Tech

Midnight Ghost Hunt’s prop hunting can be hard – but haunting is a hoot

Midnight Ghost Chase is the latest in a steadily lengthening line of Prop Hunt-inspired political party games. There are two teams: the Ghosts, and the Hunters. The Ghosts can possess objects in the world to hide inside, and their job is to survive until midnight. The Hunters must apply a variety of loftier-tech gadgets and weapons to track downward and destroy the Ghosts earlier that time, or else take a chance being hunted themselves in one case midnight strikes.

The game is already out on Steam Early Access, and has been for a few weeks now. You’ll probably know already whether y’all’d be interested in giving it a go: after all, it’southward Prop Hunt. Merely it’due south besides got a fair few more bells and whistles than other Prop Chase-likes that I’ve encounter. And so, a group of us decided to gather ane chill winter’southward eve (sunny Friday morning really, but hey, I’g tryna set a spooky tone), and fustigate each other’due south heads with inanimate objects for a few hours. And judging from all the yelps and shouting, I’d say we had a good fourth dimension.

Ollie:
Permit’s start at the beginning. How did we all go on in the opening moments of Midnight Ghost Hunt? We’re all coming in with varying amounts of experience with Prop Hunt-likes; were you lot able to get stuck into hunting and haunting pretty quickly, or was the assortment of perks and options all a bit overwhelming?

James:
I like to think information technology helped to take played two weeks of Squad Fortress 2 prop hunt back in 2010 or something. That said, I don’t think any prop hunt game in beingness favours the props as much every bit Midnight Ghost Hunt – if you lot go in thinking you just demand to shoot some candlesticks, pop the helpless spirits and head home, yous’re going to end up with your soul sucked out pretty quickly.

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Ed:
I’ve non played Prop Hunt or a Prop Chase-similar at all, then I was a picayune intimidated. Merely hey, it didn’t accept too long to get into the rhythm of hiding and haunting. James is correct, though, turns out possessing piece of furniture is extremely powerful. Similar, deadline
too powerful.

Hayden:
Similar Ed, this was my starting time proper foray into hunting props, merely I understood the general concept so zippo was too surprising. I’d agree that playing as the ghosts definitely clicked faster. There are plenty of powers to try out, like turning invisible or making objects levitate, and they’re much easier to grasp than the diverse prop-hunting tools. I’m however non sure how the radar works.

Ollie:
The main innovation of Midnight Ghost Hunt does likewise seem similar it might be the first stumbling block for a lot of players. Namely, only how many perks and powers there are to choose from. At offset, almost of these options are locked, merely yous’ll speedily earn enough ectoplasm from matches to unlock more than skills to endeavor out. Which is great! But as the overall skill level of the lobby increases, things become much more than confusing, with ghosts capable of emitting fake signals to trick radar-users, and hunters able to start using freezing weapons, grenades, and all sorts of other chaos-inducing implements.

Ed:
I call up the level of choice here is skillful, it’s cool being able to kit out your character with a multifariousness of ghostbusting tools or spectral support systems. But aye, the sheer number of options tin make the simple act of fight or flight an overly awkward bumble as you either fat-finger a button press or mentally short excursion.

Ollie:
Of class, it might be that we were simply all very bad. Judging by how many times I got thonked in the head by a possessed bench or gravestone, that’s very likely.

Hayden:
Yeah, we got destroyed in those early sessions. A lot of our opponents were high levels, so they knew how everything worked while we were just stumbling effectually like fools.

When a haunted stack of books knocked out Ed by swinging a door in his face, then led me on a looping pursuit that ended with it knocking me out with the
same fucking door, I was mad just too respected the play.

James:
I don’t recollect it’s necessarily a problem that there’s then much to get your head around at first, as anybody starts off with a decent fix of Hunter kit and a choice of two Ghost abilities. Everything else is basically learning curve stuff. For me the bigger frustration is that the Ghost powers are only so strong – when they tin perfectly spoof your tracking gear, how can y’all ever trust it over again except at the very start of a round?

And those powers come on meridian of the bread-and-butter tricks ghosts can pull, like flinging possessed objects equally a surprise attack, or telekinetically messing with doors. I really thought these base abilities were a lot more satisfying to apply, and more interesting to play confronting, than the unlockable powers. When a haunted stack of books knocked out Ed past swinging a door in his face up, then led me on a looping pursuit that ended with it knocking me out with the
same fucking door, I was mad just also respected the play. Much more than so than when someone just pressed their “Use instant, completely hunter-negating magic” button.

