Predator: Hunting Grounds was teased for a 2020 release in Sony's most recent State of Play stream, with fans cautiously optimistic at the potential to revive a series that has been a mixed-bag of quality in the past.
Developer IllFonic is currently working on the title, which is actually a good starting point for fans, as they developed Friday the 13th in 2017. In that game, one seemingly overpowered enemy, namely the murderous Jason, would attempt to wipe out a team of other players. Both the concept and execution of the gameplan was fairly well executed, boding well for this new project.
During the State of Play, the game was described in a similar manner, as an online experience where one player could take control of the Predator and work to systematically hunt all of its targets with precision traps and brutal attacks. Soldiers meanwhile are not wandering aimlessly, waiting for the Predator to reveal itself, but rather will have their own map objectives to complete such as extracting an important piece of information, and then to exit as quickly as possible before being added as a trophy to the Predator's already vast collection. If the reveal video is any indication of their individual weapons, we will see a mix of burst weapons, shotguns, and long-range rifles. The Predator will need to be careful if it does no want to be mowed down in an instant by well-coordinated firepower.
This should all culminate in exciting action and intense strategy that requires a deep understanding of the environment to succeed. If the soldiers are forced to enter into a specific area, a knowledgeable Predator player will use all chokepoints and narrow corridors to their advantage to set up traps or fire a deadly round of plasma. Will heads explode on impact? I suppose it depends on how true the developer decides to be to the source material.
While fans of the series are happy to see another installment, most are regarding the announcement with a cautious, wait-and-see attitude. This is because although the reveal trailer pulled at our emotional heartstrings by showing the game as set in a similar type of tropical climate as the original 1987 Predator film, previous games from the franchise have often burned players by overpromising and then falling short.
Most recently would be the over-hyped but underwhelming Aliens vs Predator: PC (2010), and a related game from the same universe Aliens: Colonial Marines. There is a fine balance between servicing long-time fans of the series and managing their expectations, and making a good game that a newcomer will also enjoy. Despite this mixed track record, IllFonic is clear on their development process, stating that their motto is "Gameplay over everything." Hopefully this will include all the nuances that make the Predator such a legendary character.