In 2018, a job posting from studio Alien: Isolation Creative Assembly leaked that he was working on a tactical first-person shooter. (opens in a new tab); the following year, the studio officially confirmed it (opens in a new tab). And now, all these years later, we finally get our first look at what the team has been up to: Hyenas is a “space piracy, smash and grab” multiplayer FPS that pits five teams of three against each other on a quest to steal the orbital malls of loot taken from the bones of a shattered Earth.
This is the future, you see, and the billionaires, having done what they did, are now comfortably settled on Mars. The zero-G technology they used to get there has unfortunately come a bit of a way on Earth (which probably wasn’t in great shape to begin with, or else why would anyone bother going to Mars), leaving the survivors to cling to existence in a floating slum called the Taint.
But life finds a way, as the saying goes, and in this case, that “way” is to team up and break into space warehouses called Plunderships, which the ultra-rich have filled with merch, loot, loot, tattoos and other kitschy crapola scavenged from the surface of the Earth by the diaspora of oligarchs, seemingly desperate for reminders of life in their former home. Of course, the cooperation in these efforts doesn’t go that far, which means that instead of everyone in the defilement working together to get the gears to the people responsible for their situation, five teams of three will battle royally to seize the goods and make their getaway.
(That’s how billionaires rise to unchallenged positions of authority in the first place, you know.)
“We believe the key to successful modern shooters is understanding what gamers want to see and where they want to get their experience from,” said executive producer David Nicholson. “We know we have something interesting on our hands, but we also know the odds are stacked against us.
“To take on the biggest games in the industry, we need to hear what gamers are thinking, upfront and early. If you’re in the game, we want to take you with us. That’s why after the announcement Today, we’re also embarking on the first of our public alpha tests.”
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Registration for the first round of testing is open to anyone in North America and Europe who is over 18 and has a Steam account. Initial sessions will include a small number of players, but testing will open up to more people, regions, and platforms as development progresses. Here’s what you’ll need to play:
- SE: Windows 7
- Processor: Quad-core processor clocked at 2.5 Ghz
- RAM: 10 GB
- VRAM: 5 GB
- DirectX: 12
- Disk space: ~31 GB
- SE: Windows 10 64 bit
- Processor: Any 6th Gen Intel processor or any Ryzen 1000 series or better
- RAM: 16 GB
- VRAM: 6 GB – Nvidia 1660 or AMD 5600 XT or Vega 556
- DirectX: 12
- Disk space: ~31 GB
Creative Assembly acknowledged that the recommended requirements are relatively high, but said it was still working on optimizing the game and lowering the specs.
Sega and Creative Assembly said there are “lots more details to come” about Hyenas before its full release in 2023, but for now you can sign up to test access and learn more about how which all happens at playhyenas. com (opens in a new tab).
Update: I originally described Hyenas, which features five teams of three players each battling to complete specific tasks in a closed battlefield, like a battle royale. Creative Assembly says (with some emphasis) that’s not the case, however.