I had the opportunity to play Hyenas, Creative Assembly's live service heist game, at Gamescom this year, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. My initial impression of the game from last year's showcase was not positive, as I found it obnoxious and underwhelming. However, this year's experience was quite the opposite.
Hyenas offers a refreshing take on the extraction shooter genre by prioritizing fast-paced team deathmatch gameplay over slow and methodical approaches. In my 30-minute match against other players, I enjoyed the action-packed nature of the game. While it's too early to make definitive judgments, I believe Hyenas might have a better chance at succeeding than I initially thought.
In the game, players are divided into teams of three and tasked with cracking open vaults scattered throughout the map to collect as much loot as possible. However, there are both AI enemies and other players who will try to stop you from escaping with the loot. The first half of the match involves powering up through loot found in lockers and caches, including weapons, shields, and grenades. I particularly enjoyed the ability to level up grenades by collecting duplicates.
The gunplay in Hyenas is solid, with clear health bars on enemies and satisfying hit marker feedback. While the AI enemies posed little threat, the encounters with other teams during the extraction phase added an exciting element to the gameplay. The rush of downing an enemy and hearing their cries of defeat was a thrill.
The match concluded with a final stand at the extraction zone, where we had to fend off waves of enemies. Thankfully, my team made it out unscathed, completing the match successfully.
Overall, Hyenas offers a compressed and exhilarating experience within a half-hour timeframe. While it may struggle to stand out in a crowded genre, my hopes for the game have definitely risen after experiencing its fast-paced gameplay. The closed beta for Hyenas will be available from August 31st to September 11th, and I look forward to exploring the game further then.[Source: Gamescom 2023]