Sega and Creative Assembly have announced Hyenas, a PvEvP shooter from the team behind Alien: Isolation and Halo Wars 2.
Set in a future where billionaires have colonized Mars and made Earth inhospitable, Hyenas is a fast-paced multiplayer FPS that casts players as anti-hero pirates stealing from the mega-rich. Each match hosts 15 players split up into five teams of three, and those teams compete to steal treasures from a spaceship and escape with the biggest pile of loot. It sounds a little like Hunt: Showdown, but with the slick and speedy sensibilities of Apex Legends.
Further complicating things are an AI-controlled security force that defends the vaults containing the treasures you seek; known as the MFPF (or ‘murphs’), these guards will fight anyone trying to steal from the billionaires.
“These ships aren’t defenseless,” explained creative director Charlie Bewsher in a chat with IGN. “They’re full of security, sensors, switches, interactive systems, and gadgets. It’s a great environment for this competitive game to take place in.”
Since the maps are set on freighter ships traveling between Earth and Mars, there’s also zero gravity to contend with. Certain segments of the maps will have no gravity whatsoever, allowing you to float around and use 3D space in new ways. Other locations, such as individual rooms and corridors, also have on/off switches for zero-g. Characters have maglock boots to help overcome any gravity issues, should zooming around freestyle not be your preferred method of travel.
With numerous corridors, vaults, rooms, and hangar spaces, each Hyena map is pretty large. Creative Assembly says to expect something larger than a regular PvP deathmatch map, but something that’s not quite as large as a battle royale map. Despite that, the team has been inspired by the kind of gameplay seen in games like Fortnite and Warzone.
“We didn’t want to make a battle royale, but we wanted to take that idea of creating this unpredictable, chaotic space where players would find this new gameplay, find new tactics, and ultimately find new player stories,” said Bewsher.
Each match is set aboard a freighter spaceship that ferries items from the remains of Earth up to Mars. But those items, now traded for massive cash by billionaires, are perhaps not what you’re expecting. In Hyenas’ world, pop-culture artifacts from Earth’s past are the new diamonds, and so you’ll be stealing anything from Rubik’s cubes and Sony Walkman tape decks to Sonic statues and green army men. Bewsher even says that you could end up looting the first album you ever bought, and promises you’ll see lots of different pop culture IPs represented in the game.
The cinematic reveal trailer shows off a freighter piled high with New York-themed memorabilia, including everything from subway cars to the Statue of Liberty itself. Hyenas definitely doesn’t take itself seriously, and its colorful comic book-style art reflects that.
Creative Assembly has not yet detailed all the playable characters, but notes that they each fall into one of three categories: engage, evade, and exploit. Engage characters are action-focused, while evade heroes are focused on nimble movement and occasionally stealth. Exploit characters, meanwhile, are the hackers and support characters.
As part of the announcement stream on IGN, Creative Assembly namechecked a few of Hyenas’ heroes. The Pro is a classic-style bank robber with a shotgun, deployable turret, and a President Nixon mask. Commander Wright is an astronaut with a foam gun that can quickly create barricades, cover, and climbing platforms. Doc Hotfix is a gamer who believes he’s a character in a game, and thus offers some fourth wall-breaking commentary. A few other characters can be seen in the trailer, but they have yet to be detailed.
No release date for Hyenas has been announced so far, but a playable alpha is planned and can be signed up for at playhyenas.com. When Hyenas does finally release, it will be available on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store.
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Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.