Hunt: Showdown devs appear to be cooking up some kind of horrible, pilotable bug

Daniel Day Lewis and his pet scarab
(Image credit: Crytek)

Two teases on Hunt: Showdown's Twitter account in the last two days have convinced me that the next feature and creature added to the game will be a flying surveillance bug that players can use to spy on opponents. And I think it could be arriving as soon as next month.

The above image, shared yesterday, was actually focused on the return of the promotional skin Billy Story, a likeable homage to Daniel Day Lewis' character from Gangs of New York. But careful observers (ie, those with at least one eye) can take more from the flittering silhouette released from Billy's hand, a flying beetle that we've never seen before. Surely this scary scarab isn't just for decoration—it would be out of precedent for Crytek to show a detail like this and not back it up with something concrete.

And very quickly, it did. Exactly 24 hours and 1 minute later, the team at Crytek shared this short video:

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It shows a hovering first-person camera patrolling one of Hunt's prison compounds. A creepy-crawling, upsetting exoskeletal sound can be heard. The heavily vignetted vision—blackened like a modern security camera—pulses in rhythm with a heartbeat. This has gotta be our bug.

The accompanying lore blurb for the video even alludes to a newly discovered creature: "As current findings are relatively new, and scientists have yet to conclude their research, we can only assume that further information will be revealed in the near future regarding this species, and their origins."

To be clear, Crytek and the Hunt: Showdown team haven't explicitly announced the existence of a bug item or feature. But several facts support this educated guess: 

  1. Crytek has talked for years about camping as a behavior in Hunt: Showdown, something that it probably doesn't want to eliminate entirely but has taken steps in the past to curtail, like when the studio redesigned compound layouts in 2018. An aerial drone would be another incremental way of literally nudging campers out of their comfort zone.
  2. On September 5, the studio shared a piece of in-fiction sketchbook art showing a flying beetle alongside a description that read " erratic, unified movement—a so called "hivemind behavior'—between the beetles and their keepers.'" With the added context of today's video, this sounds like a lore explanation for how players will take control of the flying beetles: through some version of the existing darksight ability.
  3. A flying surveillance camera, as it's showcased in the video, would be a Hunt-equivalent of gadgets we've seen in games like Rainbow Six Siege, where the character Echo has an aerial RC drone that behaves similarly to the clip 
  4. Previous promotion of Billy Story from summer 2020 did not feature this insect familiar

Hunt community members had previously been speculating that some manner of beetle monster was to be Hunt's next, unannounced boss. A video from Hunt YouTuber HomeReel laid out the case on September 9, pointing to patch notes and bug fixes that had reduced "the performance overhead of idle AI," which HomeReel believed might indicate Crytek laying the groundwork for a bug or swarm-themed boss made up of many.

Of course, Hunt kinda-sorta already has a bug-based boss: the Assassin, a skittering pile of crawlies that shifts in and out of humanoid form, splitting into copies of itself, and occasionally covering the player's screen in insects.

Hunt is just a few days away from the end of its 60-day Serpent Moon event, and with Halloween being a perfect thematic match for the game's creepy, horrific atmosphere, releasing a new creature to accompany the Twitch drop-exclusive Billy Story character promotion (scheduled for October 12) would be a good way to kick off the season.

Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.