Now I’m going to be honest with you, the last “sim” type game that I played and enjoyed was on my Super Nintendo: a little ditty called Sim City. I loved that game, especially when you are allowed to decimate the city by your choosing. Every other “sim” game that I tried I disliked heavily; they were too slow for me and it seemed to take forever to get to the good stuff. I like games where you jump in, don’t have your hand held too much and can start whupping ass right away. “Sim” games are the exact opposite of that, which is why I usually steer clear of them. However, when I was little my father use to take me hunting every now and then, while we never actually got a deer it was a very nice experience to have. Hunting with my father are some of the best memories I have and I wouldn’t give those away for anything. Having some experience hunting I can say that theHunter: Call of the Wild did have some developers that have been hunting before. This game isn’t like Cabela’s Big Game Hunter or any games in the survival hunting genre, this is a real hunting “sim;” and it surprisingly pulls it off quite well.
When the game loads up you get to chose some small options for your Great White Hunter, you can be male or female and you can pick from six character designs. Not a whole lot to pick from, but when you figure it is a first person shooter, it really doesn’t matter. Unfortunately this game only has two nature reserves to hunt in, Hirschfelden Hunting Reserve or the Layton Lake District. Seeing as I’ve already hunted in America in real life I decided to see what was in store for me across the pond and traveled to Hirschfeldon Hunting Reserve. Now, the developers did a fantastic job with the graphics; the reserve looked almost lifelike. If I walked on dirt I wouldn’t make a sound, if I was on grass I would make a crunch that could scare possible prey away. The weather patterns changed often and when you finally did encounter a deer the animal looked majestic; as it should. The developer was even smart enough to make the HUD small and incorporate a lot of it into your phone, which helps you track animals and which carries your map and whatnot. So instead of being bogged down with arrows and such on the screen you can enjoy the view as you stalk your prey.
This game plays a lot like Far Cry 3, where you need to find Lookouts so you can find areas of interest on your map. You also get to discover Outposts that you can fast travel to once unlocked. That’s a nice tough, I hate like hell walking everywhere. While this game shares a layout with Far Cry 3 it certainly does not share the speed that Far Cry 3 has. I totally understand that hunting is a slow, grueling and possibly boring process but maybe you shouldn’t have made that part of the game. While I was tracking an animal I swear that every other animal in the reserve disappeared, it makes sense that the game wants you to track the one animal you are focused on, but I find it hard to believe I wouldn’t run into another animal as I walked for miles. The controls while hunting are fairly easy, your cell phone is important so if you need it to pop up to help you track just press Left Bumper. The Right Stick is flashlight for when it is dark, pressing Left Stick toggles you from walk to run. B is crouch and holding B gets you prone, you will have to use this a lot seeing that all the animal can hear you coming and the element of surprise is paramount. You also level up as you hunt, the more kills and special areas you find the more skill points you can earn which allows you to improve your hunting. The first skill point I used was on finding tracks easier, this is important while hunting so I figured I’d give that a go first. You also earn money for kills which lets you purchase better guns, equipment, ammo, all the necessary hunting gear.
There really isn’t a “story” per say with this game. You play as a hunter who is fairly green and get shown the ropes in an unbelievably slow fashion. You learn and grow as a hunter and pick up some side missions, let’s say you don’t want to kill any animals for a day, you can take pictures of certain animals and sell the photographs to get better equipment. As you continue through the Reserve you will encounter more majestic animals and more dangerous animals, you don’t have a health bar for no reason. You get to hunt Black Bear, Moose, Fox, Deer and so on and so forth; when hunting Bear and Moose you can get damaged because these animals will defend themselves. Make sure you have the proper equipment when you tackle the bigger beasts or you will find them crapping you out all over the nature reserve.
Now, I’ve knocked this game a lot for being a slow burn, that isn’t the developers fault or the games fault, I just really like getting right into the nitty gritty of a game. This is probably why I also have a difficult time playing JRPG’s all the way through, I get bored of the hours of tutorials and put something else in. The game is well made, polished and not confusing at all, it just is slow and that isn’t my bag. If you’re a gamer who has put hours into Elite Dangerous, The Sims or Rollercoaster Tycoon then theHunter: Call of the Wild is the game for you. I just don’t like to stay with one game too long, I like variety and getting to enjoy as many different worlds and stories as possible. The game is fun and I’m kind of glad it is on my hard drive, that means I can go back to it whenever I want without having to swap out discs all the time. Another part of my O.C.D. I hate swapping out discs for fear it will weaken the disc drive. But I digress, the game is enjoyable, but be prepared to pump A LOT of hours into it to get the most enjoyment out of it.
theHunter: Call of the Wild
- The reserves look gorgeous, like real hunting areas
- The developer has been hunting before, I was impressed by how much they knew
- Going for better equipment is super fun, I'm always looking for a better rifle
- Only two nature reserves to pick from
- Game starts out VERY slow and has a hard time pulling you in
- I swear there were like 3 animals total in this reserve, you'd think it would be teeming with life