first impressions: sega's multiplayer fps hyenas is baffling, but maybe in a good way

Having seen a behind closed doors presentation of SEGA’s and Creative Assembly’s upcoming PvPvE shooter, Hyenas, the first thing we couldn’t help but think was, “This does not feel like a SEGA game”. Our second thought was “This really doesn’t feel like a Creative Assembly game”.

SEGA hasn’t released a game you’d call a first-person shooter since 2014’s Alien Isolation (also developed by CA) or The Typing of the Dead’s PC port in 2013. Neither of these are what you would call traditional shooters, and they’re a far cry from the fast-paced, competitive multiplayer game that Hyenas is positioning itself as.

The studio best known for the grand tactics of Total War has left the battlefields of history, Warhammer and Halo behind, instead opting to send players to large space stations full of retro technology and things that want you dead. When described like that, Hyenas sounds somewhat similar to Alien: Isolation, but believe us, they could not be more different.

first impressions: sega's multiplayer fps hyenas is baffling, but maybe in a good way

The billionaires have fled a destroyed Earth for a life of luxury on Mars. While they’re there, the most valuable commodity and status symbol has become merchandise. Yes, really. Not fuel, not water — the most precious resource seems to be vinyl figures, swag bags, and old video game memorabilia. However, the fat cats haven’t taken all this stuff with them. Merch, loot, and branded products are stored off-planet on giant floating space stations called Plunder Ships, which seem like some hybrid between a casino, a bank, and Gamescom’s commercial area. It’s an admittedly fun premise, and the demo we saw was not shy about its political message. In fact, the SEGA representative even joked about the irony of handing out bags and hoodies to the press for such a clearly anti-capitalist game after the demo.

However, while the game seems keen on making rather pointed commentary, it also wants to be a live-service, competitive shooter. The gameplay sees five teams of three Hyenas (space robbers) board one of these Plunder Ships. Teams must then gather merch, and drill into certain vaults for a bigger haul. All the while, you and your teammates will fight AI controlled PMC guards named MURFs as well as the four other enemy teams. Once one team has gathered enough loot, they’ll have to get to a docking area to call for a VIP shuttle. If that team is killed by other players or MURFs trying to stop their escape, they will drop their merch and the game will keep going until another team gets enough Sonic plushies and Rubik’s Cubes to call for another shuttle.

first impressions: sega's multiplayer fps hyenas is baffling, but maybe in a good way

While we saw an alpha version of the game, meaning it was not particularly polished, Hyenas seems to be aiming to pit players against more computer-controlled mobs than other PvPvE games, like Hunt: Showdown or Escape from Tarkov. It was somewhat unclear whether man or machine would be the bigger threat during gameplay, mainly because we were told that AI and their pathing, patrol routes, and more were still yet to be added.

That being said, enemies seem mightily dangerous, which is another way of saying you and your team have some very neat-looking tools, abilities, and guns that look and sound like they pack quite the punch. Things like animations and character models are still being worked on, but Creative Assembly did walk us through three characters/classes.

First was a sniper called El Silbon who had the ability let her and her teammates see through walls for short periods of time. This ability paired neatly with the Foam Grenade, which can create temporary cover or force enemies to find alternate routes out in the open.

first impressions: sega's multiplayer fps hyenas is baffling, but maybe in a good way

We then saw some gameplay of Galaxia, a drag queen and (maybe) a tank equivalent. Her ability is a taunting shout that seems to cause MURFs to aggro on her, and some other effect on human-controlled characters that we didn’t see. The demo paired this with the Kitty Grenade which, yep, is a throwable cat toy that explodes into a field of lasers.

Lastly was Prima, a ballerina, who appears to have the power to ignore gravity for short periods of time. While certain rooms are zero-g, and other areas can have it turned off to flush out enemies from cover or get up to high ground, Prima is able to float in the air and gain some speed in order to get out of fights. This is where the devs highlighted the importance of evasion in the game, as sometimes you just have to flee to one of the Plunder Ship’s many vents, especially if your teammates have been killed and you need to find a GROyou machine (you respawn teammates by quickly growing a clone of them, or a least we think that’s what you do based on the name).

first impressions: sega's multiplayer fps hyenas is baffling, but maybe in a good way

This is where the game reminded us of Apex Legends, not just its gameplay but also its somewhat cel-shaded art style in character cinematics. Characters were already very well defined with roles and personalities in this early version, while the art style employs hard lines and striking silhouettes similar to Borderlands.

