Why We Need Another Hunter: The Reckoning
We have too few massive universes in the gaming world. The kind of overarching connectivity that extends across multiple mediums, or allows any number of different stories and genres to share the space and grow off one another. And no, book adaptions of games do not count!
But, there was once hope for perhaps one of the most potentially exalting fictional universes this side of Discworld or Abarat to become something more; the World of Darkness. The popular role-playing franchise has an unparalleled level of depth and lore, or at least it does within the scarcely populated horror fiction-themed community. With legions of dedicated fans and loyal players, World of Darkness (WoD) has the potential to be a great force if it can successfully extend into the world of video games once more.
In 2002, Xbox and GameCube gamers were graced with Hunter: The Reckoning, a Gauntlet-styled game that was based on the Role-Playing Game of the same name, taken from the WoD universe. It had it shortcomings, sure, but Hunter was one hell of a fun adventure. Best taken on in co-op (with up to 4 players), the game had players take on all manners of dark creatures, hideous monsters and imaginative bosses. The art style and general game-world was very much taken to, with many gamers having never had a chance to play anything like it before. It was mature, edgy and best of all, great fun.
Shortly after, it spawned two sequels, the PlayStation 2 exclusive Hunter: The Reckoning: Wayward, and the Xbox exclusive Hunter: The Reckoning: Redeemer, both released in 2003. While both had incredibly annoying double-subtitled names, they both continued on the great gameplay, story and style of the original game. They were fairly averagely received by many critics, but the fans loved them. As it should be.
Unfortunately, that was the last we seen of the Hunter games. If players wanted their fix, they had to turn to the Role-Playing original, and never got another chance to take on some nasties with a controller in hand.
In 2006, creator of the World of Darkness and Hunter: The Reckoning worlds, White Wolf Inc., announced a deal with EVE Online developers CCP Games. From this, was to become World of Darkness Online, an MMORPG. Fans rejoiced; even if it wasn’t another Hunter: The Reckoning title, that we’d get to see more of the universe on our monitors or TV’s was great news. 9 years later, in April of 2014, it was officially announced the project was canceled. Years of waiting, and again, nothing.
So today, I think what we genuinely need is another Hunter: The Reckoning title. A complete reboot of the series, for fans of the old and newcomers alike. It would bring together gamers and Role-Players, people familiar with the franchise and those who’ve never heard of it.
With co-op currently one of the single most popular aspects of many big video games, something truly made for it – and with its roots set firmly in place by it – it has an instant in with many gamers. The combat and gameplay style is quite popular at the moment too, but apart from some big names like Diablo 3 or the new Gauntlet reboot, it’s strangely reserved for indie titles and smaller downloadable games on platforms like LIVE Arcade, PSN and Steam. It’s essentially non-existent in the big retail and console market, despite gamers loving it. So why isn’t this being capitalized on, and what better way to do it than with a proven cult classic?
Of course, something like a Hunter reboot would also mean White Wolf have another chance at getting their gigantic creation into the constantly expanding games industry. With originality dwindling these days, a new franchise with untold potential would be very welcome. Aside from The Reckoning series, WoD was also the basis for the two Vampire: The Masquerade RPG games from early 2000’s – another series I’m positive would be warmly embraced in the games community today.
So with the horror genre at large making a fantastic comeback in video games, the dungeon crawling gameplay being a highly successful and beloved style today – not to mention the lack of big competitors in that field – and the general outcry for quality new IPs to come out of the woodwork, Hunter: The Reckoning should be a sure-fire investment that the games community not only wants, but needs. With far too many games getting unnecessary reboots or remakes, why isn’t a standout, missed and all-round terrific series which has been forgotten for over 10 years now getting its second chance?
I want another Hunter: The Reckoning game. Don’t you?