I’m from Athens, Georgia. Now, most people would think that since I grew up in the South, I would know a lot about hunting. Well, apart from the very few times as a teenager when I went with my Dad, I know almost nothing about hunting. So, you can imagine how I felt when I was told I was reviewing a game called The Hunter. That didn’t stop me from not giving the game a shot, and you know what? It’s actually quite impressive.
The Hunter is a first-person hunting game that takes place in Washington State. The player is a new hunter to the area and has to learn the ropes before going out on his own. The player can use guns and bows for hunting prey as well as other items like callers, camouflage, and scents to help out their hunting expedition.
The game is running on the Just Cause 2 engine, so as you can imagine, the areas are gigantic and very detailed. The environments are beautifully crafted and really do look fantastic. The background depth is also very impressive. It seems as though you can see for miles.
The game is free to play, but it is limited. You can only hunt Mule Deer and only use a certain gun and equipment without investing. The player can choose to buy certain licenses or weapons and gear from the store, or just buy a pack that gives you a bundle of goodies for a limited amount of time.
The hunting itself is very realistic. You must use stealth and patience to track down your prey. It can become difficult. You utilize a very helpful tool called the HunterMate, a GPS tool that can also track which way an animal is heading by analyzing tracks, excrement, sounds, and blood trails. When targeting your prey, you need to place your shot correctly in order to make the kill. If you wound without killing, you will then have to track down your prey until it dies. That could take a long time and many miles, and you may never find the body. You really get the feel that you need to take your time and use caution when getting ready to take down your prey, just like in real hunting.
The game kind of reminds me of Far Cry 2. You have to walk everywhere and travelling is a long process. Granted, there aren’t enemies constantly respawning or your car blowing up all the time, but you get the idea.
The tracking is very well done and, when you run into more “clues” that lead you to something you’re already tracking, it appears on the ground as a brighter red dot. The GPS is your best friend. It will remember every track you find and map them accordingly for you, just in case you get lost.
When you are finally ready to take down your prey, the game becomes a first person shooter. You can aim your gun, hold the spacebar to hold your breath and steady your aim, and of course, fire. You need to walk slowly when spotting your prey. You can kneel or go into the prone position. Finding the best vantage point is crucial to taking down your prey. The game takes a lot of skill at times.
There are small RPG elements to the game. You can level up your tracking and shooting skills just by performing them. After leveling up certain skills, it becomes easier to track animals or steady your aim.
The game must be launched from the website itself, but the data is all stored on your PC. The website keeps track your hunter’s stats and accomplishments. This is also where you can purchase licenses and gear, enter competitions and take on specific missions.
From what I understand, the developers are working on new areas and new animals to hunt. There is even talk of adding multiplayer to the game at a later date. There are constant updates to the game and it’s good to know that it is still being supported.
All in all, The Hunter is a great hunting experience. I may not be the biggest hunting game fan out there, but I can still see that the game sets out to give the player a realistic hunting game and it does a good job of presenting one. The game may not be for everyone, but it is a good change of pace from your standard Call of Duty games. The visuals are fantastic, and the game play is rewarding if you give it a chance. You can’t just run out there and hope to make your first kill right away. If you are expecting that, you will be bored quickly. If you’re looking for a good hunting game, look no further. There’s a lot to be had with the free to play version, and if you’re looking for more, you can always spend a little money to extend your playtime.
For more information on theHunter, visit their website at www.thehunter.com.
Review copy provided by publisher.