definitely looks better than Dead by Daylight right now. You can’t just run around that same block and the Hunter can never catch them. No! The Hunter will kill you if you try running around a big rock thinking you are safe. The Hunter is faster.
Overall, Deathgarden looks like a good game. We definitely preferred this over Dead by Daylight. We never liked that game. The executions are quite brutal. The graphics look good and the fog does give Runners an advantage most of the time. The sounds though, especially the sounds of the guns firing. The developers ‘Behaviour Digital’ did a very good job with this game. We at X35 Earthwalker look forward to seeing this game come on the consoles for some real gaming. Now Deathgarden may have a powerful Hunter who has powers but even the Hunter would get stomped against… the ‘Earth Walk!’
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