English
Gamereactor
reviews
Star Wars: Hunters

Star Wars: Hunters

4v4 action in the Star Wars universe, optimised for iPhone and Android, that took over five years (!) to develop? Petter has played Hunters...

Subscribe to our newsletter here!

* Required field
HQ

Star Wars: Hunters is - in more ways than one - a project that fascinates me. First of all, it has been in development for over five years. Yep, you read that right. A mobile game developed over the course of almost six years, based of course on the Star Wars universe in its entirety with full, free access to all the mythology, side stories, characters and associated aesthetics/music. On top of this, Hunters is developed by a studio called Natural Motion (and their subsidiary Boss Alien) who in a relatively short time have set a new standard for how ragdoll physics and intelligence are used in both games but also in film animations. Natural Motion's proprietary animation engine Euphoria is not only at the heart of how characters move and react to physical objects in games such as GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Star Wars Force Unleashed and the upcoming Indiana Jones game from Machine Games, it is also an important part of the effects work in films such as The Little Mermaid (2023), Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Natural Motion hasn't developed many games themselves, but their technology is of course well proven and objectively quite phenomenal, which led their ownership group Zynga (now owned by Take Two) to task them with trying to create a multiplayer-orientated Star Wars game with the potential to last a long time and attract millions of trigger-happy team players.

Star Wars: Hunters

Star Wars: Hunters is an arena-based action game where two teams of four players each compete for victory in gorgeous Star Wars environments inspired by various locations and planets from George Lucas's beloved space opera. Told from a traditional third-person perspective, Hunters is free to download for Android and iPhone and free to play. Your bounty hunter is controlled using basic touch controls, with the weapon firing automatically every time the sight is steered over an enemy player, and in addition to this, each character has special abilities and specialities. In other words, Hunters is a bit like a mobile mix of Overwatch and Star Wars: Battlefront.

This is an ad:

I like to play on my Iphone 14 Pro Max and I have always liked to play on my moped car phone. I notice that the rhetoric here on the site among those of you who read about the mobile market is hateful, to say the least, and the last five years of eternally greedy macro transactions and the focus that has been placed on it, has of course evoked that kind of anti-feeling in many players. I understand that, of course. I myself have sat and rated over 100 iPhone games over the past three years, almost all of which turned out to be substandard. But sometimes, of course, real gems are rolled out that in many ways redefine what a small free game for the mobile phone can and perhaps even should be. Hunters is one such project.

Star Wars: Hunters

It's clear from the intro that 99% of everything released for Android and iPhone is cheaper, less ambitious, uglier and less well done than this. Natural Motion have really pulled out all the stops, had the money and above all the time to really create a real, full-sized Star Wars experience drowned in very successful design. Hunters is gorgeous. Really, really gorgeous. The design is a mix between Rebels, Clone Wars and Battlefront II and it really creates just the right feel, here. It doesn't look too childish but neither does it try to look like Force Unleashed or all the recent films as the environments and characters have a more cartoony feel drenched in bright, gorgeous colours.

Star Wars: Hunters
This is an ad:

It also flows really well. You can tell that the developers have taken almost two years (!) to optimise, polish and streamline everything from small menu details, fonts, buttons, loading screens to how everything flows and works on the screen when things get heated up. Being able to stand in a light brown, dirty little alley in the south-west of Mos Eisley and with three teammates spraying laser shots in the thousands at the attacking enemy team without the screen refresh dropping noticeably and without the explosions looking like low-resolution hard bread, is of course a joy and, as I said, a clear proof of what a well-polished product this is.

Star Wars: HuntersStar Wars: Hunters

Matches are short, intense and fast-paced without being too chaotic or difficult to keep track of. Of course, if you want to play an agile and nimble character who can easily flank opponents and escape fire at speed, it's just as possible as it is for the tank player to build up a real machine gun blob that slowly moves behind its team for massive fire support but instead may not be able to escape a four-player attack from the opposing team, just as easily. All of that works nicely and it feels like the balance here between classes, characters and different upgrade ladders works very well. Sometimes the skill-based matchmaking throws me together with players who don't have a single upgrade in their character, which means massive wholesale slaughter, but I'm guessing that has more to do with the fact that Hunters hasn't been officially released yet and won't be rolled out until next week.

Star Wars: HuntersStar Wars: Hunters

After all these years of development and polishing, there is no doubt that Natural Motion has produced one of the most well-made mobile games I have tried in years. Sure, sometimes the game mechanics and touch controls feel a bit too automated and I miss more opportunities to utilise the verticality of the environments and learn different parts of the game's movement, but on the other hand, it's well adapted and smartly scaled down to suit all players on all mobile phones.

Star Wars: Hunters
Star Wars: Hunters
Star Wars: Hunters
Star Wars: Hunters
Star Wars: Hunters
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Incredibly gorgeous visuals, really well polished and optimised graphics from a technical perspective, great game controls, brilliant music, lots of content
-
Contains microtransactions, somewhat simple game controls during some parts of the battles
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

Related texts

0
Star Wars: HuntersScore

Star Wars: Hunters

REVIEW. Written by Petter Hegevall

4v4 action in the Star Wars universe, optimised for iPhone and Android, that took over five years (!) to develop? Petter has played Hunters...



Loading next content