Midnight Ghost Hunt looks like a fun and chaotic multiplayer game
Jhe last few years have proven vital in a seismic shift to the way multiplayer experiences are created and delivered. A genre that was once restricted to only big-name developers and publishers has now opened up to smaller teams – thanks in large part to the growing popularity of digital publishing platforms, crowdfunding opportunities and, of course, the Steam’s early access program. While the sudden influx of releases from untested developers has had an obvious downside in that there are plenty of underwhelming games on the platform, but on the bright side there are also plenty of new and unreleased experiences. that fans are experiencing these days.
In this feature series on highlighting promising releases, we’ve covered a few multiplayer experiences such as HOT LANDS, and much more. Today we’ll be looking at yet another title from developer Vaulted Sky Games – Midnight Ghost Hunt. It’s a game that combines many proven ideas from contemporaries of the genre to create an experience unlike any other – and it could very well become one of the biggest multiplayer games of the near future.
Midnight Ghost Hunt, as the title subtly suggests, is all about chasing ghosts before midnight strikes. Players team up in groups of 4 – who are then pitted against each other in a fight for survival. One group takes on the role of Ghostbusters, teams of special operators who are sent to various locations around the world to rid them of paranormal activity. The other team takes on the role of Ghosts, who must use their wits and powers to outsmart and defeat the Ghostbusters. Midnight Ghost Hunt is an asymmetrical multiplayer experience, so both teams must work in radically different ways to stand a chance of winning.
A reference Midnight Ghost Hunt round begins with a preparation phase. The ghost hunter team can choose from a wide range of options in the form of weapons, gadgets and perks before well into the game to clean up the ghosts. For ghosts, the preparation phase involves trying to find the perfect place to hide from approaching threats. You see, ghosts can take possession of any object on the map; anything from an ordinary plant to a chandelier on the ceiling to an old cannon lying around in the attic. Additionally, ghosts can also choose from a selection of haunts and perks that will help them deal damage to ghost hunters.
At the start of the round, Ghostbusters must use their Ghostbusters like a Paranormal Noise Detector and Tracker to approximate and triangulate the location of Ghosts. You also have a large assortment of weapons to choose from like a harpoon shooter, a shotgun with anti-ghost salt pellets, and a bolt-action sniper rifle, among others. Additionally, you can also set traps around the map to catch ghostly spirits when they start to run amok.
Once found, the attacker must essentially reduce the ghost’s health until its HP drops to zero. Until then, the ghosts get a small window to escape the clutches of the attacker. Different weapons require different tactics to unleash – as a shotgun can slow down a ghost while it may require breaking line of sight to get rid of a harpoon. Once a ghost has fallen, Ghostbusters must clean up the ghostly remains of the fall to prevent them from being revived by teammates.
While it’s clear that Hunters have a clear advantage in the main round, the developers have also struck a wonderful balance in favor of Ghosts. Although ghosts don’t have bespoke offensive options, you can use creative ways to dispatch enemies. You can pop out of the sky as an unassuming gargoyle, or you can pick up a cannon and fire when the hunter is in sight. Additionally, you can also use your abilities and perks to trap a hunter in their tracks and deal damage using selected attachments in the environment. Basically, you have a ton of options at your disposal to even the odds.
The goal of the Hunters is to track down and dispatch all Hunters before the Midnight Strikes. If they succeed, they win right away. However, if even a lone ghost spirit sticks around until the clock strikes 12, they will all return as vengeful spirits that will have aggressive, high damage-dealing movesets. Hunters will have to survive the constant onslaught of attacks in this round, which is, of course, easier said than done.
That said, this constant back and forth of power between the two sides is what ultimately makes Midnight Ghost Hunt so endearing. Ghosts and Ghostbusters always have plenty of opportunities to turn the tide, making every game an exciting experience. With a wide array of tools and abilities always available at the player’s disposal, Midnight Ghost Hunt is a deeply tactical experience that can have a high skill ceiling that should keep more players coming back for more.
Now let’s move on to the level design, Midnight Ghost Hunt features many different map layouts for players to improve their strategies. The levels featured in the game have both sprawling and expansive outdoor environments overlooking numerous vantage points, which provide a stark contrast to the many cramped interiors and hallways of the mansions that are sure to ignite a constant sense of dread in a hunter – thanks to the abundance of accessories lying around. Much like the pre-tour preparation phase, the level design philosophy seems to draw heavily from Rainbow Six Siege. It really goes hand-in-hand with the tactical nature of the game, and fans can expect to see more and more varied maps coming to the game in the not-too-distant future.
Midnight Ghost Hunt is the debut title from developer Vaulted Sky Games and seems to punch well above its weight in this regard. In addition to a solid visual presentation, the game exhibits excellent balance – which is a difficult puzzle to solve, especially in asymmetric multiplayer experiences. Of course, the studio would most likely have some help in this regard from its publisher Coffee Stain Publishing.
Development has also been pretty smooth, and the studio has already released several closed betas. At the time of writing this feature, Midnight Ghost Hunt is already available as part of the Steam Early Access program, although details on the full release remain scarce at this time. While there are certainly a few rough edges here and there, Midnight Ghost Hunt is an incredibly promising game with a ton of potential as it currently stands. While one can never be too sure, we certainly hope with crossed fingers that Vaulted Sky Games’ delivers a fantastic game with the full version that countless fans will most likely return to again and again.
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