While this showcase of Hyenas certainly has us interested, we still couldn’t help thinking, “This is such a baffling game”. While a wider progression is promised, it’s hard to tell if this game’s loud characters and neon-drenched art will be able to pull PvPvE fans away from Tarkov or Showdown. On top of that, for a game with satirical anti-capitalist message already, it seems ripe for brand integrations, crossover merch, skins, and more. Alongside all the Sonic and SEGA jokes, the team has clearly already licensed both Rubik’s and Atari to cameo in the game with merch to fight over, and those are just the ones we spotted.

This all might not be a problem for you if you’re just looking for a fun multiplayer shooter to play with (or against) your friends, but it was the most noticeable in a long line of things that made us think “This is such a strange game” during that 15-minute demo.

There is currently no release date for Hyenas beyond a vague 2023 window, but the game appears to have a co-marketing deal with Sony, so be prepared to see a lot more of it over the coming months. Are you excited for Hyenas? Let us know in the comments section below.


When is the release date of Sifu’s Summer Update?

Image via Sloclap Earlier this year, Slowcap’s Sifu took the world by storm, selling over one million copies in its first three weeks on the market. Close to launch, the team revealed that the game would get several free content updates over the course of the year. In the ...

View more: When is the release date of Sifu’s Summer Update?

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty gameplay trailer shows fast-paced, high-flying action

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a slow burning title that’s slowly heating up and bringing the hype to fans of third person action titles. One of next year’s most dynamic and aggressive titles has just gotten a new gameplay trailer, giving us a brief glimpse of what we have to ...

View more: Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty gameplay trailer shows fast-paced, high-flying action

New Minecraft Legends Trailer Gives A First Look At Fiery Foes

Gungrave GORE - Release Date Trailer - IGN

A series making its return after many years, Gungrave GORE promises bloody mayhem, a killer team, and a fall release date in this new Gamescom trailer. A mix of CG and gameplay gives it a good taste of the carnage to come. This new Gungrave game will launch on ...

View more: Gungrave GORE - Release Date Trailer - IGN

Heavy Metal's first YA story Starward concludes with an all-out celestial brawl

This is not your grandfather's Heavy Metal

View more: Heavy Metal's first YA story Starward concludes with an all-out celestial brawl

Nexa and flameZ help OG upset FaZe in BLAST Premier Fall Groups

Photo via PGL OG beat FaZe Clan 2-1 today in the knockout stage of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, which is their best result since adding Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar, Maciej “F1KU” Miklas, and Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov halfway through 2022. The victory allows OG to move further in the CS:GO ...

View more: Nexa and flameZ help OG upset FaZe in BLAST Premier Fall Groups

Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed Review

In the first Destroy All Humans!, Crypto evidently didn’t manage to successfully carry out his objective to destroy all of the humans – as per the title’s remit – necessitating the existence of a 2006 sequel, which forms the basis for this remake, playfully titled Destroy All Humans! 2 – ...

View more: Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed Review

Hearthstone Patch 24.2: Full notes and updates

Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds everywhere Miscellaneous Mercs, Brawliseum, and more Image via Blizzard Entertainment The latest update to Blizzard’s popular card game is bringing along the new separate seasonal pass for Battlegrounds and Runestones, Hearthstone’s new virtual currency. Heroic Brawliseum is also making a return, plus in-game reporting is finally being ...

View more: Hearthstone Patch 24.2: Full notes and updates

Metal Gear and Silent Hill fans hope Konami's announcement could revive classic games

Age of Darkness: Final Stand - Edwin Hero Spotlight - IGN

Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed Video Review - IGN

The First 13 Minutes of Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed PS5 Gameplay - IGN

Destroy All Humans 2 - Reprobed

Team Liquid officially exits PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds eSports

‘The Ghost Lights’ VOD Review

Official PC system requirements for Hogwarts Legacy

Review Destroy all Humans! 2 – Reprobed

Aliens: Dark Descent is more than an XCOM clone - and feels surprisingly true to the movies

Destiny 2's New Craftable Taipan-4FR Linear Fusion Rifle Is A Must-Have, Here's How To Get It

Volunteer As A Subject In THE OUTLAST TRIALS Closed Beta