Developer Creative Assembly has finally unmasked Hyenas, its long-in-the-works sci-fi shooter – and while Alien Isolation fans might be a little disappointed to see it’s not a much-hoped for successor, anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing heists in a space should be very cheerful.
Creative Assembly first revealed it was working on a sci-fi shooter back in September 2018, calling it an “ambitious multiplayer title” and a “fresh take on the FPS genre” that would enable players to “embrace a variety of creative playstyles”. Almost four years later, that project has now been named as Hyenas, a “ballsy entry into the most competitive genre in gaming”.
“In Hyenas, the world is broken… literally,” explains Creative Assembly. “The billionaires have finally made it to Mars, leaving Earth and those tax bills far behind. The zero-gravity tech that powered their journey has shattered our planet, abandoning us in a drifting slum called the ‘Taint’. The only thing the rich care for is rare Merch, pop culture swag from the lives we left behind, which they loot from the rubble to furnish their Martian mansions.”
All that valuable swag is gathered up and stored on interstellar shopping malls known as a Plunderships, and players will need to assemble a crew of uniquely skilled criminals in order to break in, steal whatever they can, and get out out again safely – all while avoiding hired thugs, alarm systems, and armed drones.
The twist, however, is that Hyenas isn’t simply a game of co-operative multiplayer heists. Alongside the aforementioned environmental hazards, each three-person crew will also need to contend with four other teams, all attempting to walk away with the “spiciest haul”.
Creative Assembly calls each Plundership a “sandbox playground of interlocking systems creating endless opportunities for slick teams to exploit”, and promises “blisteringly quick movement and lethal combat” as each match unfolds. And to mix things up a little further, players will also need to navigate “hazardous, and often switchable, zero-G zones” as they work to eliminate other crews.
While Creative Assembly isn’t saying much more about Hyenas just yet, it does note the game won’t incorporate any pay-to-win mechanics. There are, however, Panini sticker albums, a Sega Mega Drive, and Pez dispensers, so there you go.
Hyenas launches for Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC next year, but impatient sorts can sign up for the game’s first, and seemingly imminent, closed alpha test on PC right now.