Ed:
That door ability got me so many times, but at that place’south a fashion to get back into the action if you lot’ve succumbed to a slam. So long as someone on your team has a defibrillator, they tin can go you back upward. That is, if the ghosties oasis’t sucked your soul dry. On the flipside, if you perish as a ghost you’ll turn into a ghost of a ghost. This lets you haunt the remaining hunters with featherbrained abilities like slowing auras and traps, and it’s a great fourth dimension being extra expressionless.

Ollie:
Information technology is indeed. I establish myself sighing internally a little whenever it was fourth dimension to exist the Hunter instead of the Ghost. Theoretically the Hunters have as many quirks and perks to choose from as the Ghosts exercise, but there didn’t seem to exist nigh as much room for clever tactics. That’s probably inevitable with these games, though. At to the lowest degree Midnight Ghost Hunt mixes things upwards in other means with the titular Midnight mechanic.

James:
Midnight sounded like the near tantalising twist before I’d played information technology: a complete reversal where the prop hunter becomes the prop hunted. And it does provide some of the game’s funniest moments, similar having to fight off a gnashing, reanimated dinosaur skull while dodging a trio of flying benches. Just if the initial hunting phase already leans towards the pro-ghost stance, this sends it fifty-fifty further out of whack. I don’t remember nosotros survived a single Midnight as hunters, or left a single survivor every bit the ghosts.

A ghost zaps a horizontal ghost buster in Midnight Ghost Hunt

Hayden:
I found the whole midnight affair really stressful at first. If the hunters don’t manage to eliminate all of the ghosts inside a v infinitesimal window, they all respawn and go to fight back in a reddish rage. That’s bang-up if the ghosts are scrambling to survive, simply as James mentions, they’re near always on top. It definitely flips the prop-hunt script on its head, simply it just seems like another fashion to punish hunters.

I will say that things got a lot more than entertaining when we mixed upwardly the teams. Me and Ollie swapped over to the ghost side to play against James and Ed, making things more than counterbalanced, and that gave us a chance to mess around and learn how certain skills worked without dying almost instantly. That radar-spoofing that James mentioned? That was all me, and I was creasing with laughter while he desperately shot at everything in the room. Leading the others on a wild goose chase was maybe my favourite part of the whole feel.

Ollie:
Aye, it’southward always so much more satisfying when it’southward friends you’re fooling instead of strangers. But it still feels like the Ghosts are the ones having the all-time time. One of my favourite moments in the whole game was later iii of united states of america ghosties had already been destroyed, and the merely ane left was a three HP James who had possessed a pocket-size ball and wedged himself under a staircase. And then midnight struck, and we all came back to life, set to exact revenge upon our killers. It was a pure hit of dopamine. And yet, only like using clever tactics to mislead the Hunters’ instruments, information technology felt similar the Ghosts were having fun at the Hunters’ expense.

James:
For all my moaning near the Ghosts beingness overpowered, that incident did bring out the thrills of being hunted. Even when the timer ran down I was so deep into the sense of fear that when the Hunters did approach my little corner, I ran, still in ball form. Simply afterwards a minute or so of billowy abroad, express joy-crying for help, did I realise I’d actually ascended to demonhood, and turned effectually to smack downward all three pursuers with my bare ghost hands. See? Ghosts have more fun.

Ed:
I experience like we’ve all got less exemplary moments as the hunters, just peradventure that’ll come with practise. We did become outplayed past a rival hunter who pretended to be AFK – or actually was for a bit – before he sprung to life and tore us to shreds. I clearly remember James bashing him every bit a box, then winding up another attack casually, before the enemy awoke and engaged his trap card. The ensuing squeals were exceptional.

Hayden:
Hunting ghosts isn’t all poking objects and traipsing effectually though. One time, I spawned in the estate and immediately opened a nearby door to start my hunt before getting rushed past a ghost possessing a large knight. They leapt forward and chased me around like something out of an episode of Scooby Doo, only with lots more panicked screaming as I tried to become away. I think being on the receiving end of the ghosts’ hijinks is fun, but only come prepared for a prop-hunt that gives the props all of the power.

