It’s weird to look at games out of context of style or presentation. On the face of it Murderous Pursuits is a multiplayer game where you must kill a target assigned to you, controlled by another player, all the while avoiding the player who has been assigned to off you. Without thinking of the style or context this sounds like a horrific manhunt style creepshow that would be sure to get the Daily Mail in a tizzy, thankfully developers Blazing Griffin have gone with a near Bioshock Infinite art style and had confetti explode and horns audibly praise you for a good murder so you don’t feel like the next Ted Bundy.
In Murderous Pursuits you will placed on a time travelling airship under the watchful eye of MR X, a Machiavellian voyeur. he has tasked you with, performing the highest value kills you can within a time limit. To achieve this you must first look at the Favour Board, inside this each of the five weapons available are assigned a point value, a kill with said weapon gets you the points. Add on to that points for doing it whilst hidden from public view and just general style and you start to move up the score board against the other 7 players. When a kill is performed with a weapon it’s point value drops so you are constantly needing to hunt down the most valuable, and nearest, weapon to make the kill even worth while.
To provide you with some help you are able to blend in with certain crowds of NPC’s and stare longingly at paintings. There are two quite clever reasons for doing these actions, the first is that you are blending in with automatic animations that make you look like AI and the other is that as you walk around outside of cover you have an overall awareness rating from 1-5, the longer you’re outside of one of these blend in locations the higher your rating goes and if you hit a rating of 5 you appear on the screen for both your victim, and your hunter. Sprinting is the quickest way to make this rating go flying up and with that we hit one of my gripes with Murderous Pursuits, only players sprint. This is both a benefit and a hindrance, it does mean you can spot your target quicker in a room but on the flip side the basic walking speed is so slow and constant that if you and your target are walking down a corridor you literally can never catch them until they stand still. If your only way of scoring points is a player who sprints everywhere then congratulations, you’ve found a quick way to spot them, but with all weapons requiring you to be within 2 feet of your target it means that the only way to catch them is to sprint also, giving you away; all this leads to a farcical situation like I saw in one game where I saw 5 different people all sprinting around a main room on one level.
With a bit of balancing in patches there is potential for all this to be fixed, but it just seems counter to what the game is, is this a stealth game or is it a deathmatch? there seems to be a real struggle from game to game to know which way the rest of the players are going to go. There are guards littered around levels that will ‘arrest’ and reset your quarry if they see you try to do something bad but theres an odd situation where you end up getting arrested and then another player comes up and performs vigilante justice in front of the guard whilst they berate you and lock you in an animation defenceless.
Players can pick from a handful of characters that match the ones found controlled by NPCs, mix with that that everyone can choose two abilities. These range from the ability to disguise yourself in a puff of smoke and then become a new character or the ability to quickly hit the action button to counter an attempt on your life. By far the most overused and over powered ability is the flash bang that basically allows a hunter to walk into a room, stun the 10 people inside and then stab you up a treat, frustrating but a valid tactic. As with all of my issues with Murderous Pursuits, the game itself is a blast and all of the problems I’ve had with it are things that can be patched to be better balanced.
Murderous Pursuits is a game that will live or die by the community that surrounds it. Being a predominantly online game it obviously needs a player base to ensure that there is value in keeping the servers up and about. I played the game at numerous times throughout the day and the only time I hit problems was around late morning UK time as most people were either at work or asleep in America. In this situation the game will substitute any missing players with an AI counterpart. The issue comes with trying to come spot any bots that may be in your match. The whole premise of the game is to blend in with the AI around you, you look for your opponents to make human errors; sprint whilst in sight, over step into a blend in location and have to take a step back to correct, change direction and then second guess themselves. All of these are things an AI wouldn’t do, and these are things that an AI pretending to be a human pretending to be an AI definitely wouldn’t do. You’re left with using the highly innacurate compass to best guess which of the 12 AI Bots in front of you is your quarry and then just roll with whatever the outcome happens to be.
With it’s live role play bluffing core mechanic Murderous Pursuits has hit the nail on the head for a great concept boiled down to a quite simple mantra, kill or be killed. There is little frill here, you are simply on this airship to hunt your quarry and survive whilst you carry that out. There’s neat little extras like the abilities you can assign and you’ll unlock colour palletes for your character of choice by levelling up and gaining a certain overall score, but outside of those areas, the game is what the game is. I’ve had a blast playing Murderous Pursuits and I imagine it would only take a couple of ‘influencers’ to pick this up and play on their YouTube and Twitch channels for this game to be the next big thing, but if it doesn’t get that traction, if there is even a slight player drop off and bots start filling this game then Murderous Pursuits would be hard to recommend. You need that challenge of finding a human opponent in the mass of AI. There is very little as satisfying as working out who someone is, not because they sprinted, or because they screwed up, just because you’re smart enough to read the compass and the room and like Neo seeing 1’s and 0’s you can spot your quarry and lunge for the kill. Just hope they don’t have that counter ability set up to reverse and attempted kills. nike air max 2017 nike air max 2017