A new monster is heading towards Hunt: Showdown (opens in new tab)'s Louisiana swamp. The Assassin is a spirit made out of a swarm of insects and a bundle of rags—just an unassuming pile on the floor that will quickly slice you up. Take a look at the nightmare in action in the first gameplay footage above.
As its name suggests, the Assassin is a sly monster, but it's not necessarily stealthy. It might surprise you, leaping out of the shadows, but it's won't be cautiously sneaking around. Instead, it can trick players. It started out as a bug, with the Assassin seemingly appearing in two places at once, and then the team turned it into a feature.
“We started doing prototypes based on the Assassin spawning decoys so you didn’t know which one to attack," said designer Robert Green. "We did one where he spawned five clones that would spread out across the entire compound, but then you had to be running constantly. We ended up going with two decoys, with the boss itself circling around you. You have to correctly read the moment, otherwise you’ll get burned.”
So it will try to keep you looking the other way and then quickly and violently tear you apart with its nasty stingers. Early on, the team had experimented with knives, but they couldn't figure out where the knives went when it transformed back into rags and bugs. That led them to a slightly more organic solution.
At various points in development, the Assassin looked like a witch doctor, then a plague doctor, and it was slow and quiet. For its final look, lead concept artist Artem Shumnik was apparently inspired by the not remotely terrifying wood stork (opens in new tab). There is a hint of something slightly unnerving when you look at its head, though. Something Skeksis-like.
You'll be able to try and collect the bounty on this gruesome monster when it appears on the test servers this week. In the meantime, check out this killer concept art: