In 2018, a job listing from Alien: Isolation studio Creative Assembly let slip that it was working on a tactical first-person shooter (opens in new tab); the following year, the studio officially confirmed it (opens in new tab). And now, all these years later, we’re finally getting 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 in a quest to rob orbital shopping malls of booty picked from the bones of a broken Earth.
It’s the future, you see, and billionaires, having done what they do, are now comfortably encamped on Mars. The zero-G tech they used to get there has unfortunately done a bit of a number on the Earth (which presumably wasn’t in great shape to start with, or otherwise why would anyone bother going to Mars), leaving 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 bust into spaceborne warehouses called Plunderships, which the ultra-wealthy have packed full of merch, swag, loot, tat, and other kitschy crapola scavenged from the surface of the Earth by the oligarch diaspora, who are apparently desperate for reminders of life on their old home. Of course, cooperation in these endeavors only goes so far, which means that instead of everyone from the Taint working together to put the gears to the people responsible for their situation, five teams of three will battle royale each other to grab the goods and make their getaway.
(This is how billionaires rise to positions of unchallenged authority in the first place, you know.)
“We believe the key to modern shooter success is understanding what players want to see and where they want to take their experience,” executive producer David Nicholson said. “We know we’ve got 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 players think, right up front and early. If you’re in, we want to take you along for the ride. That’s why after today’s announcement, we’re also launching into the first of our public alpha tests.”
Image 1 of 5
Signups for the first round of testing are open to anyone in North America and Europe who’s over 18 and has a Steam account. Initial sessions will incorporate a small number of players, but testing will open up to more people, regions and platforms as development progresses. This is what you’ll need to play:
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Quad core processor running at 2.5 Ghz
- RAM: 10GB
- VRAM: 5GB
- DirectX: 12
- Drive Space: ~31GB
- OS: 64bit Windows 10
- Processor: Any 6th Gen Intel processor, or any Ryzen 1000 series or above
- RAM: 16GB
- VRAM: 6GB – Nvidia 1660 or AMD 5600 XT or Vega 556
- DirectX: 12
- Drive Space: ~31GB
Creative Assembly acknowledged that the recommended requirements are relatively high, but said it’s still working on optimizing the game and lowering the specs.
Sega and Creative Assembly said that there’s “much more detail to come” about Hyenas ahead of its full release in 2023, but for now you can sign up for a shot at testing access and find out more about how it all goes down at playhyenas.com (opens in new tab).
Update: I originally described Hyenas, which features five teams of three players each fighting one another to accomplish specific tasks within an enclosed battleground, as a battle royale. Creative Assembly says (with some emphasis) that is not the case, however.