Creative Assembly's long-awaited zero-gravity online shooter HYENAS is gearing up for a 2023 launch, meaning budding space pirates and anti-heroes alike can finally start suiting up for a barrage of intergalactic chaos and adrenaline-fueled combat. A question that yearns to be answered here is, will it have the mettle to compete with the likes of Overwatch 2, yet another PvP FPS that dabbles in all the same waters?
Of course, there's still a fair amount we don't actually know about HYENAS—a concrete release date, for one. That said, both Creative Assembly and publisher SEGA have been kind enough to shed light on a number of key details, mostly pertaining to its gameplay and overall format. And so, if you're curious to know more about it, then be sure to read on. HYENAS: what is it, and why should you be keeping tabs on it in 2023?
What Is HYENAS?
HYENAS is an upcoming tactical team-based FPS by Creative Assembly, a studio best known for its lineage of critically acclaimed Total War sagas. In this latest venture, teams of three are invited to embark on epic voyages across zero-gravity biomes in search of valuable loot stowed away on “Plunderships”—enormous vessels in which four other teams compete to claim its rewards. That's where you, merely one of five teams, will make your stand and battle it out for the sweet, sweet nectar.
In Creative Assembly's words: “HYENAS is a hero-based, multiplayer extraction shooter where you play as misfit anti-heroes competing against other squads and security forces to steal valuable merch with epic zero-G combat.” So, a lot like Payday, then—enveloped in an outer space setting, more or less.
Earth is but a frail shadow of its former self, meaning the only things left to salvage are pop culture artefacts and decade-old memorabilia. In a bid to exploit these extremely rare collectibles for private gain, teams of anti-heroes band together to intercept Plunderships—billionaire-funded spacecrafts that transport the loot between Earth and Mars. The only issue is, a Rubik's Cube holds a lot of value in the new age, and only one team will have the chance to walk away with it.
HYENAS will let you assume control of, well, a Hyena—anti-heroes who can be equipped with a unique weapon, ability, and personality. In a team of three, said Hyenas will venture forth in a winner-takes-all throwdown for the Merch. Who will claim the goods? Who will return to Mars with their heads held high and their pockets lined with bobbleheads and PEZ dispensers? In HYENAS, it's fair game for everyone — and it's a story that has no fixed conclusion.
HYENAS will foster a pretty standard extraction-type format—a PvP mode that pits you and four other teams against one another for the sake of claiming loot from Plunderships' vaults, and then finding an escape route via the VIP Extraction pods before succumbing to other teams' bullets, or the security measures laid out by the MURFs.
“Competing with four other raiding crews, your goal is to find and crack secured vaults, then steal enough Merch to make your escape,” the blurb adds. “Standing in your way are not only rival players but also the “MURFs” – security forces who will fight to the death to protect the precious cargo.”
As expected, HYENAS will open the doorway for numerous customization elements, meaning players will have to both build and evolve their anti-heroes in order to plunder heavier vaults. Furthermore, loot-hungry pirates will also have to “use a range of unorthodox weapons and gadgets, such as Foam Guns, Teleporters and Cat Bombs, to compete against other packs of players and take down Plundership security forces.” So, a fair amount to onboard, clearly.
Creative Assembly first lifted the on HYENAS back in 2022, and then again at the Future Games Show, an event that brings countless developers together to showcase and promote their upcoming projects. During the event, the studio said that HYENAS would be prepping for the “longest alpha ever”, and that it would be shaping up for a loose 2023 launch.
Creative Assembly, although well-versed in strategy games, isn't all that familiar with the FPS format. Having said that, it did go on to develop Alien: Isolation back in 2014, which wound up becoming one of the best FPS survival horror games on ex-gen platforms. Does this bode well for HYENAS? Well, in light of this information, it's hard to say no at this point.
Caught your interest? If so, you'll be glad to know that Creative Assembly did, in fact, release a sneak preview trailer outlining a lot of the game's key details a little ways back. You can see it for yourself in the embed above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
HYENAS will be heading to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store at some point in 2023. Rather vague, yes, but the main thing is you can go ahead and sign up for the alpha while you wait.
It's still fairly early days yet, which means we don't know whether or not the game will be heading to either Game Pass or PlayStation Plus as a day-one exclusive. Having said that, all things considered, it seems unlikely at this point in time. But if anything of the sort does get mentioned by either Creative Assembly or SEGA, we'll be sure to let you know.
For more information on the HYENAS launch, you can follow the official social feed here. If anything changes between now and its eventual 2023 release, we'll be sure to fill you in on all the details right here on gaming.net.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of HYENAS when it drops later this year? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.