Most of the time good and evil are hand in hand in a dispute for the supremacy of the forces, here represented by Day and Night, trying to achieve the ultimate goal of controlling everything. Hunt the Night follows a path of despair in an atmosphere surrounded by pixels in a top-down action adventure with a steep learning curve.
The player will follow the story of Vesper, an integral part of a group called “Stalkers”, in the world of Medhram. This group was created to defend humanity against nocturnal creatures that were attracted by the eternal Night. One day the Stalkers, discovered an artifact called Seal, which allowed them to imprison the night and grant humanity eternal day, but with one catch… the Seal will have to be fed periodically through the sacrifice of Stalkers. This prosperous period saw its days over when Blackbone, a former member of the Stalker, betrayed his group and broke the Seal, thus bringing a new era, the era of Night.
The adventure begins in this troubled period, where humanity has almost all been decimated and the Stalkers see their numbers greatly reduced. Vesper is not just another member of the group, as she has powers that are quite different from the rest. Vesper is, in a way, possessed by a being of the night and although she cannot communicate with other people, as she is mute, she can communicate with Umbra. These story notes are presented during the course of the adventure at key moments. It is undoubtedly an interesting process, this one of uncovering Vesper’s origins and connecting all the dots with the characters present in Hunt The Night.
One of the first things that stand out in this title is without a doubt its presentation. The whole environment is full of delicious pixel art notes, which even leave a taste of Bloodborne, ranging from decimated forest areas, icy areas full of contrast with trees with orange leaves, to a giant cathedral haunted by beings of the night. Speaking of enemies, there is a very interesting repertoire of different beings, which of course, have several different attack mechanics. Not being a very difficult title, there is in fact a learning path, but without ever going to the boring side of the thing. Of course, it is possible to cross areas without having any kind of confrontation with key enemies, which helps a lot in moments of exploration.
Gameplay in Hunt The Night relies on fast movements combining melee combos and ranged attacks. Vesper has the possibility to use one of five different types of melee weapons, presenting different types of attacks that also print different types of damage that can even leave enemies with poison. These weapons can be a rapier-type sword, which essentially sees its speed and range as a main feature, a greatsword, which sees the moment of impact as its main point but is extremely slow, among others. In the field of ranged weapons, there is the possibility of using a pistol, a crossbow, and a shotgun. They all share the same type of ammunition, although they use a different number of cartridges, which are recovered either by applying damage to enemies, or at specific points scattered around the map, essentially at key points of movement between cliff areas.
In addition to the weapons repertoire, Vesper will be able to acquire and equip various types of Armor, Dark Power, and Moonstones. Dark Powers offer additional damage, buffs, or summons. Moonstones apply a buff to Vesper’s stats and can also provide unique benefits that cannot be found on any other equipment.
The boss fights are quite interesting. They all feature different and interesting mechanics and attack patterns. It’s up to the player to find their favorite weapons and most favorable pieces of equipment for specific situations. Although it is not the main point, it is interesting to realize that it is really possible to make different types of builds, whether they apply more damage, or on the other hand, a more defensive build such as, for example, more armor or life.
This is a linear title, however, with the non-implementation of a map, or small indications about where the player will have to move next (other than when talking to the characters who present them with their new task), there is a possibility of encountering a barrier to progress. Of course, as I mentioned, exploration is always the key to this barrier, but there were times when I really felt lost in the world of Medhram. It is also very important to memorize the places where you passed before, as it is quite likely to pass by the same place several times.
Hunt the Night is an experience marked by visually stunning areas that make its entire world vibrant. Despite somewhat frustrating moments in terms of exploration and combat, Medhram’s mysteries are quite interesting and serve as a fuse to keep the player interested until the end.