Creating a game that is a multiplayer only title can be rough since it is based solely on how entertaining it is to the audience that is playing it. Maintaining everybody's attention while giving them all a fair chance to win is a constant balance struggle that developers have to keep in mind. This challenge was not only accepted, but successfully achieved by Blazing Griffin. Murderous Pursuits is a game that lets players face off against each other while tasking them with stealth and murder. Originally shown off a few months back, closed beta has started and shown the type of game they plan for it to be.
Giving players a list of characters that they can play as, along with a list of skills that they can choose to equip in order to help them win the game, everybody will have their own unique style. This allows players to set themselves up to be defensive or offensive players.
The skills range from disguising your character to look as another character, to a stun bomb that prevents any character (player or NPC) from moving for a few seconds, or even a dance that lets you taunt the defeated player that you just killed. These skills can help you rack up points to take the win or help you get the best kill/death ratio in the game. The list of skills already gives quite the variety for players to try out and see what suits their play style best.
There are two other ways to get the most points for your success kills; low exposure level and weapon choice. There are various boxes laying around each map that contain different weapons. When you pass them, they show the number of how many points that weapon will give for getting a kill with it. With the max number being five (5) points, you will want to find the weapon that has that when possible. Thing is, the points are based on the weapon choice. It constantly changes so that you can't stick with the same weapon and get five points every time. This was a good mechanic that forces the player to move about the map and look for the best weapon choice for their next kill.
Keeping your exposure level was partly the harder part of the game. As an offensive focused player, having to stop in the multiple designated for enough time to get the exposure down was very taxing. There are so many benefits to keeping the exposure down though. At least the spots to do so are literally everywhere, so it is conveniently easy to find a spot to get it lowered. If you fail to keep your exposure down, your status will chance to exposed and will be like holding a giant flag that says "I'm here!" When you are exposed, the player that you are currently hunting will see the icon above you to show them that you are their killer while those hunting you down will see the icon that shows you are their victim.
Finding your target is pretty difficult as well. Changing every time you kill your previous target, try to kill the wrong character, or get caught by the guard trying to commit murder in front of him, you will always be searching for who you are to kill next. There is a meter on your screen that fills up the closer you are and becomes a full bar when standing within a few feet of distance from your target. That is your only indicator of who to kill. There is no picture of the player you are targeting, so you will have to rely on the meter for your hunting needs.
Graphics and Sounds
Murderous Pursuits took on a cartoony styled approach with their graphics, which helps make the murders being committed seem less violent. The maps do a great job portraying a Victorian era cruise boat and give an extravagant view as you hunt down your many targets.
The sound effects are simple, but to the point. Footsteps, appropriate sounds for each weapon, chatter from the many passengers on the boat, and screams from murdered players fill the game as you play.
I am hoping that they will add the option to see the picture of the player you are targeting to help you find your target easier than relying on the meter. I also hope to see more character designs, different skill choices, and maps with more variety to them. The gameplay itself seems pretty solid, but more maps and skill options can only improve the game.
Murderous Pursuits is a lot of fun as it is and can easily become a great manhunt style game. I can see many players spending hours trying to hunt down friends and randoms while trying to hide in plain sight to maintain a low exposure meter. There is a lot of potential for this game to become a great multiplayer game and I hope to see it flourish into the great multiplayer experience it is fast tracking to become!