Intentional or not, a lot of video game protagonists are probably based on the Predator. This is an angry, 80s space alien designed with the sole purpose of looking extremely cool to a thirteen-year-old. It’s such a shame, then, that when the Pred does make the leap to what should be its home world of video games, what we get is yet another naff, underbaked and dated effort like Predator: Hunting Grounds.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Developer Illfonic has some history in adapting iconic bad guys into asymmetrical multiplayer games, because the studio did the exact same with Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Game. You’d hope that, even if Friday the 13th was more than a little B-movie, it could at least be built on and learned from when it comes to something as ripe for adaptation as the Predator.
And, buried in the jungle mud, Predator: Hunting Grounds does have some nice ideas. Its sole game mode – asymmetrical multiplayer, pitching one player as the Predator against several others as semi-defenseless grunts – has a premise that’s decent enough, but is just lacking in execution. Playing as the Predator is always a cool idea. And playing as a grunt, especially with a friend, can be a good laugh for a little while, too, one of you shrieking as the Pred decloaks right on top of the other, another frantically emptying a clip into a bush when it pops off a few shoulder cannon pew pews from some vague direction in the trees.