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 the earth inhospitable, Hyenas is a fast-paced multiplayer FPS that casts players like anti-hero pirates stealing from the mega-rich. Each match is hosted by 15 players divided into five teams of three, and these teams compete to steal treasures from a spaceship and escape with the largest pile of loot. It sounds a bit like Hunt: Showdown, but with the smooth and fast sensitivities of Apex Legends.
Another complicating thing is an AI-controlled security force that defends the vaults that contain the treasures you’re looking for; known as MFPF (or ‘murphs’), these guards will fight against anyone who tries to steal from the billionaires.
“These ships are not defenseless,” creative director Charlie Bewsher explained 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 cargo ships traveling between Earth and Mars, there is also zero gravity to contend with. Some parts of the maps will have no gravity at all, allowing you to float around and use 3D space in new ways. Other places, such as single rooms and corridors, also have zero-g on / off switches. Characters have maglock boots that help you overcome gravity problems, if it’s not the preferred mode of travel to zoom around freestyle.
With many corridors, vaults, rooms and hangar rooms, each Hyena map is quite large. Creative Assembly says to expect something bigger than a regular PvP deathmatch map, but something that is not quite as big as a battle royale map. Despite that, the team has been inspired by the kind of gaming you see in games like Fortnite and Warzone.
“We did not want to make a Battle Royale, but we wanted to take the idea of creating this unpredictable, chaotic space where players would find this new game, find new tactics and eventually find new player stories,” Bewsher said.
Each battle is set aboard a spaceship that carries objects from the remnants of the earth up to Mars. But these items, which are now traded for huge sums of money by billionaires, may not be what you expect. In the world of Hyenas, pop culture artifacts from Earth’s past are the new diamonds, so you’ll steal everything from Rubik’s cubes and Sony Walkman tape decks to Sonic statues and green soldiers. Bewsher even says that you may end up looting the first album you ever bought, and promises that you will see many different pop culture IPs represented in the game.
The cinematic revelation trailer shows a freighter full of New York-themed memories, including everything from subway cars to the Statue of Liberty itself. Hyenas definitely does not take itself seriously, and its colorful cartoon style reflects that.
Hyenas – Reveal Cinematic Screenshots
Creative Assembly has not yet detailed all the playable characters, but notes that they each fall into one of three categories: engage, dodge and exploit. Engage characters are action-focused, while evasion heroes are focused on nimble movement and sometimes sneaking. Utilizing characters, meanwhile, are the hackers and the supporting characters.
As part of the announcement stream on IGN, the Creative Assembly name-checked some of Hyena’s heroes. The Pro is a classic-style bank robber with a shotgun, deployable tower and President Nixon mask. Commander Wright is an astronaut with a foam pistol who can quickly create barricades, decks and climbing platforms. Doc Hotfix is a player who thinks he is a character in a game, and thus offers a fourth wall-breaking comment. A few other characters can be seen in the trailer, but they have not yet been detailed.
No release date for Hyenas has been announced so far, but a playable alpha is scheduled and can be registered at playhyenas.com. When Hyenas is finally released, it will be available on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store.
For more from IGN’s Summer of Gaming, check out our schedule that rounds out all the highlights from each gaming event held in June.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s news and feature editor in the UK.