James:
I am especially fond of the weaponisable props, similar that suit of armour and the cannons on the pirate ship map. Also, there’s a pirate send map, which is dope.

Speaking of, I’d like to see more maps that don’t attach so strictly to spoooooooky conventions. The haunted house and dilapidated church aren’t bad game spaces but at that place was much more novelty to ghostbusting a hidden cove, and that fossil-stuffed museum. Perchance some opportunities here for custom maps, if those become a affair?

Ollie:
It feels like an uphill struggle for games like these to maintain a playerbase later on launch, only custom maps would definitely be a large feather in Midnight Ghost Hunt’due south cap. I’d dear it if you could plonk a huge assortment of random props into a earth and merely play. Another of my favourite moments was when I was busy method-acting my way into a sofa as a Ghost, and from my vantage signal in the corner I just saw a candelabra careen across the room, swiftly followed by a Hunter. And equally it passed, me, the candelabra grumbled, in James’s voice: “Oh, for fuck’s sake.” It was comically surreal. The more random moments like these, the better.

James:
Conspicuously this, similar most games, becomes more enjoyable when played with a perennially unfortunate hardware editor. Though in all seriousness, I agreed with Hayden when he said Midnight Ghost Hunt is at its all-time when you’ve got pals on both sides – the Hunter teamwork becomes more satisfying, and the Ghost outplays become funnier. I actually found it a trivial Among Us-esque in that regard, with circular ends immediately followed by triumphant (but non ill-willed) gloating nearly who outsmarted who.

Ed:
Yeah, the game is definitely built with mates in mind – not that playing against randoms is terrible or anything. Only in all honesty, I couldn’t encounter myself playing the game on my lonesome, at least not on the regular. But if a group of usa got together at the stop of every week for an hour or two, I wouldn’t be averse to information technology, you know? Information technology’south a fun time in short bursts.

Despite the balancing issues, it’south merely so like shooting fish in a barrel to have fun in this silly brilliant little game.

Hayden:
Those coming to Midnight Ghost Hunt alone can fill lobbies with bots if y’all don’t manage to find others online, only be warned: the bots seem a flake broken. Hunter bots snap onto ghosts with remarkable precision and seem mostly immune to any attempts at trickery. Ghost bots, on the other hand, are appropriately lifeless for something dead. I paid detail attention to one for an entire round to encounter if it had any tactics upward its sleeve, just it remained in the same position and object for the full five minutes. Why even come up back as a ghost if y’all don’t desire to haunt people?

Ollie:
Having bots in a game like this just doesn’t make sense. Ed’due south correct – I can’t see myself playing it without a dedicated group to play with. But that’s to be expected. I think if there’s whatsoever yardstick by which Midnight Ghost Hunt tin be truly judged, it’s how much you lot’d be interested in making time one time or twice a calendar week for a session with your friends. And I don’t know virtually you guys, but I’d definitely be up for that – despite the game’s balancing issues. It’south just so easy to take fun in this silly vivid little game.

James:
On elevation of the demand for a grouping, I’d probably want a few tweaks to stop Hunters having their early on advantage so easily nullified. Or at the very least, brand Midnight feel like it’s not but delaying an inevitable wipe; mayhap allow for a Titanfall-style rush for the exits, instead of just giving the Ghosts five minutes to play with their food? I don’t remember Squad Poltergeist should be nerfed to the betoken that Midnight Ghost Hunt becomes but another prop hunt, but some levelling out wouldn’t hurt.

Hayden:
Yeah, I’d need my whole gaming group on lath if I were to revisit Midnight Ghost Hunt in the future. Although, I practise wonder if my involvement would only final until I’ve exhausted the more ridiculous props. Most of my favourite moments were the four of the states rampaging around equally a grouping of animate being statues, or showing everyone the weird fiddling troll that I’d found hidden behind a cupboard. Any new maps would need some equally wacky items, considering I don’t recollect I’d come back to play as a garbage bag.

Ed:
I am downward for lightly toasting pigs in a museum again. That’southward an experience you tin can’t detect anywhere else, specially when said pig is probably a ghost and it’s going to spring out of its snout and punch you lot to expiry.

James:
I burned it so I wouldn’t have to fight it subsequently.

Ed:
And that’due south Midnight Ghost Chase, baby.

Source: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/midnight-ghost-hunts-prop-hunting-can-be-hard-but-haunting-is-a-hoot