The first major content update for the supernatural safari game Hunt: Showdown is now live on Steam, and the "major" descriptor is apt: The patch makes a large number of changes and bug fixes, adds new equipment and gameplay features, and throws $4000 of in-game cash into everyone's account to make up for the technical problems that have previously cropped up.
Highlights include five new sniper weapon variants with long, medium, and short-range scopes, Flash Bomb and Poison Bomb tactical grenades, 11 new outfits and 12 new traits, improvements to the map, changes to inventory slots and footstep audio, fall damage implementation, and an updated Bloodline progression screen.
The update also takes aim at campers. As we described in our E3 preview last year, it's not enough to simply kill the target of the hunt: Teams must banish them back to Hell and then escape with the bounty in order to claim victory. That presents opportunities for other hunting teams to let other players do all the heavy lifting, and then jump in and swipe the loot for themselves—all of the reward, with none of the risk.
That will still be a viable strategy, but the update will make it a tougher trick to pull off. Compound layouts have been changed to provide more defensive cover, making it easier to hold out against enemies once the banishment has begun, and players who successfully banish a downed enemy will have their health fully restored (and boosted, if there's room on the health bar). Successfully killing, banishing, and extracting with at least one Bounty token will also now earn hunters a "Clean Sweep" bonus, which makes doing the job yourself more lucrative than simply screwing someone over at the last minute.
Another potentially big change for the Early Access phase of development should help prevent the loss of Hunters (and the frustration that results) because of unintentional disconnections from the game. Hunters will now be returned to a "pre-match state if certain conditions (maintenance, server crashes, invalid anti-cheat kicks, client crash mid-mission and during loading, etc.) apply."
Crytek said the full update notes are literally too big to fit into a single Steam update announcement (it really is a major update), so you can get the full lowdown on the changes here, and the bug fixes and known issues here. If video is your thing, you can dive into that below.